Orange France has announced the commercial launch of its LTE-M network, with Orange Group promising further commercial LTE-M network launches in Spain and Romania by the end of 2018. Having launched its first LTE-M network in Belgium in May 2018, Orange Group has committed to deploy LTE-M alongside LoRa as its leading IoT technologies across its European footprint to address a broad range of usage cases. In France, over 98% of the population are already covered by the new LTE-M network, which benefits from all the features of 4G LTE including security, real-time connectivity and international roaming, plus integration with future 5G standards, whilst the complementary national LoRa platform has some 250 existing corporate customers, Orange says. The group’s enterprise arm Orange Business Services will now offer LTE-M to all companies in metropolitan France that have subscribed to its 4G IoT offer, and LTE-M devices will also be available on its ‘Datavenue’ IoT marketplace by the end of the year.
Orange Romania, meanwhile, confirmed that its LTE-M network is ready for launch at over 3,000 localities around the country. As reported by ZF.ro, Orange Romania business services director Florin Popa told the Microsoft Business Summit that the LTE-M network has ‘national’ coverage across 3,137 localities, following a rollout which started at ‘the beginning of last year’ and ‘a number of tests’.
Elsewhere in the Orange Group, Orange Business Services has expanded its LoRa-based ‘IoT Connect Anywhere’ services to Hong Kong, reports Computerworld HK. IoT Connect Anywhere provides on-premises connectivity, targeting sectors including energy and fluid management, on-site tracking, geo-fencing, waste control, environmental metering, lighting, parking monitoring and other smart cities applications. Orange says the service requires no major hardware investment and consumes around 15 times less energy than a cellular network. Alongside LoRa’s built-in encryption, Orange offers secure transport between the gateway and the network and data delivery over HTTPS, while the service is supported by the Datavenue IoT and analytics platform.
Altice Portugal (including MEO and PT Empresas) has revealed plans for national NB-IoT network coverage by the beginning of 2019, SAPO reported. Altice is focusing on segments including transport, logistics, insurance, health and utilities, highlighting NB-IoT’s benefits of ten-year device battery life, low cost of implementation, connectivity for large numbers of IoT devices without interference problems, long range coverage and deep indoor/underground signal penetration. The group’s Portuguese B2B arm PT Empresas’ website currently advertises ‘IoT Connect’ device and connectivity management for ‘M2M 2G/3G/4G or NB-IoT, all in a single portal, with total autonomy, simplicity and security.’ Previously, in July 2018 Altice launched the ‘Golabs.IoT’ laboratory open to partners and customers for developing the IoT ecosystem.
Bulgarian fixed and mobile operator Vivacom has unveiled its ‘Viva Smart’ unified IoT platform, which so far includes products for smart cities (‘INVIPO’), ‘Smart Data Hub’ solutions and smart education, Nixanbal.com reported. The INVIPO system is currently operating in cities in the Czech Republic, the UAE and Ireland amongst others, providing traffic management, smart parking, smart building and other applications. Smart Data Hub offers ‘a single platform for complete storage, transmission, processing and use of data’, whilst Vivacom’s smart education products are already being used in 200 Bulgarian schools.
Lastly, Bell Canada has announced the nationwide launch of a managed IoT security service offering businesses, smart cities and other organisations employing IoT solutions with ‘an advanced layer of comprehensive security services to detect and respond to evolving cyber threats’. Bell reckons that 81% of medium-to-large Canadian organisations use IoT solutions – making system security a primary concern for them – and its new service analyses all IoT traffic for data that could pose a threat to IoT solutions, blocks access to and prevents downloads from destinations known to carry malicious content, and allows controlled access through customised policy-based rules.
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