Telenor Start IoT is the latest initiative to see the light of day offering an experimental network to Norwegian entrepreneurs. The initiative is to build and learn about the growing IoT eco-system.
Telenor Start IoT is run by Telenor Research.Ieva Martinkenaite Head of ODIN (Office of Digital Network)gives us the answers as to what this initiative means for Telenor, startups, developers and students.
What is Telenor Start IoT and how did it come about?
Telenor Start IoT is Telenor’s effort to stimulate innovation and entrepreneurship within IoT – that is to provide startups, developers and students with faster, easier and cheaper access to testing and prototyping. Due to strong startup focus, we decided to name the initiative Telenor Start IoT. It is part of the last year’s announcement from Telenor Group to strengthen Norway’s competitiveness and to stimulate job creation by Norwegian startups. The first initiative is the Telenor-NTNU AI-Lab that officially opened on 8 March 2017. Telenor Start IoT is the second initiative. These two initiatives complement each other as emerging, large IoT data sets are of interest to projects in the AI-Lab.
What is the difference between Telenor Start IoT and Telenor Norway’s offer of NB-IoT`?
Telenor Start IoT is a non-commercial initiative targeted to experimentation whereas NB-IoT is a commercial network. Telenor Start IoT is not designed to make money today, but rather to give startups help in prototyping and testing their concepts. It is an initiative to build an eco-system around IoT as we have for traditional telco services. We do hope that in the long run Telenor Start IoT will help Telenor to find new business opportunities within the IoT space.
Why did you choose LoRaWan and not NB-IoT as network connectivity technology?
Telenor Start IoT is connectivity technology agnostic initiative. We start with what is commercially available today to a broad population. If talking about LoRaWan, it does not require a licensed spectrum; its deployment is relatively cheap and accessible by many. So this type of standard fits our experimental purposes at this point in time and is accessible for early stage startups, students and developers. We believe that both NB-IoT and LoRaWan will co-exist as they serve different needs. Experimenting with LoRA provides a good base for more mature companies to move to NB-IoT commercial network, which Telenor Norway plans to deploy in 2018.
What is Telenor Start IoT providing?
Telenor Start IoT offers 3 things:
- A physical Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) network
- Access to the enablement platform Cloud Connect provided by Telenor Connexion
- Development kits
We will provide access free of charge for up to 10 devices per entity over a period of 5 years for testing and exploration. We hope this will enable a kick-off start for students, developers, and startups to test and explore their product ideas. Again, this is primarily to stimulate innovation and experimentation and not for commercial purposes.
Where can I find more info?
Telenor Start IoT
· The IoT pilot network infrastructure will be accessible through the Start IoT developer site, which will contain documentation on the devices, connectivity and the backend, development kits, startup guides and user forums.
· In parallel to the LPWA physical pilot network, a backend system allows IoT service developers to access the IoT infrastructure and develop prototypes at a relatively low cost.
· Telenor Start IoT will use Telenor Connexion’s Cloud Connect enablement platform, which is built on top of AWS IoT (AWS IoT). The platform can be used regardless of the underlying connectivity technology.
· Telenor is partnering to set up workplaces at StartupLab in Oslo, Wireless in Trondheim, and Flow in Tromsø.