IoT Time: Internet of Things digest

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18 Aug 2022

Zain Bahrain this week claimed the Kingdom’s first commercial deployment of NB-IoT network technology in collaboration with Ericsson following trials last year. Aiming to support Bahrain in achieving its National Telecommunication Plan (NTP) M2M aspirations, the operator announced that by utilising NB-IoT, enterprises and consumers can gain broader network coverage, multiple connections, longer battery life, and cost-effective solutions for IoT adoption. Ali Isa Al Yaham, Technology Director at Zain Bahrain, said: ‘Internet of Things will play a key role in realising Bahrain’s smart vision 2030, and Zain Bahrain is committed to addressing the growing demand for cutting-edge technologies to service both enterprise and consumers. Zain Bahrain’s newly deployed NB-IoT technology will open connectivity platforms that enable any devices or services to interact with a broader coverage and using little power for longer battery life.’

Google Cloud has announced that it is shutting down its IoT Core service, giving customers a year to move to a partner to manage their IoT devices. The cloud provider rolled out the IoT Core platform in 2017/18, calling it a ‘fully managed service that allows you to easily and securely connect, manage, and ingest data from millions of globally dispersed devices’ but as reported by TechCrunch, a Google spokesperson explained this week: ‘Since launching IoT Core, it has become clear that our customers’ needs could be better served by our network of partners that specialise in IoT applications and services … We have worked extensively to provide customers with migration options and solution alternatives, and are providing a year-long runway before IoT Core is discontinued.’ Cloud infrastructure competitors Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft continue to offer similar IoT software platform services.

The Netherlands’ Ministry of Economic Affairs & Climate Policy (MEACP) has launched its latest consultation on the 450MHz-470MHz frequency range in the Public Access Mobile Radio (PAMR) band, ahead of the expiry of current licence validity in November 2024. The MEACP has proposed to award half the available spectrum under a ten-year national licence. Comments are invited from interested parties, especially from the M2M/IoT and enterprise wireless communications segments, by 23 September.

Vodafone New Zealand issued a press release highlighting its NB-IoT-based ‘WaterCare’ smart water metering system currently being rolled out in Auckland. Vodafone is collaborating with smart metering and energy management company Landis+Gyr, building on the global partnership the companies sealed in 2020 to deliver IoT communication solutions. David Maclean of Landis+Gyr declared: ‘By leveraging Vodafone New Zealand’s network to deliver an innovative and reliable IoT offering, together we provide turnkey connectivity solutions that enable speed to market for water utilities. The IoT solution also ensures a future-ready system, allowing seamless transition to 5G networks.’

The DC Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a 2020 decision by the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to reallocate part of the 5.9GHz band for unlicensed use. In 2020 the FCC divided the 75MHz block of spectrum previously assigned for dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) usage, making 45MHz available for unlicensed use and designating the remaining 30MHz block for auto safety, via Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) technology. The plan fell foul of the Intelligent Transportation Society (ITS) of America, however, prompting a legal battle. Following the decision, FCC chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel stated: ‘I am pleased with the Court’s decision, which upholds the FCC’s broad authority to manage the nation’s airwaves in the public interest. In the more than two decades since the FCC allocated the 5.9GHz band to support automobile safety, autonomous and connected vehicles have largely moved beyond DSRC technologies to newer, market-driven alternatives.’

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