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Swisscom, Swiss Post partner to expand IoT efforts

The Swiss operator had launched a low power network in the country last year to expand its IoT offering

Swiss telecommunications operator Swisscom and Swiss Post have signed an agreement to joint efforts for the implementation of Internet of Things (IoT) across the country.

Swisscom already operates a low power network (LPN) for both companies, and thanks to the additional Swiss Post locations, will now be able to develop the network through a quick process.

The Swiss postal service said the LPN network would enable it to register consignments for collection, to raise an alert if a temperature is exceeded by a package and to find out where a consignment was opened without permission.

Swiss Post also said that it will work with Swisscom to develop applications, which will be open to third parties.

“Thanks to this partnership, we can focus on the development of specific applications and build more flexible and intelligent services based on the networking of things. Good coverage and network quality are key to this,” Claudia Pletscher, Head of Development & Innovation at Swiss Post, said.

“The partnership also has benefits for the Swiss economy – which can already use the network for new applications. The first commercial applications, such as parking spaces, status, customer feedback measurements and environmental data collection are now in operation,” Christian Petit, Head of Swisscom Enterprise Customers, said.

Swisscom’s nationwide Low Power Network is live since 2016. The partnership with Swiss Post will speed up further expansion of the network. The telco said it expects 90% of the population in Switzerland will be covered by LPN by the end of 2017.

Swisscom also said that it is open to further partnerships in the IoT field.

Since March 2016, Swiss Post has been testing its own LPN between Berne and Bienne and has successfully implemented several use cases.

The European telco, which was one of the founders of the LoRa alliance, previously said that the network covered 75% of the country’s population as of October 2016.

ABI Research forecasts industrial IoT connections to hit 66 million this year

In related news, the number of industrial IoT connections is expected to reach 66 million this year, up 25% year-on-year, according to a recent study by ABI Research.

The research firm said that most of these devices will be connected through fixed line, with around 25% connected through wireless technologies.

Growth this year will be mainly driven by the Asia-Pacific region, which is forecasted to add five million new connections during 2017.

ABI Research also said it expects that 18 million new devices will be added during the 2018-2021 period.

“The costs for data storage and compute processing dropped significantly in the past few years making the digitization of industrial equipment now possible for nearly every manufacturing business,” said Jeff Orr, Research Director at ABI Research.

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