IoT Time: M2M/Internet of Things weekly digest

19 Apr 2018

Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica has formed a partnership with Germany’s Software AG to deliver a ‘comprehensive, end-to-end’ IoT solution for Spain’s B2B market, based on Software AG’s Cumulocity IoT platform which operates across cloud, on premises and edge. Software AG says that the end-to-end approach ‘ensures that any app or device – regardless of underlying technology or vendor source – will operate seamlessly across Telefonica’s network’.

German goliath Deutsche Telekom (DT) has invested USD6 million in Israeli IoT start-up Axonize, a company which delivers solutions to connect, manage and orchestrate multiple IoT applications via a ‘unique architecture based on a pre-built, highly flexible AnyAPP application layer that resides on a robust and secure Microsoft Azure cloud’. Anette Bronder, head of DT’s Digital and Security department, said: ‘Axonize has developed a unique IoT orchestration platform which addresses our and our customers’ IoT requirements’, adding that Axonize ‘ideally complements’ the telecom group’s IoT platform ecosystem worldwide.

India’s Tata Communications and South African ICT services provider Dreamtime Technologies (DTTech) have joined forces to build a cloud-based virtual mobile network to serve African mobile network operators (MNOs) and IoT providers. According to the partners, the cloud network will ‘act as the foundation for next-generation mobile and IoT services in sectors such as healthcare, transport, mining, agriculture, banking and retail’. DTTech says it will also use the new cloud-based network to give MNOs the flexibility to introduce new services and extend their geographical reach, thereby attracting new customers and generating new revenue streams without large upfront investments. The new infrastructure will use the Tata Communications ‘MOVE’ mobility and IoT platform, via which DTTech’s customers will buy mobile network access from MNOs across Africa cost-effectively, on a pay-as-you-go basis, enabling companies of all sizes to launch new mobile/IoT services.

Digital Colony, a joint venture between Digital Bridge Holdings and Colony NorthStar, has agreed to acquire Finnish broadcasting tower/IoT infrastructure operator Digita from First State Investments for an undisclosed price. Digita CEO Juha-Pekka Weckstrom said: ‘Together with First State we have invested more than EUR40 million [USD49.5 million] into Digita to upgrade our network and to start new business lines including data centres and IoT services. Partnering with Digital Colony will help Digita continue to enhance its network.’ Ben Jenkins, Managing Partner at Digital Colony, added: ‘Digita is well positioned to extend its business model into adjacent markets as the deployment of 5G will increase demand for new macro towers, rooftop sites, small cell deployments, and data centres.’ The transaction is expected to close in Q2 2018 subject to regulatory approvals.

Also in Finland, fixed and mobile operator DNA has selected the Cisco Jasper ‘Control Center’ M2M/IoT connectivity management platform, to form the basis of its ‘DNA Connectivity IoT’ service offering to Finnish companies over its cellular network.

Spain’s telecoms regulator, the National Commission for Markets & Competition (Comision Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia, CNMC), reported that the country passed five million cellular M2M connections at the end of January 2018. According to the CNMC’s figures, M2M lines reached 5.007 million at that date, up by nearly 11% year-on-year, accounting for close to 10% of all mobile network subscriptions.

Lastly, in Italy, research from the School of Management at the Politecnico di Milano says that the Italian IoT market grew in value by 32% in 2017 to EUR3.7 billion (USD4.6 billion), including mobile connectivity revenue which increased by 29% to EUR2.2 billion and other communication technologies (up 36% to EUR1.5 billion), noting that the increase was ‘in line and in some cases higher than that in other EU countries’. The smart metering segment grew 3% in 2017 to EUR980 million (26% of the market), while smart vehicle connectivity jumped 47% to EUR810 million, followed by smart building (EUR520 million), IoT logistics solutions (EUR360 million), smart city (EUR320 million) and smart home (EUR250 million, up by 35%). Industrial IoT was highlighted as a prime growth segment for the coming years.

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