IoT News Roundup, Part One

By IOT Journal

Monnit announces distribution agreement with Arrow Electronics ••• GE Aviation, AT&T enable aircraft health monitoring ••• Inmarsat Research cites IoT as top priority in driving digital transformation ••• Discovery Ag, NNNCo roll out Actility connected country network to boost Australian farms' productivity ••• Actility announces new LoRAWAN IoT products ••• Zigbee Alliance offers multi-band IoT mesh-network technology.

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The following are news announcements made during the past week. Additional announcements will be posted tomorrow.


Monnit Announces Distribution Agreement With Arrow Electronics

Monnit Corporation ( has announced it has signed a distribution agreement with Arrow Electronics to bring Monnit's new ALTA wireless sensing solution to market and help meet the growing demand for high-performing, comprehensive Internet of Things (IoT) solutions. Monnit's solutions enable enterprise and small- and medium-size customers to connect, monitor and control a myriad of functions within their businesses, leading to operational efficiencies, reduced risk and increased profitability.

"Monnit's ALTA platform offers secure and reliable capabilities at an affordable price. Our collaboration with Monnit will bring profitable new IoT opportunities to Arrow's customers," said Aiden Mitchell, vice president of global IoT solutions at Arrow.

In addition to offering four times the wireless range (1,000+ feet, non-line-of-site) and much stronger battery life than traditional sensors (10 years on two AA batteries), ALTA products use Monnit's new Encrypt-RF bank level security. The sensors will be available through application specific monitoring kits with either cellular or Ethernet connectivity, including; Commercial Refrigeration, Remote Real Estate, HVAC, Pharmacy/Lab, IT Server Room, Corporate Property, Agriculture, Mobile Refrigeration, Industrial Manufacturing and Small Business, with more coming soon.

"Arrow's focus on OEMs dovetails nicely with Monnit's efforts to bring customized solutions to market for OEMs," said Brad Walters, CEO, Monnit. "Monnit can engage with Arrow's technical teams in order to understand their customers' needs, and to provide off-the-shelf and/or highly customized solutions in a private-label format."

Through Monnit's IoTvantage partner program (, business partners can private label the solution to sell as their own. Custom kitting, product development and customized software features are also available to help tailor the solution for their customer's specific needs.


GE Aviation, AT&T Enable Aircraft Health Monitoring

GE Aviation and AT&T Internet of Things (IoT) solutions are connecting the onboard and offboard portions of the Aircraft Health and Trend Monitoring System (AHTMS) powered PlaneConnectHTM on the Gulfstream G500, G600, G650 and G650ER business jets. The two companies made the announcement this week during the Paris Air Show.

The AHTMS continuously acquires aircraft performance data to help identify problems before they occur and to assist in troubleshooting difficult to diagnose issues.

When the aircraft lands, AT&T Control Center and AT&T Global SIM connects the AHTMS. The system is part of all new Gulfstream G500, G600, G650 and G650ER business jets. The G650 fleet "called home" and wirelessly sent data from all seven continents so far this year. If the customer chooses, Gulfstream Technical Operations can have access to the data to further improve its already best-in-class Product Support. If the customer subscribes to the additional support, the system can enable fleetwide comparison and trending as issues arise; support specialists by enabling data queries; eend time-stamped data to a Web Portal dedicated to that aircraft; enable transient issue visibility providing resolution for this most difficult category of faults to solve; and present data to each operator in a prioritized and organized manner. This includes aircraft usage data, fuel consumption, pressure readings, temperatures, and aircraft operations data.

Benefits of constantly monitoring plane performance can be seen in the air and on the ground. AHTMS' sophisticated monitoring system helps speed diagnostics and gives more time for notice and scheduling and performing maintenance. Early detection helps maintenance and reduces downtime, keeping the aircraft in service. And the system allows maintenance technicians and logisticians to compare operator-authorized/de-identified, highly secure and encrypted data from every flight stored on to establish trends and improve efficiencies for the entire fleet.

"Our focus is to help our customers and the overall industry to be more efficient," said Darin DiTommaso, vice president of Digital Services and Solutions for GE Aviation. "This system improves an already great track record at Gulfstream. The beautiful part about the system is that it will continue to grow and respond as the needs of each fleet change throughout their lifecycle."

GE Aviation relies on the AT&T Control Center robust automation features. AT&T's world-wide network made seven continent coverage of highly mobile assets possible. They utilize a highly secure connection and a custom AT&T MPLS/VPN (Virtual Private Network). This gives GE a high degree of control and provides highly secure redundant connectivity to their global network. Data traffic from the aircraft to Gulfstream Technical Operations and Gulfstream Operators is encrypted and highly secure.

"IoT solutions have the potential to significantly transform the operational efficiency of nearly any industry," said Chris Penrose, President, Internet of Things Solutions, AT&T. "It's exciting to see that our solution with GE Aviation is giving them actionable insights into the performance and health of their planes."


Inmarsat Research Cites IoT as Top Priority in Driving Digital Transformation

IoT has become the leading technology for digital transformation and is the number one priority for 92 per cent of organizations, according to global research findings published by Inmarsat (LSE:ISAT.L), the world's leading provider of global mobile satellite communications. The Inmarsat Research Programme study, focusing on the enterprise application of the Internet of Things (IoT), revealed that machine learning (38 per cent), robotics (35 per cent), and 3D printing (31 per cent) were also key requirements for effectively delivering digital transformation for business.

Conducted independently on behalf of Inmarsat by Vanson Bourne, The Inmarsat Research Programme report "The Future of IoT in Enterprise 2017" surveyed 500 senior respondents from across the agritech, energy production, transportation, and mining sectors, from organizations over 1,000 employees in size.

The key findings reveal that almost all (97 per cent) respondents are experiencing, or expect to experience, significant benefits from the deployment of IoT technologies. Improved service delivery capabilities (47 per cent), better health and safety across the organization (46 per cent), and greater workforce productivity (45 per cent) were identified as the top three benefits to be gained from the deployment of IoT-based solutions.

However, the research also highlights security concerns, a lack of skills (particularly in the deployment of IoT) and connectivity as key challenges that need to be addressed in order to maximise IoT's potential. Almost half (47 per cent) of respondents believe that their organization will need to rethink their approach to data security and make heavy investments to meet IoT security requirements. Some 45 per cent cite lack of skills as a particular challenge for their organization in deploying IoT, while 29 per cent agree with the statement that connectivity issues threaten to derail their IoT deployments before they have even begun.

Paul Gudonis, President, Inmarsat Enterprise, commented: "The development and deployment of IoT is a new phenomenon spreading over every industry in every part of the world and this research has confirmed that IoT is the leading technology in digital transformation, taking a steady lead over other forms of innovation. IoT acts as the eyes and ears of organizations and its value comes from how the data it collects is used to improve effectiveness across an organization. As such, it is unsurprising that so many organizations are deploying IoT to propel their digital transformation initiatives.

"However, this is not to imply that challenges are absent. The research points to clear concerns – namely, security, skills, and connectivity. The increasing interconnectivity of devices, teamed with a heightened cyber-security landscape and a short supply of relevant skills, brings an array of issues. To overcome these challenges, collaboration is key.

"Developing new technology is complex and draws on many different type of skills. Reliable network infrastructure providers, that can operate anywhere in the world, need to work closely with end-user businesses to make sure they understand their operational needs. Inmarsat is working with our network of partners globally to drive innovation through our expertise in IoT solutions and satellite connectivity," concluded Gudonis.

The research, The Future of IoT in Enterprise 2017, is accessible as an intelligence paper and can be downloaded here:


Discovery Ag, NNNCo Roll Out Actility Connected Country Network to Boost Australian Farms' Productivity

Actility, the global leader in LPWA IoT Networks, is pleased to announce that its ThingPark platform is powering the rollout of the Connected Country Network in Australia. The Connected Country network is the result of a new joint venture between Delta Agribuiness subsidary Discovery Ag and long-standing Actility partner the National Narrowband Network Co (NNNCo), and was launched last week at Australian Farm Institute's Harvesting the Benefits of Digital Agriculture conference in Melbourne.

For agriculture, Connected Country will provide the backbone infrastructure for networks of low-cost wireless sensors that constantly report on essential farm metrics like soil moisture, rainfall, crop health, water levels and livestock data. The sensors use limited power and can operate 'in the field' for years without the need for intervention. The network will be immediately rolled out across 400,000ha (1m. acres) in the NSW Central West area. Within 18 months the joint venture partners intend to provide Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity across vast areas of the nation's farming regions.

"While hi-tech farming techniques are in use today, 80% of Australia's farming footprint lacks adequate network coverage," explains Discovery Ag CEO, Alicia Garden. "For those that do have coverage, existing 3/4G cellular technologies make it too expensive for most farmers to network their sensors and create a truly connected 'smart farm'.This private infrastructure project is initially about building the enabling technology to make the IoT viable for Australian agriculture," adds Gardeen

"As the network builds out, though, it will by default cover many other businesses and urban areas, so anyone who wants to develop a sensor network but who has been prohibited by the cost of data transfer will be able to join the Connected Country system and achieve their goals. This project is the first of its kind in terms of the size of the area we're aiming to cover and will attract significant global interest. No-one has been willing or able to deliver such a solution on this scale before and we see it as a major step in helping ensure regional communities are 'connected' and able to improve the way they do business."

NNNCo Founder & CEO, Rob Zagarella, adds "The Rural IoT network, delivered by the NNN and powered by Actility's ThingPark platform, will solve the connectivity and affordability problems for farmers. Together with Discovery Ag we will be providing a low-cost end-to end standards based solution comprising on-farm networks, network-ready sensors, and access to simple on-farm tools that farmers can use to monitor information and take timely action."

Actility CEO Mike Mulica comments "Projects like this clearly demonstrate how industrial IoT has now moved into a stage of widespread deployment to solve real problems and deliver concrete benefits. Agriculture is quick to adopt new technology when the business case is right. This network will be a game changer for farmers in Australia's Connected Country, thanks to its dramatic reduction in the TCO of an IoT solution. We're very pleased to be able to support NNNCo and Discovery Ag in the speedy and cost-effective roll-out of the technology bedrock of the Connected Country."


Actility Announces New LoRAWAN IoT Products

Actility, the industry leader in low power wide area networking, and the innovator behind the ThingPark LPWA IoT platform, has announced that ThingPark Market, its web based e-commerce platform connecting sellers and buyers of LoRaWAN IoT products and services, now features 150 distinct LoRAWAN products, serving thousands of visitors and buyers. LoRaWAN solutions sellers from over 20 countries in Europe and Asia are taking advantage of the trusted IoT marketplace platform to market and sell their LoRaWAN product globally. The available products can be deployed world-wide, covering multiple LoRaWAN use cases and regional variants: EU 868, US915, AU920, EU433, CN470, AS923, R920

"The wide range of products available through ThingPark Market and the rapidly growing number of buyers using the platform to source elements of their IoT solutions demonstrates a clear demand for a trusted hub making connections between IoT solutions sellers and buyers," says Actility Senior Vice President for Marketing & Digital, Christophe Francois. "Of course, there's more to it than a simple shopping cart. Through ThingPark Market, buyers can explore product data sheets, discover how to deploy the sensors and devices, connect with product support and be inspired by examples of existing customer solutions."

ThingPark Market meets a clear business need in the IoT ecosystem. Sellers of devices and applications will be able to extend their market reach, shorten their sales cycle, promote their products and services, and have easy access to new sales channels. For IoT solution buyers, the advantages include simplifying their procurement process through the e-commerce engine, and easy discovery of trusted products and applications tested with the ThingPark platfor

With business cases for IoT applications powerfully impacted by total cost of ownership, lowering solution TCO is a key driver for IoT deployments at scale. ThingPark Market allows IoT products and solution sellers to accelerate economies of scale by addressing a global audience and reducing their marketing and distribution costs through a digital sales channel tailored to their specific needs.

"If the IoT is to become the global game-changer we all expect it to be, then we have to make the deployment of IoT solutions a true digital business. It may take a few years, but our goal is to enable IoT services rollout and fulfilment at scale through end-to-end digital solutions" concludes Actility CEO Mike Mulica.


Zigbee Alliance Offers Multi-Band IoT Mesh-Network Technology

The Zigbee Alliance, an association of companies creating, maintaining and delivering open, global standards for the Internet of Things (IoT), today announced the availability of Zigbee PRO 2017, the latest offering in the Alliance's flagship mesh networking technology designed to connect and facilitate interoperability between smart devices. Zigbee PRO is the underlying network technology that supports full-stack interoperable devices certified under Zigbee 3.0.

With PRO 2017, Zigbee is the first mesh network capable of operating in two ISM frequency bands simultaneously: sub-GHz 800-900 MHz for regional requirements and 2.4 GHz for global acceptance. This dual-band option enables flexibility and design choice for manufacturers, municipalities and consumers wanting to connect products across buildings, cities and homes.

"PRO 2017 is the ideal wireless solution to cast large IoT networks across buildings, business parks, large facilities, cities and venues challenged by connectivity issues such as reinforced concrete and steel studs," said Victor Berrios, vice president of technology, Zigbee Alliance. "The deployment potential is tremendous for smart homes, smart buildings and smart cities."

Devices based on the Zigbee PRO 2017 network specification are part of Europe's biggest engineering projects today: Zigbee PRO-based solutions are being deployed across the United Kingdom, which has a government mandate to roll out smart meters to approximately 30 million homes by 2020 with an estimated $15 billion expected in net benefits based on consumer energy savings and lower energy generation demand. The Zigbee PRO 2017 initiative had its genesis in this smart electric/gas meter roll out for theDepartment for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (formally the Department of Energy & Climate Change), which required a blend of 2.4 GHz and sub-GHz Zigbee devices(on average, there are five nodes – where Zigbee technology lives – used per household). As a global, open standard driven by industry leaders, Zigbee Alliance member companies worked together to address this need, and to bring the Zigbee PRO 2017 network specification to market.

Leveraging Zigbee PRO 2017, product manufacturers can now build devices that utilize a single network operating on multiple bands to address the challenges of surrounding physical environments. The inclusion of sub-GHz capabilities supports IoT networks for multiple use cases including smart outdoor lighting, use within facilities such as retail settings and data centers that need to monitor broad ambient conditions, and when deployed across harsh environments. The Zigbee PRO 2017 network specification provides key advantages including longer range, reduced power consumption and lower operating costs for low-data-rate applications ranging from home security and automation, to smart metering and connected lighting.

According to Parks Associates, more than 442 million connected consumer devices – including connected entertainment, mobile, health and smart home devices – will be sold in the U.S. in 2020. "As both the volume and breadth of connected products grows and the market moves past early adopters, network reliability is paramount," said Tom Kerber, director, IoT Strategy at Parks Associates. "Dual-band radios and sub-GHz frequencies will provide reliable network solutions to cover the huge variety of architectures and building types throughout the world."

To complement PRO 2017-based products, the Alliance offers its Zigbee Certified products program, which ensures that quality, interoperable Zigbee devices are available for ecosystem developers, service providers and their customers. Leveraging Zigbee technology to build for the IoT now gets innovators into a rapidly growing market today, puts them on a proven and reliable path toward dotdot – the universal language for the IoT – and fosters collaboration between hundreds of leading tech organizations invested in and designing for Zigbee-based networks.