IoT has opened up a world of possibilities when it comes to healthcare. Ordinary medical devices can now collect extremely valuable and additional data, which in turn gives more insight into symptoms and trends and enables remote care. The result is more autonomy for patients and better monitoring of often serious conditions. Here are just a few of the ways IoT is creating smarter healthcare.

Remote Medical Assistance

One of the biggest and fastest growing areas of healthcare and IoT is remote medical assistance, in which connected devices monitor a patient’s conditions at their homes. Smart devices take readings and observe behavioral patterns (often automatically) and can alert medical professionals when there is a discrepancy. This is particularly applicable for elderly patients, as well as vulnerable patients or patients with long term chronic conditions. It reduces in-person visits and lets patients manage their care from home.

Smart Glucose Monitoring

Around one in ten adults are affected by diabetes, requiring continuous monitoring and treatment.  A Continuous Glucose Monitor helps diabetics monitor their blood glucose levels by taking readings at regular intervals. The data is then sent to a smart phone app and allow for remote monitoring – perfect for parents of diabetic children or relatives or elderly or vulnerable patients. Smart insulin pens automatically record the time, amount, and type of insulin dosage, and store long-term data on a smartphone app.

Connected Inhalers

Asthma kills around 1000 people each day and affects around 339 million people globally – a number that is rising steadily. Smart inhalers offer increased insight into and control over symptoms and treatment, helping those who suffer understand what might be causing their symptoms, tracking use of medication, and also allergen forecasts. One of the biggest benefits is that people using connected inhalers take their medication more consistently and are more likely to use their medication as prescribed, which leads to improvements in their condition.  There is also a wearable asthma monitor that detects symptoms of an asthma attack before its onset.

Connected Pills

According to the World Health Organization, around 50% of medicines are not taken as directed, which can lead to serious health consequences. Ingestible sensors are pills containing microscopic sensors – about the size of a grain of rice – that send a signal to an external sensor worn on the body, ensuring both proper dosage and usage. The data is then relayed to a smartphone app, which helps patients keep on top of their meds. This not only improves adherence to doctor directives, it also allows patients to have a more informed dialogue with their healthcare provider about treatment. Making sure patients take their medication at the right time is also an issue, particularly among elderly patients, who tend to be prescribed a cocktail of medications that are to be taken at certain times of the day.  Connected pill dispensing machines ensure that not only does the patient take the pill at the right time in the right dosage through the use of prompts, it also alerts healthcare providers if something is wrong.

Hand Hygiene Compliance

Proper hand hygiene is the single biggest defense against spreading disease, yet research shows that one out of every 20 patients in the US get infections from lack of proper hand hygiene in hospitals, with some losing their lives as a result.  Connected hand-hygiene stations monitor hand hygiene compliance in real time: any time a healthcare professional comes near a patient without washing their hands a sensor beeps, reminding them of their duty to treat their patients with clean hands.

Hospital Operations

Optimizing a hospital or healthcare center can take many forms; cutting unnecessary costs and streamlining daily functions are just two ways IoT has real value in a medical facility. Millions of dollars are lost annually due to lost or stolen equipment, which has a real knock on effect when it comes to patient treatment and resources. Attaching sensors to equipment allows hospital staff to track any piece of equipment in real time, which not only reduces theft but also allows tracking of the overall use of equipment. And by tracking usage, administrators can more easily understand when to replace or perform maintenance, thus avoiding equipment downtime.

Research

Much of today’s medical research lacks critical real-world information, instead using controlled environments and volunteers.  IoT opens up a sea of valuable data and information through analysis, real-time field data, and testing, delivering far superior, more practical, reliable data. This, in turn, yields better solutions and discovery of previously unknown issues.

Healthcare is one of the fastest growing IoT areas. If you’re interested in creating smarter healthcare, get in touch.

Before we get to how IoT enables the EV ecosystem, let’s take a quick look at the background: all across the world, the electrification of road vehicles is growing quickly. In fact, for the first time ever, more than half of car buyers say their next purchase will be an electric or hybrid model. This shift is driven by a number of things, including environmental concerns and low maintenance and operation costs, along with government subsidies and regulatory support. What this means is that there will be an estimated 140 million electric vehicles (EVs) in use by 2030. The European Union (EU) alone has more than 330 thousand publicly accessible charging point and that number is growing, but deployment is uneven.

So, how are we going to charge all those cars? EV owners want and need the same autonomy, range, and ease of refueling as they have gotten with traditional fuel-injected cars, which means we must do more than just install more charging points. What we need to do is develop a robust EV charging infrastructure.

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By connecting the entire EV ecosystem, finding charging stations will become easy, payment systems will be simplified, and a variety of value-added services will become available.

Connectivity is a crucial component to the evolving EV ecosystem and IoT offers huge benefits to all stakeholders across the value chain, including EV drivers, Charge Point Operators (CPOs), and network operators.  In order to connect, maintain, and manage the different parts of the EV ecosystem (charge points, payment systems, locators, maintenance, etc.) there is a strong need for resilient and secure two-way connectivity and not just in locations where wired infrastructure isn’t always readily or easily available.

But there are challenges in developing the EV ecosystem, including infrastructure management, addressing customer experience, profitability, maintenance, monitoring, energy management, and ultimately, how to create a universal ecosystem that works for everyone. IoT will play a crucial role in bringing it all together.

Managing charging stations

Charging stations are geographically dispersed, making it challenging and expensive to manage ‘onsite’. IoT enables CPOs to remotely monitor and manage operations and quickly resolve issues by presenting real-time insights into usage and device performance, including charger availability, fault monitoring, and troubleshooting – all of which help enormously when it comes to predictive maintenance and reducing downtime. Additionally, as charging station buildouts increase, data on existing deployments will help operators more accurately plan locations for new stations. Data can also be used to optimize charger utilization, identify areas for improvement, and track trends over time.

Charger availability

EV charging apps can search for nearby stations, check availability, and reserve a slot at the time required, based on battery capacity. Apps can also indicate charging rates or advise on off-peak hours for lower-cost charging.

Smart charging

Even at the best of times, energy rates vary throughout the year. Additionally, as EVs become increasingly prevalent, it’s crucial to be able to track charging stations in order to decrease grid load, because if a lot of people are charging their EV at the same time, this can put strain on the grid. By tracking and monitoring charging stations with IoT, you gain insights into how they are being used and how much power is being dawn, information which can be used to regulate the flow of power, so the grid isn’t overloaded. Overall, IoT allows us to manage the increasing demand for EVs while also keeping the grid stable.

Reducing downtime

Without reliable connectivity, sensors at charging points will not be able to communicate with the network, which means EV drivers will be left frustrated and the CPO’s credibility will be damaged. Basically, for IoT devices to function, there needs to be network availability and a stable, always-on connection. Cellular technology is the preferred choice, due to its presence in places where EV charging points would likely be installed, such as schools, parking lots, hospitals, office parking garages, etc. Downtime or poor connectivity can cost brands both revenue and reputation.

Security

IoT-enabled EV stations must do more than facilitate smooth energy exchange between EVs and the grid, or even information between customers and the charging point. Security must also be considered, because as the number of EVs grow and the EV ecosystem expands, the attack surface is also growing. Look at it this way: if a hacker is able to disable all EV chargers connected to the same network, it would be the equivalent to a gas shortage. Security is also crucial for the privacy of customers, such as their banking details. The advantage of cellular IoT connectivity is its built-in security measures that protect data and sensitive information, offering reliable and secure coverage, no matter the location.

Ever since IoT first hit the scene, everyone has been trying to predict the future: How many billions of devices will we have, when will we all be connected, and what sort of technology will we need? The short answer is that we will eventually have billions and billions of devices connecting pretty much everything, but when it comes to business, many will need technology designed specifically for IoT – in other words, businesses are going to need low power wide area (LPWA) technology. But what are the choices when it comes to LPWA – and what are the differences between them?

Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) technology is not a technology standard, but rather a class of wireless technologies particularly suited to the specific needs of IoT. The majority of IoT devices, such as those in smart city and industrial sectors, don’t require the same bandwidth and speed as consumer cellular devices.  

LPWA Network (LPWAN) technologies offer cost and power-efficient options that leverage existing networks while also having strong built-in security and a global reach, enabling low power consumption and long-range wireless connectivity.  LPWAN technologies also support data transfer of small intermittent data packets ranging from 10 to 1000 bytes. And because they operate with better power and bandwidth efficiency over a larger area, less infrastructure and hardware are required, leading to greater cost efficiency.  

LPWAN technologies also allow IoT devices to reliably operate for up to 10 years on a single battery charge, which is ideal for remote solutions that lack a reliable power source. These include:  

  • Smart city applications 
  • Track & trace
  • Smart agriculture
  • Smart buildings
  • Smart meters 

While both LTE-M and NB-IoT are good connectivity options for industries in need of LPWA technology, and there are many similarities between the two, there are also some key differences.  

LTE-M 

LTE-M (also called eMTC and Cat-M1) leverages existing LTE networks to allow for highly efficient connectivity with extended coverage indoors and underground. It consumes less battery power and allows for cheaper modem costs thanks to design simplification. It supports downlink and uplink speeds of up to 1 Mbps with a latency of 50-100 ms, which makes it very flexible and ideal for real-time communication.  

  • Efficient battery usage
  • Real-time communication
  • High data transfer rates
  • Full mobility: Ideal for both fixed & mobile applications 
  • Supports VoLTE (Voice over Long-term Evolution) 

NB-IoT 

Narrow band IoT features up to 10 years of battery life and the widest possible network coverage and can support a large number of new connections using only a portion of the available spectrum. While it also offers potentially less expensive modules, this comes at a price: latency is 1.5 to 10 seconds – it does not allow real-time or voice communication.  

  • 10+ years battery life
  • High latency
  • Low data transfer rates
  • Ideal for stationary/static devices (no connected mobility)
  • Does not support VoLTE 

Ultimately, the technology you choose will depend on your use case and the challenges you want to address. For asset tracking, data throughput is small, but mobility is needed as objects move. When it comes to smart meters, on the other hand, use-cases typically require data transfer once or twice a day. Understanding the specific requirements and nuances of your use case will help you understand which connectivity option is best for you. 

If you would like to learn more about how which connectivity option is right for your business, please get in touch.

2G and 3G networks have been around for decades and billions of IoT devices have relied on them for their connectivity. Both generations have enabled an affordable way to keep devices connected almost anywhere in the world, whether those devices are static or on the go. But now it is time for modernization and upgrades, and with only so much bandwidth to go, with 4G already established, the rollout of 5G underway, and IoT-specific technologies such as LTE-M now available, 2G and 3G will be retired and replaced.

Decommissioning of 2G and 3G has already been initiated and/or completed in some parts of the world, including in Canada and Australia, with the US to be next. Other countries and regions have a wide range of sunsetting dates, with most of Europe looking at the end of 2025, although that is not a unilateral date for all countries. Switzerland will likely be the first European country to completely close 2G, which is estimated to happen at the end of 2023. The bottom line is that 2G and 3G will eventually be retired everywhere, so this is an issue that cannot be avoided.

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Tele2 Sweden already began phasing out 3G during 2021 and initially it will only be in places with good 2G and 4G coverage. Over time the phasing out will increase in speed and completely retire in 2025.

The 2G closure is similar for all large operators in Sweden since the license for the 2G frequency ends in December 2025. Tele2 will use this opportunity to futureproof the network for all of our customers.

Tele2 IoT is here to assist you in not just understanding when and where decommissioning will happen, but also to understand how these changes will impact your deployment and what steps you need to take to deal with the coming changes – because the last thing you want is to still be using 2G and 3G networks when a carrier you rely on shuts that network down and your deployment is not ready for the next generations.

It is important to be proactive, not reactive, and most of all, to be prepared. It is essential to take inventory of every device deployed and assess which deployments and customers will need to make a transition. Tele2 IoT has the tools to help you identify where changes need to be made and our team is ready to assist you in assessing which technology you should move to, as well as address other challenges, such as if your hardware will be compatible.

The Tele2 IoT Team is committed to supporting and guiding our customers as we go through this technological shift. We are able to provide you with information on sunsetting dates for specific regions and countries as it is available so that your solution is not interrupted or otherwise impacted. There are plenty of excellent options available to replace 2G and 3G and we are happy to help you decide which best suits your particular needs.

Please get in touch, so that we can help you successfully navigate the changes ahead.

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eUICC for global connectivity

Since the start of cellular IoT, when it was still referred to as M2M, IoT devices relying on cellular networks for connectivity have used traditional “UICC” SIM Cards (Universal Integrated Circuit Card). UICC SIMs are “static”, meaning that after manufacturing there is no way to replace the operator on the SIM. In the recent years however, technology advances have brought us the next generation of SIM Cards, namely the eUICC SIM (Embedded Universal Integrated Circuit Card).

With eUICC, it’s no longer ‘put the SIM card in the device, and what it is at deployment is what you get for the rest of the devices lifetime’ – eUICC SIMs takes things to the next level: you can download profiles, change operator, or even have multiple operators on the same SIM, something that isn’t possible with traditional UICC SIMs.

The main benefits of eUICC SIMs include:

  • Simplicity: you only need one SKU to manage global deployments
  • Flexibility: through the ability to change the active operator throughout your device’s lifecycle.
  • Resilience: against changes in roaming regulations, such as the introduction permanent roaming
  • Future proofing: through access to both existing and future Tele2 eUICC based services

eUICC is a functional concept for remotely managing SIM profiles, bringing benefits to both the IoT device and the entire deployment. At its very core, eUICC is a software component running on a specific type of SIM hardware that allows you to store multiple operator profiles and switch between them remotely. The physical SIM contains a profile for initial connectivity and is placed in the devices before deployment. Additional profiles can then be downloaded and managed remotely throughout the device’s life cycle. This means that you can change your operator or service provider without having to physically change out your SIM cards, something that can be both costly and logistically challenging, particularly for enterprises who have large-scale, global IoT deployments, as well as those who have deployed hard-to-reach devices. Additionally, eUICC SIMs are available in all standard form factors, meaning that switching to eUICC-enabled SIM cards is possible without the need to completely change your device.

A single SIM for multiple global deployments

Previously, when deploying IoT with traditional UICC SIMs, you needed to understand where your devices would end up in the world so you could install SIM cards with the carrier profile needed to operate in those regions. This could cause complications in your supply chain because managing different SIM with different operators add significant complexity to your manufacturing and logistic process. With eUICC, once your devices are out in the field, remote provisioning allows you to set them up with the carrier profiles best suited to serve your connectivity needs. So, instead of having multiple different SIM cards in the same device in order to, for example, facilitate optimal roaming in different markets, eUICC means you need just one SIM that enables you to activate the optimal profile for the country you’re in even after deployment.

If you would like to learn more about eUICC and how Tele2 IoT can help enable your business, please get in touch.

According to the International Water Association, more than 400 billion liters of potable water are lost through leakage each year, largely due to ageing and crumbling infrastructure. Furthermore, while a one-day water mains break will lose roughly 75 thousand liters of water, an unreported service connection break can lose more than 4.5 million liters of water during the six months that, on average, it takes to be discovered. From reservoirs to water mains to indoor plumbing, leaks can spring up anywhere along water’s piped journey, costing time, money, and resources, and it’s never been more critical to conserve water. The UN estimates 2.3 billion people already live in water-stressed countries and globally, water use is growing at more than twice the rate of population increase.  

This is not great news for municipalities and other concerned parties, who are dealing with the double whammy of increasing urban populations and the resulting water stress. So, what can be done to address the challenges around this increasingly scarce resource? This is where IoT can make all the difference.

There are any number of benefits in using IoT to better manage water systems. Here are just six of the top takeaways:

  • Better transparency
  • Fewer incidents
  • Enhanced control
  • Data-based decision making
  • Cost control
  • Improved sustainability

Utility companies are of course already widely using IoT for digital metering solutions, but IoT water leak detection technology can play an invaluable role for facility owners and operators in developing a comprehensive plan for mitigating leakage. Advancements in IoT technologies such as LPWA (low-power, wide area) allow for the efficient management and maintenance of ageing water supply infrastructure through remote monitoring.

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Through the use of IoT, water utilities can plan for and mitigate possible challenges or even prevent them from happening, predicting behaviors in advance or even as they occur, in real time, including pinpointing location.

Advanced IoT sensors allow detailed, accurate, and real-time analysis of water systems, including potable water, wastewater, and waterways. Additionally, IoT technology enables utility companies to monitor various parameters remotely, including:

  • Water quality & pressure
  • Temperature
  • Turbidity & suspended solids
  • Water levels

The reduced visibility of water mains and pipes means monitoring can be challenging. The introduction of small IoT sensors and devices makes leak detection simpler and faster. These sensors and devices, often using LPWA technology, can be used to measure vibrations, pressure, flow rates, and in some cases even sound waves. They monitor water flow patterns and immediately detect when this flow deviates from normal patterns bases on data from the sensors. Early detection of leaks and even the level of damage can be very beneficial in terms of sustainability, time savings, cost estimates, understand the scope of repairs, and thus better use of manpower.

IoT sensors and the data produced can also contribute to decision making by predicting potential leakage. Predictive maintenance allows you to take precautionary measures, as well as direct your resources more precisely, addressing challenges when they are still manageable. In other words, instead of having to deal with a major water main break, which can interrupt service and potentially create gridlock on the roads, you can find and fix a smaller leak with minimal disruption. By deploying IoT technology for predictive purposes, you reduce schedules or time-based checks. Instead, data will tell you where you have a challenge, allowing you to make informed decisions so you can protect your assets by addressing challenges quickly and efficiently and minimizing potential further damage.

Taking a closer look at the cost cutting benefits, while IoT sensors can save time, alleviate stress, and save money by preventing or minimizing challenges, they can also help when estimating damage. Sensors can often detect how much damage has been caused by a water leak and can potentially stop a leak as soon as it starts by sending an alert, which triggers a shutoff valve to close the main supply line. This quick response saves you money in myriad ways and the data will help you understand the scope of the problem and what it’s going to take to fix it.

Ultimately, water is a finite resource and of all the water on earth, only 3% is fresh water. With growing populations combined with water stress, it is critical that the growing gap between supply and demand is addressed. Streamlined water processes and minimizing wastage are key elements to ensuring this. Real time monitoring alerts and maintenance alerts can be key factors in doing this when addressing water leakage. Additionally, an integrated approach can include monitoring reservoir levels and monitoring ground water levels, creating a framework for smart cities, while promoting improved coordination and management of water resources and processes.

If you would like to learn more about how IoT can help you better manage your business and operations, please get in touch.

Anyone who spends time in cities won’t have missed the rise in popularity of micromobility (aka urban mobility). Small, lightweight vehicles such as e-scooters and e-bikes provide affordable, accessible, and eco-friendly transportation that is also cost-effective, and are seen as the answer to gridlocked cities and urban air pollution. Ernst & Young has called e-scooters the ‘fastest growing mode of transport ever documented’.  In fact, the micromobility market is expected to enjoy CAGR of 16 percent from $3 billion in 2019 to $12 billion by 2027. This growth is due to both changes in consumer sentiment, where micromobility solutions are increasingly seen as viable commuter options, and the industry itself willingly tackling some of its more pressing issues, such as parking. Micromobility is also getting a boost from city planners, who are prioritizing greater sustainability and efficiency and the reduction of car use within city boundaries.

So, where does IoT fit into the micromobility picture? From a tech perspective, cellular connectivity is one of the keys to the success of micromobility because it is critical to managing the growing fleets. Additionally, IoT allows micromobility to address major criticisms, such as e-scooters being dumped on sidewalks willy-nilly. Connecting things like e-scooters helps the industry ensure they know where their assets are and that they are in working order.

There are roughly six different IoT sensors that can enable and enhance a micromobility solution:

  • A condition sensor diagnoses battery levels and maintenance needs
  • A sound sensor cautions too-close pedestrians
  • An NFC (near-field communication) sensor is used for payments and unlocking
  • A motion sensor detects vandalism or impact
  • A GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) sensor maps the location of the fleet
  • Air quality and noise sensors gather environmental data for third parties, such as city planners

Cellular connectivity allows micromobility companies to optimize their offering. Location-aware connected units allow them to mitigate risks, such as setting up safety zone to enforce low speeds and recovering abandoned scooters.  Additionally, micromobility companies can contribute to smart city planning and transit improvement through gathering valuable data which shows traffic patterns and commuter trends around a city.

Despite micromobility having a positive impact on things like city gridlock, there are also some safety concerns. Accidents are not unheard of, and the majority of accidents are suffered by people who had no previous experience with e-scooters. The industry has responded by introducing information and safety training videos, but more importantly, they are working with municipalities to implement geo-fencing parameters that enforce good habits, such as not allowing e-scooters to operate outside of bike lanes.

Additionally, the misuse of micromobility has been something of a nuisance for cities, where it has been common to find an e-scooter dumped in the middle of a sidewalk or other inconvenient spots, creating a hazard for pedestrians. Cellular connectivity gives fleet managers a bird’s eye view of every device, allowing them to proactively monitor and track the fleet and address challenges quickly.

And finally, IoT cellular connectivity enables expansion of environmentally friendly urban transportation by providing reliability, transparency, and flexibility. Fleets are easier to place wherever needed, and maintaining the subscription-as-a-service model benefits consumers by giving them an affordable transport option that also reduces their individual environmental impact.

If you would like to learn more about how IoT can enable your business, please get in touch.

IoT and digitalization continue to impact nearly every industry and retail is no different. While retailers have been working with RFID for quite a long time, new and improved IoT technologies are giving retailers the opportunity to improve operations and enhance customer experience, whether that’s in your brick-and-mortar operation or your e-commerce side of things. From reducing inventory error and optimizing supply chains to decreasing labor costs and reducing theft, IoT can benefit both customer and business owner in myriad ways. 

Here are seven ways IoT is enabling and enhancing retail:

In-store data collection

Smart sensors allow retailers to track foot traffic and shopping behavior, which offers a number of benefits. First, understanding traffic flows allows businesses to evolve store layouts and stock placement to data-driven merchandising, as well as pairing products and placing them where they can easily be found by the customer.  Brands also have the opportunity to identify traffic hotspots, allowing them to strategically place promotional material or advertising in spaces where shoppers frequent, creating more awareness with less effort.

Automated checkout

Let’s face it: no one likes to stand in long lines waiting to pay. Long lines not only lead to lost customers in the moment, they can also deter customers from returning to your store. That said, adding more staff to handle the problem isn’t always the optimal solution. While self-checkout has helped ease the problem to an extent, IoT-enabled checkout systems are the real game-changer. An automated checkout system reads tags on each item a customer has put in their basket as they leave the store. So, instead of checking out at the counter with an employee or going through a self-checkout line, the automated checkout system takes note of the items and deducts the cost from the customer’s mobile payment app. The result is quicker purchases, happier customers, and reduced costs for the retailer.

Smart shelves

Inventory management is a time-consuming task, but a vital one in order to make sure that items are not out of stock, misplaced, or stolen. Smart shelves help you track inventory and get an alert whenever stock levels are funning low or when an item is misplaced/placed on a shelf incorrectly. IoT sensors allow you to gather information and data on each product, which not only helps you monitor stock levels, but also detect in-store theft.

Personalized discounts

Loyalty programs and discounts are an ideal way to show appreciation for returning customers while also ensuring their loyalty. IoT sensors placed around a store can distribute loyal discounts to loyalty program members via their smartphones when they stand near discounted products. Additionally, IoT can track items that a customer has been looking at online, sending them a personalized discount when they visit the store. So, instead of offering general discounts on numerous random products, each discount can be tailored to individual customers, maximizing conversion rates.

Optimized store layout

Planning store layout can be tricky, but through the use of IoT data and analytics, a store’s layout can be optimized not just for the retailer, but for the customers too. This not only enhances customer experience, it also increases profitability. Deploying sensors across aisles can help retailers place products in relation to customer behavior, including placing the least in demand products front and center and the most popular ones further to the back. The data gathered also provides insights into customer behavior and shopping preferences.

Food safety monitoring

Food and beverage retailers know that efficient operations are crucial when it comes to offering their customers products that are fit for consumption. Establishing and maintaining an efficient operation, though, can be challenging and one impacted by any number of factors. Anything from an electrical outage to staff error can lead to stock contamination, spoilage, and loss – costing you money. IoT sensors can prevent loss and mitigate human error by monitoring perishable goods in real team. They can automatically log temperatures in prep areas, fridges, freezers, and other equipment, setting thresholds for each sensor and receiving an alert any time a threshold is breached. This helps protect inventory by ensuring food storage areas remain temperature compliant.

Supply chain optimization

Managing customer expectations is crucial in retail and IoT allows retailers to do this through up-to-date insights into inventory availability. Starting in the warehouse, IoT-enabled sensors on product shelves can monitor weight fluctuations that signal when products are running low. This ability to recognize the popularity of particular goods – such as the ones that are flying off the shelves – allows retailers to proactively restock in good time. This is increasingly important as more and more customers move to online shopping – physical inventory isn’t visible, so the ability to know when to restock before someone purchases an item that isn’t available lowers the risk of transactional error. Additionally, warehouses are big and finding a particular product can be like finding a needle in a haystack – deploying sensors in your warehouse leads to greater overall visibility and streamlined processes.

In a world where we are continually faced with floods of information coming at us from all directions, it’s more important than ever to deliver messages that break through the noise and capture the attention of your audience. Gone are the days of the passive and static billboard on the highway or in a shopping mall – today, there is a fast-growing demand for digital displays that deliver high quality, high-resolution content everywhere from public spaces to restaurants to shops. The demand to be flexible in order to quickly pivot both your message and where that message is seen and heard mean cellular IoT connectivity is the right choice when it comes to connecting your digital signs

Not all that long ago a digital sign was simply a digital replacement for a static sign. The signs weren’t ‘smart’ and they didn’t really do much more than passively display information. These days, digital displays are both interactive and dynamic, and they are connected to other resources or devices to provide near instant access to relevant and often personalized information. This leads to streamlined communication, differentiation from competitors, and often an improved bottom line.

But as digital signage evolves, new needs are emerging, calling for even more agile and dynamic solutions. This is where IoT brings real value. Businesses need simple, integrated solutions that offer the flexibility and freedom to customize their content and narrative without the need to constantly update their systems or lay out a lot of money.

So, when it comes to connecting your digital signs, it’s simple:  SIM-based cellular connectivity does away with the need for time consuming and complex on-site setups that you get with hardwired networks. By empowering digital displays with SIM cards, digital signs can be installed anywhere in the world where cellular networks exist – which means pretty much anywhere. You simply deploy your device, activate your SIM, and off you go, bringing your message to the audience you want, where you want.

Digital signage benefits

There are any number of benefits to connecting your digital signage, but these are the most critical due to broad applicability and relevance across most industries:

Enhanced engagement

Digital displays capture nearly 400% more views than traditional static displays. How does this impact your business? More views mean more opportunities, and more interest means more customers at your door, all of which can lead to more sales. Essentially, moving images attract eyes a lot faster than a static image.

Speed

We all know that time is money and the difference between traditional signs and digital signs is like night and day. Unlike with the old signs, digital displays don’t need to be printed, posted, and lived with for days or weeks on end, only to go through the process all over again when you have some new content. With digital signage, you can change your content in the blink of an eye, tailoring your message where and and when needed.

Greater customer satisfaction

From helping customers find their way to improving information accessibility, digital signage enhances customer experience in myriad ways. In fact, according to Digital Signage Today, customers who interact with digital signage have 46% high satisfaction, with managing queues by displaying estimated wait times and alerts when it’s a customer’s turn reducing perceived wait times at checkout by as much as 35%. All of this leads to increased customer retention.

Increased revenue

When it comes to retail, you can take advantage of your digital real estate in high-traffic areas by selling advertising space to well-chose third-party companies. These could be brands you offer in-store or businesses with complementary products and services. Of course, over-using this tactic can have the opposite effect: a few, well placed ads can be a bonus – a deluge could degrade the experience.

If you would like to learn more about how IoT can enable your digital signage, please get in touch. You can also learn more about how digital signage works in practice here.

IoT is one of the driving technologies behind the smart city concept and is poised to be a key component in facilitating sustainable urban development. More than half of the world population lives in urban areas today and cities account for more than 70 percent of global carbon emissions and 60-80% of energy consumption. As urban populations have increased, services have overall deteriorated in terms of both quantity and quality, with rapid urbanization giving rise to increased challenges around things like traffic congestion, water contamination, and most importantly, social inequality.

Municipalities are leveraging IoT technology to connect devices, infrastructure, and people. It is being used to address challenges that range from waste management and water conservation to traffic, air pollution, and power grids. By leveraging IoT technologies, cities are able to successfully manage their growing populations by improving quality of life and the efficiency of urban operations and services, while also increasing competitiveness and addressing economic, social, environmental, and cultural needs.

Let’s take a closer look at a few areas where cities are leveraging IoT technology to address challenges, and how things could play out as solutions evolve:

Transportation & traffic

Among the key goals of any public transport system are greater efficiency and reliability – and smart technology is the key to enablement. There are a number of areas where IoT is particularly helpful:

• Toll & ticketing

More people in our cities means more vehicles on our roads – and an increase of vehicles means queues at toll booths. While automated tolls, using an RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tag, have already improved the flow of traffic, further improvements are possible through the use of IoT technology. Many of today’s vehicles come equipped with IoT connectivity, which allows a car or truck to be detected up to a kilometer away from a tolling station. What this means in practice is that the car or truck can be identified long before it approaches a toll booth – so when the vehicle finally gets there the barrier automatically raised for the vehicle to pass through. For older vehicles, a registered smart phone could serve the same purpose, taking automatic payment from the phone’s digital wallet.

• Connected vehicles

As mentioned, many vehicles today are already connected and are equipped with sensors and devices that monitor everything from brakes and the engine to tire pressure and exhaust. Going forward, connected vehicles will use in-vehicle networks, radar, and cameras to help detect and communicate with one another, prevent collisions, and promote smooth traffic flow. Vehicle tracking systems are already being used within the freight and rental segments, monitoring driver behavior and collecting data on things like idling time and fuel consumption.

• Public transport management

IoT technologies are already widely used in public transport, including for integrated ticketing and automated fare collection, passenger information, and display systems. IoT can also be used for real-time vehicle tracking, which allows public transport agencies to communicate better with customers about things like arrival and departure times. Datal analysis and real-time management allows transit agencies to monitor progress in real-time and make adjustments for unpredicted incidents, such as accidents, roadworks, station closures, etc.

Smart lighting

The majority of city dwellers spend more time indoors than outdoors, which can have a significant impact on energy consumption. The use of electricity for lighting can be significantly optimized with the use of intelligent systems. Natural light cycles can be mimicked by incorporating light and temperature sensors, while light sensor-based applications can be used to manage the orientation of solar panels for optimal usage of natural resources.

If we look at street lighting, the savings and benefits are clear:

• Dynamic dimming

Intelligent streetlights adjust light levels based on specific times and events. When paired with motion sensors, light levels can be further refined. Dynamic dimming based on time, event, or human presence can result in a more than 60% reduction in energy consumption, while the use of motion sensors means when no human presence is detected, streetlights illuminate at a low, predefined level, reducing energy usage, CO2 emissions, and light pollution.

• Maintenance optimization

Intelligent streetlights mean near real-time information on each light, allowing almost instant notification of faults or errors, which allows city managers to take informed actions, while at the same time reducing the need for manual checks. This can reduce maintenance costs significantly.

• Increased public safety

Smart motion sensors trigger streetlights only when humans are detected, for example when a pedestrian or cyclist passes by, encircling them in a ‘circle of light’.  This increases overall public safety, as statistically speaking criminals avoid committing crimes in well-lit areas.

Additionally, smart streetlights offer an ideal point from which a diverse range of smart city applications can be launched, collecting a wide array of data on everything from air quality to street security to traffic patterns. Streetlight poles have an uninterrupted power supply, making it easy to power IoT devices and sensors. They are also generally spread uniformly across cities and are consistent in height, making them idea for hosting all kinds of IoT sensors and systems, removing the need to set up ad hoc infrastructures.

Healthcare

Combine a global pandemic with ongoing populations growth, inefficient patient flow, swindling staff, and a host of other challenges in healthcare and it’s clear that healthcare can use all the help it can get. Through the use of IoT, authorities can collect data to gain valuable insights, which in turn can be used for better public healthcare planning.

For patients, devices such as smart insulin pens, connected inhalers, asthma monitors, blood pressure monitors, etc. allow them to better manage and address their own health needs, as well as provide more accurate data to their healthcare providers – and also quickly access help if there is trouble. Additionally, data collection allows observation and treatment to take place, something that was previously only possible in an institutional setting. Smart devices and other connected sensors can also help with early detection.

Here are several of the ways IoT can enable better healthcare:

• Remote monitoring

Customized software and devices gathers data from remote devices in real time, allowing for a better analysis of patient’s health – and thus improved outcomes.

• Enhanced supervision & reporting

Remote supervision through connected devices can collect essential health data and transfer it to a health professionals in real time, allowing a quick response to medical emergencies such as heart failure or asthma attacks.

• Reduced costs

Connected devices and other IoT devices such as tele care allow patients to connect with their health professionals from how, reducing the need for visits to the doctor’s office for tests and checkups.

• Medication Management

There are a number of IoT solutions already helping patients better track their medication schedule, including smart pill bottles and in-home medication dispensers that also alert both healthcare professionals and concerned friends and family if there is a problem.

• Data Analysis

Data-driven insights not only speed up the decision-making process of healthcare professionals, they also allow for better public health decisions overall, whether that is where to allocate money or where to build a new hospital.

Essentially, IoT can play a pivotal role in the future of healthcare, with many solutions already available today.  It is a vast area, though, so please download our IoT & Healthcare White Paper to learn more.

Retrofitting existing building stock

Every year, nearly 5 billion square meters of buildings are retrofitted. Retrofitting existing building stock is an effective approach when dealing with limited budgets, aging structures, and energy accountability, as it helps reduce energy costs, improves equipment performance, and extends the lifetime of the building.

If we look closer at energy, in the EU, buildings are responsible for 40% of total energy consumption and 36% of greenhouse gas emissions. Retrofitting ageing building stock presents a major opportunity to not just reduce carbon emissions, but to also reduce operating costs and provide more comfortable and healthier buildings for citizens. Retrofitting also has significant job generation potential.

Before IoT, tracking and collecting building performance data was a manual job – and it was tedious, inaccurate, and a slow process. Now, with IoT sensors and the data generated, it is possible to monitor and track a building’s performance in near real-time, giving crucial insights on the go, which leads to better outcomes.

When IoT sensors and smart technology are introduced into the picture, you can monitor and control the use and operation of building equipment, such as HVAC systems, lighting, and plug loads, you also get real-time data, all of which leads to detection and diagnoses of faulty equipment, energy efficiency, and even enhanced profitability.

These are just a few of the ways IoT is enabling smart, sustainable urban development. To learn more, download the Tele2 IoT Smart City White Paper, which covers this topic in depth. You are also welcome to contact us to learn more about how IoT can help your community address your challenges.

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