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IoT Time: Internet of Things digest

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17 Nov 2022

Spark New Zealand announced the milestone of connecting one million ‘things’ to its IoT networks, with the wide range of objects including ‘tsunami gates, livestock, electricity/water meters, taxis, pumpkins grown in school veggie gardens, fire and smoke detectors, and pharmacy refrigerators’ among many other examples. With its IoT connections growing over 20% since the end of June 2022, Spark claims the title of New Zealand’s largest IoT provider. Spark launched a LoRaWAN IoT network in 2018, followed by an LTE-M (Cat-M1) network in 2019 (now covering over 99% of the New Zealand population), while its NB-IoT network launched in July 2022 currently provides nearly 85% population coverage. The telco and sustainability firm thinkstep-anz have issued new research findings claiming that digital technology could help reduce 7.2 million tonnes of national carbon emissions by 2030 – accounting for 42% of the reductions New Zealand requires to meet its 17.0 million tonne reduction target that year.

Spain-based Sateliot announced it will launch its second 5G/IoT nanosatellite into orbit in Q1 2023 and enter a ‘full commercial’ service phase. The company aims to launch a further four satellites in the remainder of 2023, and expects to operate a 64-strong constellation in 2024 and reach a total of 250 orbiters in 2025, offering 5G Non-Terrestrial Network NB-IoT (5G NTN NB-IoT) services. Sateliot intends to provide global coverage via its nanosatellite constellation to serve sectors such as logistics, agriculture, maritime, energy, utilities, transportation, environmental and other sectors, with coverage encompassing oceans, disaster zones and remote regions. Sateliot claims that its technology can potentially double precision agriculture production to USD500 billion by 2030, and can promote savings of up to 15% on energy costs, 20% in train maintenance and 5-8% in logistics.

Airnex, the new operator of the Sigfox ‘0G’ IoT network in Andorra, has officially inaugurated its IoT solutions and services in partnership with Sigfox global technology owner UnaBiz. A press release stated that ‘Airnex will support Andorra’s Digital Transformation efforts with Sigfox 0G technology and a wide range of proven IoT solutions and services to help government agencies and businesses optimise their processes and improve citizens’ experiences.’ At the launch event, Henri Bong, co-CEO of UnaBiz, discussed collaborations with various prospective ICT partners to advance digital transformation in the public and private sectors in Andorra over the next three to five years.

Denmark’s Onomondo announced that it is launching its ‘SoftSIM’ IoT product in Q1 2023 as a unique solution to ‘transform the Internet of Things’. The company highlights that SoftSIM is fully downloadable from the cloud, will enable a ‘50%-90% reduction’ in the cost of rolling out IoT, and will reduce deployment time down to ‘virtually zero’. Onomondo added that its SoftSIM will be the only solution of its type available to ‘plug and play’ from a single vendor, and will help to address increasing supply chain complexity and acute chip shortages. Onomondo’s press release stated: ‘The move to a plug and play SIM card is the catalyst that IoT has needed to be deployed at scale and to start to reach its full potential. In terms of significance, we see the development of a downloadable SoftSIM as comparable to the impact that the Cloud had on the internet. By eliminating the requirement for a complex physical connection, it removes an important friction point as well as opening the door to a broad spectrum of people to bring true innovation and creativity to IoT as the customer needs develop. The SoftSIM will also make an important contribution to improving IoT sustainability, eradicating the need for billions of chips a year to be manufactured, transported and installed.’ Onomondo partners more than 700 operators at the Radio Access Network (RAN) level across more than 180 countries, as well as layering its own API-based IoT platform on top.

Swedish IoT provider TH1NG has signed a cooperation agreement with Fibra under which the latter is offering full commercial services over TH1NG’s ‘IoT Open’ platform to integrate and develop various types of IoT solutions for its operations and partners, following almost two years of pilot services. A press release says that regional fibre network provider Fibra is using IoT Open to develop commercial business opportunities in areas including Vasteras, Hallstahammar and Strangnas.

A consortium fronted by UK telco BT has received government funding via UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) to research and develop drones and AI applications for ports and highways, reports The project, named ‘InDepth’ (‘Intelligent Drones for Port and Highways Technology’), forms part of the ‘Future Flight Challenge Phase 3’ programme which seeks to drive the UK’s drone economy by backing 17 projects (including BT’s) with total funding of GBP73 million (USD86.7 million). BT is working with Associated British Ports (ABP), Kier Highways, Connected Places Catapult, RoboK, and Herotech8 to test the use of drones, focusing on automatic beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) missions to monitor and control critical national infrastructures such as highways and ports.

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Andorra, Denmark, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, Airnex, BT Group (incl. Openreach), Onomondo, Sateliot, Sigfox, Spark, TH1NG, UnaBiz

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