IoT Time: Internet of Things digest

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27 Jan 2022

Dutch telco KPN has activated LoRaWAN ‘Class B’ on its existing nationwide LoRaWAN network powered by the Actility ThingPark IoT platform, leveraging the new standard’s low latency commands functionality for controlling and easily upgrading millions of IoT devices for applications such as asset tracking, smart grid balancing control, air quality sensors, remote patient monitoring or public emergency systems. By implementing Class B (Beaconing), KPN says it is ready to support the next generation of LoRa devices and use cases, making it possible to keep devices precisely synchronised, enabling low latency control applications and multicast transmissions to devices. In ‘Class A’ no control command can be sent to a device unless it has previously sent an uplink message, which is perfect for sensor applications but requires periodic uplink transmissions when the use case also requires commands, and this overhead increases with the frequency of such uplinks. By contrast Class B enables low latency control applications without requiring frequent uplinks from the device, therefore conserving power. Several device manufactures and solution providers are already planning to leverage Class B features.

Vodafone Ukraine, Ericsson and Corum Group have announced the latest step in the ‘Smart Factory 5G’ project, claiming a national first by testing 5G telemetry on a private wireless network using Quectel 5G modems at the DTEK Energo machine building plant in Kharkiv. The technology allows real-time data collection on equipment status to be transmitted via an enterprise server.

Telstra and Ericsson have announced a world-first deployment of ‘Ericsson Private 5G’ on-premises dedicated 5G network solutions for enterprises utilising a single-server 5G dual mode core, with Telstra Enterprise customer AgriFood Connect the first client to use the system. Ericsson Private 5G facilitates both LTE and 5G Standalone (SA) simultaneously, facilitating advanced operations through automation, flexibility and intelligent connectivity. Telstra and AgriFood Connect have deployed industrial IoT capabilities over 5G SA supporting a variety of business requirements such as asset condition monitoring and the collection of data from machinery, enabling features such as predictive maintenance alerts to drive cost savings against unplanned downtime and repairs. Emilio Romeo, Head of Ericsson, Australia and New Zealand, added: ‘The Ericsson Private 5G platform will enable emerging industrial use cases across multiple verticals such as Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs), AI, Automation, drone technology, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality, and many more innovative 5G use cases made available through Ericsson’s robust Industry 4.0 partner ecosystem.’

In the Philippines, Ericsson has expanded a partnership with PLDT and its mobile arm Smart Communications for nature conservation, aiming to leverage advanced machine learning solutions to support environmental sustainability in Sasmuan, Pampanga, with the participation of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and local government. Ericsson will deploy AI-enabled CCTV cameras to identify migratory bird species and enable better preservation of endangered wildlife. PLDT will host the cloud system for the data collected by the AI cameras, while Smart will provide end-to-end mobile internet connectivity.

Croatia’s Hrvatski Telekom (HT) has signed a partnership with Culmena on the ‘100 Smart Factories’ project to enable simpler digitalisation and application of Industry 4.0 in Croatian factories. The project was launched in 2019 with an objective to create more smart factories to ensure their better position in the market. HT as a technological partner offers factories a wide range of infrastructure services supported by a Tier 3 data centre and its IoT platform, plus an app that monitors real-time production in order to raise quality control and further digitalise processes. Ivana Beli Ostarcevic, Director of ICT Services Portfolio Development and Management Sector at HT, said: ‘The joint collaboration on the 100 Smart Factories project aims to further strengthen our position as a market leader in Industry 4.0 and a driver of digitalisation. By providing advanced business services and infrastructure that we offer to industrial companies through this cooperation, we want to make it easier for Croatian production companies to adapt to digital tools and prepare them for Business Transformation and Industry 4.0.’

Elsewhere in Croatia, Odasilajaci i Veze (OiV) and Nokia have collaborated to deliver a ‘country-first’ 5G Standalone (SA) industrial private wireless campus network for AD Plastik’s automotive component manufacturing facility in Zagreb. The Nokia Digital Automation Cloud (DAC) application platform will enable low latency and secure, reliable 5G wireless connectivity for equipment, machinery, and a set of applications at AD Plastik’s manufacturing campus. Nokia says the solution will replace and overcome the limitations of the existing Wi-Fi infrastructure to allow AD Plastik to implement new Industry 4.0 use cases and enhance operational efficiency.

Spanish giant Telefonica and engineering group Alava have launched a 5G, IoT and AI smart industry platform, foregrounding a predictive maintenance solution utilising sensors in factories or industrial settings, high speed communications infrastructure, and powerful analytical software to track large amounts of equipment – e.g. rotary engines, reciprocating machinery, electrical transformers, conveyor belts, etc. The resulting data pool is analysed to draw out trends from the production line, identifying possible faults or defects in machinery and enable pre-emptive measures before the workflow is heavily disrupted. The platform developed by Telefonica Tech and Alava also uses machine learning models designed to improve the efficiency of machinery, and a demo set up is currently on show at the Telefonica District Innovation Centre in Madrid.

KT Corp has signed an agreement with Yandex Self Driving Group (SDG) to co-develop self-driving delivery robots in South Korea by the end of this year, Korea Joongang Daily reported. Dmitry Polishchuk, CEO of Yandex SDG, said: ‘The demand for last-mile delivery in Korea is one of the highest in the world and continues to grow. Our robots will help automate the delivery process, providing businesses with a reliable and cost-effective solution.’ KT added: ‘We plan to expand the agreement to other business areas in the tech field.’ KT also recently revealed it is establishing a testbed for automated industrial robots using 5G networking for the Korea Institute for Robot Industry Advancement (Kiria) as part of a USD40 million project starting this year, with the telco providing the robots, operating software, 5G equipment and VR/hologram devices.

Maltese telco GO has selected the Cumulocity IoT platform of Software AG to provide its enterprise customers with value-added solutions and services, supporting the acceleration of market launch of IoT offerings in segments including Asset Tracking, Building Management, Smart City and others. In addition to the IoT platform GO has also added the integration solution, which provides more than 300 connectors for agile cloud-to-cloud integration of third-party platforms.

Russia’s Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) has launched an IoT solution for water supply systems, allowing collection and analysis of data from pressure sensors and metering devices, designed to pre-empt and prevent accidents at the earliest possible stage. Data from devices is transmitted online via MTS’ NB-IoT network and is analysed by the system using Big Data, comparing meter readings for different periods and identifying emergency situations. Devices connected to the NB-IoT network can operate without external power supplies for up to ten years. MTS adds that the service reduces the costs of resource-supplying organisations by balancing water consumption.

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