Orange Poland has launched a ‘commercial pilot’ of an LTE-M network in the Polish capital Warsaw and three other cities: Gliwice, Myslowice and Tarnow. Orange is inviting established companies and start-ups to participate in the pilot to develop their own IoT service/device solutions over the new platform; interested parties can apply up to September this year.
Meanwhile, rival T-Mobile Poland has disclosed that its NB-IoT network – based on its underlying LTE network using the 800MHz spectrum band – now has live coverage of more than 250 municipalities, with the cello operating more than 900 base stations equipped with NB-IoT (out of its total of 6,200 operational LTE-800 base stations).
In Kazakhstan, cellco KaR-Tel (Beeline) has announced its first live NB-IoT network section, covering the city of Kostanay, where the operator is partnering gas company KazTransGaz in a smart utility/metering rollout.
In more metering action, Telecom Italia (TIM) and NTT Data Italia have launched a trial NB-IoT water consumption monitoring system in Rende, in the southern Calabria region. The project, involving TIM’s ICT services subsidiary Olivetti, the University of Calabria and a local utility, estimates drinking water consumption/demand on an hourly basis using a series of new generation meters.
Japan’s NTT DOCOMO is using UK-based IoT technology provider *Telit*’s ‘simWISE’ module-embedded SIM technology – which offers significant cost savings compared to traditional SIM card solutions – as part of its Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town trial. The joint public-private community development project in Fujisawa City, Kanagawa Prefecture, is showcasing various applications (one example being trackable/notifying home package delivery services) based on technologies including LTE Cat-M1 and NB-IoT.
Another company partnering Telit, Brazilian MVNO Porto Seguro Conecta, has introduced simWISE-based solutions for customers in agribusiness, fleet management and utilities segments (with the MVNO claiming over 700,000 connected devices currently on its network in total).
Lastly, in the new Ericsson Mobility Report, the Swedish tech giant predicts that cellular IoT connections will reach an estimated 3.5 billion worldwide in 2023 – doubling its previous forecast issued six months ago. Ericsson says growth will be driven particularly by ongoing large-scale deployments in China, based on technologies such as NB-IoT and Cat-M1. The report adds that mobile operators have launched more than 60 cellular IoT networks worldwide using these technologies over their underlying LTE networks to support a diverse range of use cases; in North America these cases are centred on logistics and fleet management, while in China it is smart cities and smart agriculture at the forefront.
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