Nokia and Oi to create Latin America’s first IoT lab

Equipment maker Nokia Networks and mobile operator Oi Brasil are to create Latin America’s first ever lab for LTE-based Internet of Things experiments. According to the GSMA this region stands to be one of the largest potential gainers from smart cities and automated utilities.

The two collaborators are to jointly develop the new Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem in Brazil’s academic stronghold Rio de Janeiro. Along with building and funding the LTE IoT lab the two partners will form a working group to study systems and opportunities in IoT, develop joint projects and test their creations. Investment will come from a Brazilian government fund that finances projects within IoT verticals such as agribusiness, connected cars, homes and smart cities and e-health.

The project was formalised with the joint signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at Futurecom 2015 in Brazil’s industry and technology capital São Paulo. According to a Nokia Networks statement the lab will open in the first quarter of 2016 and the first priority will be to engage as many of Brazil’s industry players as possible in active collaboration.

The companies will also promote knowledge sharing and joint research with universities and local research and development institutes to drive an open IoT ecosystem.

“The new lab will place Brasil on the global map of IoT development,” said Pedro Falcão, Head of Head of Network Technology and Systems at Oi Brasil.

According to a GSMA study, Mobile Economy Latin America 2013, the relatively high urbanisation rates in South America means that this region stands to gain most in the world from the organisational improvements that Smart City technology will provide. Latin America has four out of the world’s 15 largest urban conglomerates. Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Rio De Janeiro and Buenos Aires all contribute to the region’s urban population, which will reach a combined 585 million by 2030. However, it noted, the mobile industries of this region have been limited by a combination of lack of investment, technical wrangles and uncertainty over license renewals.

Through automated machine to machine communication, smart cities will be able to provide better transport, cleaner water, better sanitation and cheaper power, according to Dimitri Diliani, Head of Latin America Market at Nokia Networks. “Our collaboration with Oi Brasil will develop mobile technology to capture the exciting new opportunities.”

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