Spark New Zealand has switched on its commercial Cat-M1 (LTE-M) IoT network, running over its 700MHz/1800MHz 4G mobile network in major centres, and will expand coverage across the rest of the country over the next six months. Spark says the LTE-M network will connect a wide variety of new and existing IoT solutions and services including wearables, smart appliances, electricity/gas/water meters, asset monitoring, industrial automation, vehicle telematics, smart health devices and smart city applications such as lighting and environmental monitoring. The new network is supporting the rollout of smart metering in New Zealand by Landis&Gyr, for instance. Alongside LTE-M, Spark will continue operating its LoRaWAN IoT network, which covers over 120 sites across the country in all major urban centres, and is ideally suited for low data rate applications.
T-Mobile Czech Republic is launching a range of comprehensive IoT solution packages for SMEs this month, incorporating Sigfox network connectivity, IoT sensors and the ‘IoT Manager’ cloud application. In a first phase, T-Mobile is largely targeting food, industrial and storage operations, transportation, retailing and agriculture, with a package which includes sensors for monitoring temperature/humidity, and intends to add to the range with other measurement sensors, event reporting (fire, flood etc.) devices, remote utility metering and merchandise tracking. As part of the offer, T-Mobile has developed an analytical tool for SMEs to calculate their return on investment in IoT. Tariffs start from CZK109 (USD5) excluding VAT per month.
Australia’s Telstra has trialled long-range NB-IoT data connections up to 100km from a mobile base station, compared to the previous limit of around 40km, reports TelecomAsia. The Ericsson-developed enhancement requires only a software upgrade and will expand Telstra’s nationwide IoT coverage to more than 3.5 million square kilometres. Ericsson’s MD of Australia and New Zealand Emilio Romeo said: ‘We’re partnering with Telstra to deliver its customers a world-leading capability in NB-IoT extended range cells and demonstrating the huge opportunity that IoT represents in rural and regional areas for both Australia and globally, particularly for logistics and agriculture.’
Russian cellco Beeline and Huawei have tested LTE-900 technology with an eye on supporting IoT technologies including NB-IoT and LTE-M alongside high speed mobile internet by increasing the bandwidth available via refarming GSM/UMTS 900MHz frequencies. Russian rival MTS already operates LTE-900 in selected areas.
Sweden’s Tele2 has launched a global IoT platform, ‘EnCore’, based on *Nokia*’s WING platform, delivered ‘as-a-Service’ and aimed at clients looking to deploy large-scale device connectivity. EnCore gives access to a cloud-based IoT Core network in all regions and countries required, providing a platform to manage and operate an enterprise’s total IoT deployment. Melissa Jenkins, CTO at Tele2 IoT, said: ‘While our other offerings are very suitable for both smaller and larger rollouts, [EnCore] is an infrastructure service, an IoT as-a-Service offering, which will benefit companies with large global deployments, or with high data usage and specific quality of service requirements.’
In the US, AT&T and Ericsson are partnering to offer comprehensive testing to help safeguard IoT devices from cybersecurity threats, covering a wide range of devices from body cameras to connected streetlights, to utility meters, industrial routers and medical devices, via Ericsson’s CTIA Authorised Test Lab for Cybersecurity Certification. Cameron Coursey, Vice President for IoT Solutions at AT&T, said: ‘It’s no secret security is a growing threat for IoT. Our work with Ericsson will help establish a common and readily achievable security programme that protects devices, consumers and our networks.’
Deutsche Telekom (DT) is collaborating with United Smart Cities (USC), a global initiative established and coordinated by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe in cooperation with the Organisation for International Economic Relations. The FastMode reports that USC and DT will initially focus on specific solutions that solve a city’s most pressing needs, including smart street lighting, air quality monitoring or smart parking. Data from the solutions will then be combined to create aggregated smart city applications. Further stages include providing a data market place, enabling data sharing and analytics and enabling smart cities across the world to be integrated and create a ‘global community’. A final ‘citizen involvement’ stage involves both partners working to integrate direct interaction and participation of smart city dwellers.
Lastly, raise a glass to Vodafone Spain and Bodegas Emilio Moro, who have joined forces to create ‘the winery of the future’. Emilio Moro will use IoT, AI and big data, working with Vodafone’s ‘Sensing4Farming’ project alongside Qampo and DigitalGlobe, involving a sensor network connected by NB-IoT measuring a multitude of factors, whilst utilising 18 years of satellite images to make predictions and modify harvests. The partners declared that the system will allow winemakers to rely on objective data to decide on irrigation, fertilisation, pruning or harvesting of vineyards, and ultimately ‘repeat the best vintages of wine over and over again’. Cheers!
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