Our IoT’s DevOps team working on dynamic IoT projects
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The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly. More than 35 billion devices already communicate via the internet – and that number is expected to double in the next two years. This growth is one of the reasons behind the rapid emergence of KPN IoT as a cornerstone of KPN’s services. KPN IoT’s DevOps team specializes in building infrastructure that supports these IoT projects. Product owner Robin Bode is familiar with the technology involved, from connected cocktail machines and bicycle locks to cameras in the construction industry.
Robin: “We work on IoT projects all over the world, utilizing the latest technologies.” A case in point is a project that the team carried out for a car manufacturer. Robin: “Not every country uses the same policies for mobile networks, so we offered this particular international customer Remote SIM provisioning (RSP). This allows the customer to switch providers remotely. In the past, you bought a SIM card for your phone, and when you switched to a new provider, you received a new SIM card in the mail. If you were to replicate that process with cars, you would have to recall each and every single car to the dealer to change the SIM card. Obviously, that’s far too complicated and time-consuming. Now, this customer can equip any car with the same SIM card and change it remotely. It’s really exciting to be involved in this from a technology perspective.”
Testing solutions in the real world
The DevOps team also tests their solutions in real-world situations. Recently, for example, Robin and his colleagues headed out to simulate a bicycle theft. ANWB Unigarant guarantees its customers that stolen bicycles will be returned within 48 hours. If they aren’t, the policyholder receives a new bicycle – provided the bike is fitted with a tracker. Robin: “When a policyholder reports their bike stolen through the app, the tracker on the bike starts to transmit its location. Investigative teams can then use this data to find the bicycle quickly. Every time the device transmits a signal, KPN’s LoRa network triangulates the location accurately (i.e., it determines the location using three points, ed.) and runs a calculation. So, the device itself doesn’t specify its own location; it saves an incredible amount of power and bandwidth if we let the network do the work. The data from the trackers is then translated onto a map so the investigator can see the bicycle's route.” The investigators therefore use KPN’s LoRa network, a long-range, low-power network specially developed for IoT. If necessary, this is also combined with Bluetooth, in which case, the officer then receives LoRa location data combined with Bluetooth data. “The network talks to our platform. This platform can process the data effectively and adds location solving into the mix so that addresses become visible.”
“I and my colleagues tested the location-detection ability of this tool ourselves by simulating a bicycle being stolen. It’s fun to see your own solution being implemented in practice, even if it is just a simulation.” Thanks to Robin's team's solution, many bicycles have since been returned to their rightful owners. Robin: “The great thing about IoT projects is that you see first-hand the impact they have. ANWB Unigarant is one of the coolest and most challenging projects I’ve worked on at KPN, partly because of its social objective.”