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IoT Time: Internet of Things digest

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11 May 2023

Qatari network operator group Ooredoo has agreed to provide managed IoT connectivity for US-headquartered public safety connected technology firm Axon across Algeria, Tunisia, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Iraq and Bahrain. Axon’s connected device network includes body-worn cameras, TASER energy devices, in-car cameras, cloud-hosted digital evidence management solutions, productivity software and real-time operations capabilities.

Nokia announced it is the first to offer a CE-certified (meeting EU safety requirements) turnkey automated drone solution, connected over 4G and 5G, including drones with dual gimbal cameras, docking stations and edge data processing. The Nokia Drone Networks docking station enables 24/7 fully remote drone operations and charging, while an Open API framework allows integration of third-party applications for extensive customisation of the solution to expand use cases and capabilities. The solution is designed to meet the growing demands of organisations including public safety agencies, smart cities, construction, energy and defence, and has been piloted in the US with the New York Power Authority.

Portugal’s telecoms regulator ANACOM has introduced a new dedicated numbering range using the ‘49’ prefix for M2M/IoT connected devices and mobile internet access services, noting that this range can also be used for ‘eCall’ automatic emergency call systems. ANACOM said the move was aimed at ensuring adequate availability of numbers to meet future needs in light of significant increases in M2M communications. The non-geographic ‘49’ range with twelve digits has a total availability of ten billion numbers. ANACOM added that to give relevant companies time to implement the new numbering range, a transitional period (thus far undefined in duration) will be permitted, following which, new numbers with the 49 prefix will only be assigned to M2M/IoT/mobile internet/eCall services.

Eseye, a provider of edge mobile IoT connectivity solutions, has entered into an agreement with Orange Wholesale France to enhance its global IoT offering, enabling additional localisation capabilities so that enterprise customers can avoid obstacles encountered in ‘permanent roaming’, leveraging Orange’s network footprint spanning 2G, 3G, 4G, 5G, LPWA and upcoming new radio technologies. Eseye COO Adam Hayes commented: ‘Sponsored roaming is a highly effective way of delivering IoT services but unfortunately it doesn’t solve all use cases. Adding the Orange Wholesale offering with Eseye’s unique technical localisation capabilities means we are able to offer wide-ranging access to local networks and roaming partners.’

In Brazil, sister operators Claro and Embratel have launched the ‘Smart Monitoring’ service using IoT sensors to remotely manage and monitor vehicles or logistics centres in real-time to prevent loss of transported/stored goods. The new system intelligently monitors and issues alerts on variables such as temperature, humidity and cargo location, and is suitable for use at fixed points, such as in warehouses and cold rooms, or in trucks and other moving vehicles. In the health sector for instance, the solution can be used by clinics, laboratories and pharmaceutical companies for displacement and storage of vaccines, medicines and supplies which have very specific temperature and humidity limits, while other potential Smart Monitoring clients are in sectors such as retail, logistics, food supply and agribusiness.

The UK’s Vodafone Group and Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation announced the establishment of a standalone business to drive the development of the ‘Economy of Things’, described as a new global ecosystem within which ‘vehicles, devices and machines can interact and transact with each other via a secure digital platform, without human intervention, but with the owner in full control.’ A press release explained further: ‘Devices, electric vehicles, smart street furniture, such as real-time information displays, and machines connected to the platform can be quickly verified as trustworthy and then automatically allowed to exchange and trade data and money over secure and encrypted connections. Businesses across multiple sectors can instantly launch new products and create new revenue streams while consumers will be safe in the knowledge they are dealing with verified devices from a trusted authority.’ Under the agreement, Vodafone will transfer its new global Economy of Things platform, called Digital Asset Broker (DAB), as well as intellectual property, contracts, technology and software, into the new business. In turn, Sumitomo will invest in the new business and work with Vodafone to attract additional investors, partners, and customers. The initial shareholding of Vodafone and Sumitomo in the new venture will be 80% and 20% respectively and is subject to regulatory approval.

More than 190 ITU-T member countries have approved oneM2M specifications as an ITU standard, aimed at simplifying the IoT ecosystem lifecycle by minimising development, deployment, and maintenance costs. The ITU-T’s SG20 IoT and smart cities & communities (SC&C) approved oneM2M’s security specifications for IoT systems, making the entire suite of oneM2M specifications available for use nationally by ITU-T member states. oneM2M is an open set of specifications that define a common set of horizontal IoT service functions, to enable secure data exchange and information interoperability across different vertical sectors, service providers and use cases. The standardised APIs future proof the IoT ecosystem by reducing costs and enable interworking with existing IoT technologies. oneM2M standards provide an interoperability testing framework and support a global certification program by the Global Certification Forum (GCF) for oneM2M based products. The full set of oneM2M’s specifications, approved as the ITU-T Recommendation Y-4500 series, is available here.

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Brazil, Japan, Portugal, Qatar, United Kingdom, Autoridade Nacional de Comunicacoes (ANACOM), Claro Brasil (incl. Embratel), Eseye (group), Nokia, oneM2M, Ooredoo Group, Orange Business Services, Sumitomo Corporation, Vodafone Group

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