IoT Time: M2M/Internet of Things weekly digest

22 Nov 2017

T-Mobile Austria has claimed a national first with the commercial launch of its NB-IoT network, initially in St. Polten, which the cellco said became the first Austrian city to be fully covered by NB-IoT. Early areas of NB-IoT focus include smart city applications such as parking, street lighting, waste disposal and charging stations.

TeleSemana quotes Pedro Planas, Technology Director of Telefonica Peru (Movistar), as saying that the operator will prepare its network for the launch of 3GPP standardised NB-IoT and LTE-M licensed spectrum technologies ‘in 2018’. Movistar Peru is currently utilising unlicensed spectrum-based IoT via parent group Telefonica’s partnership with Sigfox to carry out pilot tests in northern Peru, whilst it provides IoT/M2M solutions in sectors including transport, mining and agriculture. In discussions at the IoT LatAm Summit, rival Entel Peru executive Luis La Torre agreed that 3GPP IoT technologies would rapidly gain importance, for reasons of standardisation, low power consumption, security, opportunities for deployment in existing networks, two-way communication and low cost of devices, adding that whilst devices are currently still relatively expensive, prices are expected to fall to ‘cents’. La Torre stated: ‘NB-IoT is going to displace all the others.’

Vodafone India has launched its ‘SuperIoT’ platform enabling management of devices, applications and connectivity, plus support and security services, with specialised services for Vehicle Tracking, Asset Tracking (Fixed and Mobile) and People Tracking (Students and Employees).

Germany’s Deutsche Telekom has launched an IoT lab in Dortmund in partnership with the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow & Logistics, to develop prototype NB-IoT-based products targeted at the manufacturing, logistics and aviation sectors. Fraunhofer is providing ‘comprehensive expertise in hardware and applications in IoT environments’ whilst Deutsche Telekom is providing networking, IoT and cloud solutions.

Finland’s Elisa is testing its nascent NB-IoT network with waste disposal company Enevo using sensors installed in the latter’s rubbish bins, indicating when each container needs to be emptied.

Antenna Hungaria has expanded its LoRaWAN IoT network to more than 100 base stations across Hungary and will continue to expand the network to cover Budapest, county administrative centres and several other large cities by the start of 2018.

Elsewhere in the LoRa field, France’s Objenious, a subsidiary of Bouygues Telecoms, has partnered Arteria, part of public utility Reseau de Transport d’Electricite (RTE), to strengthen and expand Objenious’ existing LoRaWAN network, which already claims 95% outdoor population coverage and 86% French territorial coverage. Arteria, which operates a 25,000km fibre network, will deploy its own IoT infrastructure to augment Objenious’ footprint.

Finally, Japan’s SoftBank and Honda have begun discussions toward a joint research project to strengthen connected car technologies, with a view to the future adoption of fifth-generation mobile standards. In its fiscal year beginning 1 April 2018 SoftBank says it will install experimental 5G base stations at Honda’s Takasu Proving Ground in Hokkaido, and the two companies will start fully-fledged joint research under the 5G environment.

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