HomeConnectivityNTT DoCoMo to trial IoT solution for fleet management

NTT DoCoMo to trial IoT solution for fleet management

Japanese telecommunications operator NTT DoCoMo, together with compatriot logistics firm Itochu Logistics Corp. and their U.S. subsidiaries announced that they will trial an IoT solution for delivery-fleet management in the United States.

The companies said that this IoT-based solution uses LTE-M devices to visualize operational status of outsourced trucks.

The trial will begin in the United States on May 1, 2019, NTT DoCoMo said.

“The solution involves placing hand-held, battery- or solar-powered devices in trucks to collect data, such as truck locations and frequency of sudden braking, which will be sent through an LTE network to a dedicated website,” the Japanese carrier said in a release.

“The solution can also provide temperature, humidity, brightness data depending on delivery needs, as well as notify customers via email when the trucks approach their destinations.”

Itochu Logistics USA expects to save time using the solution compared to the conventional method of manually phoning drivers to confirm their locations and estimated delivery times.

The solution, used in combination with Itochu Logistics USA’s delivery-truck network and logistics system, will be tested for its effectiveness in supporting the management and safety of truck fleets at a time when the demand for truck deliveries is increasing, NTT said.

“While most delivery trucks are equipped with GPS devices, the location data typically is available to the owner but not to logistics/transport companies that retain the trucks on an outsourced basis. The solution’s LTE-M devices, however, will give logistics/transport companies dedicated access to location and other useful information about trucks operating temporarily in their fleets.”

The trial is part of the Globiot global-IoT initiative that NTT DoCoMo launched last year to provide global connectivity, operational support and consulting to Japanese enterprises.

Going forward, the solution is expected to be marketed widely throughout the United States, Japan and Asia, the Japanese carrier said.

DoCoMo said Globiot is a combination of services that help enterprises identify and use the most advantageous connectivity options suited to their IoT equipment deployments overseas. It will provide global connectivity via local SIM/eSIM (Embedded Subscriber Identity Module) or roaming, as well as advise customers on appropriate business models. It will also provide support with operation and maintenance and advise customers about relevant IoT regulations and necessary certifications overseas, the telco added.

NTT DoCoMo plans to launch pre-commercial 5G services in September 2019, the carrier’s president and CEO, Kazuhiro Yoshizawa, recently said during a conference call with investors and analysts. Yoshizawa also said that the company aims to launch commercial 5G services across Japan by mid-2020.

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