// M&A, Strategies, Alliances //
- KonaTel has acquired Apeiron Systems, a CPaaS and IoT service provider aimed at telcos, which KonaTel plans to use to bolster its telco services portfolio.
- The Industrial Internet Consortium will be the brand going forward, as the OpenFog Consortium will fold itself inside the IIC. This is notable, as the IIC previously developed use cases and requirements, rather than standards.
- Control4 has acquired Neeo, a Swiss maker of an advanced remote control that is aimed at smart home owners. Neeo will now cease D2C sales. Control4 continues to try and shore up its professionally-installed portfolio, which is pitched at resellers.
- STMicro has acquired Norstel, a Swedish silicon carbide (SIC) wafer manufacturer, in a move that STMicro says gives it control over its entire SIC supply chain, at a time of global capacity constraints. The $137.5mn deal should shore up future production, aimed at automotive and IIoT chips.
// Hardware //
- Monnit has launched an LTE gateway that works with its Alta range of IoT sensors, with Cat-M1 and Cat-NB1 available to transport the aggregated data.
// Networks, Protocols, & Wireless //
- Sigfox has announced that IBM and Peugeot will be using its LPWAN connectivity as part of a supply chain optimization project, which aims to track shipping containers using Sigfox’s Track&Trace and IBM’s Watson PaaS.
- Deutsche Telekom is touting nuSIM, a new jointly-developed eSIM system that moves the SIM functions into the chipset, designed for low-cost L-LPWAn devices – partnering with Altair, Commsolid/Goodix, HiSilicon, Nordic, Qualcomm, Samsung, Sequans, Quectel, Sierra Wireless, Telit, u-blox, and G+D.
- Ericsson has released a whitepaper in which it declares the 4 types of IoT device – Massive IoT, Broadband IoT, Critical IoT, and Industrial Automation IoT.
- Kontak.io and Mist Systems have partnered, combining Kontakt’s Bluetooth infrastructure and location devices with Mist’s AI-enabled WLAN offering, to provide joint customers with easier deployments – ahead of the launch of Konakt.io’s IoT Platform at MWC.
- Ingenu is the subject of a good piece from Light Reading outlining the current state of the company – dealing with skeptical investors and massively scaled back ambitions. The U-LPWAN vendor is still ticking along, but it seems unlikely it is ever going to achieve the scale of the likes of LoRa.
// Smart Homes and Buildings //
- Lowe’s will shut down its Iris platform in March, and is adamant that no refunds are on the table, and will be offering some limited refunds via pre-paid Visa cards.
// Industrial & Manufacturing //
- Bosch sold 37% more internet-connected devices this year than last, up to 52mn units. The former figure sounds great for IoT progress, but the latter conveys the fact that we are still a long way from the scale envisioned by peak-IoT-hype.
// Retail, Marketing, & Supply Chain //
- IBM and Ford have announced a blockchain pilot program, which will try to ensure that minerals used in Ford’s supply chain are definitively from ethical sources. The project will also involve LG Chem, RCS Global, and Huayou Cobalt.
- The Port of Rotterdam has successfully deployed its IoT platform, which will be used to optimize operations in the port. The platform was built by Axians, Cisco, Esri, and IBM.
// Automotive //
- Vinli has raised $13.5mn in a Series B round, to invest in its connected car analytics platform. E.ON is one of the major investors, and will also be partnering with Vinli to integrate EVs into Vinli’s Era platform, to improve EV charging recommendations and fleet management.
// Security //
- Japan’s National Institute of ICT has announced plans to hack some 200mn IoT devices within its borders, as part of a strategy it hopes will wake owners up to their poor security practices, by forcing them to harden their security practices.
// Smart Cities //
- Telensa has launched the Urban Data Project, in Cambridge, built on Microsoft’s Azure platform, with the goal of creating a smart city data platform that can gather all available data in a trusted manner – the City Data Guardian tool.
// Smart Grid & Utility //
- The Wi-SUN Alliance has announced the first wave of successful interoperability testing, for its new FAN specification, with Cisco, Itron, Nissin Systems, Landis+Gyr, ProCubed, and Renesas getting involved.