networks

Cradlepoint takes next step in software-driven elastic edge strategy with new subscription-based solution pricing

By Zenobia Hegde

Cradlepoint, the provider in cloud-delivered 4G LTE network solutions that provide a pathway to 5G, announced a new subscription-based solution pricing model, the next step in its Elastic Edge™strategy for software-driven and cloud-delivered wireless wide-area networks (WANs).

The new model is based on a series of all-inclusive NetCloud Solution Packages, which simplify the way customers buy, deploy, manage and evolve their Cradlepoint network, facilitating rapid deployment, time-to-value and customer success. Each subscription package is tailored to specific market needs and combines NetCloud software and services, fit-for-purpose endpoint hardware, and comprehensive 24×7 support.

Cradlepoint is launching the first new offering under this model this week at the National Retail Federation show in New York City, N.Y. The NetCloud Solution Package for Branch provides 4G LTE-optimised SD-WAN functionality with extended wireless LAN coverage for small footprint retail and pop-up stores and other types of branches.

Buy network solutions as cloud-delivered services

With NetCloud Solution Packages, Cradlepoint becomes a first-mover in transitioning enterprise network solutions from a hardware-first approach, which is inflexible and resource-intensive, to a software-first and cloud-delivered subscription, reflecting the shift that is underway within IT infrastructures.

Now customers can buy a complete Cradlepoint network solution as subscription service and gain benefits that are typically attributed to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), including an easier and more efficient buying and deployment experience, faster ROI, and vendor-aligned interest in their success.

NetCloud Solution Packages are aligned with the three market segments that Cradlepoint participates in today – branch, mobile and IoT networking. The offering consists of all-inclusive Essentials packages and optional Advanced software upgrades.

NetCloud Essentials Solution Packages are available one-, three-, and five-year terms and include:

NetCloud edge routing, security, and cloud management features tailored by Cradlepoint to meet the requirements of each market segment
Choice of fit-for-purpose endpoint hardware and integrated 4G LTE modems, backed by a lifetime warranty
Cradlepoint 24×7 support with phone, live chat, and Knowledge Base access.

At any time, a customer can add advanced software features by purchasing an Advanced subscription package, which is also available in one-, three-, and five-year terms.

Jim Duffy

“IT infrastructure is evolving from the buy-it-and-build-it approach, to consume-as-a-service”, said George Mulhern, Cradlepoint CEO. “Cradlepoint NetCloud Solution Packages acknowledge this trend and represent the next step in our Elastic Edge strategy for bringing the simplicity, elasticity, and economic advantages of software and cloud services to wireless wide-area networking—creating customer value across the entire lifecycle.”

Software-defined wireless branch networking

At the National Retail Federation show in New York this week, Cradlepoint is launching its first new products under the NetCloud Solution Package subscription model, which are targeted at the branch market. The AER2200 Edge Router and AP22 Access Points are designed for retailers and other “lean IT” organisations in the midst of digital transformation that need a more agile and extensible solution to connect—and protect—the growing number of people and things in their stores and branch offices.

It brings the flexibility and reliability of software-driven wireless connectivity to small-footprint sites within industries such as quick-serve restaurants, professional services, field services, construction and convenience stores.

The new NetCloud Solution Packages for branch offerings include:

AER2200 Edge Router: The newest member of the all-in-one […]

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Aeris & MACH Networks collaborate to offer IoT solutions

By Zenobia Hegde

Aeris, a technology provider in the Internet of Things (IoT), said it has agreed to work with MACH Networks, one of the nation’s providers of last-mile IoT connectivity solutions, to offer 4G long-term evolution (LTE) IoT connectivity solutions for small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) and enterprises.

The fully managed bundled solutions available from Aeris and MACH Networks include enterprise-class 4G LTE routers, service plans on Aeris’ global IoT network and remote monitoring, management and ongoing technical support.

Aeris offers IoT and machine-to-machine (M2M) services for a number of industries, including connected vehicle, telematics, fixed assets, healthcare, wireless point-of-sale and utilities. The Aeris® IoT Services platform provides in-depth visibility and control of devices, assets or sensors, regardless of time, number of assets or location.

The comprehensive Aeris IoT solution, with its suite of features built into the platform, is geared to help companies enhance revenue, create new services and business models and provide them with distinct market differentiation against their competitors.

MACH Networks provides fully-managed 4G LTE connectivity solutions for some of the largest landline carriers in the nation. By collaborating with Aeris, MACH Networks will be able to expand its product portfolio to include fully-managed primary and backup connectivity solutions for IoT across the globe.

It also will enable Aeris’ distribution channel partners to earn monthly recurring commissions selling connectivity solutions for IoT applications, one of the fastest growing segments of the telecommunications industry.

Aeris, in partnership with MACH Networks, will complement its existing IoT services platform with fully managed connectivity solutions for ATMs and kiosks, branch offices, business continuity, digital signage, industrial automation, point-of-sale, plain old telephone service (POTS) replacement, SD-WAN, transportation and video surveillance. Additionally, Aeris will be able to offer this functionality in an OpEx models as a fully managed IoT Solutions-as-a-Service (SaaS).

Don Ochoa, CEO, MACH Networks commented,“MACH Networks welcomes the opportunity to work with Aeris. The global market for machine-to-machine and Internet of Things solutions continue to grow at an unprecedented rate, and collaborating with Aeris represents a tremendous growth opportunity for both companies. We look forward to driving new business via Aeris’ global IoT network.”

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Sierra Wireless integrates SIM, security and GNSS into industry’s smallest, lowest power multi-mode LPWA modules

By Zenobia Hegde

Sierra Wireless, the provider of fully integrated device-to-cloud solutions for the Internet of Things (IoT), announced the industry’s smallest, lowest power, multi-mode Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) cellular modules targeted at rapidly growing markets in asset tracking and connected industrial equipment, smart city, healthcare, agriculture and wearables.

AirPrime® HL78 modules, featuring Altair Semiconductor’s integrated ALT1250 chipset, deliver best-in-class power performance extending the life of battery operated devices by 5-10X compared to other available LTE-M/NB-IoT modules. This new level of power saving modes, with improved wake-up and sleep mode responsiveness, as well as ultra-low sleep mode power, make HL78 the module of choice for any power-constrained IoT application.

“With the HL78 modules, OEMs and system integrators have the most scalable, lowest power module platform to build their global IoT applications on,” said Dan Schieler, senior vice president and general manager, OEM Solutions, Sierra Wireless. “And to make it even simpler for our customers, we’ve integrated the SIM and cloud, as well as GNSS and security features, to drive down the size of LPWA connected devices while enhancing tamper resistance and security.”

In addition to low-power performance unique to the HL78 design, the modules integrate GNSS tracking capability, security and an embedded SIM in a new compact CF3® size (18mm x15mm) that is pin-to-pin compatible with other HL Series modules.

Customers have the flexibility to deploy the same device on global LTE-M (Cat-M1/eMTC) and NB-IoT (Cat-NB1) networks, with support for more than 20 LTE frequency bands in addition to optional 2G fallback. Built-in security, including HTTPS, secure socket, secure boot and free unlimited firmware over-the-air (FOTA) updates from the AirVantage® device management IoT Platform, helps customers ensure HL78 deployments are future proof and secure.

“More than 690 million LTE-M and NB-IoT connected devices are expected by 2022, and the market needs a low-power, compact embedded module to connect their industrial, smart city, smart home and simpler static sensor applications,” said Dan Shey, managing director and vice president at ABI Research. “With the addition of the HL78 product line, Sierra Wireless has amassed a broad portfolio of low power devices to drive the billions of advanced IoT connections we expect in the next decade.”

LTE-M and NB-IoT LPWA networks deliver a new class of wireless technology specifically designed for low-power IoT applications [see infographic]. LPWA technologies combine lower cost, broader coverage and better battery life with globally available and secure cellular networks ready to connect hundreds of millions more things to the Internet.

“The ability to switch seamlessly between any commercially deployed LTE-M or NB-IoT frequency band gives HL78 customers the flexibility to choose which network they want to deploy their low bandwidth application on. And for those regions where LPWAN coverage is not as widely available, optional 2G fallback ensures their devices stay online,” said Ilan Reingold, vice president, Business Development and Marketing at Altair Semiconductor (A Sony Group Company). “Incorporating Altair’s advanced IoT chipset, HL78 devices will also enjoy an extended life of up to 15 years on a single battery.”

Availability

The AirPrime HL78 modules are fully compliant with the 3GPP Release […]

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Digi International announces the availability of the newly enhanced Digi TransPort® family of routers

By Zenobia Hegde

Digi International®, a global provider of Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity products and services, announced the availability of the newly enhanced Digi TransPort® family of routers. Equipped with advanced RF modules, users can easily migrate their IoT solutions from legacy 2G and 3G networks to high-speed 4G networks with routers specifically built for the precise demands of vertically-focused IoT applications.

Retail, industrial and transportation markets require robust IoT applications where pervasive connectivity is a must. With its newly enhanced TransPort routers, Digi has combined flexibility with versatile connectivity to satisfy a wide range of industry-based needs from retail to industrial process automation to smart city and high-speed transit Wi-Fi.

Expanded range of performance and price options

The latest Digi TransPort routers are actually part of a single IoT platform that includes six updated products featuring different performance options for distinct IoT solutions implemented in specific markets. Design engineers and system architects will be able to choose the product with the exact performance characteristics they desire at a price point that enhances the overall value proposition while avoiding the costs of unnecessary built-in features.

Specifically for the retail vertical, the Digi TransPort WR11 XT provides secure, extremely resilient connections for digital signage, kiosks and automated teller machines (ATMs). It offers global cellular carrier certifications, license-free enterprise software, PCI security features, small form factor, and advanced network management and patented Digi SureLink™ technology, which maintains persistent wireless connections via proactive link integrity functions. Additionally, Digi TransPort routers offer dual SIM slots, providing built-in carrier redundancy with the ability to seamlessly switch between mobile network providers, as desired.

Advanced management capabilities

As part of the Digi IoT Connectivity Platform, Digi TransPort routers can be accessed and easily managed through Digi Remote Manager®, an innovative user interface to monitor, diagnose and fix routers (including third-party devices), and upload firmware remotely without a costly service truck roll.

Digi Remote Manager presents an online performance dashboard for configuring and troubleshooting devices across multiple locations—with alarms and reports to keep users updated. It is also PCI-certified, meaning that connections remain in compliance with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS).

Security is further supported via the Digi TrustFence® device security framework that addresses common transactional security and access control vulnerabilities of remote devices, from authenticated boot and secure device access to user validation and data encryption.

“With Digi’s latest TransPort routers, we will be able to offer a targeted range of performance options for market-specific applications to build a wireless backbone of reliable connectivity at a more attractive and affordable cost,” said Scott Nelson, vice president of product of Digi International.

“That means that customers will have relentless reliability and connectivity with the right router for the right job at the right price without sacrificing security or ease-of-manageability for those vertical markets demanding the latest in IoT solution capabilities.”

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Europe falls behind US in adoption of AI-led security, as half of firms surveyed say IoT is making it harder to stay secure

By Zenobia Hegde

IoT (Internet of Things) strategies are hampering security management, with almost half (47%) of executives in a new survey saying it has become more difficult to stay secure in the last year. This is one of the key findings of the 2017-2018 Global Application and Network Security Report, just released by Radware®, a provider of cyber security and application delivery solutions.

Adding to the problem is the complex issue as to who is responsible for IoT security. When asked who needs to take responsibility, there was no clear consensus among security executives. Responses pinned responsibility on the organisations managing the network through to the manufacturers, but the majority said it was down to consumers using these devices (56%).

Andrew Foxcroft, regional director for Radware UK, Ireland and Nordics, says that its time companies closed the debate and assume responsibility themselves: “Everything that is attached to the network is a threat to security. The longer we debate who is responsible the more advantage we hand to the hackers who will do everything that can to exploit weaknesses.

“Governments of the world are taking more and more interest in IoT and if companies fail to be decisive, take responsibility and collaborate on security, legislation will make the decision for them – look at Germany’s decision to ban smart toys.

Lazy assumption

“It’s lazy to assume consumers will think about security. We already know people find it challenging to keep up with software updates and are unlikely to think through the risks regardless of the terms and conditions they sign up to. The network is only as strong as its weakest link and the sooner companies realise IoT devices are the weakest link, and that the buck will always stop with them, the better.”

The study also found that the percentage of companies reporting financially motivated cyber-attacks has doubled over the past two years, with 50% of surveyed companies experiencing a cyber-attack motivated by ransom in the past year. As the value of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies – often the preferred form of payment among hackers – has appreciated, ransom attacks provide an opportunity for hackers to cash out for lucrative gains months later.

Cryptocurrencies help hackers

“The rapid adoption of cryptocurrencies and their subsequent rise in price has presented hackers with a clear upside that goes beyond cryptocurrencies’ anonymity,” adds Foxcroft. “Paying a hacker in these situations not only incentivises further attacks, but it provides criminals with the vital funds they need to continue their operations.”

Andrew Foxcroft

The number of companies that reported ransom attacks in which hackers use malware to encrypt data, systems, and networks until a ransom is paid – surged in the past year, increasing 40% from the 2016 survey. Companies don’t expect this threat to go away in 2018 either. One in four executives (26%) see ransom as the largest threat to their business sector in the coming year.

“Criminals used various exploits and hacks this year to encrypt vital systems, steal intellectual property, and shut down business operations, all with ransom demands attached to these actions,” Foxcroft said. […]

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Skills shortage in the agritech sector holding back IoT innovation, finds Inmarsat

By Zenobia Hegde

The potential for Internet of Things (IoT) technology to drive innovation, efficiency, and increased productivity in the agricultural sector is at risk, as agritech businesses must urgently upskill current employees and embark on recruitment drives to ensure they have the capabilities to deliver the technology. According to independent research commissioned by Inmarsat, while the vast majority of agritech companies are moving towards IoT, a significant proportion lack the staff and skills needed to take advantage of the technology.

Market research specialist Vanson Bourne interviewed respondents from 100 large agritech businesses across the globe and found that while over 46% of agritech businesses reported full deployment of IoT solutions and a further 16% have initiated a partial deployment, many currently lack the skills needed to do so effectively. Additionally, agritech businesses require an uplift in skills at the strategic level, where 65% of respondents identified a shortfall, as well as the management and delivery of IoT deployment, where over 50% of respondents said they lacked staff.

The research also revealed the specific IoT skillsets that agritech companies are lacking. 55% of agritech companies reported a shortage in cyber security personnel, with analytical and sscience skills coming in second in demand at 53%.

Chris Harry-Thomas, director of sector development agriculture, Inmarsat, commented on the findings: “IoT is the frontline of the Fourth Agricultural Revolution, providing a digital nerve system with a network of connected and automated devices and sensors. Farmers are leveraging these technologies to dramatically improve the efficiency and precision of their operations, automating irrigation systems so that water is only delivered to where it is needed, and optimising fertilisation to improve yields.

“The automation of these processes is reducing the need for manual intervention on the ground, but creating new requirements for staff skilled in areas such as data analysis and cyber security which, as we have seen from our research, the industry is currently lacking.

“With the digital transformation in full swing, many traditionally mechanical-physical industries, such as agriculture, find themselves in a race to recruit digital specialists to support their IoT ambitions. Competing with the likes of Silicon Valley tech companies for skilled staff will be a challenge for the agritech industry, but as these businesses look to take on the burden of data security to build market share in the agriculture sector, it is critical that they recruit staff with the capability to do so.”

Chris concluded by stating that forming strategic partnerships with third parties can help agritech companies to bridge the gaps in their IoT skills portfolios: “Argitech businesses must upskill their existing staff and attract new talent if they are to develop successful IoT solutions.

However, longer term, the focus needs to be on establishing strategic partnerships with IoT specialists. With greater economies of scale, specialist partners can draw together complex IoT solutions across multiple communication networks, including satellite and cellular data, to deploy sophisticated, automated IoT networks across the agricultural industry.”

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Found: New Android malware with never-before-seen spying capabilities

By Dan Goodin

Enlarge (credit: portal gda)

Last year, researchers found what at the time was quite possibly the world’s most sophisticated espionage app ever written for the Android mobile operating system. Now, in a discovery that underscores the growing arms race among competing malware developers, researchers have uncovered a new Android spying platform that includes location-based audio recording and other features that have never been seen in the wild before.

According to a report published Tuesday by antivirus provider Kaspersky Lab, “Skygofree” is most likely an offensive security product sold by an Italy-based IT company that markets various surveillance wares. With 48 different commands in its latest version, the malware has undergone continuous development since its creation in late 2014. It relies on five separate exploits to gain privileged root access that allows it to bypass key Android security measures. Skygofree is capable of taking pictures, capturing video, and seizing call records, text messages, gelocation data, calendar events, and business-related information stored in device memory.

Skygofree also includes the ability to automatically record conversations and noise when an infected device enters a location specified by the person operating the malware. Another never-before-seen feature is the ability to steal WhatsApp messages by abusing the Android Accessibility Service that’s designed to help users who have disabilities or who may temporarily be unable to fully interact with a device. A third new feature: the ability to connect infected devices to Wi-Fi networks controlled by attackers.

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Low power means long range coverage for industrial sensors

By IoT Now Magazine

Andrew Brown, the executive director of Enterprise and IoT Research at Strategy Analytics, recently interviewed Matt Bacon, the marketing and communications director at Actility, to discuss the company’s activities in IoT; its network, partners and customers and its efforts in industrial markets. Actility is a founding member of the LoRa Alliance and offers low power wide area (LPWA) infrastructure with its ThingPark IoT communications platform. The platform provides LoRaWAN longrange coverage for low-power sensors used in multiple vertical industry applications

Andrew Brown: What are the key IoT applications that Actility customers are implementing in industrial environments?

Matt Bacon, the marketing and communications director at Actility

Matt Bacon: To begin with, it makes sense to explain what we do at Actility and how we help our customers in IoT. Our core product is the ThingPark communications platform, which was initially focused on LoRaWAN, but will shortly also support licensed 3GPP technologies; first LTE Cat M and then narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) for customers. With the platform, we manage data end-to-end, from the sensor via the gateway to customer applications in the cloud. We are able to handle various additional functions such as protocol translation, if required, also ensuring devices are correctly provisioned and sending their data packets end-to-end. We are not an analytics or visualisation company; we offer key ingredients in a complete IoT solution created by a range of partners. Our initial customers were network operators who chose us to build nationwide LoRaWAN networks in order for them to resell connectivity to their customers. They used ThingPark to manage the LoRaWAN component of their network.

Andrew Brown, Strategy Analytics

There are multiple applications that our customers, like KPN or Orange are enabling through connectivity for their industrial customers. For example, one industrial customer manages thousands of rat traps throughout The Netherlands. Connect them with LoRa and the traps only need to be checked and emptied when they have actually caught a rat, so there are far fewer truck rolls required, which dramatically improves the overall total cost of ownership (TCO) of the project.

Our partnership with Inmarsat has enabled the first globally available LoRaWAN IoT platform and we are supporting the company in building smart city applications in Kigali in Rwanda. In the same country, we are also working with Inmarsat and Carnegie Mellon University on a mountain tea plantation and processing facility. There, IoT will deliver agricultural monitoring such as soil moisture levels, but also precise temperature and humidity monitoring in the processing facility, which need to be monitored and controlled to ensure the best possible tea.

We also handle more traditional plant monitoring projects, such as the work we are doing with IBM Watson and Cougar Automation, a UK systems integrator, for RS Components. RS has a large warehouse with thousands of metres of conveyor belts. It ships up to 44,000 parcels a day, which are moved by conveyor belts. As a parcel drops from one belt to another, it can marginally knock the belts out of alignment. As this is repeated with thousands […]

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Cities on the edge

By Zenobia Hegde

The technologies that will empower the smart cities of the future are refreshingly free of controversy. The concept itself is an easy sell: after all, who doesn’t want buildings to be greener, energy networks more efficient, traffic congestion and pollution reduced?

So, while smart cities will require billions of pounds of investment in new technologies over the coming decades, there is an almost unanimous consensus among politicians, businesses and citizens about the benefits that it will bring, says Jackson Lee, vice president corporate development, Colt Data Centre Services.

But while money, political will and public appetite are no barriers to the development of smarter, healthier cities, there is one fundamental issue that threatens to delay our progress towards this future utopia – IT infrastructures that were designed for a “dumber”, less data-intensive age.

Data demands of the smart city

Cities are built by people, but not necessarily for them. Business, industry and profit were the main forces that drove the organic, sprawling growth of the world’s great metropolises – not its citizens’ health, happiness, and convenience.

Smart technologies, including the internet of things (IoT), promise to solve many of the eternal problems that city-dwellers have been forced to put up with, from toxic air to gridlocked streets to public safety. New services will transform the way that municipalities manage public transport, shared infrastructure, city planning, waste and recycling, lighting, smart grids, and a host of other benefits such as access to healthcare, education or local government services.

But these new services all depend on the ability to generate, process and analyse previously inconceivable volumes of data. From sensors measuring air quality around the city, to the thousands of CCTV cameras monitoring transportation systems; from smart energy grids to “intelligent” bins that tell refuse collectors when they need emptying – the smart city will be a network of computers that is constantly creating huge amount of information.

This information is the raw intelligence that goes into making the key decisions on which smart services depend. Everything from transportation systems to smart grid and industry-related applications depend on instant, high-speed, ultra-reliable connectivity between the device collecting or generating this data, and the systems which process and analyse the information. This, however, is where traditional technology infrastructure threatens to delay – or even prevent – us achieving the full benefits promised by smart cities.

Living on the Edge

The traditional cloud model made a great deal of sense. Concentrating storage and processing power in hyperscale facilities enables users to take advantage of huge economies of scale to manage intense, high-volume workloads at a manageable cost.

Unfortunately, this model works far less well for the demands of modern smart city technologies. When storage, compute and analytics are located at a centralised hub – which may not even be in the same country, let alone the same city that the data is generated – it necessarily adds a lengthy lag.

This time delay might only be measured in milliseconds, but it can still have significant knock-on effects on services and applications that rely on instant communications, such […]

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Increasing IoT value through open standards to be discussed in upcoming oneM2M webinar

By Zenobia Hegde

The importance of open standards in advancing Internet of Things (IoT) applications that use Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) networks will be discussed during a webinar hosted by oneM2M.

Dr. Omar Elloumi, of Nokia, chair of the oneM2M Technical Plenary, and Regional Marcom vice chair Chris Meering, of Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), will explore the key findings of Boost LPWA revenue through oneM2M, a white paper published by the global IoT standards initiative last month.

Elloumi and Meering will highlight the challenges Communication Service Providers (CSPs) are facing as they look to make the most of their burgeoning IoT deployments. They will then examine how an open standards approach can increase cost-effectiveness, improve scalability and boost confidence that today’s IoT projects will be future-proof and provide value to the CSPs deploying them.

“One of the main conclusions from the white paper was that CSPs need to find ways to create not just more revenue but also more profit from their LPWA connections and application enablement provides this opportunity,” said Elloumi. “Toachieve this, oneM2M provides a single horizontal platform for all applications, breaking down silos that inhibit growth and allowing CSPs to move one level up in the IoT value chain.

This most recent white paper presents the case for how this works for LPWA networks and how it will accelerate the mass deployment of the IoT.”

Dr. Omar Elloumi

The webinar will also look at the way in which open standards support the advancement of the IoT by introducing a horizontal approach to platform management, allowing CSPs to reduce OpEX and explore opportunities for service innovation.

“The need for interoperability is what drives oneM2M’s architecture, which allows CSPs to work across vertical markets and develop a single horizontal platform for data sharing between applications,” said Meering. “By adhering to oneM2M’sapproach, CSPs can open up a whole new world of revenue opportunities and gain true value from their deployments, whilst also reducing OpEX.”

The oneM2M webinar “Boost LPWA revenue through oneM2M” takes place on Thursday, January 18 at 15:00 GMT. To register to attend, please click here.

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