Nordic IoT Week 2018


Nordic IoT Week 2018

Nordic IoT Week 2018, the largest IoT-event in northern Europe will take place in Helsinki, Finland on April 16th-20th2018. RD Velho is one of the Nordic IoT partners with Telia. Welcome to meet us at the event!

We live in the middle of a digital transformation that will affect life, society and economy more than any other technological development before.

Exponentially growing number of sensors and connected devices together with machine learning, artificial intelligence and robotics are drastically changing how people live, work and do business. Everything happens so fast it creates huge challenge and opportunity for all companies irrespective of industry.

Event Themes

  • IoT
  • Service Design & User Experience
  • Disruptive Business Models
  • Efficiency vs. Sustainability
  • Connected transportation
  • Innovative Platforms & Ecosystems
  • 5G & New Possibilities
  • AI & Machine Learning

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A brainstorm in a letterbox


The new NB-IoT smart letterbox sends a warning once it is nearly full, thus saving the carrier from unnecessary trips to empty boxes.

Smart letterboxes are already in use across the world, but the latest result of the partnership between Posti, Telia and RD Velho is the first of these to utilise the new narrowband network technology. In other words, it is one application of the Internet of Things (IoT).

NB-IoT is an international network technology that can be used to connect a large number of devices affordably and reliably to a real-time data network. Some of the world’s largest telecommunications companies, such as Ericsson, Samsung, Huawei, Intel, Nokia and Telia are invested in NB-IoT.

- With this latest pilot project, we want to get involved with NB-IoT right from the outset. We follow the latest developments in digitalisation closely and are agile to adapt to new technologies. The next step is finding out what we can learn from the smart letterbox. Above all, the pilot seeks to test the NB-IoT network, which can be connected with a variety of features in the future, says Sami Reponen, Chief Process Officer at Posti.

The new pilot project initially includes five smart letterboxes in Helsinki and Oulu. They are indistinguishable from old-fashioned letterboxes, as the sensors are installed in regular boxes that contain no labels or markings indicating their enhanced intelligence. In total, Posti operates 5,140 letterboxes across Finland.

- Telia is a fantastic partner for this pilot. In the future, they will operate a nationwide narrowband network, enabling us to introduce new services to all our customers, Reponen explains.

A phone update for each sent mail

Each time the hatch of a letterbox included in the pilot is opened, the NB-IoT sensors activate. They report on the letters and cards dropped into the box in real time and notify when the box is full or nearly full. The sensors also alert in the event of possible vandalism.

Customers need not be worried over the privacy of letters. The mail is not scanned or photographed.

When there is activity at any of the letterboxes, the data is displayed on the phones of Posti’s five-person test group.

- I was on a coffee break during a business trip from Varkaus to Helsinki when I received a notice for the first time. Admittedly, the situation was quite thrilling, especially when considering the possibilities that this type of real-time monitoring enables for us, Reponen says.

In the future, the plan is to transmit the information to the drivers’ own devices.

- For instance, when the mobile mail app notifies that there have been no new items at a box scheduled for emptying at 2 p.m., time and effort is saved for the mail carrier.

With a yearly total of a billion addressed items and 35 million parcels, it is not insignificant how well Posti is able to keep track of the movements of mail.

- Information conserves the environment and reduces costs. For instance, if the time needed to process each item sent via Posti would take just a second longer than today, annual expenses would increase by 13 million euros. If we are able to save even 30 seconds of working time on unnecessary letterbox checkups, the total reduced expenses are substantial.

In the pilot project, Posti is most interested in real-time data.

- We can instantly see if something is missed or if an error occurs at our end. We are then able to fix the problem before it causes inconvenience to customers.

For example, the carrier can be easily alerted if the letterbox has been emptied five minutes too early and a delivery has been dropped off after this. During peak seasons, such as Christmas, Valentine’s Day or Easter, it is essential to know which letterboxes are nearly full. In such cases, the standard mail route is not necessarily the ideal order for emptying the boxes. The pilot project also aims to assist in the management of logistics flow.

The benefits of “trips around the world”

Posti operates some 3,300 vehicles around Finland that drive a total number of kilometres equal to six times the world’s circumference each day. In addition to this, Posti’s trucks travel a daily distance equal to four and half trips around the world.

- With such mileages, we are eager to learn what else we could do aside mere driving. What are the possible uses for our vehicles’ data?

Going forward, information from the smart letterbox sensors will be connected directly to Posti’s reporting system. “The goal is that each driver receives information on a 24/7 basis and that we are able to centrally monitor the movements of mail in real time”, says Reponen.

What, then, are Posti’s plans after these first few steps?

- Even now, there are some wild ideas being discussed. For instance, the letterboxes of a smart city of the future could report the daily weather or be used as a marketing platform or even a 5G network base station. The future is full of opportunities and surprises. Our drivers already record frost heave damages and traffic signs while delivering mail across the country. At Posti, we are excited for all new developments.

According to Reponen, the eco-friendliness of Posti’s services will improve further once all mail items and delivery needs are tracked in real-time and routes can be optimised accordingly. However, the basic idea behind Posti remains the priority: people must receive their mail on time.

- I have promised to my mother, who lives in Varkaus, that she can be at ease while ordering shipments via mail and sending out letters and cards. We will deliver each one of them every day as agreed to their correct destinations, on time and undamaged. Besides, the promises you give your mother ought to be kept, Chief Process Officer Reponen says, smiling.

We will follow the progress of the smart letterbox pilot project. Next time, we will share news on the project around Valentine’s Day on 14 February, one of the peak seasons of the year in mail shipments.

Konecranes is testing new NB-IoT Technology


“One of the great aspects of NB-IoT is that no separate base stations or other systems are needed. We can place the sensor directly on the crane and have immediate access to the data,” says Matti Kemppainen, Director, Research and Innovation at Konecranes.

Konecranes manufactures and delivers cranes to different parts of the world. A great deal of important information can be collected from cranes: data on their utilization rates, temperatures and fault situations. Such data is useful when predicting maintenance needs, for example. Research carried out by Konecranes has revealed that insufficient signal ranges are a major challenge for the wireless technologies currently on the market.

Konecranes is now looking for a solution in the new NB-IoT technology in a joint pilot with Telia and RD Velho. This pilot is one of the first of its kind in the world and would not yet have been possible just one year ago.

NB-IoT is a narrowband radio technology designed for the Internet of Things. It can be used to connect a large number of devices to the Internet reliably and inexpensively. This technology is particularly suitable for applications where data is not transmitted in real time and the amount of data to be transmitted is low. 

- Konecranes has more than 16,000 devices under remote monitoring. We are continuously carrying out research to determine which technologies are mature enough for our industry, says Matti Kemppainen, Director, Research and Innovation at Konecranes.

- One of the great aspects of NB-IoT is that no separate base stations or other systems are needed. When we place an NB-IoT sensor on a crane, it communicates directly with the mobile network, providing us immediate access to the data. Mobile networks are available practically everywhere, and the rest of the infrastructure can be built rapidly.


The NB-IoT technology is being piloted on light crane systems. Light crane systems are designed for work areas and production lines that have a maximum requirement of 2 tons lifting capacity.

Kemppainen is particularly pleased with how easily the sensors can be installed on cranes that are already on the field.

-NB-IoT sensors can be installed on machines that have been in use for ten or even twenty years. Otherwise, building a similar infrastructure would be very difficult and expensive, Kemppainen points out.

Wireless sensors designed for different purposes can be used in many ways on cranes. An NB-IoT sensor can measure various indicators.

- The utilization rate of a crane is important information for us. We are also interested in temperature and vibration. These are useful when planning maintenance, for example. In addition, a sensor can be adjusted to transmit data on fault situations, says Kemppainen.

Top Results from a top Team 

Telia is providing the infrastructure for the pilot project on Konecranes’ NB-IoT technology. RD Velho is responsible for the electronics and software and will build the sensor according to Konecranes’ needs.
- Telia and RD Velho know how to make sensors communicate with the mobile network and how to ensure that the network understands what the sensor is saying. We let them know what types of sensors and data we need. It’s also essential to determine when and to what a sensor must react. The data collected by the NB-IoT sensor is transmitted to the cloud for our further processing.

The expectations are high.
- We believe that NB-IoT is a globally functional technology with a reasonable cost level and excellent coverage,” says Kemppainen.

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