"Digitization is an absolute priority in Russia and IoT is an obvious way to start for companies and municipalities."
Victor Ratnikov, VP Innovation B2B and IoT
Telco in Russia
Fastest growing telecommunication company in Russia
800 billion rubles
Volume of the Russian IoT market by 2022
Last September, Russian President Vladimir Putin visited the city of Perm. After shaking hands with a meet-and-greet robot and learning about blockchain software being developed locally, the President spent some time with Actility customer and partner ER-Telecom Holding, discovering how the company is powering Russia’s digital transformation with the deployment of cutting-edge network technology, including extensive optical fibre to the home for consumers, and a state of the art LoRaWAN to accelerate the adoption of industrial IoT. The President’s visit underscored just how central the role of comprehensive digital infrastructure will be in transforming industries and the economy across the whole vast country of Russia.
For ERTH, the IoT represents an early business opportunity and a powerful catalyst for industrial transformation. “Digitization is an absolute priority in Russia and IoT is an obvious way to start for companies and municipalities. Our job is to bring this technology in an easy-to-consume way anywhere in the Russian Federation, and globally with our roaming agreements.” Says Victor Ratnikov, VP Innovation B2B, and IoT, ER-Telecom Holding. ERTH sees a clear need for rapid and affordable digitization for companies and institutions, with opportunities to improve P&L, create new revenue streams, and optimize their business models.
Russia offers a unique environment for IoT connectivity compared to densely populated European countries, because of the sheer size of the Russian Federation and its sparsely-populated or empty areas where there is no GSM mobile network coverage – although these areas can still be home to industries such as mining, oil & gas production or logging. In addition, there is a specific requirement to store and process all data within Russian borders to comply with national data protection regulations.
Searching for an IoT communication solution that is easy to deploy, offers long -orange coverage and the lowest total cost of ownership, ERTH was quick to recognize the benefits of LoRaWAN, and chose to work with Actility, based on the company’s existing track record in powering over half of all the national scale LPWA networks deployed by operators globally. “The agreement signed between ER-Telecom Holding and Actility is an important step in building a federal IoT coverage”, says Andrey Kuzyaev, the President of ER-Telecom Holding.
ERTH has already purchased and deployed 700 gateways, and completed radio planning for the network in the initial phase of roll-out encompassing 50 cites. By mid-July 2018, 50 cities will be deployed with full outdoors coverage and some deep indoor. The roll-out plan is to offer complete coverage of 62 cities by the end of 2018, all with over 300,000 m inhabitants. “We have completed testing the LoRaWAN coverage in half a dozen dense urban areas and we are very impressed with the penetration performance, providing deep indoor coverage.”
ERTH also has begun dozens of pilot projects with a variety of customers across many industries, especially in oil & gas, energy, and logistics.
To meet the regulatory requirements and offer the best service for ERTH’s customers, at the end of 2017, Actility deployed a local ThingPark platform in a Moscow data center in, which is scaled to process messages from of tens of millions of end devices and deliver the data to customers or cloud applications hosted by the platform.
The Russian ecosystem is burgeoning rapidly. Today, there is a shortage of localized devices using the dedicated radio frequencies for LoRaWAN in Russia, but according to ERTH, there are enough to begin PoCs. ER-Telecom Holding is working with local and global partners to address this issue. Many IoT start-ups are beginning to emerge to join the Russian IoT and LoRaWAN ecosystem and ERTH will open a dedicated developer portal for Russia with the help of Actility. “Actility is not only supporting ERTH with its network roll-out, but it will also offer IoT expertise to Russian customers as well as lead the development of a Russian LoRaWAN ecosystem.” Felix Marnin, Actility
ER-Telecom Holding is also transforming itself and creating new business in the process. The company is developing own products and platform for SMEs offering a building management utility. “We want to become an IoT business“, says Victor Ratnikov. “In technology, there’s no one size fits all. We are not focused on technology, but on our customers, their businesses, and how our solutions can help them transform.”
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