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MWC 2017: HPE, Tata To Construct Huge IoT Network In India

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

Tech giants partner to build ‘world’s largest’ IoT network to cover 400 million people in India

The momentum behind the Internet of Things (IoT) continues with the news that Tata Communications is teaming with HPE to build the world’s largest IoT network in India.

The two firms will work together to build India’s first Long Range (LoRa) Wide Area Network that will provide IoT services to 400 million people spread across more than 2,000 communities.

The LoRa WAN build demonstrates the continued growth of IoT. Earlier this year for example it was announced that the island of Jersey would be turned into a testbed for Internet of Things (IoT) applications with the launch of a LoRa Wide Area Network across the island.IIoT

Digital India

Long Range (LoRa) WANs is relatively new technology, but its potential in the IoT space is considerable, as it typically allows for the use of low cost, battery-operated IoT devices in hard to reach places.

Tata Communications of course is an Indian telecommunications giant, and it had already unveiled plans for the LoRa network last year. The move is part of Tata’s long-term strategy to create mobile platforms and ecosystems to allow customers (and partners) to connect people and IoT-connected devices on a global scale.

With the announcement that it is teaming up with HPE for the network build, the first phase of the rollout will happen in Tier 1, 2, 3 and 4 cities in India.

It comes after successful field trials in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore, and there are apparently also 35 proof-of-concept applications already being trialed on the network.

So what will the LoRaWAN actually be used for?

Well, it will connect  devices, applications and other IoT solutions over the LoRa network in smart buildings, campus, utilities, fleet management, security and healthcare services.

“Tata Communications has 15 years of experience in delivering impactful and innovative communications solutions to its customers globally,” said Anthony Bartolo, president of mobility, IoT and collaboration services at Tata Communications.

“As part of our commitment to innovation and in driving digital transformation globally, we are creating a cohesive, resilient and highly secure network to deploy IoT applications in India,” said Bartolo. “We are excited to be partnering with HPE in this project as this platform is critical to amalgamating all the complex variables in enabling a truly digital India.”

The LoRaWAN will utilise the HPE Universal IoT Platform to assist with the interoperability and management of heterogeneous IoT devices and applications. The platform supports long-range, low-power connectivity deployments, as well as devices that use cellular, radio, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

“The sheer size of this project is incredible, bringing new services to millions of people,” said David Sliter,  VP and general manager for HPE’s communications solutions business. “Through our partner centric approach, the HPE Universal IoT platform will enable Tata Communications to build multiple vertical use cases for its Indian IoT network on a common platform with a common data model.”

IoT Growth

HPE has had IoT identified as a key growth area for a while now. Indeed, the firm recently touted how IoT network services will form HPE’s strategy for the rise of connected and driverless cars.

But it not just HPE targeting the IoT environment. Last month for example Vodafone claimed it had become the first global IoT mobile provider to pass the landmark of 50 million connections, with growth of around one million new connections every month.

IBM is another tech giant actively pursing opportunities in this sector. It recently teamed up with Visa in order to bring real-world commerce capabilities to devices connected to IoT.

Quiz: What do you know about the Internet of Things?