// M&A, Strategies, Alliances //
- Netcomm Wireless is being bought by Casa Systems for $114.5mn ($161mn AUD), a 52.8% premium on closing share price, as Casa looks to integrate Netcomm’s fixed wireless, M2M, Industrial IoT, and also fiber and cable assets. Casa might be eyeing an IoT expansion, but this looks most like a shoring-up of its converged broadband portfolio.
- CalAmp has made two strategic acquisitions to expand its vehicle/asset tracking and telematics offerings, buying Tracker in the UK for £10mn ($13.28mn), and Car Track in Mexico, for around $13mn.
// Forecasts, Surveys. Reports, & Blue-Sky Thinking //
- Vodafone has published its IoT Barometer report, surveying 1,758 businesses, and finding that over a third use IoT technologies – with 70% of those saying they are beyond pilot stages. Some 95% of IoT adopters say they have seen tangible benefits from their IoT investment. Vodafone says it has 80.9mn IoT connections.
// Hardware //
- Andes and Imagination have partnered, looking to integrate Andes’ N22 RISC-V microcontroller with Imagination’s Ensigma IP, for WiFi, Bluetooth, and 802.15.4.
// Networks, Protocols, & Wireless //
- The GSMA says there are 93 LTE Cat-M and Cat-NB networks, deployed by 50 MNOs, covering 93% of ‘the world’s largest IoT markets.’ It predicts 3.5bn cellular IoT connections by 2025, of which 1.9bn will be L-LPWAN.
- Polte and NimbeLink have partnered, integrating Polte’s location positioning technology into NimbeLink’s new AT2 and AT4 asset trackers, by way of Polte’s integration with Sequans’ Monarch chipsets.
- Polte and Link Labs also announced an integration, combining Polte’s LTE location tech with LinkLabs’ AirFinder asset trackers and back-end platform.
- EMnify and 1NCE have announced a partnership that will see 1NCE’s flat-fee IoT SIM cards supported by EMnify’s cloud-native mobile core network and connectivity management platform. 1NCE has sold 1mn of the cards so far.
- Telna has announced eSIM support for its Network-aaS offering, aimed at IoT/M2M devices. Initial support seems aimed at smartphones.
- AT&T and Vodafone Business have announced a partnership, targeting IoT connectivity in the automotive industry – in NA, EU, and North Africa.
- Telstra (Australian MNO) has signed up to Ericsson’s IoT Accelerator ecosystem.
- CEVA has completed its first test trial with Vodafone’s NB-IoT Open Lab, testing how its Dragonfly-NB2 designs work in a 3GPP Release 14 environment. Nurlink, a new semiconductor firm, has also launched its NK6010, an SoC that houses the Cat-NB2 and GNSS features of the CEVA design.
- Rakuten has picked Nokia’s Impact platform, to power its IoT offerings in Japan.
- Fortum has picked Tele2 to provide it with managed M2M/IoT services, across all of Fortum’s business areas – spanning ten countries, 150 powerplants, and 2.5mn customers.
- Sequans and Deutsche Telekom have partnered to push DT’s nuSIM technology, which integrates the SIM functions into Sequans’ Monarch chipsets.
- Arm announced two operator deals at MWC, with Vodafone to promote integrated SIM (iSIM), and China Unicom to combined Arm’s Pelion platform and Mbed OS with China Unicom’s own IoT platform and ecosystem.
// Big Data, Cloud, AI, and Machine-Learning //
- SAP has officially launched its full SAP Leonardo IoT capabilities, with new toolkits and an integration with Microsoft’s Azure IoT Hub now available for the platform. We clarified if the Microsoft deal was an exclusive one, and were told it is not.
- Microsoft announced a partnership with Inmarsat, which will see Azure IoT customers able to use Inmarsat’s satellite network to send data from devices in the field, opening up new applications in underserved areas.
- Lenovo has launched a new portfolio of edge-computing infrastructure devices, catering for IoT devices. The ThinkSystem SE350 is once such gateway, and Lenovo has secured partnerships with Pivot3, Scale Computing, VMware, Orange, and Intel.
- Wind River (now separated from Intel) has unveiled its new edge platform, the Wind River Helix Virtualization Platform (Helix Platform). It combines Wind River’s RTOS with a edge-network compute software platform.
// Smart Homes and Buildings //
- Amazon seems to be planning on getting Alexa inside WiFi routers, as we expected, with a recent integration with Qualcomm’s new mesh WiFi developer kits,
- Samsung has let slip that its Galaxy Home speakers will be launched in April.
- Orange has joined the ULE Alliance, as it has chosen to base its new ‘connected home’ offerings on the DECT ULE technology. The initial ULE devices are a motion sensor, a smart plug, smart light bulb, and a door and window sensor. The devices were developed in partnership with Deutsche Telekom – a partner in the Djingo AI assistant project too.
// Wearables //
- PTC has announced an extended partnership with Microsoft, featuring an integration with Microsoft’s new HoloLens 2 headset, which is powered by Qualcomm’s shiny new chips.
// Industrial & Manufacturing //
- Qualcomm and Bosch have announced a new research collaboration that is focused on using 5G NR (New Radio) technologies in Industrial IoT applications.
// Automotive //
- Volvo has signed Here to provide it with a multi-year mapping data contract.
- BMW has been showing off its ‘Natural Interaction’ vision at MWC, which is a suite of cameras and sensors that fill the interior of a vehicle, to enable gesture and vision based UI – as well as the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant (IPA). Microsoft’s Azure platform is behind the features.
// Security //
- NanoLock and Micron have announced a partnership, which will see NanoLock combine its Management of Things (MoT) platform with Micron’s Authenta-enabled flash memory stuff – for closer silicon-to-cloud integrations.
- Qt and Inside Secure have announced a new joint offering, combining Inside Secure’s Application Protection service inside Qt’s Software Framework.
// Smart Cities //
- Telensa has announced a new device offering, to power network-edge compute applications in smart cities. Its new Multi-Sensor Pod houses a Qualcomm SDM845, which will be making use of Qualcomm’s fourth-gen AI engine to carry out sensor data processing, to drastically cut the backhaul costs for this data.
// Smart Grid & Utility //
- Siemens has announced a new HEMS battery offering, called Junelight Smart Battery, which will provide DR services for customers. Available in configurations up to 19.8 kWh, it is available in Germany now, and Austria in April.
- LO3 Energy and Kyocera have announced a demonstration that will use LO3’s blockchain-based coordination technology to power a Virtual Power Plant (VPP), consisting of solar panels and battery storage at Kyocera’s Yokohama office. Kyocera seems interested in the VPP technology, and taking it to market.