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Eurobites: Regulators Delve Into IoT

Ray Le Maistre

Also in today's EMEA roundup: Huawei teams up for the European soccer season; KPN trials VoLTE; Telecom Italia joins the drones brigade.

  • French regulator ARCEP has launched a public consultation into the use of unlicensed spectrum as it plans for the impact of the Internet of Things (IoT). The regulator is aiming to develop a "draft decision enabling the use of a wide array of open frequencies by short-range devices," and wants to gain greater insight into the potential future "use of and need for open spectrum" as related to the IoT. See this announcement for more details. Meanwhile, in the UK, Ofcom has launched its own consultation entitled "Promoting investment and innovation in the Internet of Things." The British regulator aims to "develop a better understanding" of how IoT could "enable large numbers of previously unconnected devices to communicate and share data with one another," and potentially "deliver significant benefits to citizens and consumers across a range of sectors," most notably healthcare, transport and energy. In particular, Ofcom is keen to establish the role it should play in ensuring that the UK "takes a leading role in the emergence of the IoT." For more, see this document, and for more on IoT developments, check out Light Reading's dedicated IoT content channel.

  • Dutch incumbent KPN Telecom NV (NYSE: KPN) has started a trial of VoLTE services with technology partners Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), Mavenir Systems Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (Korea: SEC). See this (translated) announcement for more details. (See our dedicated VoLTE/Rich Communications content channel for more on this topic.)

  • Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. has teamed up with digital marketing specialist FanPlay to provide a wireless network, applications delivery and analytics platform for European soccer stadiums that provides "live video broadcasting and replay, in-game betting, interactive games, online shopping, purchasing of fast food and beverages, ticketing, sponsor marketing message posting and product sales," and more. The partners have combined FanPlay's cloud-based digital content services platform with Huawei's WiFi-based small cell system, and can provide a Big Data system to analyze the information collected by the network "to better understand their fans and explore new business opportunities through other personalized mobile interactions."

  • The Chinese vendor has been extra busy in Europe lately… Vodafone Germany put Huawei's enterprise, long-reach eLTE wireless broadband and LTE broadcasting capabilities to the test recently at the Kieler Woche annual international sailing event held in Kiel, Germany. In order to receive video from the sailing boats and then broadcast the video to spectators, Huawei helped the operator set up two dedicated enterprise LTE TDD base stations to receive video streams from participating sailing crews. The resulting footage was then broadcast, using the vendor's eMBMS (evolved Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Services) technology, to spectators over Vodafone Germany's FDD LTE 4G network. The operator announced earlier this year that it was checking out the potential of LTE broadcast capabilities. Huawei, meanwhile, is also currently working with British mobile operator EE in a LTE broadcast trial. (See Euronews: Vodafone Tests LTE Broadcast and EE to Trial 4G Broadcast in Scotland.)

  • Spanish competitive operator Jazztel plc is investing further in its FTTH access network, reports Reuters. The operator, which is aiming to have 3 million homes passed by the end of this year, is aiming to offer its fiber broadband service to 7 million homes so that it can compete with rivals such as Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF). (See Jazztel Turns On Its FTTH network.)

  • Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) has joined the likes of Goldman Sachs, the Venture Capital unit of Siemens (SFS VC), Fairhaven Capital, Razor’s Edge and OnPoint Technologies, the venture capital arm of the US Army, in contributing to the $20 million Series B investment round raised by security system specialist CounterTack Inc.. (See Alcatel-Lucent Invests in CounterTack.)

  • Telecom Italia SpA (NYSE: TI) is the latest company to test the potential of drones. In partnership with the Milan Expo, the Italian incumbent will operate drones carrying video cameras that will record the construction of the Expo site. The resulting video will be streamed onto the websites and social media channels of the operator and Expo organizer. "The drones used are equipped with six electric high power motors and are controlled by an electronic board able to maintain the devices stable even in adverse weather conditions. Each unit has a GPS system and can remain stationary at points identified to carry out filming," explain the partners in this announcement. Drones have been attracting much attention during the past year -- see Social Drones, Broadband: It's All Hot Air for Google and Amazon Wants Delivery Drones.)

  • In a separate development, the Italian operator has undertaken a trial of LTE-Advanced services in Turin, where it achieved downlink data speeds of 180 Mbit/s. For more, see this report (in Italian) from La Repubblica.

    — Ray Le Maistre, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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    User Rank: Light Beer
    8/7/2014 | 2:34:22 PM
    Re: Unlicensed spectrum debate
    I have the very same question and am studying the issue now.  I should have an answer in a couple of weeks or so optimistically speaking.
    User Rank: Blogger
    7/28/2014 | 7:57:03 AM
    Unlicensed spectrum debate
    I wonder how much of today's unlicensed spectrum might become licensed in the future... IoT and 5G is going to ask a lot of questions of regulators.
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