Global snapshot: IoT enabling smart ecosystems

The IDC's Worldwide Internet of Things Forecast 2015-2020 found that most of the spending will be by enterprises and the public sector
The IDC’s Worldwide Internet of Things Forecast 2015-2020 found that most of the spending will be by enterprises and the public sector

In a global round-up of advanced IoT news, reports on some of the top stories this week highlighting the role of the Internet of Things (IoT) in the creation of smart cities, M2M services and IoT enabled electricity networks.

French utility company Engie (formerly GDF Suez) has launched an Internet of Things (IoT) platform in partnership with Sigfox, which will install, operate and maintain the cellular network in Belgium.

The IoT platform will be used to deliver low-cost machine-to-machine (M2M) communication services to its Belgian customers. The utility company believes that IoT will open up opportunities and new fields of development for utilities.

Belgium-based energy corporation Electrabel, also a subsidiary of the formerly known GDF Suez, will also examine opportunities to integrate the IoT within its B2B and B2C solutions, providing value for money to its customers.

In May this year, another subsidiary of Engie, Cofely Services, announced a partnership with Sigfox, integrating its ultra-narrowband network to drive energy efficiency in buildings and smart metering.

Through the implementation of the IoT network, Cofely Services plans to connect over 100,000 objects within a three year period.

Advanced IoT analytics applied in EU project

Internet of Things (IoT) analytics provider AGT International has announced that it will be working with the city of Cologne in Germany to show how cities can become smarter through technology.

AGT will be joining several companies involved in the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Lighthouse Projects. Through the project, the EU is trying to ensure that smart solutions for cities can be explored, implemented and replicated.

Cologne is one of three cities under the GROWSMARTER project alongside Barcelona in Spain and Stockholm in Sweden to showcase 12 smart city solutions in order to encourage uptake in other cities and communities.

The Swiss company will provide the project with advanced analytics to support the construction and maintenance of low energy-consumption neighbourhoods, integrated infrastructures for waste and energy.

IoT helps Vodafone customers cut CO2 emissions

British telecommunications company Vodafone claims to have used the Internet of Things (IoT) to help its customers save more than 3.5m tonnes of CO2 emissions through its IoT solutions including smart meters, cloud services and  smart logistics.

According to the company’s CSR report, Vodafone’s services have had far-reaching effects, with its customers worldwide reporting improvements in Africa, the UK, and the Netherlands.

One example is the company’s installation of its SIMs in BBOX solar-powered generators, which deliver off-grid power in several African countries.

The SIM allows operators to check faults, install updates, track usage and monitor payments all from the UK.

In the Netherlands, bus operator, Connexion, used Vodafone’s network to share information about the driving efficiency of 1,500 bus drivers. The operator hopes to improve fuel efficiency by 5% annually, saving more than GBP 2m (US$ 3 118,270).

The report stated: “Helping our customers to reduce their operating costs is a clear benefit of M2M services, but enabling the potential for the reduction in a company’s carbon footprint is also an important motivation for many businesses to use this technology.

“Carbon-reducing applications for M2M technology are wide-ranging – from improving fleet operations and making utilities more efficient, to enabling wider use of electric vehicles and monitoring stock levels in vending machines remotely.”