// M&A, Strategies, Alliances //
- The OCF has absorbed the Fairhair Alliance, with the latter moving its lighting standards work inside the OCF. The pair say that this will help both better target standardization within the commercial building sector.
- EchoStar has acquired Helios Wire, including its subsidiary Sirion Holdings that has global S-band spectrum licenses. The price that satellite operator EchoStar paid for the IoT-focused Canadian satellite connectivity specialist has not been disclosed.
- Libelium confirms its strategic shift from a sensing and network hardware and associated software provider, to a systems integrator focusing on specific IoT verticals. The move is sensible, and somewhat expected, given the market’s taste for a single vendor or integrator to deliver an entire application.
- Alphabet might buy Fitbit, if a Reuters report is to be believed. Fitbit’s share price has surged over 25% since the news, and the move would be one by Google to rectify the somewhat dire state of Android Wear devices.
- Wink is in the gutter, after will.i.am’s acquisition shockingly didn’t turn the smart home boat around. Employees have reportedly not been paid in seven weeks, and the NY office has been temporarily closed. Let’s Get It (Bankruptcy) Started.
// LPWANs & IoT Networks //
- AT&T and Vodafone have signed a LTE Cat-NB roaming agreement, combining their respective US and European networks. The pair are targeting multinational businesses. In the US, Sprint has announced that it now supports Cat-NB on its Curiosity IoT platform, in addition to Cat-M.
- Eutelsat has confirmed the name for its LEO nanosatellite offering – Eutelsat IoT First. Notably, there was no mention of Sigfox in the announcement.
- Marshall ADG has picked AT&T to provide the connectivity for a container tracking deal with the Dutch Army, in the same week that Traxens has picked AVSystem to partner on container tracking using LightweightM2M (LwM2M), and where Traxens joined the IBM-Rotterdam Container 42
- Verizon has added Nordic Semiconductor’s new nRF9160TM SiP to its fledgling ThingSpace platform, with a multimode LTE Cat-M, Cat-NB, and GPS offering powered by an ARM Cortex-M33 MCU. This is an expansion of sorts for Nordic.
- Vodafone and America Movil have signed an international roaming deal, which will should enable better connectivity options for devices that need to travel between Europe and Latin America.
- Kore has launched its One IoT platform at MWC LA, with SecurityPro and ConnectivityPro the first two services available on it. Rival Aeris also launched its new Fusion IoT platform at the show too.
// Smart Grid & Utility Infrastructure //
- SSE and SGS (Smarter Grid Solutions) have partnered, to combine SSE Enterprise’s DER, EV infrastructure, and private electricity network offerings with SGS’s DER Management System (DERMS), in what the pair say is a landmark deal.
- Electricity North West has discussed the results of a trial that lowered the voltage of its electricity supply, from 240 V to 220 V, which it says could cut emissions by 10% and save customers around £60 annually. The trade off – it takes around 8 seconds longer to boil a full kettle. We’re not sure Britain is ready for this magnitude of change.
- State Grid has launched its ‘Ubiquitous Power Internet of Things’ project in China, as the largest Chinese utility begins upgrades to its grid assets – accounting for around 90% of Chinese grid infrastructure. The two-phase smart grid project accounts for tens of billions of dollars – China won’t put a figure on it.
// Smart Homes and Buildings //
- Gartner has raised some eyebrows, predicting that surveillance cameras will be the largest “5G IoT-endpoints” market for the next three years, taking 70% of the share by 2020. In 2028, cars will take 94% of the market it says. Of the camera claim, we are incredibly skeptical, especially as a cursory search turns up no results for cameras available to purchase today.
- Teman GateGuard has come under fire for its marketing of its smart home equipment as a way for landlords to evict tenants and skirt rent-control laws. The subject line “GateGuard: 3 Steps to de-stabilize NYC units — even after the new law!” has not been well received.
- Calix has added SmartThings to its GigaSpire offering, aimed at CSPs that want to expand WiFi and SHaaS options for their customers. Calix says that its platform now has 1,500 certified devices from over 120 partners. SmartThings has also recently partnered with Tuya, a platform provider from china that has just hired former GE CEO Jeff Immelt.
- Ossia and Galanz have partnered, with Galanz committing to integrate Ossia’s Cota transmitters into a range of its home appliances, which could then use the wireless power delivery technology to fuel smart home devices. Galanz is a Chinese firm, and apparently produces 1 in every 2 microwave ovens in the world – as an OEM.
- Haier Smart Home says its 9-month profits are up 26.2% year on year.
// Energy Generation & Storage //
- Tesla has unveiled the third-generation of its Solar Roof tiles, which are larger and have better power output per tile, and apparently have half the component parts. Tesla will now partner with roofing companies and providers too, in a strategic shift towards certified installers.