IoT Time: M2M/Internet of Things weekly digest

25 Oct 2018

Rogers Communications has announced plans to launch a national LTE-M network ‘to power the next era of IoT in Canada’, in partnership with Ericsson. Rogers will light up LTE-M in Ontario by the end of 2018 ahead of expansion to other provinces in 2019, aiming to complete a nationwide rollout ‘by 2020’. Solutions provided over the new IoT network will include logistics tracking, alarm monitoring and smart metering as well as consumer IoT applications such as wearables and tracking devices. Rogers highlighted that LTE-M will connect fixed and mobile low-power IoT devices to carry critical information over long distances, with longer battery life and better network coverage in hard to reach areas, and will make IoT solutions more accessible for Canadian businesses, to help them innovate and save money and time.

Zain Kuwait has formed a strategic partnership with Samsung and Al-Babtain Turnkey Solutions to employ IoT solutions for development of smart education, smart health, smart security and smart mobility solutions, supporting the Kuwait National Development Plan’s smart government goals. The Kuwait Times reported that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed during GITEX Technology Week 2018, in which Zain showcased its B2B and Smart City offerings. Chung Lyong Lee, President at Samsung Gulf Electronics, said: ‘We have embarked on a digital journey with Zain Kuwait to transform its IoT initiatives – in line with its strategic road map to facilitate Kuwait Vision 2035.’

Japan-based NTT DOCOMO has launched the first of several planned IoT solutions in the US, introducing a LoRa-based industrial refrigeration temperature and humidity monitoring service in collaboration with California-based IoT company myDevices, Mobile World Live reported. DOCOMO’s US venture follows the introduction of its global IoT initiative in July, which aims to provide connectivity and support to Japanese enterprises with global IoT operations, and the company says it will ‘continue collaborating with cutting-edge US companies to introduce additional IoT solutions that help customers raise their productivity and create new value’.

South African technology group Altron and Huawei have announced a partnership in an IoT ecosystem that will see the pair combine their expertise to deliver IoT solutions for businesses in South Africa and the rest of the continent, reports news site IOL. Commenting on the partnership, Altron CEO Mteto Nyati said: ‘We need to develop more IoT solutions that are relevant to the African market. We need smart electricity and water meters in our homes that automatically transmit consumption data to municipalities, enabling them to bill customers without a physical inspection … Beverage companies can benefit from using fridges that provide data about location, repair and service requirements. We want to see smart waste bins that monitor waste levels which leads to better waste management and streamlined pickup schedules. Our partnership with Huawei will enable us to offer these solutions in our market.’ Huawei South Africa’s chief executive Fan Wen added: ‘Our more than 80,000 research and development engineers will work with Altron technical experts in designing market-leading smart solutions that harness IoT and are not vulnerable to cyber fraud. Together we will make IoT deliver business value to our joint customers.’ The partnership will see Altron’s technicians and engineers being upskilled through Huawei’s Johannesburg Open Lab facility where the combined teams will jointly design solutions.

Claro Brasil has announced that it will deploy NB-IoT and LTE-M networks to 80% of the country in partnership with technology vendors including Qualcomm; the Brazilian operator has already rolled out IoT networks covering 60% of the national territory, but its commercial M2M/IoT services are currently based largely on 2G technology. As reported by TudoCelular.com, the company noted in its announcement that ‘compared to traditional LTE, Cat-M1 [LTE-M] and NB-IoT are designed to meet low-cost cellular connectivity for IoT applications with reduced data rate’, giving examples of applications including energy measurement sensors, building safety, infrastructure monitoring, industrial control and automation, asset tracking, medical, lighting and after-market telematics. Andre Sarcinelli of Claro Brasil stated: ‘Claro and Qualcomm Technologies are collaborating to help our customers prepare for the future as we deploy the latest mobile technologies across our network infrastructure.’ Rafael Steinhauser, president for Latin America at Qualcomm, added: ‘Our focus is to develop technology solutions that the IoT ecosystem requires to grow, helping operators, manufacturers and solution providers connect and manage large quantities of devices in an efficient, secure and scalable way.’

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