IoT Time: M2M/Internet of Things weekly digest

15 Feb 2018

Danish full-service telco TDC has disclosed that it is in the process of expanding its NB-IoT network across its entire nationwide 4G LTE footprint, having so far covered Greater Copenhagen. TDC’s current IoT projects include smart street lighting, smart parking and smart rubbish collection. Marina Lonning, Executive Vice President of TDC Business, boasted: ‘We have a huge advantage as we already [offer] 4G to more than 99% of Danes.’ Chinese vendor Huawei is assisting TDC’s NB-IoT network expansion, following pilots which ran through the summer of 2017 using two 800MHz NB-IoT-enabled base stations in Copenhagen for water metering, central heating meters, air pollution sensors, rubbish bins and healthcare monitoring. Note that an existing Danish low power wide area (LPWA) IoT network operator already claims 99.7% outdoor coverage, namely IoT Denmark, the country’s exclusive Sigfox connectivity provider, which utilises unlicensed spectrum.

Sticking with Nordic matters, TDC’s Norwegian network operating subsidiary Get has agreed to purchase a 51% stake in start-up Futurehome to develop IoT-based smart services to residential, business and municipal customers.

In neighbouring Finland, Digita and Mapon have commercially launched a tracking service utilising Digita’s LoRaWAN IoT network and Mapon’s fleet management software, targeting sectors including logistics, construction and equipment/machinery rental.

Japan’s KDDI (au) – which launched LTE-M services last month – has introduced an ‘ultra-miniaturised’ LTE-M communication module for its corporate clients. The ‘KYW01’ module was launched alongside the operator’s ‘KDDI IoT Telecommunication Service LPWA (LTE-M)’ and ‘KDDI IoT Cloud Device Management’ service for remotely managing IoT devices and communication modules.

Another Japanese player, Internet Initiative Japan (IIJ) – a broadband network operator and data/M2M-focused MVNO – is establishing a joint venture company with Chubu Electric Power to provide IoT services to households. IIJ’s press release says that the connected home joint venture aims to ‘develop and provide innovative services by incorporating the latest IoT technologies to … make its customers’ lives more convenient and comfortable … [utilising] various devices such as webcam, thermo-hygro sensors and to operate home electric appliances remotely with smartphones.’ IIJ notes that the move will see it expand its IoT-related business from the enterprise segment to the consumer market. The joint venture is expected to be established by April 2018.

Elsewhere in Asia, the China Academy of Information & Communications Technology (CAICT) has released a projection that the volume of NB-IoT module shipments to China will jump to around 100 million units in 2018, up from around five million in 2017, driven by both government and private sector backing for NB-IoT application development.

Brazilian Sigfox IoT network operator WND Brasil has announced that it will cover all Brazilian state capitals by March this year, whilst also covering nearly 70% of cities with 200,000-plus inhabitants, representing a population footprint of around 120 million people. WND began its Sigfox network deployment across Brazil just over a year ago.

Finally, Altice, owner of PT Portugal (MEO) has opened a technical laboratory for IoT solutions in Lisbon. The ‘Golabs.IoT’ facility located at the network operator’s headquarters aims to involve developers, academia and start-ups to develop laboratory prototypes into commercially viable products and services.

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