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China Joins the Global race for thrust into IOT, upgrades it to the level of national development strategy

The Internet-of-Things is an emerging revolution in the ICT sector under which there is shift from an “Internet used for interconnecting end-user devices” to an “Internet used for interconnecting physical objects that communicate with each other and/or with humans in order to offer a given service”.

The increasing miniaturization of electronics has enabled miniaturized sensors,  processors and communications functionalities to be integrated into everyday objects, making them ‘‘smart’’ , such as smart watches, fitness monitoring products, food items, home appliances, plant control systems, equipment monitoring and maintenance sensors and industrial robots. By means of wireless and wired connections, they are able to interact and cooperate with each other to create new applications/services in order to reach common goals.

IoT is transforming a wide range of civilian activities by improving their productivity, efficiency, and profitability. The potential applications range from management of power and water resources; effective monitoring and coordination of manufacturing, supply chains and transportation systems; monitoring the performance of jet engines, and improved patient monitoring and disease diagnosis.

China is providing broader push to gain a lead in the race toward the era of IoT, with the global market value of such subsystems-in equipment and internet-connected things-projected to surpass $100 billion in 2018, according to Luo Wen, vice-minister of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the top industry regulator in China. “Developing the internet of things is a strategic move to nurture a new momentum in China’s economy,” Luo told the 2017 World Internet of Things Wuxi Summit.

China has made strides in building the IoT’s infrastructure, commercial applications and technology advancements such as the narrow-band IoT, a radio technology which can connect billions of devices in a smarter way than WiFi and Bluetooth.

Favorable government policies and fierce market competition inside the world’s largest manufacturing powerhouse of electronics have already placed China in the driver’s seat in IoT adoption, according to Charlie Dai, principal analyst at consultancy Forrester.

The thrust in IOT shall also enable PLA to leverage such technologies in their  operations and achieve cost efficiency and battlespace advantages. Analogous to IoT, Military internet of things (MIOT) comprising multitude of platforms, ranging from ships to aircraft to ground vehicles to weapon systems, is expected to be developed. MIoT offers high potential for the military to achieve significant efficiencies, improve safety and delivery of services, and produce major cost savings.

Commanders make decisions based on real-time analysis generated by integrating Sensors data from unmanned sensors and reports from the field. These commanders shall benefit from a wide range of information supplied by sensors and cameras mounted on the ground, and manned or unmanned vehicles or soldiers.

 

for more information on Military internet of things (MIOT) : http://idstch.com/home5/international-defence-security-and-technology/technology/ict/internet-things-battlefield/

 

Rapid IoT growth in China

The market size of China’s IoT industry is expected to exceed 1.5 trillion yuan ($231.4 billion) in 2020, up from over 900 billion yuan in 2016, the China Annual IoT Development Report (2016-2017) forecast.

The pilot project is being conducted by China United Network Communications Group Co Ltd, or China Unicom, the country’s second-largest mobile carrier, and leading telecom equipment maker Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, in the Minhang district of Shanghai.

Beijing also selected a host of cities to pilot the smart city projects, through which they established database and sensor networks to collect, store, and analyze information related to transportation, electricity, public safety and environmental factors.

For example, in the city of Wuxi, a government-backed heartland for IoT adoption, the number of IoT-connected gadgets by the end of August had for the first time surpassed that of mobile subscribers, said Li Qiang, Party secretary of the Communist Party of China Jiangsu provincial committee.

“This is thanks to the full coverage of China’s narrow band IoT network four months ago across the city,” Li said. This marked another technical breakthrough that Wuxi has made since the city built the nation’s first high-standard all-optical network.

An IoT demonstration zone is also established in Wuxi’s Xuelang town, co-developed by the municipal government and tech giant Alibaba Group, to create synergies for the country’s wealthy Yangtze River Delta Region to push ahead with IoT technologies, he added.

The other driver is the competitive market in China, said Dai from Forrester, so firms in sectors from manufacturing to services have the impetus to improve product performance, better differentiate themselves from peers by using IoT technologies.

 

Smart parking

Smart parking player China TransInfo Technology worked with China Unicom to develop an NB-IoT-based smart parking project in Shanghai. The drivers in Shanghai, can use an app to find an empty space in a parking lot, navigate to the location and pay the bill with a smartphone. Moreover, the app can calculate the probability of a space becoming empty by using information from the likes of parking ticket machines.

“Smart parking is a requirement of government, car owners and parking operators,” said Chen Rujun (pictured, right), business manager at China TransInfo. “NB-IoT-based parking provides convenient installation and wide coverage, easier maintenance and lower power consumption,” he noted.

 

Water meters the start

Li Shengfei, general manager of China Telecom’s Shenzhen branch, said the company delivered the world’s first commercial narrow band IoT-based Smart Water metering project in March by partnering with Huawei and Shenzhen Water, the local water utility provider.

Shenzhen Water’s  upgraded water management system is running on China Telecom network and Huawei’s cloud-based IoT connection management platform. The water meters and flow meters in the system are embedded with Huawei chipset and modules.

About 1,200 narrow band IoT-enabled smart water meters have been deployed for Southern Pearl Garden and other residential areas in the Yantian District of Shenzhen. With a chipset inside, these smart water meters can intelligently read and upload data to Shenzhen Water’s online platform.

“Manual water reading was not efficient and is higher in cost. Water leakage monitoring was also not effective,” said Zhou Liming (pictured, left), vice president of Shenzhen Water. The project can also help water utility providers analyze water usage patterns of different consumer groups to build up or reconstruct the water pipe network in a more reasonable arrangement for convenient and reliable consumer water services.

 

Smart street lighting

Currently, many cities in China control their street lamps in groups, resulting in higher power consumption and inability in reporting the status of each lamp. Smart street lighting controls street lamps individually to reduce power consumption and detect faults easier.

A NB-IoT smart lighting pilot is running in Weifang city in Shangdong by LED street lighting supplier Advanced Optronic Devices Company (AOD) and China Unicom.

According to AOD, NB-IoT smart street lighting can get lighting status in real time, remotely control each individual lamp, configure lighting timers, upgrade software and troubleshoot. As a result, power consumption and maintenance cost is reduced by 24% and 50% respectively. China Unicom plans to expand the pilot to cover the total 40,000 street lamps in Weifang.

 

China Telecom extends narrow band IoT network across home market

NB-IoT, a narrowband radio technology designed for the internet of things (IoT), has been developed to enable a wide range of low-power devices and services to be connected using cellular telecommunications bands on the Wide Area Network (WAN).

Compared to Bluetooth and Wi-Fi technology, NB-IoT, having the advantages of low cost, wide coverage, long battery life and enabling a large amount of connected devices, is believed to have great potential in application.

Low power WAN (LPWAN) is a fast growing wireless network for connected devices. LoRa and Sigfox and NB-IoT (narrow band IoT) are the LPWAN technologies that hit the internet-of-things (IoT) market. The former two technologies use an unlicensed spectrum whereas NB-IoT operates in a licensed spectrum.

NB-IoT supports higher bandwidth applications and faster two-way communication speed than unlicensed spectrum technologies. NB-IoT is around 250kbps downlink whereas Sigfox transmits 8 bytes per message. Faster speed supports applications that rely on timely data transmission and firmware update over the air (FOTA).

On the deployment side, NB-IoT uses existing cellular networks, minimizing the need to deploy additional infrastructure. NB-IoT leverages existing GSM or LTE cellular networks with software upgrades to existing base stations. “This feature of NB-IoT as a software upgrade eases deployment over competition technologies like Sigfox ad LoRa,” said Hugh Ujhazy, associate vice president and IoT practice lead for Asia Pacific (excluding Japan) at IDC noted.

The world’s largest NB-IoT will be completed by China Telecom, at the end of June, to achieve the full web commercial use of the end-to-end NB-IoT. China Mobile, having started outfield test on NB-IoT in Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hangzhou and Fuzhou, is set to a large-scale outfield test validation later and commercialize NB-IoT by 2018.

The report said a number of listed companies have been rolling out the application of NB-IoT.  Viewshine Ltd, a domestic smart metering solution provider, said in April its NB-IoT smart metering had entered the trial stage.

Hangzhou Innover Technology Co Ltd announced in January that the company’s first NB-IoT smart gas meter had started trial operation in the urban area of Shanghai. The NB-IoT technology enables the gas meter to upload gas data and real time abnormal running state to backend.

Li Zhenya, an analyst of Zhongtai Securities, said the launch of NB-IoT sets a unified protocol standard for the transport layer and the involvement of operators increases the speed and scale of IoT, which can provide a better material basis for the development of the application layer in downstream.

Rival China Mobile Communications Corp, the country’s largest telecom carrier by subscribers, is catching up. It unveiled the world’s smallest embedded SIM narrow band IoT module. The M5310, as the module is called, was independently developed by China Mobile. It is highly power-efficient and can save more than 30 percent of the space.

The carrier, having started field tests on narrow band IoT in Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hangzhou and Fuzhou, is set to launch a large-scale field test later and commercialize narrow band IoT by 2018.

Nearly 100 companies are developing products based on the module to bring market innovation through narrow band IoT services, such as smart agriculture, smart parking, air quality monitoring and asset management applications, according to China Mobile.e of its nearest rival.

 

Development of IOT is part of national development strategy

In China, the development of the Internet of Things (IoT) has been upgraded to a national development strategy. As clearly stated in the 13th Five-Year Plan (FYP), the country will actively move forward with the development of cloud computing and IoT, advance the layout of IoT sensing facilities, and propel open-loop applications of IoT. Moreover, during the 13th FYP period, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of the People’s Republic of China will give top priority to IoT’s applications in key areas such as smart city, build a platform for city-level IoT access management and data aggregation, promote a unified access to sensing facilities, and enhance centralized management and data sharing.

The demand of IoT market will be fully driven by the vigorous development of IoT application demonstration projects, the further progress made by national strategies including the Made in China 2025 initiative and the Internet Plus action plan, as well as the technologies and markets concerning cloud computing and big data. In the coming three years, China’s IoT will be widely applied to smart grid, smart home, digital city, smart healthcare, automobile sensor and other fields. With the expected gross output of RMB 3 trillion, IoT will grow into an important impetus to revolution of industries.

Ministry of Industry and Information Technology unveiled a plan earlier this year to boost development of IoT, with the goal of enabling more than 1.7 billion public machine-to-machine connections by 2020. There were 100 million connections in 2015, accounting for 31 percent of all global connections, official data show.

 

 

 

References and Resources also include:

https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/policies/internet-things

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2017-09/11/content_31833613.htm

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