Singtel and Ericsson to trial NB-IoT
Singtel and Ericsson has formd a partnership to ready Singtel’s LTE network to support the expected rapid growth of connected devices. The collaboration will start with a trial of NB-IoT technology beginning in the second half of 2016.
NB-IoT will enable extended coverage and much less complex devices, enabling Singtel to support new IoT use cases in areas such as smart cities, utilities and the environment. Singtel’s LTE network already supports Cat-1 LTE devices, built for IoT applications.
Ericsson says: “Long-term battery life has become a prerequisite for a vast number of IoT devices, supporting field deployments with minimal power requirements and maintenance. It is possible to enable over 10 years of battery life on existing LTE networks. Power saving capabilities allow devices to enter a new deep sleep mode and are ideal for devices that only need to contact the network once per hour or even less frequently. Examples of applications that can leverage on these technologies are temperature, air quality and flood water sensors.”
Inmarsat partners with LoRa company Actility for global connectivity
Satellite operator Inmarsat announced a partnership with Actility, a founding member of the LoRa Alliance, to enable an end-to-end IoT solution to connect assets over public and private networks, anywhere in the world.
The partnership combines Inmarsat’s global satellite connectivity with Actility’s ThingPark IoT management platform to deliver an integrated solution for IoT linking connectivity, services and IoT devices from a single application and service management point, to “connect objects deployed anywhere on the planet, even in the most remote and hostile locations.”
Greg Ewert, president, Inmarsat Enterprise, said: “Systems integrators and customers can use Inmarsat’s connectivity and Actility’s solution to connect all of their assets on one platform, without having to spend the time and resource dealing with multiple connectivity providers, or the cost and complexity of multiple roaming agreements. It also puts Inmarsat in closer proximity to the wider IoT market.”
Inmarsat now a LoRa Alliance member
Inmarsat recently announced its membership in the LoRa Alliance, a non-profit organisation that promotes the LoRaWAN low power wide area networks (LPWAN) technology. It says: “This partnership means that assets that use the LoRa standard can now be connected over Inmarsat’s global networks for seamless integration and interoperability, even in areas where cellular or terrestrial coverage is unavailable or unreliable.”
Visa Ready Program extended to IoT
Visa announced expansion of its Visa Ready program to include IoT companies such as manufacturers of wearables, automobiles, appliances, public transportation services, clothing and “almost any other connected device.”
Visa said: “The Visa Ready Program for IoT will also enable device manufacturers to evaluate, develop and potentially adopt new payment methods that are already approved by Visa, and can help financial institutions and merchants drive growth by expanding the use and acceptance of electronic payments globally.”
All participants in the Visa Ready Program will use the Visa Token Service (VTS) security technology that replaces sensitive payment account information found on payment cards, such as the 16-digit account number, with a unique digital identifier that can be used to process payments without exposing actual account details.
IoT companies will join mobile device manufacturers, including mobile point-of-sale acceptance (mPOS) providers, mobile NFC-enabled device manufacturers and other technology partners in the program.
Initial Visa Ready partners include Accenture, Coin, Giesecke & Devrient, Fit Pay, and Samsung. They will work with device manufacturers including Chronos and Pebble to help embed secure payments in consumer devices and have those devices certified as Visa Ready.
Sirquil IoT platform now on AWS Marketplace
Sirqul, the developer of an enterprise class platform for rapid IoT application development, announced availability of its Platform as a Service (PaaS) stack on Amazon Web Services Marketplace (AWS Marketplace). It “takes advantage of the recently announced AWS Marketplace support for clusters and AWS resources, allowing AWS Marketplace users to easily launch AWS CloudFormation templates, defined by Sirqul, to optimally run their IoT platform.”
Sirqul says its approach to providing platform solutions is novel. “[We] distilled common application features found in the most popular apps into services and ensured they work seamlessly with each other. This approach enables developers to combine these ‘ingredients’ into custom IoT ‘recipes’ faster and more cost effectively to generate more engagement and revenue. Sirqul’s APIs and services focus on driving engagement, efficiency, and enable transactions, both in the cloud and at the edge.”
Sirqul CEO and founder, Robert Frederick, said: “The fact that people developing entrepreneurial ideas at startups or within large organisations can leverage our platform after filling out a simple form and clicking a submit button is truly awesome.”
AT&T issues guide to IoT security
AT&T has issued its second Cybersecurity Insights report, The CEO’s Guide to Securing the Internet of Things to help business leaders address this crucial issue. It reports that 85 percent of businesses are considering, exploring or implementing IoT, but just 14 percent have a formal audit process to understand how many devices they have and whether these devices are secure, and only 17 percent of businesses involve their boards when considering IoT security. Board involvement is crucial, AT&T says. Ninety six percent of companies that did involve their boards felt confident in the security of their connected devices.
AT&T teams with Bayshore for IoT security
AT&T also announced a strategic alliance with IoT security software company Bayshore Networks, “to create and test cutting edge security solutions specifically for industrial IoT.” This, it says, “represents one of the industry’s first IoT-specific security product initiatives designed for a virtualised security environment at AT&T’s scale and scope.”
Bayshore Networks specialises in the ability to help identify and stop attacks on IoT machines, applications, and industrial controls.
AT&T working with Cisco, Intel, Microsoft on IoT
AT&T also announced that it is working with leading companies to give developers a succinct set of tools for building IoT apps. It is integrating AT&T IoT Services with Cisco, Intel and Microsoft technologies and says developers will be able to access the companies’ services from one place to create more meaningful solutions.
Developers using the AT&T Global SIM, AT&T Control Center and AT&T IoT Services now have access to Cisco’s fog computing solutions. They can use AT&T Flow Designer and AT&T M2X with Cisco’s fog agent, fog apps and fog analytics. “Combined, these technologies make it quicker and simpler for developers to analyse, send data and build end-to-end IoT solutions,” AT&T says. “This collaboration expands our IoT relationship with Cisco beyond smart cities into asset management, transportation and retail.”
AT&T is collaborating with Intel to deliver the AT&T Flow Designer, AT&T M2X and the Intel IoT Developer Kit to developers. “The goal is to enable developers, system integrators and IoT specialists to have a complete set of ready-made tools to build their IoT solutions securely,” it says. “AT&T and Intel will also continue to work together on future projects to develop scalable IoT solutions for the developer community.”
AT&T is integrating its IoT solutions with Microsoft’s cloud, analytics and visualisation tools. Developers that connect their devices through the AT&T Global SIM and AT&T Control Center will be able to store their data in the Microsoft Azure cloud. They will be able to use AT&T M2X and AT&T Flow Designer and access Microsoft Azure, big data, BI, advanced analytics and machine learning tools to transform their data into intelligent action.
Altair debuts Cat-1 LTE chipset
Altair Semiconductor, recently acquired by Sony, has debuted its Cat-1 LTE chipset, on Ericsson’s water quality monitoring demo at MWC. Altair says its Cat-1 FourGee-1160 chipset extends the battery life of idle devices when compared to other LTE modules and offers low current to improve device battery drain, crucial with an application like river monitoring.
MediaTek launches biosensing chip for wearables
Another chipmaker, MediaTek has announced the MT2511, its first biosensing analogue front-end chip designed for health and fitness devices. It enables bio signal acquisition through electrocardiography (ECG) and photoplethysmography (PPG) simultaneously and is claimed to be extremely power efficient, providing a lower active mode power consumption of less than 0.6mA [They should know better – power is measured in watts not amps] while capturing PPG. It is also “equipped with MediaTek’s exclusive built-in heart beat interval technology and 4KB SRAM to optimise overall system power consumption for sleep heart rate monitoring. It is designed to works seamlessly with MediaTek’s existing IoT and wearables platforms, including the MT2502, MT2523, and MT2601 for Android Wear, allowing device manufacturers to cater to a variety of needs.