Telenor Group and wireless broadband service and an R&D company Wireless Trondheim have teamed up to open a new Internet of Things (IoT) powerhouse to boost innovation, build competencies and promote Norwegian competitiveness.
The IoT ProtoLab will be open to startups, developers and students looking to rapidly prototype and develop IoT products and services.
Opening in early 2018, the IoT ProtoLab will be a centre for IoT research and innovation, specifically focusing on next generation Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) technologies and applications. It will also enable the exchange of data, sharing of experiences and collaboration with ongoing projects at the Telenor-NTNU AI-Lab, Telenor said.
The lab was established as part of Telenor's initiative to prepare Norway for a digitised future, contribute to national competitiveness, increased innovation and new competencies, it added.
"The people and companies shaping tomorrow's society are the ones that are able to utilise and apply data in new ways. Telenor is committed to help build these capabilities in Norway. The IoT ProtoLab will be a place for students, entrepreneurs and startups to experiment and prototype solutions using next-generation IoT technologies," says Sigve Brekke, president and CEO of Telenor Group.
The IoT ProtoLab will be located at FAKTRY, the new community for ambitious startups in hardware-centric disciplines at Sluppen in Trondheim, which opens in November 2017.
To support the piloting and testing of IoT services in Trondheim, Wireless Trondheim has enabled a city-wide IoT testbed and connected to Telenor's non-commercial offering, Start IoT. This provides access to IoT devices, a physical LPWA pilot network and a backend system, which enables prototyping and developing of IoT services at a relatively low cost.
Wireless Trondheim will be responsible for the setup and the daily operation of the IoT ProtoLab.
"Our mission at Wireless Trondheim is to enable students, entrepreneurs and startups to experiment and prototype solutions using next-generation IoT technologies. By coupling our specialist competence with companies like Telenor, we can create real impact and help make new smart products and services for the future," says Thomas Ulleberg, manager of Wireless Trondheim.
In addition to its Start IoT offering, Telenor will also provide mentorship, support internships in the lab and will collaborate with key partners for student projects and hackathons. The first official IoT ProtoLab hackathon will be organised at FAKTRY in November by Telenor, Wireless Trondheim and Pycom. The two day event aims to gather creative minds of the city's developer community, startups and students to identify and solve real-life critical business problems using next generation IoT technology, supported by experts, network access and devkits.
Start IoT is Telenor's second initiative is the second initiative by Telenor, which would develop and launch a dedicated, next-generation Internet of Things (IoT) network in several Norwegian cities, with low cost access to students and startups to test and develop their products and service
In August 2016, Telenor Group had announced two specific initiatives for entrepreneurs to strengthen Norway's competitiveness and to stimulate job creation by Norwegian startups. In collaboration with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and the leading research institute SINTEF, Telenor unveiled it would establish Telenor-NTNU AI-Lab, conducting research and running innovation programmes within artificial intelligence, advanced analytics and IoT at NTNU in Trondheim.
Both initiatives complement each other as emerging, large IoT data sets are of interest to projects in the AI-Lab.