IoT Time: Internet of Things digest

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19 May 2022

Indian government-backed Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DOT) and mobile operator Vodafone Idea (Vi) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop and deploy IoT/M2M solutions in India. A press release announced: ‘IoT adoption has become critical for any organisation’s digital transformation journey. However, in the current deployments, certain operational challenges such as device network compatibility, over the air firmware upgrade, remote device configuration, security vulnerabilities and implementation in siloes with proprietary protocols are preventing businesses from reaping the scale benefits of IoT. To address these challenges in IoT implementation, C-DOT and Vodafone Idea have agreed to collaborate and work jointly on a non-exclusive basis, to evaluate applications and devices from various solution providers against oneM2M specifications and offer joint certificates … This partnership is an opportunity to see the oneM2M specifications in action in a diverse set of sectors and applications, from smart energy to the connected cars … C-DOT’s indigenously developed oneM2M based Common Services Platform (CCSP) … will enable application providers to use a robust middleware framework with all necessary underlying common services to deploy a secure oneM2M compliant solution … This partnership will enable IoT application and device providers to launch full-proof standardised and interoperable solutions in the market.’

Transatel, a subsidiary of NTT, has launched a 5G IoT service for the industrial, IT and automotive sectors in the US, following similar launches in France, Belgium and Japan, and says that the rollout will be extended ‘to the rest of the world in the coming months’. The announcement follows the recent launch of NTT’s Private 5G Network-as-a-service platform. NTT is offering both private and public 5G mobile broadband connectivity in the US, which the group says will prove to be critical for many industries, as industrial IoT (IIoT) applications process an ever-growing volume of data. Public 5G service will be available through Transatel’s global cellular IoT connectivity platform. Shahid Ahmed, NTT EVP New Ventures and Innovation, said: ‘The Transatel SIM is already an integral part of the NTT enterprise focused Private 5G solution, giving NTT P5G customers the benefit of having a single SIM serving both their private network needs while also enabling global roaming for enterprises requiring this feature beyond factories and campuses.’

UK telco BT has announced a pioneering trial of a ‘new hyper-sensitive quantum antenna technology using excited atomic states that could boost the capability of next generation 5G and IoT networks.’ A press release declared: ‘Atomic Radio Frequency (RF) receiver technology represents a revolutionary new way of detecting radio waves that could find much weaker signals than conventional receivers. The receiver works by using a quantum effect called “electromagnetically induced transparency” to form a highly sensitive electric field detector. BT’s trial represents the first time a digitally-encoded message has been received on a 3.6GHz (5G) carrier frequency. Previously, simple audio has been received using much higher frequencies but this trial is the first industrial demonstration using digital modulation within one of [BT mobile division] EE’s main commercial 5G frequency ranges. This new type of receiver may reduce mobile network energy consumption, enable IoT devices to become more cost efficient and longer lasting and support lower-cost smart cities and smart agriculture. Theoretically over 100x more sensitive than traditional receivers, the atomic RF Receiver can be positioned in a passive optical receiver in hard-to-reach locations, potentially bringing mobile networks closer to achieving 100% coverage and helping to close the connectivity divide.’

Budapest Business Journal reports that Vantage Towers, the passive tower infrastructure associate of Vodafone Hungary, is partnering Elektromotive Hungaria to install electric vehicle charging stations powered by renewable energy at Vodafone base stations. Vantage CEO Gergo Budai said about 60 charging stations will be installed at 38 base stations in a preliminary stage. Hungary is the first country in which Vodafone’s European infrastructure business Vantage Towers is rolling out the scheme, but it will be expanded to other countries in the mid-term, Budai said, adding that costs of such projects can be recouped in six-to-seven years. Elektromotive Hungaria managing director Janos Matyasfalvi said the company has participated in the installation of ‘several hundred’ public and private charging stations in Hungary so far.

In Greece, Nova-Wind has linked up with Samsung, Eyeonix and 3D SA to deploy smart city solutions for the municipality of Thessaloniki, supporting digitalisation and modernisation of public services. Claiming a unique project in the country, the partners’ smart city system incorporates, among other elements, Push To Talk technologies, ‘ON Map’ System, communications encryption and file, data, image and video sharing capabilities.

Turkcell and Ericsson have claimed ‘the first industrial use case demonstration of 5G connected Autonomous Mobile Robot (AMR) in Turkey.’ The demo, in partnership with AMR manufacturer Milvus Robotics, used both network slicing from a public network (Dual-mode 5G Core) and a private network (small-scale EP5G) using 5G standalone (SA) technology. A safety laser scanner was used to detect, with the use of AI, blind spots on a route and detect objects that would hinder or slow down the operation of the AMR. The press release noted: ‘The demonstration highlighted 5G’s and Private Networks’ abilities to enable manufacturers in Turkey to process and manage, with AI, substantial amounts of data that allow the free movement of AMRs around the production environment with a high density of connected devices. With stop time and latency being critical components of an industrial system, playing a crucial role in ensuring safety across operations, the demonstration also addressed 5G’s capability to provide real-time data transfer with low latency that will enhance safety across industrial operations.’

Telstra Wholesale has announced the launch of a new 5G service and IoT product range available from July, ‘initially reaching more than 75% of Australians’ with mobile speeds up to 250Mbps and access to mmWave 5G frequencies where available, enabling MVNO customers to offer premium 5G mobile plans while providing customisable IoT solutions featuring ‘four key innovations’ for wholesale clients. The four key features were listed as: ‘IoT connectivity for existing scale IoT providers: to provide value added connectivity on Telstra’s mobile network including the Cat-M1 network’; ‘Value added connectivity for MVNOs: for existing MVNOs to extend their range beyond mobile handheld and mobile broadband solutions leveraging their own proposition and devices on the platform they already use’; ‘Wearables and consumer IoT: connectivity solutions for new market entrants to provide watches, cameras, pendants and other consumer devices with connectivity to their end consumers’; and ‘Telstra’s innovative Track and Monitor product: a connectivity and device solution with enhanced service layers, suitable for the transport and logistics segment.’

Portuguese network operator Nos has launched smart city services over a 5G network deployed in the city of Barreiro, it announced. Smart city services being utilised include monitoring mobility issues using real-time traffic analytics via 5G connectivity alongside monitoring waste collection data.

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