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BlackBerry looks to bolster its cybersecurity and IoT divisions

Inside Telecom Staff

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BlackBerry

Canada-based tech company BlackBerry plans to bolster its offerings by putting its weight behind two main business units, cybersecurity, and the Internet of Things (IoT), in a bid to further align operations and go-to-market efforts to its key market opportunities.

The move follows the company’s previous announcement to separately report revenues of its operating business units in the new fiscal year, BlackBerry said in a statement.

The software maker’s new focus will include the appointment of business unit general managers with deep industry expertise to provide direction to strategy, engineering, direct and channel sales, customer support and field marketing.

With that in mind, BlackBerry has promoted President Tom Eacobacci to BlackBerry President and Chief Operating Officer. Eacobacci will also serve as Acting General Manager of the Cyber Security business unit, which combines BlackBerry Spark together with the company’s critical event management and secure communications solutions.

“BlackBerry is delivering the next generation of cloud-based, AI cybersecurity solutions to address today’s and tomorrow’s cybersecurity threats and ensure organizations of all sizes remain safe, secure and productive,” Eacobacci said in a statement.

Eacobacci, who brings deep expertise in enterprise software, will continue to drive the company’s growth in the highly attractive cybersecurity market where BlackBerry technology, driven by Cylance AI, has unique competitive differentiation.

BlackBerry is also announcing the appointment of Mattias Eriksson as President and General Manager of the newly formed BlackBerry IoT business unit. The business unit consists of BlackBerry Technology Solutions or BTS (BlackBerry QNX, BlackBerry Certicom, BlackBerry Radar and BlackBerry Jarvis) and BlackBerry IVY. 

“BlackBerry is a leader in the IoT and embedded software systems market with its software installed in an impressive number of endpoints. BlackBerry is poised to extend this position by accelerating the adoption of emerging automotive connected services with the BlackBerry IVY platform, as well as by targeting other related industries,” Eriksson noted. 

Eriksson will be responsible for driving IoT platform strategy and operations and will join BlackBerry in the first week of May.   

“Cybersecurity and IoT are recognized high-growth markets where BlackBerry can add tremendous value. BlackBerry is applying its world-class security expertise to address the needs of these markets,” Executive Chairman and CEO John Chen said. 

“The promotion of Tom, addition of Mattias, and the alignment of our business around our key market opportunities sharpens our operational focus to unlock the company’s shareholder value,” Chen added.

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IoT

Verizon Business takes IoT Connectivity Global to 170 countries

Karim Husami

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IoT connectivity

U.S.-based Verizon said enterprises can benefit from global Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity in 170 countries worldwide, with permanent roaming options in North America and Western Europe all on a single SIM.

This global coverage enables organizations to manage a vast array of IoT devices including asset trackers, industrial gateways and sensors via ThingSpace, Verizon’s self-service IoT platform.

The operator’s ThingSpace solution aims to provide all the tools needed to prototype, test, connect and manage IoT devices on Verizon’s network.

Changes the way businesses work

Tami Erwin, CEO at Verizon Business, said: “The IoT connectivity is changing the way businesses monitor devices and increasing the strategic business value of the data collected.”

The number of IoT devices is growing exponentially, he noted, and organizations prefer to align with a trusted technology partner who can offer the technical expertise and geo-scale they require.

“Our global IoT connectivity services are all underpinned by Verizon’s years of expertise and industry-leading ThingSpace platform, not to mention a path to evolving into 5G Massive IoT,” Erwin added.

Permanent roaming options are now available across North America and Western Europe all on a single SIM—providing enterprises with the flexibility they need to monitor a wide array of IoT devices.

152,200 IoT devices

In addition, IDC, the premium global market intelligence firm, estimates that around 152,200 IoT devices will connect every minute by 2025, while enterprises can deploy IoT devices with permanent roaming across the UK, Canada, and over 10 European markets.

Verizon’s IoT device connectivity operates via a best of breed partner ecosystem and is available globally to US multinational companies with fixed or mobile connectivity requirements. Organizations can deploy devices with permanent roaming across Canada, the UK and more than 10 European markets.

Erwin said during Verizon’s March investment day that it’s starting to see the benefit of industrial IoT investments, adding 10 million incremental machine-to-machine LTE connected devices in 2020 and delivering double-digit connections and revenue growth.

This year, Verizon expects to see continued growth as it scales its IoT practice and installs devices supporting the evolution from 4G to 5G.

With the pandemic, Verizon is seeing unique demand in areas like DIY connected alarm systems and cross-border asset tracking, a representative said. Over the next few years, analysts at IDC estimate that 150,000+ IoT devices will connect every minute.

A big motivator for Verizon in the global IoT sector appears to be rival AT&T, which spent years developing its IoT connectivity business and has offered global IoT services for a long time, including with many major car companies.

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Telenor unifies its IoT services portfolio

Inside Telecom Staff

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Telenor IoT services

Norwegian telecoms provider Telenor Group announced late last week that it will be unifying its Internet of Things (IoT) services across the Nordic region and internationally, placing them under one large portfolio.

“Effective immediately, Telenor IoT will be offered from all Telenor business channels in the Nordics, and internationally by Telenor Connexion and through selected partners,” the provider said in a statement.

As a part of introducing Telenor IoT, a new operating model is being launched to leverage on Telenor’s global competency, synchronize product development, accelerate the customer facing business and improve technical support.

“In doing so, Telenor is bringing together 200 full time IoT specialists, the largest team for any Nordic IoT service provider,” the telco said. It also highlighted that the company would act as one united global IoT team with a uniform product portfolio and go-to-market strategy – bringing the best capabilities and competence to every customer.

“The new operating model reinforces our competitive edge and makes our product portfolio easier to buy for any customer searching for world class IoT operation and platform capabilities. We are also getting scale benefits on new technology investments,” Commenting on the announcement, Mats Lundquist, CEO of Telenor Connexion and manager of Telenor IoT said in the statement.

The Telenor IoT offering will be supplied by Telenor IoT specialists located in 18 countries across Africa, the Americas, Asia-Pacific, and Europe.

“The launch of Telenor IoT and unifying our IoT capabilities and competencies will make us better positioned to accelerate the digital future that will benefit customers, businesses, and society. The steps we are taking now is the culmination of several months of intense collaboration between colleagues in Telenor’s Nordic telco businesses, Telenor Connexion, and Telenor’s Nordic Hub,” Jukka Leinonen, Nordic EVP and Chairman of the Telenor Connexion Board said.

Telenor is considered as a big player within the IoT services space with over 17 million connected devices active in more than 190 countries. In 2019, the provider was positioned as a leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Managed IoT Connectivity Services, Worldwide.

Today, Telenor ranks among the top 10 IoT operators globally, and in the top 3 in Europe by volume, and is the clear market leader in the Nordics.

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IoT

E-scooters to benefit from Ericsson-Arkessa partnership

Karim Husami

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E-scooters Ericsson Arkessa

After using the internet to keep people connected for quite some time, many devices nowadays have the capability to be connected to each other by the internet of things technology (IoT) which can work directly through a smartphone.

From small devices to cars and houses, IoT is the main driver to create a new ecosystem by having objects engineered to seamlessly communicate with each other, and especially with the user, to support all day connectivity across the ecosystem.

According to Ericsson, the number of cellular IoT connections will grow from 1.7 billion in 2020 to 5.9 billion in 2026, while the manufacturing IoT managed services segment is estimated to hold approximately 27.5% of the market share in 2026, according to Persistentmarketresearch.

New partnership for IoT connectivity

As such, Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) and Arkessa reached a deal to provide a secure, managed global connectivity solution that supports the rapid and efficient deployment of Voi e-scooter fleets around the world.

According to Ericsson, that partnership will help increase micro-mobility in cities by having global SIMs supplied by Arkessa, allowing Voi to easily provision, activate scooters and manage its fleet of connected scooters worldwide, regardless of their location.

Arkessa’s global connectivity offers Sweedish Voi the flexibility to deploy its growing fleet of e-scooters in various countries while minimizing costs and optimizing coverage.

One SIM can connect to different service providers without the need for physical replacements, offering significant cost savings in fleet management. Voi gains full global connectivity management benefits powered by Ericsson IoT Accelerator.

These IoT-enabled devices contain sensors that constantly collect and react to data, and this vast level of data can be used to unlock new levels of intelligence.

Fredrik Hjelm, CEO and co-founder of Voi, says, “We are excited to work with Arkessa to provide superior IoT connectivity in our scooters and ensure an even higher level of service for our riders and partner cities. By leveraging Arkessa’s secure and resilient global network connectivity, Voi can continue to deliver fast, reliable e-scooter services as we expand into new markets and roll out our next-generation vehicles and IoT hardware.”

Benefits of IoT scooters

In parallel, these scooters which are activated by the smartphone now ubiquitous in every country in Europe and the United States, giving citizens, tourists and locals an alternative and convenient option to move around the city.

On the other hand, the data is collected from the scooter directly  via integrated sensors which are transmitted via cellular connectivity to the systems of the companies that own them.

Information – which includes the location of each connected  bicycles and scooter, how long each ride takes, which docks need to be restocked, and which ones are full – is always available in real time.

For example, New York’s Citi Bike makes its system data publicly available and invites developers, engineers, and statisticians to use it for analysis, development, and visualization. These measures are taken for the purpose of making better decisions related to transportation and municipal infrastructures.

The idea is that the continuously streamed data collected from connected bikes and scooters will become a crucial components of a fully functional and responsive interconnected grid that can process big data      .

Enterprises are increasingly taking advantage of cellular IoT to deliver new services, derive new revenue streams and improve operational cost-efficiency.

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