Rakuten Japan’s answer to Amazon plans to build its own cell-phone network

Japan’s largest e-commerce company wants to shake up the country’s wireless market.

Rakuten (RKUNF) said in a statement Thursday that it’s working on plans to build its own mobile network, aiming to launch services in 2019 and eventually sign up at least 15 million subscribers.

It’s a bold move from a company that started out 20 years ago with just six employees. Rakuten is now a $14 billion internet giant that employs more than 14,000 people.

Like its U.S. counterpart, Amazon (AMZN), Rakuten is best known for its internet shopping portals. Run by its billionaire founder, Hiroshi Mikitani, it also has a hand in a variety of other services, including video streaming, messaging apps and payment services.

The announcement of its wireless ambitions comes at a time when many carriers around the world are trying to build up their digital content businesses in search of more revenue.

Verizon (VZ) recently bought Yahoo, and AT&T (T) is trying to buy Time Warner (TWX), the parent company of CNN. Meanwhile, one of Japan’s top wireless providers, SoftBank (SFTBF), is aggressively investing in internet and technology companies around the world.

Rakuten wants to go in the opposite direction.

It said moving into the wireless industry will give it “a new engine for further growth” and make it “one of the few companies in the world that can provide a comprehensive package of services” in e-commerce, internet finance, digital content and mobile communications.

Delivering beers by drone
Delivering beers by drone

But Rakuten will face some stiff challenges taking on SoftBank and the two other wireless carriers that dominate the Japanese market, NTT DoCoMo (DCM) and KDDI (KDDIF).

Those three companies are all several times the size of Rakuten, which will have to spend heavily to build out a network across Japan.

Related: SoftBank is the new kingmaker in tech

Rakuten on Thursday estimated it would have to borrow as much as 600 billion yen ($5.3 billion) in the coming years to pay for its plans.

Investors seemed unsettled by the announcement. Rakuten shares fell nearly 5% in Tokyo on Thursday.

An upstart fourth player could inject some competition into the Japanese market, which Rakuten described as “a coordinated oligopoly.”

The Japanese government and other critics have repeatedly slammed the big three carriers over skyrocketing prices, pressing them to offer cheaper plans.

Rakuten thinks it can make a difference if the government decides to give it a chunk of 4G frequencies.

“The group will be ideally positioned to provide affordable and easy-to-use mobile communications services, as well as maximize the benefits to consumers,” it said.

Rakuten already has some experience in the wireless industry. It launched Rakuten Mobile in 2014, but that involves renting capacity on DoCoMo’s network rather building its own.

Source: Sharisse Pham CNN

Verizon awards 5G contract to Ericsson

crowded-street-in-new-york---roy1413-3

  • Companies to deploy commercial 5G network in select US markets in second half of 2018
  • Ericsson to provide 5G Core network, 5G Radio Access Network (RAN), transport and associated services
  • First pre-standard deployment paves the way for accelerated 5G commercialization of 3GPP-standards based solutions

Verizon has selected Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) to provide networking equipment for their commercial 5G launch. Verizon will deploy the pre-standard 5G commercial radio network and the 5G Core network in select markets in second half of 2018.

The companies are demonstrating continued industry leadership by accelerating the path to 5G. Verizon and Ericsson plan to work together to move the mobile ecosystem towards rapid commercialization of 5G.

Ed Chan, SVP Technology Strategy and Planning for Corporate Networking and Technology, Verizon says: “5G will change the way we work, interact, learn and play. Through our work with Ericsson, we are creating a clear roadmap and building a robust ecosystem that will enable us to maximize the potential of 5G.”

Fredrik Jejdling, Executive Vice President and Head of Business Area Networks, Ericsson, says: “Our pioneering work with 5G will make US consumers and businesses among the first in the world to benefit from the transformative services of the new technology. It further illustrates how our global 5G portfolio, designed to support 5G NR as standardized in 3GPP, enables first movers in the early commercialization of 5G networks.”

During the past year, Ericsson and Verizon have conducted fixed-wireless 5G trials using mmWave spectrum in multiple cities and residential neighborhoods with different geographies and housing densities. This has been a critical step in Verizon’s plan to deploy a first-of-its-kind fixed wireless broadband network.

These trials have also been instrumental in understanding 5G technologies and mmWave propagation used in the Verizon 5GTF and the coming 3GPP 5G NR standard. These new technologies are expected to be critical in meeting the increasing connectivity requirements for emerging, mobile and fixed wireless, consumer broadband experiences, such as streaming high-definition video, immersive virtual/augmented reality, and connected cloud computing.

 

Source: Ericsson

Highways England’s intelligent network of the future

Cars of the future could be programmed to spot potholes on motorways and automatically transmit the information to Highways England to schedule repairs.

Connected car graphic image

In a vision of the future outlined today the government company said an intelligent network coupled with connected vehicles would improve how efficiently roads are maintained and at the same time improve safety. In another development drones could also be used to fly overhead and report back on incidents, improving response times.

In its Strategic Road Network Initial Report, published today (13 December 2017), the company says technology will play an increasingly major role in keeping people moving, and the country connected.

It also stresses the importance of keeping existing roads properly maintained, and that it does so in a way which minimises disruption to road users and local communities. The report will be used to inform the government’s next road investment strategy which begins in 2020.

Highways England Chief Executive, Jim O’Sullivan, said:

We are delivering a record £15 billion of government investment to give people safe, efficient and reliable journeys, and provide businesses with the links they need to prosper and grow.

Because people’s journeys are important to us we are setting out our high level aspirations which will help ensure the network continues to drive economic growth, jobs and prosperity, and keeps traffic moving today, and into the future.

We encourage people to read our report and feedback through the Department for Transport’s consultation, which is also launched today.

Since it was created in 2015, Highways England has completed 18 major road improvements and has a further 15 currently in construction.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said:

This government is making people’s journeys better, faster and safer to give people better access to jobs, schools and their community.

We are planning to spend more than ever before to upgrade England’s motorways and major A roads from 2020 through to 2025.

The Initial Report outlines eight aspirations for the next road period:

  • focus on operations, maintenance and renewals
  • build the smart motorway spine of the network
  • roll out expressways
  • undertake transformational investments
  • deliver a balanced programme
  • renew focus on small schemes
  • deliver through refined designated funds
  • prepare for the future

The Department for Transport has also today launched its consultation into Highways England’s Initial Report. Their consultation will run until Wednesday, 7 February 2018.

The results of it will be used by the department to help develop the next Road Investment Strategy which the government is expected to publish in 2019. It is then that detail on specific road projects will be outlined.

Source: Highways England

Cradlepoint’s NetCloud Perimeter Provides New Paradigm for M2M, IoT, Mobile Device Connectivity and Security

Software-Defined Perimeter solution works over any wired and wireless Internet connection to protect devices against attacks and isolate them from IT infrastructure

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Cradlepoint, have announced the general release of its NetCloud Perimeter service, a Software-Defined Perimeter solution that provides a private cloud network over any Internet connection to secure and isolate connected devices, including M2M, IoT and mobile devices. NetCloud Perimeter provides a modern, cloud-based alternative to traditional VPN technology that is easier to configure, deploy and scale.

A recent Cradlepoint-sponsored State-of-IoT report conducted by Spiceworks found 69 percent of the 400 businesses surveyed with 500 or more employees have deployed or plan to deploy IoT solutions within the next year. IoT is being adopted across a range of industries such as retail, manufacturing, healthcare and government. Of the deployment concerns cited in the survey, security and solution cost ranked highest at 41 percent and 35 percent .

Despite security concerns, 49 percent of businesses surveyed have deployed IoT devices on their existing enterprise network – creating a sizeable attack surface and new threat vectors that traditional network security tools can’t cover. For example, Internet-accessible security cameras can become infected by bot-net attacks, like Mirai, Reaper and IoTroop, and enable pivot attacks into enterprise IT systems.

“The growth of the IoT means the deployment of many more network-connected devices. For many organizations that don’t have the correct solutions in place, this is opening up more entry points for hackers to exploit, and leading to major security issues,” said Christian Renaud, research director, Internet of Things, 451 Research. “Organizations need to consider which network they run their IoT service on, and then ensure they manage the security of these networks, the IoT devices they plan to use and proactively protect themselves before any potential threats even appear.”

Connect, Protect and Isolate M2M, IoT and Mobile Devices

NetCloud Perimeter, part of Cradlepoint’s NetCloud platform, is a cloud service that shields enterprises from connected device threats by providing a private cloud network that overlay the Internet or enterprise network with a virtual perimeter to isolates and protects M2M, IoT and mobile devices. It further provides a closed, invitation-only network with its own private IP address space to cloak devices from the outside world.

Other unique benefits of NetCloud Perimeter include:

  • Simple to configure and deploy in minutes
  • Global footprint that is accessible from any wired or wireless connection
  • End-to-end visibility and control through NetCloud Manager
  • Micro-segment M2M, IoT and mobile devices by user, device and application
  • Configurable secure Internet egress protected by integral firewall and carrier-grade NAT
  • Active Directory and private DNS server integration shields against DNS-related threats.

When deployed over 4G LTE, NetCloud Perimeter’s encrypted and fully switched overlays can reduce the need for costly and complex private Access Point Networks (APNs) and static IPv4 addresses  that are scarce on many cellular networks.

“The way you connect and protect an IoT device network with potentially hundreds of thousands of Internet-attached endpoints is very different from the traditional enterprise security model for branch sites and WinTel PCs”, said Ken Hosac, vice president of Cradlepoint IoT Solutions and Ecosystem. “NetCloud Perimeter represents a clean-slate approach to device networking that combines a Software-Defined Perimeter architecture with private IP overlays and cloud orchestration to deliver optimal security, availability and control as well as logical isolation from the Internet and private networks”.

Other common use cases for NetCloud Perimeter include: secure remote access for mobile field-based workforces, remote management of field-based devices, persistent connectivity for in-vehicle notebooks and tablets, and in-branch isolation of devices such as point-of-sales (PoS) machines, security camera and digital signage.

DSC Dredge is a NetCloud Perimeter customer and the global leader in the manufacture of custom dredging solutions, some as large as a football field and capable of dredging rock up to 150 feet below the earth’s surface. These advanced machines are highly automated and leverage an on-board network to connect six programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and two human machine interfaces (HMIs) as well as multiple security cameras. DSC uses NetCloud Perimeter via Cradlepoint 4G LTE routers to gather telemetry data, monitor dredge operations and provide remote system maintenance from dredges deployed around the world.

“With SD-Perimeter, we don’t have to be in the office, at the other end of an IPsec tunnel, to access our network. We have an easy and secure way to remotely access our devices anytime, anywhere,” said Richard Groce, director of information technology for DSC Dredge.

About NetCloud Perimeter

NetCloud Perimeter is deployed within a broad number of customers and industries today, including: field services, healthcare, public sector, manufacturing and smart cities. It is available as part of Cradlepoint NetCloud annual subscriptions and supports both client-based and integrated gateway deployments on select Cradlepoint COR-Series and AER-Series routers. Click here for more information.

Co-Star the UK’s leading supplier to the ICT industry supply the full rang of Cradlepoint 4G LTE routers and software. Click here for more information>

 

Mobile Postboxes, the Smart way to get parcels delivered

smart ready to drop+: Pilot test in Hamburg: Now postboxes are becoming fully mobile

Smart is further expanding its innovative logistics service: in future “smart ready to drop+” will enable parcels to be delivered to the boot of a smart wherever the vehicle is located. Further advantages: almost all products from any shop can be ordered. Up until shortly before delivery customers can decide when and where the parcel should be delivered. To this end a new pilot test is taking place together with the cooperation partner Liefery in Hamburg.

Last autumn the “smart ready to drop” test run started in Stuttgart as the biggest in-car delivery test ever performed in Germany. Parcels can now also be delivered to the boots of smarts in Cologne, Bonn and Berlin. The smart cooperation partner DHL has already delivered a four-figure number of packages to these cities.

Now smart is going a further step in a pilot project in Hamburg by enabling the smart to be used as a fully mobile postbox. For the delivery process the vehicle no longer needs to be parked near the home address; parcels can be delivered by Liefery to wherever the vehicle is located in Hamburg.

Furthermore, customers are no longer tied to certain online shops and they can order products and have them delivered to their vehicle by Liefery. Private individuals can also send parcels to a vehicle. During the pilot test over several months the service “smart ready to drop+” is free of charge for customers.

Convenient and reliable ordering and delivery process

“smart ready to drop+” is smartphone-based and works with the help of an app developed by smart lab, the brand’s think tank. The process in detail:

  • When placing an online order the customer gives the delivery address as the “smart HUB address”. This consists of two parts: the address of the Liefery hub in Hamburg, which acts as an interim storage facility, and the customer’s own personal car boot ID.
  • The customer is informed when the parcels physically arrive at the Liefery hub.
  • The customer must then choose a date and one of three time slots allotted over the day for the delivery.
  • In addition, the vehicle location must be specified – for example, the preconfigured addresses “Home” or “Work”, but also any other address such as the car park of a gym. The setting “Dropzone” enables the radius of the smart around this location at the selected time to be defined.
  • In the next step the user generates a TAN to give the Liefery delivery service keyless access to the boot of the parked smart.
  • The app notifies the courier service of the desired delivery address and delivery time and the courier can open the car with the TAN once only within a specific time window. To this end a Connectivity Box is installed inside the car at the bottom of the windscreen.
  • When the Liefery courier has deposited the parcel in the boot the car is locked again digitally and their access authorisation expires immediately. The app automatically notifies the smart car driver of the successful delivery.

Source: Daimler

The first Smart Vineyard in Lebanon chooses Libelium’s technology to face the climate change

Precision agriculture is gaining presence among the most delicate and challenging cultivations. Viticulture, which has been extremely linked to the progress of the seasons and the variations in temperatures, is becoming a great indicator of climate change.

Experts verify that the most influential factors for the correct growth of the grapes are temperature and hydrological stress. Heavy rains, high temperatures and prolonged drought periods are the most harmful meteorological phenomenons.

Location of Lebanon

Location of Lebanon

Precision viticulture seeks to maximize the oenology potential of the vineyards, adapting to extreme conditions, in order to obtain a high quality standard and to augment the productivity of the crops.

In this adaptation process to the new climate conditions, several wine-growing companies are redefining their strategy, implementing Libelium’s sensors in their fields. By knowing the conditions that affects the vines’ growth, the winemakers and oenologists can calibrate the different parameters that give character and quality to the wine. For instance, tanines and anthocyanin pigments that bring color to the wine depend on the ambient humidity and CO2 levels. Climate conditions and temperature changes also influence the wine’s acidity, which has to be elevated so the wines can last longer.

There are various well-known wine regions all over the world, having the Mediterranean the longest history of wine production. Specifically, Lebanon has been center of the wine industry for centuries, being point of origin for this tradition all over the Mediterranean area.

Château Kefraya vineyards at Beqaa Valley, Lebanon

Château Kefraya vineyards at Beqaa Valley, Lebanon

Château Kefraya is one of the most modern wineries in the country. Located in Beqaa Valley, extends its vineyards over more than 300 hectares at 1000 meters above the sea level. This company has trusted the experience and know-how of Libatel, leading Information and Communication Technology Systems Integrator, to deploy an agriculture sensor system in its fields, based on Libelium’s technology.

Libatel is a privately-held company established in Beirut, with offices in Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates. This company has a highly trained, motivated and efficient team who totally committed to deliver advanced systems, communications and software integration for businesses of all sizes, across all industries, in the private and public sectors.

Libatel, in collaboration with Ogero TelecomUniversité Saint-Joseph ESIAM and Château Kefraya winery, have developed an agriculture sensor network for vineyards based on Libelium wireless sensor network. The main aim of this viticulture precision project is to compile soil and climate information and their effects in the grapes.

Waspmote Plug & Sense! Smart Agriculture PRO nodes installation by Libatel team

Waspmote Plug & Sense! Smart Agriculture PRO nodes installation by Libatel team

The information, automatically gathered by the sensors, is analyzed and different techniques are compared. Until now, parameters were measured manually in a hard, long and expensive process. This new sensors network offers quicker and clearer results.

Libatel has installed several measuring points all over the vineyard to monitor relative humidity, temperature, and soil humidity, among others. Compiled real-time data is sent to the back-end platform, specially designed by Libatel, where is analyzed. This information is accessible from a computer or a smartphone, allowing the winery workers to obtain data automatically and to take decisions in a quicker and more efficient way. For instance, they can determine where, when and for how long a vineyard should be irrigated to optimize resources obtaining the best results.

PRECISION VITICULTURE

This project named “Precision Viticulture” includes eight Waspmote Plug & Sense! Smart Agriculture PRO nodes:

  • Six nodes have been installed in different locations in the vineyard, directly at the grapevine trunk, on grape level.
  • One node has been installed next to the vineyard, the objective of this node is to compare the external weather conditions with the grapevine micro-climate.
  • The latest measuring point is saved for various testing purposes and debugging.

Location of the nodes at Château Kefraya vineyards

Location of the nodes at Château Kefraya vineyards

Every device is installed in a representative grapevine in each parcel. The first six nodes have been deployed next to the vines and have been distributed in a manner to cover all the parcels depending on their configuration: altitude, type of soil, training system, plantation density, vigor and slope.

Waspmote Plug & Sense! Smart Agriculture PRO on grape level

Waspmote Plug & Sense! Smart Agriculture PRO on grape level

The parameters monitored in all locations are:

  • Temperature, humidity and atmospheric pressure.
  • Solar radiation.
  • Soil humidity.
  • Soil temperature.
  • Luminosity (luxes accuracy).

Ogero Telecom, the main telecom operator in Lebanon, which collaborates in this deployment, is working on the design of an IoT LoRaWAN network over the country. This network allows universities, institutions and private companies to benefit from this infrastructure for their research projects.

Libatel team installing Kerlink Gateway

Libatel team installing Kerlink Gateway

The information compiled by the sensors is directly sent to the Kerlink Gateway using LoRaWAN communication protocol. Once the information is received by the gateway, data is sent via 3G internet connectivity through SIM card to the Actility’s cloud platform and to Libatel private servers consecutively, where dashboard and applications are developed.

Actility Thinkpark platform panel

This way Château Kefraya becomes the first Smart Vineyard in Lebanon thanks to Libelium technology and Libatel software development, which also includes support and maintenance for the whole system.

Diagram of Precision Viticulture

Diagram of Precision Viticulture

The major objectives of this project are to increase productivity and efficiency of the crops, improving customer service quality and adaptability to external elements.

  • Automating data collection.
  • Remotely monitoring micro-climate parameters inside the vineyard.
  • Accessing real-time data from any device at any time.
  • Collecting data to inform both current and future work.
  • Resolving problems with insightful analytics.

This tool allows the agricultural engineers to take more accurate decisions to better adapt to changes and new circumstances in order to produce high quality wine, preserving its character and features.

Libatel online dashboard application

Libatel online dashboard application

This project also contributes to the implementation of LoRaWAN networks in the Lebanese territory, consolidating the Internet of Things in this country.

Maher Choufani, IoT Project Manager at Libatel, highlights that “the main reason why we chose Libelium is their great name in the sector. Besides, the company has large experience with similar cases in precision viticulture and agriculture”.

Waspmote is a horizontal sensor platform that allows us to add many sensors to one sensing node. The Libelium IoT sensor platform offers exceptional interoperability and the fact that Libelium achieved projects previously with Actility and Kerlink, which we partnered for this project, determined our decision undoubtedly”, adds Maher Choufani.

For Mr. Imad Kreidieh, Chairman and General Director Ogero Telecom, “the project was very successful and motivating, especially in terms of improving productivity and agriculture which we depend on in exporting our goods”.

The end user, Château Kefraya winery, makes emphasis in the “improvement of the automatic data collection thanks to the Libelium sensor platform. This system enables us to obtain real-time information, expanding our knowledge and allowing us to better manage our time and resources”.

Source: Libelium

LG U+ and Huawei Complete 5G Pre-commercial Tests for World’s First Commercial 5G

During the 4th Global 5G Event, LG U+ partnered with Huawei to complete the world’s first large-scale 5G network test in a pre-commercial environment in Gangnam District, Seoul. This network consists of both 3.5 GHz and 28 GHz base stations. The test also helped to successfully verify the technologies of IPTV 4K Video and many other future-proof commercial 5G services. High-speed mobility, dual connectivity, and inter-cell handovers (under continuous networking conditions) were also validated.

The test results returned average data rates of 1 Gbps over the low band and more than 5 Gbps for dual connectivity over high and low bands. In a typical dense urban area, successful verification of the 5G end-to-end (E2E) solution indicated Huawei’s gradual maturity in advanced preparation for the imminent commercial deployment of 5G.


LG U+ and Huawei completed a Large-scale 5G network test in a pre-commercial environment in Gangnam District, Seoul

As a top global operator in a well-developed MBB region, LG U+ is firmly committed to rapidly providing an excellent user experience. With a keen focus on Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB), the 5G pre-commercial test based on Huawei E2E 5G devices was implemented in a continuous ring topology. A peak data rate of 20 Gbps and an average data rate of more than 5 Gbps were achieved through dual connectivity over 3.5 GHz and 28 GHz. These impressive rates were combined with inter-cell handovers to produce stable results. Elsewhere, a 5G tour bus delivered 5G-based IPTV 4K, and a VR drone was demonstrated in the ‘5G for All’ experience room at the LG U+ headquarters, which required data rates ranging from 20 Mbps to 100 Mbps. For mobile scenarios, a glitch-free superior user experience demonstrated Huawei’s readiness for 5G networks.

During this event, Huawei also showcased the combination of a VR drone designed by Huawei Wireless X Labs and the world’s first 5G customer premise equipment (CPE) over 3.5 GHz. The CPE is compact, lightweight, and offers high performance, which can support a throughput of up to 1.5 Gbps from a drone at an altitude of over 100m.


Huawei Wireless X Labs showcased a VR drone using 5G 3.5GHz CPE

Kim Dae Hee, Vice President of LG U+ 5G Strategy Unit, said: “The world’s first large-scale joint 5G pre-commercial test indicated a significant breakthrough in 5G. We believe that Huawei is set to help LG U+ implement the world’s first Commercial 5G network over 3.5 GHz”

Zhou Yuefeng, Huawei Wireless Product Line CMO, said: “In the Gangnam District of Korea, we have successfully validated the 5G pre-commercial network and released the world’s first 3.5 GHz CPE. This demonstrates that Huawei will maintain its capability to provide competitive E2E 5G network products in 2018. LG U+ and Huawei will continue to conduct further research into 5G technologies and build a robust E2E industry ecosystem to achieve business success in the upcoming 5G era.”

Source: Huawei

Arqiva secures rights to deploy small cell telecoms infrastructure across the London Borough of Waltham Forest

The up to 10 year contract grants Arqiva access to around 16,000 lampposts across the borough

Arqiva, the leading UK communications infrastructure company, has today announced it has secured the exclusive access rights to street furniture across the London Borough of Waltham Forest for the future deployment of telecommunications infrastructure.

The up to 10 year contract grants Arqiva access to around 16,000 lampposts across the borough, which it will be able to use for the deployment of small cell technology to help the UK mobile network operators (MNOs) to further expand mobile coverage and capacity over the coming years. Small cells will also be crucial to the delivery of 5G.

Small cells are units that can be installed onto street furniture and the sides of buildings to boost mobile capacity in areas where demand is particularly high or existing coverage is poor. They can also be applied inside venues such as shopping centres, where increased footfall puts a strain on existing communications infrastructure.

They allow people to continue using the connected functions of their smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices without any interruptions.

The deal represents Arqiva’s 14th concession of this kind in London, following similar contract wins in Barnet, Brent, Camden,  Hammersmith and Fulham, Haringey, Harrow, Hounslow, Islington, Kingston-Upon-Thames, Lambeth, Merton, Richmond upon Thames and Wandsworth. Arqiva also has similar deals in Manchester, Southampton, Colchester, Eastbourne and Medway.

As the project commences, Arqiva will also deploy Wifi access points – mounted on lampposts – in town centres across the borough to provide free public access to Wi-Fi services.

“As data and voice usage increases exponentially, it is fast becoming essential for Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to deliver sufficient outdoor connectivity for their customers in dense urban areas.

“Arqiva’s portfolio of communications sites means we are uniquely able to help the MNOs deliver the required coverage and capacity, whether it is towers and rooftops for macro sites, or street furniture for small cells.

“Street furniture such as lampposts has a crucial role to play in providing 4G signal to densely populated areas now, and preparing for 5G. We can see the arrival of 5G connectivity on the horizon and density of infrastructure is crucial to its delivery. This is particularly true for the future delivery of 5G Fixed Wireless Access broadband to homes.

“Local authorities are recognising how important connectivity is for their residents and business and we are excited to be working with Waltham Forest as our 14th London Borough partner.”

“I’m really pleased to welcome Arqiva to Waltham Forest as we help our residents move toward a digital future. We use digital technology more every day to carry out jobs from ordering shopping and services, to keeping in touch with friends and relatives, to accessing council services. To do this we need fast online access – and that is precisely what this agreement brings for residents and visitors.

“Installing cell units into street furniture is an innovative and forward-thinking idea that shows we in Waltham Forest are committed to improving our digital offer for all to enjoy. We are glad to be able to draw on Arqiva’s expertise and experience bringing high-speed internet access to the streets of other London boroughs.”

Source: Arqiva

Unearthing the IoT in Agriculture

Internet-of-Things-1920xx

IoT M2M connectivity specialist Eseye has partnered with Burkard, designers and builders of air samplers for agricultural research since 1953, to harness the power of the IoT. Burkard has developed a piece of real-time pathogen monitoring equipment to predict and provide an early warning system of crop disease risk. The collaboration with Eseye and its AnyNet Secure™ SIM and technology, delivers highly secure and reliable global cellular network data through its AnyNet Secure™ SIM, and provides automatic routing onto up to 440 cellular operators in 190 countries and links seamlessly to the AWS Cloud.

Increasing the world’s food supply is a major issue, crop diseases can have a devastating humanitarian and economic impact and with sustained global population growth it is estimated that by 2050, a 70 per cent increase in food production is required to ensure the world is fed. Jeremy Potgieter, regional head, SADC, Eseye says that 20-40 per cent of crop losses are attributed to disease: “The accurate prediction and prevention of diseases is a vital area to address in the battle to enhance yields, and is now an area in which cellular IoT and the AWS Cloud is providing support to an innovative solution.”

Traditionally, the method of identifying signs of crop disease has been time-consuming, cumbersome and costly, involving research scientists assessing the contents of in-field samplers under a microscope. Preventative pesticide spraying is also used to protect crops from possible disease, with weather or planting dates informing decisions on the chemicals to be applied. This is less effective and more costly than targeted spraying, it may be detrimental to consumer health and the environment, and over time, sees pests and diseases becoming resistant to the treatment.

Burkard’s innovative product uses Eseye’s AnyNet Secure global cellular connectivity and AWS IoT to enable farmers to receive tailored information from their own fields, whenever they want it, and to have full control over that data.

Potgieter says that the Burkard Auto Sampler sits permanently within a farmer’s field remotely collecting DNA release and uses a LAMP assay to quantify airborne spores: “Crop data is transmitted, over-the-air via the AnyNet Secure SIM, back to the AWS Cloud where it is analysed and reported in a matter of minutes using AWS IoT Gateway tools, which do the mathematics behind the forecasting. Information is stored and presented back so farmers can see exactly which fields are at risk and act accordingly to treat the crops.”

Historically, for similar agricultural projects, Burkard used a general modem and SIM card to send texts to alert on potential crop risks. However, Burkard found this unresponsive because the lack of reliable connectivity across different locations resulted in the frequent need to change providers.

Stuart Wili, managing director at Burkard, says, “While working on a similar project a few years ago, we had to send operators out with mobile phones from as many different providers as possible to find out which had the best signal in certain fields. It was not only extremely inefficient but often connectivity was lost anyway. This time we knew we needed a reliable connectively solution to make the project a success.”

The AnyNet Secure™ SIM enhanced features also enable IoT devices to remotely and securely activate, provision, authenticate and certify devices or ‘things’, in field, over-the-air. Integration with AWS Cloud Services, further simplifies project set up and deployment by reducing the need for investment in specialist in-house infrastructure and development resources. By adding AWS’ software tools and cloud the business establishes the means to simply and quickly analyse data and to scale instantly and securely, on demand.

Wili says: “With the AnyNet Secure SIM, farmers don’t need to rely on single local network coverage, which often can’t be guaranteed. Instead they can be assured accurate data from the field is being securely and accurately transmitted back to the server, without any concern over connectivity, the AnyNet Secure SIM will utilise any and all connectivity available. Farmers can completely trust the system data will forewarn about any potential issues with their crops, they can then act quickly to resolve them.”

The module deployed, an Eseye Hera 604 with add-on logger functionality, can store all data and publish to AWS as required, ensuring there is no loss of information. A key challenge to the solution is to deliver secure and resilient connectivity, otherwise the farmers’ data will be void.

Wili explains, “We are finally giving farmers an answer to their concerns over the ramifications of crop disease. This not only provides peace of mind, but the solution also supports the environment and saves precious time, resources and ultimately money. Looking to the future, we plan to roll out the technology across the globe, particularly in developing countries, where the importance of farming is far higher, and therefore the need to prevent disease to ensure a healthy crop is even greater.”

Paul Marshall, Chief Customer Officer at Eseye, says, “Eseye’s work with Burkard and AWS is a prime example of the range of economic, social and environmental benefits which can be reaped through IoT. By using AnyNet and AWS solutions, the agricultural industry can harness the knowledge and foresight from accurate data in making informed decisions. We are delighted to be part of this project and look forward to seeing the benefits rolled out across the globe.”

Source: eseye

Micro 3 Fuse Holder available from Co-Star

Co-Star Micro 3 Fuse Holder

Co-Star Micro 3 Fuse Holder.

Co-Star the Harrogate based Global supplier to the ICT industry have added the latest Micro 3 fuse holder to their range of installation products for after market Telematics and Mobile Communications Equipment.

The latest vehicles are fitted with an increasing range of on-board connected devices which puts demands on wiring systems installed in confined spaces. The Micro 3 add-a-circuit fuse holder has been designed with this in mind housing two fuse elements in a width of just 15mm allowing more circuits to be added in smaller space. The three spade terminals have a width of 2.8mm and an overall width of 13mm.

The Micro 3 fuse holder can be used with the following fuse ratings:

The part number for the Co-Star Micro 3 add-a-circuit fuse holder is: IFH.18

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