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China Unicom passes 20 million internet of things connections

The internet of things network currently covers 360 cities

China’s second largest mobile operator China Unicom ended the first half of 2016 with more than 20 million internet of things connection, after a net addition 10.5 million connections during the period, local press reported.

The Chinese operator said that its dedicated internet of things (IoT) network currently has 565,000 base stations in 360 cities across the country.

China Unicom runs the IoT platform and data centers from Nanjing and Guangzhou, according to the report. The telco launched its IoT network in 2015, with the focus on connected cars, mobile payments and monitoring services, among others.

Earlier this year, the operator said it will carry out NB-IoT trials in more than five cities during 2016 and that it expects to launch the commercial deployment of the technology by the end of this year. China Unicom expects to reach nationwide coverage with this technology in 2018.

China Unicom ended the second half of the year with 72.4 million subscribers in the 4G LTE segment, after a net addition of 28 million customers during the first six months of 2016.

The telco ended June with nearly 600,000 4G base stations after adding 216,000 stations in the first half of 2016.

IoT Alliance kicks off in Taiwan

In other APAC news, Taiwanese operator Asia Pacific Telecom announced the formation of Taiwan’s first internet of things (IoT) alliance.

Other members of the IoT venture include Actility, IBM, Cisco, and Microsoft. “All members of the alliance will have free access to our LoRa network, as a step to realize the business promise of IoT with an open, welcoming ecosystem,” Asia Pacific Telecom chairman Lu Fang-ming, said.

“We hope more will join with the alliance, and the goal is to have 1 billion IoT devices in Taiwan by 2020,” the executive said.

The Taiwanese telco recently completed the deployment of 500 LoRa gateways to provide coverage for Taipei City, New Taipei City and Taoyuan. Asia Pacific Telecom seeks to expand coverage to other parts of the island by the end of 2016.

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