IoT Time: Internet of Things digest

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17 Mar 2022

Kerlink and VIoT Group have partnered to roll out Vietnam’s first nationwide LoRaWAN IoT network, with 350 Kerlink gateways to be deployed by the end of May in six cities, and 1,400 additional gateways expected by the end of 2022 before covering a further ten cities in 2023. A nationwide managed IoT network will be marketed for turnkey solutions mixing sensors, connectivity, integration, and applications, such as smart lighting and smart metering, in a single open IoT platform, reports IoTBusinessNews. In parallel, VIoT will support Helium’s The People’s Network based on HNT blockchain and cryptocurrency mining in peer-to-peer wireless IoT networks. VIoT will distribute Kerlink Helium-enabled hotspots which use LongFi architecture combining the LoRaWAN protocol with Helium blockchain, enabling any LoRaWAN device to transfer data on the Helium network. LongFi’s roaming capabilities support micropayment transactions so customers pay only based on network usage. Viet Nguyen, CEO of VIoT Group, said: ‘These deployments will make it possible for Vietnamese factories, businesses, cities and consumers to benefit from of cost effective, easy-to-deploy vertical wireless solutions, and to use Helium’s global, decentralised network of hotspots to disrupt traditional telcos’ subscription-based operating models. Think AirBnB or Grab for telcos: if I have an empty room, power and internet why would I not use it as a network tower?’ ‘Individuals worldwide have used Helium’s network to create more than 642,000 hotspots,’ added Rene Arbefeuille, Kerlink’s VP for Asia Pacific.

Sweden’s Netmore and Finnish operator Digita have signed a roaming agreement between their respective LoRaWAN IoT networks. Netmore’s Swedish and international customers will gain full access to Digita’s nationwide network in Finland, and Digita will now be able to offer Netmore’s LoRaWAN coverage in Sweden, the UK and Ireland, connecting sensors, meters and other devices.

Spark New Zealand has announced it is helping its IoT customers improve service reliability and reduce operational costs by advancing its IoT Control Centre platform with new AI/Machine Learning features from Cisco. Cisco has added two new modules to the Cisco IoT Control Centre connectivity platform that can process massive amounts of data in near real time for IoT customers. With these new capabilities, Spark customers can detect and address potential issues with their IoT deployments as early as possible, helping to simplify cost management and minimise unexpected charges. New modules include: Anomaly Detection (monitors each enterprise customer independently and trains itself on the device’s behaviours to determine what is normal and what is abnormal, flagging any anomalies, allowing the customer to review and address potential issues as quickly as possible); and Cost Optimisation (analyses the entire device deployment and determines the optimal rate plan for each device based on actual data usage for the current billing cycle, saving enterprises ‘up to 15% off their typical connectivity costs’).

Vodafone Czech Republic has launched ‘IoT Easy Connect’ pre-paid tariffs for entrepreneurs and companies described as ‘ideal for projects that are in the initial stages of development, [in a test phase] or are currently working with a smaller number of devices.’ Noting its sister operator’s success with the tariff in Germany, the Vodafone Business division highlighted that the IoT Easy Connect SIM connects over 2G, LTE-M or NB-IoT networks and costs a one-off CZK449 (USD20) inclusive of 1GB data and 250 SMS, valid for ten years.

UK/Dutch company Lacuna Space says it will commercially launch LoRaWAN IoT direct-to-satellite connectivity to customers and distribution partners in Q3 2022, with coverage extending to remote and unconnected parts of the globe, enabling ‘‘ultra-low cost’ tracking and detection services. Asset tracking, fleet management and global data collection are seen as target applications. The system uses LR-FHSS (Long Range-Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum) technology designed for long-range and large-scale communication scenarios such as satellite IoT. The on-orbit operation has been validated by Lacuna through several years of sub-GHz ISM operations, and is now also being made available using US company Omnispace with licensed 2GHz S-band spectrum rights, integrating the two firms’ infrastructure to allow devices to connect between existing terrestrial networks and previously unconnected regions around the world. Rob Spurrett, CEO of Lacuna, declared: ‘We are happy to announce this agreement with Omnispace which accelerates getting our technology to market and enables us to start delivering our IoT services around the globe. Our customers will be able to access Lacuna’s IoT service directly from inexpensive, battery-powered LoRa devices to extend connectivity to even the most remote areas of the world.’

Vodafone Ireland has teamed up with Irish start-up ApisProtect on NB-IoT-based solutions in honey bee hive monitoring as part of efforts to slow global bee population decline, reports SiliconRepublic. ApisProtect is upgrading its monitoring device using NB-IoT tech for longer sensor battery life and wider area coverage, helping beekeepers better evaluate the condition of each colony. ApisProtect has also announced the pilot of a new feature called S-Warning, which warns beekeepers when their bees exhibit behaviour that indicates they might start swarming.

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Czech Republic, Finland, New Zealand, Sweden, Vietnam, Digita (Finland), Kerlink, Lacuna Space, Netmore Group, Spark, VIoT Group, Vodafone Czech Republic, Vodafone Ireland