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IoT Time: Internet of Things digest

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13 Apr 2023

Ericsson has finalised the transfer of its IoT Accelerator (IoT-A) and Connected Vehicle Cloud (CVC) businesses to California-based IoT solutions provider Aeris, with Ericsson taking a minority share in Aeris as part of the agreement, which was first announced in December 2022. Ericsson IoT-A is used by over 9,000 enterprises to manage more than 95 million connected devices with 22 million eSIM connections globally. Aeris’ and Ericsson’s IoT platforms will connect over 100 million IoT devices across 190 countries, and Aeris will now provide IoT services for 9,400 enterprises globally.

Swiss-based IoT nanosatellite operator Astrocast has secured a USD17.5 million investment in the form of a convertible loan from Thuraya Telecommunications, the mobile satellite services arm of UAE-based satellite systems provider Yahsat. Under the agreement, the pair also aim to extend a technical cooperation agreement – originally struck in 2019 – for another four years. Astrocast’s SatIoT network – currently boasting 18 satellites – is focused on industries such as transportation, oil & gas, utilities, mining, forestry, agriculture and maritime.

Agriculture and construction machinery maker John Deere currently has 500,000 connected machines and is targeting 1.5 million connected by 2026, the company told journalists attending an event in Austin, Texas, at which senior product manager Jonny Spendlove gave an update on Deere’s talks with satellite connectivity providers, projecting that as the group approaches its 1.5 million-connected machine goal, 10%-15% of those will use satellites to connect to the cloud, adding that this solution will probably involve Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites to meet targets of 5Mbps downlink and uplink with latency of 500ms or less. As reported by Fierce Wireless, at the event Lane Arthur, VP of data, applications and analytics in Deere’s Intelligent Solutions Group, highlighted the value of data collected by its machines which ‘traverse one third of Earth’s surface each year’, sending billions of measurements regarding soil, crops, weather conditions and equipment status via LTE to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud for processing and response to farmers’ smartphones in as little as 20 minutes, whilst aggregation of the huge data set gives Deere ‘an asset none of our competitors have’.

Finland’s Digita announced the formalisation of a cooperation begun in spring 2022 with utility Orimattila Water Works to switch all the latter’s 3,500 meters to remote/smart models using Digita’s LoRaWAN IoT network.

Russian network operator MTS has placed an offer to buy Saint Petersburg-based Proyektnaya Sreda, a developer of M2M/IoT solutions for commercial vehicle fleet management, Kommersant reported. The proposed deal is estimated to be worth up to around RUB2 billion (USD24 million). Elsewhere, MTS has recently established a subsidiary (MTS Smart Home) for the development of smart home services.

Vodafone Ghana has partnered Metro Mass Transit (MMT) to launch the Vehicle-Tracker (V-Tracker) Road Safety project, leveraging the cellco’s IoT technology to reduce road accidents involving MMT’s buses. In a pilot, ten MMT buses were equipped with the V-Tracker solution, including cameras, sensors and software integrated into a tracking and reporting system allowing MMT to monitor driver performance in real-time and intervene when necessary. Vodafone aims to fit over 500 buses with cameras, GPS trackers and IoT technology by 2025.

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