Norwegian telco Telenor is to pilot an IoT network in the country that will be free for entrepreneurs and students to use.
The company claims that the network, which will operate in several cities, would “support entrepreneurship, boost innovation and new national competence building”.
Dubbed Telenor Start IoT, customers can register to use the network from today. With the new initiative, Telenor will set up a physical Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) experimental network, a back-end system and provide development kits to start-ups, students and developers free of charge for testing and experimentation purposes over the period of five years.
The pilot network is aimed at encouraging LPWA innovation in the country and will initially be rolled out in Trondheim, Tromsø and Oslo from 1 May.
The IoT network follows an earlier initiative, the Telenor-NTNU AI-Lab, which was officially opened in March to conduct research and run innovation programs within artificial intelligence, advanced analytics and IoT.
The Telenor Start IoT pilot network offering will initially be based on LoRaWAN technology (LoRa) but other network technologies may also be included in future, such as the 2G/3G/4G, NB-IoT and eMTC standards.
Built in the cloud
Telenor Start IoT will use Telenor Connexion’s Cloud Connect enablement platform, which is built on top of Amazon Web Services IoT (AWS IoT). The platform can be used regardless of the underlying connectivity technology.
The telco said that newly released LTE standards will allow Telenor’s 4G networks to commercially support IoT devices that have Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) requirements. Such networks will be available for commercial use in 2018.
Sigve Brekke, president and CEO at Telenor Group said that by providing free access to next-generation IoT infrastructure, “we provide Norwegian start-ups and students with the ability to develop and rapidly prototype new IoT products and services”.
Matthias Schorer, lead business development manager of IoT in EMEA at cloud and virtualization software company VMware, told Internet of Business that most IoT implementations are still in the ‘proof of concept’ stage.
“Companies are exploring the technology, because they’ve heard about the increased revenue possibilities it could present. By and large, this is manifesting itself in R&D departments testing out the possibilities that the IoT can bring, whether there is a business case for implementation, and if there is actually any money in it.
“Over the next 12-18 months, we’re likely to see these concepts solidify into tangible projects, in which IoT solutions will actually be put into production,” he said.
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