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Singapore bike-sharing operator taps NB-IoT to combat indiscriminate parking

SG Bike has partnered local telco M1 to assess the use of Narrowband Internet of Things to more accurately identify the location of parked bicycles.

SG Bike and M1 are partnering to assess the use of Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) to more accurately identify the location of bikes and curb errant parking.

The Singapore bike-sharing operator and telco inked an agreement Monday to improve SG Bike's current geo-fencing system, which was deployed last August. In a joint statement, they said local authorities had put in more measures to urge bike-sharing users to park within designated places.

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Last October, Singapore's Land Transport Authority, National Parks Board, and 16 town councils signed an agreement with five bike-sharing operators in the country to "reduce disamentities" and improve public safety, amidst growing incidents of indiscriminately-parked bicycles. The agreement set out guidelines for the operators to reduce such practices with the deployment of geo-fencing technology by end-2017.

Additional designated parking areas for shared bicycles--totalling more than 4,000 by end-2017--also were rolled out in various areas across the island, including MRT stations, bus-stops, residential estates, and parks.

SG Bike customers who do not park within designated spaces will have 15 minutes to re-park their bicycles or face a fine of S$1. Repeat offenders may face higher penalties, according to the operator.

It said the collaboration with M1 would explore the use of NB-IoT in monitoring, with real-time communication, and retrieving bicycles that were not parked within designed parking areas.

SG Bike said its current geofencing system, or "geostations", tapped RFID (radio frequency identification) to achieve better accuracy. It currently had more than 1,300 geostations deployed across Singapore.

M1 launched its nationwide NB-IoT network last August, a year after the telco first unveiled plans to build the network in partnership with Nokia. One of its customers, Keppel Electric, had piloted an energy management meter on the network.