NB-IoT big guns team up in Europe for international roaming

8 Jun 2018

Deutsche Telekom logo. Image: Photos by D/Shutterstock

Two of NB-IoT’s biggest players, Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone, have completed international roaming trials across Europe, expanding LPWAN capabilities.

In the past week, Vodafone Ireland’s new enterprise director, Regina Moran, spoke with Siliconrepublic.com about the company’s vision for the internet of things (IoT), but specifically 5G and narrowband IoT (NB-IoT).

Her main focus in her new role is helping customers digitally transform their business with the goal of helping them expand and grow, all supported by Vodafone’s next-generation fixed and mobile solutions, cloud-based platforms, NB-IoT and One Net Business unified communications solution.

Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone trial roaming NB-IoT

Sticking with Vodafone, the company has jointly announced with Deutsche Telekom that they have completed international roaming trials for NB-IoT across Europe.

According to ZDNet, the test used Deutsche Telekom’s global SIMs on Vodafone’s Spanish NB-IoT network, while Vodafone used its global SIMs on T-Mobile Austria’s network.

The telecoms companies confirmed they had successfully tested NB-IoT modules and features, including a power-saving mode and long periodic tracking area updating.

“Deutsche Telekom has successfully introduced and developed NB-IoT networks across most of its European footprint, and we are very pleased to see the ecosystem rapidly expanding,” said the German company’s head of IoT, Ingo Hofacker.

“First commercial offers are available on a national basis already, but now operators need to satisfy customer demand for international coverage and service continuity as well.”

Microsoft provides a decade’s worth of updates for its IoT devices

Microsoft is attempting to futureproof its devices running the Windows 10 IoT Core Service by releasing a program that guarantees a decade’s worth of security and operating system (OS) updates and, in the process, tries to stop you worrying about its security.

According to TechCrunch, the model works by collaborating with third-party companies that will guarantee to build on top of the existing OS for a period of 10 years.

“The Windows IoT Core service offering is enabling partners to commercialise secure IoT devices backed by industry-leading support,” explained Microsoft’s director of business development for emerging markets, Dinesh Narayanan.

“And so, device makers will have the ability to manage updates for the OS, for the apps and for the settings for [Microsoft]-specific files.”

Customers signed up to the deal will also have control of a device update centre where they can control and customise the roll-out of updates.

Amazon finds a new way to watch you with Echo Look device

Amazon’s latest smart device was officially launched this week. Called the Echo Look, the aim is to use the camera to take photos of you and make recommendations of style based on what it learns about you.

While it has been around for a few months now on an invite basis, this marks the first time it is being released to the general public.

For the price of $200, the so-called ‘style assistant’ camera responds to voice commands issued by the owner in order to get a sense of what their outfit is like, or if they want to show off their clothing to their friends via a photo or video.

The big selling point for the device, as far as Amazon is concerned, is the ‘style check’ feature, which uses two photos taken by the device to return a recommendation based on fit, colour, styling and current trends, plus an explanation of why one is better.

It will also suggest items that pair well with clothes you already own – these suggestions, of course, will conveniently be found on Amazon’s own platform.

Privacy advocates are wary of its potential, however, with a number raising some concerns as to what power Amazon has with its collection of devices in a person’s home.

Promising drone start-up gets Boeing backing

San Francisco-based start-up Kittyhawk is hoping to soar – not only as a business, but quite literally in the air as one of the most promising drone start-ups.

Not to be confused with the Kitty Hawk start-up backed by Google’s Larry Page that has the intention of creating a flying taxi service, Kittyhawk develops drone solutions for professional pilots and fleet managers across a multitude of missions, including insurance and law enforcement.

Now, it has announced the completion of its biggest funding round to date, worth $5m, bringing its total funding to $6.5m.

Jim Andelman of Bonfire Ventures, a Santa Monica-based seed fund focused on enterprise software, led the round with participation from Boeing HorizonX Ventures and Freestyle Capital, as well as Kluz Ventures’ The Flying Object as a returning investor.

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Deutsche Telekom logo. Image: Photos by D/Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic