IoT Time: M2M/Internet of Things weekly digest

15 Aug 2019

Russia’s MTS has claimed a national first by supplying its SIM cards for installation in cars directly on the assembly line. The first car to be pre-fitted with MTS’ SIMs is the Geely Atlas, with built-in support for Yandex Navigator and Alice voice assistant. MTS has a long-standing partnership with Yandex in connected automobiles, providing its SIMs with the Yandex Auto car computer and installing SIMs in Yandex Drive shared vehicles.

In other automotive developments, Turkcell is deploying an ‘eCall’ solution in connected vehicles, enabling emergency calls and data communications supported by the Turkish operator’s network, with roaming facilities outside Turkey. eCall systems are designed to automatically place an emergency call in the event of an accident, providing location information and data on the vehicle’s condition, the occupants’ status and the immediate risks involved with the accident.

Moving on to smart cities, Slovenia’s Telekom Slovenije has deployed its first ‘central communications station’ solution for municipal applications based on its NB-IoT network. The municipality of Zagorje ob Saviis is the first partner in the scheme, aiming to make use of a smart street lighting system as well as applications for planning and management of resources such as parking spaces and utilities. The central communication station will also provide information to citizens and a charging station for electric vehicles.

Vodafone Greece’s IoT subsidiary Vodafone Innovus had been contracted by the Athens city authorities to manage waste collection in the capital, where particular problems are caused by rubbish not being collected promptly in summer. Vodafone’s ‘Smart Waste Management’ service forms part of its recently launched Smart City range of digital services aimed at supporting municipalities in their digital transformation process.

Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) and its cellular subsidiary Mobitel have teamed up with the country’s telecoms ministry to launch a Digital Roadmap for Northern Province, reports Lanka Business Online. The ICT development project will be implemented under the pillars of Smart Security, Smart Government, Smart Health, Smart Building, Smart Utilities, Smart Environment, Smart Transportation & Mobility, Smart Agriculture, Smart Money, Smart Education, Smart Workforce and Smart Infrastructure.

Telefonica Brasil’s B2B unit Vivo Empresas has so far invested around USD130,000 in the IoTag agritech system which uses advanced telemetry to measure the location and fuel consumption of sugarcane tractors and harvesters, BNamericas reports. To predict failures and improve performance, sensors also assess the way the tractors and harvesters are operated in the field. Vivo’s agritech solutions portfolio also includes applications such as weather stations, humidity and temperature sensors, as well as irrigation automation.

Orange Poland has installed its first batch of 1,500 electricity meters in Warsaw based on LTE-M technology, which can support up to a million devices per square kilometre, the operator announced in a press release. Using a solution developed at the innogy Laboratory of Things, Orange says the LTE-M meters increase efficiency ‘up to 98%’ (up from around 95% with existing meters) while the solution allows the installation of over 400 meters in one building without any interference in data transmission. Orange added that the project represents the first commercial application of LTE-M in Poland, with its director of IoT Sebastian Grabowski stating that the company ‘is ready to launch a commercial LTE-M network across the country.’

Also in the metering market, Russia’s Rostelecom has signed an agreement with water management group Rosvodokanal to cooperate on developing IoT solutions for water management systems as well as power meters.

German cableco Unitymedia has announced the latest location to receive coverage of its LoRaWAN IoT network, namely Nachrodt-Wiblingwerde municipality in North Rhine-Westphalia. The operator recently announced that the first 50 cities and towns that choose Unitymedia’s LoRaWAN will benefit from a free installation of the required wireless infrastructure.

Lastly, cellco Drei Austria has teamed up with ZTE, SURAAA and Carinthian company IoT40 Systems to design the ‘Bee-O-Meter’ smart beehive, a pilot of which is already installed on a rooftop in Worthersee. The Bee-O-Meter counts bees that fly out and return, and also monitors the surrounding environment via a 5G live stream supported by Drei’s network. The system detects environmental pollution and analyses data via AI cloud-based software. A larger test rollout is planned in Carinthia in 2020, with the intention of using the data collected for research into bee diseases.

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