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IoT Time: Internet of Things digest

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20 Oct 2022

Bharti Airtel has launched its ‘Always On’ IoT connectivity solution in India, comprising dual profile M2M eSIMs allowing IoT devices to stay connected across multiple mobile network operators (MNOs). Airtel’s solution complies with the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) AIS-140 standard implemented by the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways setting mandatory requirements for device connectivity and tracking in buses, private fleets and other public transport. As per law, all registered buses and taxis have to mandatorily install such devices, while the government recently also mandated vehicles carrying hazardous goods to install AIS-140 compliant trackers. Other uses include emergency vehicles, mining and construction vehicles and other mission-critical use cases.

T-Mobile US is combining its 5G network with solutions from Bosch and Cradlepoint to develop IoT connectivity solutions using 5G Wireless WAN technology. The partners announced a near-real-time parking and safety monitoring system developed in cooperation with the Curiosity Lab in Peachtree Corners, Georgia, described as one of the first smart cities in the US.

Saudi Arabia’s Communications and IT Commission (CITC) has published a public consultation on the ‘Roadmap for 5.9GHz for Vehicle to Everything Communications (V2X)’ to gain feedback (with a subsequently extended deadline set for 15 November 2022). The CITC’s document addresses matters related to V2X including: technology standards, network deployment methods, spectrum requirements in the 5.9GHz band, market availability for equipment, and international implementation of V2X. In addition, the document asks for input on how to regulate V2X from eligibility and licensing points of view in the Kingdom.

Latvian cellco Latvijas Mobilais Telefons (LMT) announced a demonstration involving piloting a drone launched in Latvia from a remote location in Spain. LMT says the ‘Comp4Drones’ demo is unique in utilising cross-border mobile network communications for international drone piloting, relying on AirborneRF network coverage forecasting and remote route validation. LMT added that such demos are aimed at exploring future business possibilities for cellular network-connected drone technologies as well as for network infrastructure providers. Gints Jakovels, Innovation Lead at LMT, noted: ‘What we see from [previous] findings is that the existing network configuration is sufficient for today’s needs, but the work on network capabilities must be continued as the number of drones and BVLOS (beyond the visual line of sight) flights will increase.’

Slovenian telco Telekom Slovenije and Metronik have launched a cloud-based Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) platform, named IIoT360, designed to monitor and optimise the operation of production machines in real-time. The partners declared: ‘Based on the precise data captured and processed by the platform into transparent and comprehensible information, companies can solve even the most demanding challenges, such as increasing availability by preventing breakdowns, achieving optimal methods of use, developmentally upgrading machines for greater efficiency … easily create custom displays and data overviews outside of standard dashboards. The application works in Telekom’s secure cloud, is available via all standard web browsers and does not require additional installation.’

Tech investment firm Digital 9 Infrastructure has completed the acquisition of a 52% economic stake in UK data network and communications services provider Arqiva, announcing that it aims to grow Arqiva’s existing national IoT platform.

In Brazil, American Tower has announced a partnership with Algar Telecom to develop new LoRaWAN solutions and expand the IoT business environment with customised end-to-end projects for large organisations or public bodies that require monitoring systems. American Tower’s LoRaWAN network has been operating in Brazil since October 2018 and reaches 280 cities, enabling the connection of more than five million devices for connected city services such as water, gas and energy metering, climate monitoring, flood sensing, public lighting and others. 130 vendors and over 200 device models operate on the network.

Europe’s first ‘5G land-based intermodal logistics terminal’ has opened commercially in eastern Hungary, based on network solutions from Vodafone Hungary in partnership with Huawei. The East-West Gate (EWG) terminal was built at a cost of over USD95 million to handle up to a million large containers per year, and is the first terminal in Europe with 5G remote-controlled cranes. The primary function of the terminal is to trans-ship incoming European/Asian rail shipments, and could also soon become the largest rail hub for Ukraine’s food exports. The first train carrying agricultural goods from Ukraine rolled into the terminal during the opening ceremony, GlobalTimes reported.

The B2B division of telco Entel Chile has introduced the ‘Onway’ fleet management service for its customers. Entel Empresas refers to Onway as ‘the most advanced fleet management tool on the market’, enabling clients to improve the performance of company vehicle fleets and increase the safety of workers.

An Omani technology start-up, Artificial Recognition Technology (ART), has been awarded the first ever licence by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) to provide IoT services, reports the Oman Observer. ART received its IoT Service Provider concession under the recently enacted IoT Security Regulation Framework and Standard 2022. ART’s MD Arfat al Aghbari said: ‘While our vision is to optimise digital transformation solutions in Oman and regionally, our mission is to connect the unconnected through our large-scale LoRaWAN Gateway network to cover all areas of Oman. This will enable the 4th Industrial Revolution to take hold in the Sultanate of Oman, thereby spawning the growth of smart cities through deployments of wider and affordable networks that, in turn, will improve the quality of life of individuals and the community.’

Tuya Smart, a global IoT development platform service provider, has signed a partnership agreement with the Middle East division of China Mobile International (CMI) to promote the deployment and implementation of IoT solutions and projects across the Middle East and Africa, while aiming to improve technical support for smart business, smart cities and more. Tuya’s Johnny Lu said: ‘With the help of China Mobile and other channel partners, Tuya-enabled smart devices can quickly enter thousands of households across the globe.’

UAE-based e& Enterprise, part of the e& (formerly Etisalat) Group, has acquired UAE technology solutions provider and systems integrator Smartworld, which will be rebranded under the ‘e& Enterprise’ umbrella and form the IoT and AI business line of the company. The group says it aims to expand in new industry verticals and capitalise on IoT and AI opportunities, making e& Enterprise IoT and AI the ‘end-to-end partner for enterprises and governments.’

Another UAE operator, Du, has partnered Huawei and Sinotrans to deliver 5G-driven robot warehouse solutions for the UAE’s logistics industry. As a part of the agreement, Du and Huawei will ‘deliver the 5G Campus Network Solution and provide 5G key atomic capabilities’ to Sinotrans. Du also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Masdar City to develop 5G smart city services and a 5G Centre of Excellence.

Also in the Emirates, InfraX, a subsidiary of Digital DEWA, the digital arm of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, signed a partnership deal with UnaBiz to bring Sigfox IoT services to the UAE, while UAE-based satellite group Yahsat announced a minority investment in IoT connectivity provider eSat Global to offer Thuraya IoT services.

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