IoT Time: M2M/Internet of Things weekly digest

7 Jun 2018

Belgium’s Telenet has launched its full commercial business IoT offering, branded ‘Telenet Tinx’, over its nationwide NB-IoT network. The comprehensive solution for the corporate market offers an IoT device connectivity management platform plus data analysis and visualisation tools, providing ready-made solutions for SMEs alongside custom solution development capabilities for specific requirements – in collaboration with technology partners such as IBM, Microsoft, Imec and Artilium. ICT integrator Nextel, recently acquired by Telenet, is also involved, alongside Unit-T, a joint venture with French group Solutions 30, which installs and maintains IoT sensors. Telenet also plans to add LTE-M functionality to its NB-IoT network at a later date. The operator estimates that there are over 17 million devices in Belgium connected to the internet today, and expects this figure to increase tenfold in the coming years.

The GSMA has announced that Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone Group have completed the first international NB-IoT roaming trial in Europe, using global SIMs from Deutsche Telekom on Vodafone Spain’s network and global Vodafone SIMs on T-Mobile Austria’s network, and commercial NB-IoT modules. The GSMA added that the trials will provide guidance to other operators in delivering a consistent level of implementation for NB-IoT roaming services which ‘will ensure seamless coverage and service continuity for millions of connections’ using low power wide area (LPWA) networks. Alex Sinclair, CTO, GSMA, said: ‘The success of these trials is an important milestone in the development of a sustainable roaming environment for Mobile IoT networks, showcasing their capabilities as well as ensuring consistent service across geographical boundaries. The market has matured considerably in a very short time and we anticipate that this will be the year that Mobile IoT scales. Only licensed, managed mobile services can provide the secure low power connection that can meet future demand.’

French IoT specialist Kerlink and eleven-x – the operator of Canada’s first and only public coast-to-coast LoRaWAN IoT network – have launched pilot programmes in smart parking, asset tracking, water metering, fuel tank monitoring, smart waste management and other applications across Canada over the recently launched LoRa IoT network. The two companies completed rollout of the network early this year in 22 regional markets (most major Canadian cities), powered by Kerlink Wirnet Stations ‘for managing millions of bi-directional messages every day from sensors and other data-collecting devices’. The network is enabling testing, development and proof-of-concept of IoT solutions, the partners added, allowing companies to implement mass deployments of IoT.

UPC Switzerland has launched tailor-made solutions for IoT in partnership with Swiss technology company Elektron using Wireless Smart Utility Networks (Wi-SUN) technology, targeting potential clients including energy companies, cities and municipalities with applications such as smart lighting, parking systems and traffic management. Stephan Ging, IoT expert at UPC, stated: ‘With up to 300kbps bandwidth, Wi-SUN is six times faster than the competitor network, LoRa. And at 0.02 seconds, the latency time of Wi-SUN is significantly lower than these other technologies.’ Enrico Baumann, CEO of Elektron, added: ‘Wi-SUN is already in use in millions of applications around the world for controlling street lighting and reading electricity, gas and water meters … As the Swiss market leader in street lighting, we see a great opportunity for energy suppliers to create their own IoT network with the Wi-SUN technology and operate smart metering and smart lighting independently and irrespective of manufacturer.’ Wi-SUN – supported by the Wi-SUN Alliance – is currently the only IoT communications solution in Switzerland based on IPv6 meshed network technology.

Finally, Japan’s KDDI aims to launch its KDDI IoT Worldwide Architecture venture from around April 2019, supporting ‘global IoT connectivity to data analysis and everything inbetween’ for multinational clients in industries such as automotive and industrial machinery. In addition to linking with KDDI’s IoT platform services such as KDDI IoT Cloud Standard, going forward KDDI’s global service will also link to the Lumada IoT platform provided by Hitachi, meeting various requirements from different industries. KDDI initially aims to connect telecoms carriers from more than 50 countries, in the process covering more than 90% of Japanese corporations located worldwide.

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