Author Archives: Tim Cosgrove

About Tim Cosgrove

Tim Cosgrove heads two technology companies Co-Star and Cloud-Star who supply 5G and4G LTE connectivity products to the ICT industry globally and are based at Harrogate in the UK. Working at the forefront of the mobile communications industry gives Tim a unique perspective on the latest emerging technologies that help to improve how businesses and people communicate and operate in the future. Tim is keen to share his insights and passion for the latest technologies through the Co-star blog. Please get in touch if you have any technology related news or press releases that you would like us to share.

Public transport: The future is happening now! Contactless/ticketless/cashless

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The covid-19 pandemic has imposed new measures, new rules and a whole new organization in our personal and professional lives. Trends that had been identified for the next 2 to 5 years have suddenly accelerated and become an unexpected reality for which we haven’t been fully prepared.

With the majority of the world’s population staying at home, public transport has been one of the most impacted sectors. Due to the lockdown measures that have been put in place around the globe, transport operators have seen a drastic reduction in the numbers of passengers, and, in order to protect their drivers and their customers, they have also had to rethink the sales of tickets on board.

The rise of contactless

Since the beginning of the pandemic, contactless technology has seen its adoption rate accelerating very rapidly. More and more people are now choosing contactless payment when shopping to avoid paying with cash or having to enter a pin code on a terminal.

This trend is also extending to sectors outside of retail and in particular in public transport where users are expecting to purchase and validate their tickets without having to use a vending machine and exchanging cash with drivers. They, however, want a simple solution and be able to use what they already have in their pocket, typically their phone or contactless credit card.

Paragon ID’s contactless on board sales solution

Paragon ID with their sister company airweb and partners Wizway are experienced in implementing mobile ticketing solutions based on diverse technologies including QR codes, NFC, HCE… We have also worked in partnership with Ingenico to develop an open payment solution.

Our 2 solutions – Open M-Ticketing and Open Tap and Pay – bring the answer to a fast and easy implementation of contactless on board sales within your network.

  • Open M-Ticketing: Our mobile app and dynamic QR code system provides a highly adaptable digital ticketing solution with fast implementation.
  • Open Tap and Pay: Developed in partnership with Ingenico, our new validator is compatible with traditional ticketing solutions (contactless tickets, smartcards) and contactless payment via credit card or smartphone (applepay, googlepay…) offering flexibility and a great experience to customers who can choose their means of payment.For a quick answer to the covid crisis and the challenges around de-confinement measures, we also offer a transition solution with autonomous terminals allowing a rapid deployment of payment by contactless credit card.

More than 30 cities are already equipped with our contactless on-board sales solutions, bringing an improved customer experience and safety to their staff and users.

Source: Paragon

Co-Star launch QMA adaptor for secure connection onto mobile WiFi equipment

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Co-Star the UK based supplier to the ICT industry have launched a QMA adaptor cable to connect 4G and 5G antennas to the latest mobile WiFi equipment.

The adaptor has an SMA female connector at one end which is designed to connect on to an SMA male connector which is standard on most 4G and 5G antennas and a QMA male on the other end which connects into the mobile RF port on WiFi eqipment.

The advantages of using a QMA connector against an SMA connector are that a QMA has a locking feature which means that it is more secure and is less likely to disconnect when installed to mobile equipment and wireless routers used in environments with heavy vibration and movement such as industrial equipment and vehicles.

The cable used on the adaptor is a double shielded low-loss RG58 designed for high performance on 4G and 5G applications.

The QMA Connector was developed as snap-on locking replacement for the standard SMA connectors. This connector has the same internal construction as an SMA connector and exhibits similar RF performance characteristics and mechanical durability. The main difference is that QMA connectors feature a 360º rotating snap-on locking interface that is quick to install, has low RF leakage and is tool-less.

QMA connectors are most commonly used in cellular base station hardware, SCADA radios, and a range of wireless test equipment. They are also suitable in military hardware such as radar and satellite systems, where durability, strength, and quick-disconnection features are desired.

The QMA connector series is developed by the Quick Lock Forum (QLF) Alliance in 2003. This alliance includes RF interconnect companies with certified inter-mateable QMA and QN connectors, which are quick disconnect versions of the SMA and Type N connectors. Both offer a more convenient installation with its patented snap-on interface in place of a threaded coupling. Only QLF Alliance members can guarantee product inter-mateability between manufacturers. The members are Huber+Suhner AG, Radiall SA, Rosenberger and Amphenol RF.

Key Specifications of QMA Connectors:

  • Impedance: 50 Ω
  • Frequency range: DC – 6 GHz (optimized); DC to 18 GHz (Working range)
  • Coupling Mechanism: Quick Lock Coupling
  • Dielectric Withstanding Voltage (Sea Level): 1000 VRMS 50 Hz
  • Mating Durability: 100 mating cycles
  • Temperature range: -40°C / +105°C

Source; Tim Cosgrove-Co-Star

 

5G Mobile Private Network supports the the gas processing plant of the future

The company’s Easington plant will become the first plant in the oil and gas sector to install a 5G-ready mobile private network

Centrica

 

Centrica Storage limited (CSL) and Vodafone Business will build the gas plant of the future at their Easington facility by launching the first 5G ready mobile private network (MPN) for the oil and gas industry.

The MPN will help CSL digitalise much of its critical maintenance and engineering operations. This will allow the company to assess the risk and urgency of repairs in real time, streamline activities, reduce cost and increase environmental and worker safety by creating a fully connected digital ecosystem.

A mobile private network is a dedicated, secure mobile network for a specific site. Providing more reliable coverage than Wi-Fi, the low latency, high performance network will deliver ubiquitous secure and localised outdoor and indoor coverage for mission-critical monitoring, control and communications.

Improved worker and environmental safety and increased efficiency are key goals in CSL’s business roadmap. The advancements in network performance, availability, reliability and latency offered by an MPN mean that new overlay services can be implemented to address all of these priorities.

The mobile private network, built by Vodafone Business using Ericsson equipment, will enable the overlay use cases to support a digital maintenance ecosystem for CSL. This means employees will be connected to digital applications across the entire site, increasing productivity while also helping CSL to reduce cost.

Additionally, the mobile private network will allow CSL to have real-time visibility of work conducted at the plant, offering clarity around the condition and status of the various elements of the facility around the clock. This will ensure not just productivity but also safety, as connected workers will be alerted of potential gas emissions which will be rapidly identified and managed in line with industry guidelines.

Paul Stevens, Information System and Technology Director at Centrica Storage said “The mobile private network we are building at our Easington terminal will help us address 1970s problems with a 21st Century solution, taking our business to the future from the moment it’s live. Safety is a critical measure of success at Centrica Storage and the solution we are putting in place in Easington will reduce risk for everyone on our site. By using this technology ahead of our peers, we will establish ourselves as leaders in the future of oil and gas processing.”

Greg McKenna, CEO of Centrica Storage Limited said “The mobile private network will provide Centrica with a conduit through which we can connect a myriad of internet-enabled devices which now range from handheld personal devices to augmented reality headsets.  This will improve safety, verification, asset performance and remote monitoring which ultimately leads to a safer, more reliable and cost efficient plant.”

Vinod Kumar, CEO of Vodafone Business, said: “Mobile private networks will revolutionise the way oil and gas plants are managed by increasing efficiency while also improving workers’ safety. Thanks to this powerful technology Centrica Storage can now start building the gas plant of the future and we are really excited to be with them on this journey”.

Source: Vodafone

City smart sewer project claims to pinpoint unknown Covid-19 outbreaks

The project identified traces of the virus in the municipal sewerage system

The project identified traces of the virus in the municipal sewerage system

The initial findings of an Israeli pilot project aimed at detecting outbreaks of Covid-19 by identifying traces of the coronavirus in the municipal sewage system have been released.

According to smart wastewater big data solutions firm Kando, preliminary results demonstrate the technology’s ability to pinpoint specifically affected neighbourhoods and hotspots. The idea is that it would provide authorities early-warning for outbreaks and data to limit isolation of areas and lockdowns – even to city street level.

City of Ashkelon pilot

Kando teamed with researchers from several Israeli institutions including Ben Gurion University and the Technion to conduct the month-long pilot in the coastal city of Ashkelon (150,000 residents).

Ashkelon was chosen as the pilot site as it was believed to have a low number of cases, aside from the city’s “coronavirus hotels” housing Covid-19 patients. But what researchers discovered was something entirely different: significant remnants of the coronavirus in municipal wastewater, indicating early detection of outbreaks in local neighbourhoods.

Kando said the results suggest that tracking coronavirus remnants in the sewer network is a timelier and more efficient gauge of the extent of outbreaks than testing individuals – especially given the asymptomatic nature or delay in symptoms of those suffering from Covid-19.

“This will allow authorities to take actions to contain future outbreaks. This type of interdisciplinary science will continue to help disease containment methods – for coronavirus, and beyond”

Kando, with its partners, took an interdisciplinary approach to develop a method of monitoring cities’ wastewater in the sewer network upstream – from the municipal wastewater towards the city itself, utilising a vast network of sensors in manholes, original algorithms and artificial intelligence.

Researchers were able to accurately measure concentrations of the virus remnants and determine the approximate number of those suffering from infection by factoring in the necessary data – including industrial effluent that destroys the virus, and sewage flow, which dilutes the virus’ concentration.

They were then able to quantify and delineate this environmental and epidemiological data, allowing them to narrow down measurements to neighbourhoods, and potentially streets.

Results of the pilot study offer authorities capabilities for early detection of outbreaks

Results of the pilot study offer authorities capabilities for early detection of outbreaks

The results of the pilot study will offer authorities capabilities for early detection of new outbreaks and can help avoid total lockdowns by pinpointing affected areas. Helping identify hubs of contagion can allow a much more localised response – avoiding the need for more sweeping lockdown measures, claims Kando.

“Identifying traces of the coronavirus in city wastewater is extremely challenging due to the various types of substances found in sewage systems, including industrial wastewater, which can dilute or destroy remnants of the virus,” said professor Nadav Davidovitch, director, School of Public Health at Ben Gurion University.

“Our unique methodology enables us to detect and trace the presence of the virus and calculate its concentration with these substances factored into the equation, and to integrate epidemiological evidence in order to pinpoint emerging Covid-19 hotspots.”

He continued: “This will allow authorities to take actions to contain future outbreaks. This type of interdisciplinary science will continue to help disease containment methods – for coronavirus, and beyond.”

Kando uses IoT, original algorithms and artificial intelligence technologies to enable utilities and municipalities to gain insight and control over their wastewater networks by detecting pollution anomalies and blockages in real-time.

Founded in 2011, Kando operates in North America, Europe, Australia, Asia and is headquartered in Israel.

Source: Smart Cities World

5G smart roads are coming to the West Midlands

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One of the things that 5G will help deliver is smart roads and smart cities, and the West Midlands looks set to start working on that soon, as £3 million is going to be spent on 5G sensors along key roads in the region.

The project will be funded by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and will involve the installation of roughly 280 5G road network sensors across the Key Route Network (KRN), which includes roads such as the A34, A38 and A45.

According to a tender submitted by the WMCA, looking for bidders for the project, these sensors would use the increased speed, reliability, and lower latency of 5G to deliver accurate data on transport habits across the West Midlands.

This data would then be used to “facilitate better real time planning of the region’s road network, resulting in a safer, more efficient, well maintained and managed network.”

While the tender doesn’t go into much more detail, it’s easy to imagine that this could mean improving traffic flow, tweaking road layouts, and being aware of problems as soon as they emerge.

Unlocking 5G’s potential

And that might just be the beginning. The WMCA also says that this will help with “unlocking potential new mobility business models and services which rely on accurate network intelligence”, and “provide the opportunity to test new capabilities provided through 5G communications.”

Indeed, while not mentioned here, 5G-powered smart roads will be key in the roll out of driverless vehicles, so that could be one potential result of this work, beyond just making travel smoother, safer and more environmentally friendly through optimisations.

However, this is still going to be years away, as even the sensors aren’t expected to be fully placed until August 2023. But it’s a promising look at the potential of 5G technology beyond faster smartphone data, and along with other projects, such as the UK’s first 5G accelerator, it could help make the West Midlands a 5G powerhouse.

Source: James Rogerson-5g.co.uk

 

The 5G Port of the Future

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One of the greatest challenges that ports face today is how they can evolve and adapt to become more efficient, competitive and sustainable. With its low latency, high capacity, and enhanced flexibility, 5G stands to bring unprecedented value to the optimization of ports, delivering a new level of process and operational efficiency that can significantly reduce costs, lower environmental impact, and boost economic value.

Ericsson’s journey to help make this potential become reality began back in 2016, when together with the Italian Interuniversity Consortium for Telecommunications (CNIT), our Ericsson Research team in Italy began the first developments of our Port of the Future use cases, setting the stage for one of the largest seaports in the Mediterranean Sea to become a test bed for the assessment and verification of new 5G innovative solutions, including those related to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Since then, we’ve been leveraging enhanced connectivity at the Port of Livorno to carry out a number of leading-edge use cases, and in the recently published Port of the Future report, we explore the outcome of these activities as well as how technology innovation can optimize port operations and produce real economic and sustainability value.

For the ongoing success and impact it has achieved, the 5G Port of the Future project was recently named the winner of the Industrial Energy Efficiency Award at this year’s Hannover Messe Digital Days.

In line with our mission to create a more intelligent, sustainable, and connected world, we at Ericsson continue to actively contribute to the United Nations’ 17 SDGs — which seek to enhance financial and social inclusion, contribute to overcome global environmental challenges, improve access to education and health, and support humanitarian efforts — and since the beginning of our involvement, we’ve applied this approach to our development efforts at the Port of Livorno.

Making environmental impact

Thus far, we’ve successfully leveraged 5G technologies to enhance the exchange of real-time information among actors in the port’s terminal process — an activity which can lead to a reduction in movements during cargo handling. This can significantly optimize the process overall, lowering fuel consumption as well as associated CO2 emissions. The potential impact is huge, reducing those emissions for one terminal operation by 8.2 percent and contributing to a reduction in overall emissions to meet the ambitions committed within SDG 13 (Climate Action). But SDG 13 isn’t the only target the implementation of 5G can meet.

Our results indicate that 5G connectivity can generate 65 direct and indirect SDG-linked benefits for port systems. These benefits include an increase in competitiveness and efficiency, increased safety for personnel, better management of responsible business in logistics, and strengthened integration relating to smart ports for smart cities.

5G ports provide economic value

Beyond critical environmental factors such as climate, the Port of the Future project has also yielded numerous economic benefits, including reduced operational costs, fuel consumption, and machine working hours as well as increased operation speed rates (thanks to the improved processes).

Today, 5G is currently being tested to speed up data exchanges between actors involved in terminal operations, with IoT, augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR), and AI-based systems all set to be leveraged to enable the innovative new use cases that require lower latency, increased reliability, and greater capacity.

The deployment of 5G for Livorno’s port terminals and land operations will also enable massive real-time data collection and analytics, increasing intelligent automation and laying the groundwork for better coordination between humans and devices (with augmented reality, video cameras, forklifts, trucks and sensors — the list goes on, all working together).

It’s truly exciting to recognize the potential. All in all, we’re talking about reduced costs and greater efficiency.

Here’s a glimpse of what we’ve estimated for the Port of Livorno:

  • EUR 2.5 million savings per year (through optimized vessel berthing)
  • 25 percent improvement in productivity (through 5G remote-controlled gantry and quay cranes)

These figures alone highlight the immense potential benefits of 5G if deployed at scale in the ports of Europe, not to mention the world itself.

This outcome speaks volumes to our ongoing collaboration, and by sharing our results, we aim to inspire other ports in Italy, Europe, and beyond when it comes to enabling the positive effects of 5G for sustainable development. It’s our hope that these results serve as a foundation for business scenario and replicability analyses in other ports and transport hubs around the world.

5G connectivity for the Port of the Future

The Port of the Future pilot has shown that enhanced 5G connectivity can realistically help us adapt traditional port business and operations models to be more cost-effective and environmentally sustainable. 5G and digital technologies are streamlining how ports manage their processes and cargo flows in favor of green transport modes.

With 5G, we’re moving technological boundaries forward, creating the biggest innovation platform ever. And with new enterprise services and use cases for the digitalization of industries, business opportunities across all sectors will most certainly be created.

5G is not just another “G” — it’s a platform for innovation capable of exponential positive impact on our societies and economies; our environment and people.

With that, I encourage you to read the Port of the Future report now to find out more about what we’ve been doing at the Port of Livorno as well as what’s possible next.

Source: Ericsson

New Ericsson software makes the shift to Standalone 5G easier

a-drone-used-for-inventory-in-a-5g-connected-factory.

  • Key 5G milestone reached with Standalone 5G New Radio (NR) software general availability
  • Ericsson software enables 5G NR to operate independently of 4G networks, leading to higher levels of performance and new capabilities
  • Standalone 5G NR delivers faster connection times and instant access to wide bands for even better user experience

Communications service providers can now tap the full potential of 5G New Radio (NR) technology with the commercial availability of Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) Standalone 5G NR software for 5G mid- and low bands. The software became globally available to all customers in June.

With this software, communications service providers can now operate 5G NR without the need for signaling support from an underlying LTE network. This will allow service providers to add 5G NR to existing 4G sites with a simpler architecture, or deploy 5G independently in new areas such as factories, to support enterprise applications and services. All Ericsson Radio System equipment deployed since 2015 can support Standalone 5G NR capabilities with a software installation.

To date, 5G networks have been deployed in Non-standalone (NSA) mode where the underlying 4G network layer supported the necessary signaling. Standalone 5G NR removes this 4G dependency. With Standalone 5G NR, faster network connection times, simpler mobility management and immediate access to wide 5G bands provide an even better user experience.

Per Narvinger, Head of Product Area Networks, Ericsson, says: “Over the past year, we have worked closely with many customers to successfully deploy Non-standalone 5G. These 5G networks have enabled higher data speeds and new use cases. Now we are taking the next step in the evolution of 5G by making generally available the software to support Standalone 5G NR networks. These standalone capabilities will enable even more use cases and applications.”

Standalone 5G NR will enable applications that require low latency such as augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR), smart factories and connected vehicles. With a super-fast response time, a Standalone 5G NR device can connect six-times faster to a Standalone 5G network than a device operating in NSA mode. This will give the user a better experience.

T-Mobile and Telstra are long-standing Ericsson partners who have trialed the Ericsson Standalone 5G NR software on their commercial networks.

Abdul Saad, Chief Technology Officer, T-Mobile, says: “Standalone 5G is the next important step for wireless connectivity, with the potential to unleash a whole new range of future transformative applications. We’re proud to be leading the charge alongside Ericsson and other technology innovators and look forward to bringing standalone 5G to our customers later this year.”

Channa Seneviratne, Network and Infrastructure Engineering Executive, Telstra, says: “Standalone 5G is an important milestone in the evolution of 5G and Telstra is pleased to work with Ericsson in the development of new Standalone 5G capabilities. As the first in Australia to enable Standalone 5G, we appreciate the significance of this milestone and how 5G will be a key enabler to create new opportunities for an even better user experience and new business models.”

Ericsson has completed Standalone 5G interoperability with key ecosystem partners. Standalone 5G devices are expected to become available later in 2020.

Durga Malladi, Senior Vice President and General Manager, 4G/5G, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., says: “Qualcomm Technologies and Ericsson have been at the forefront of a number of 5G milestones to help prepare for the next phase of 5G commercialization with 5G standalone. The roll-out of 5G continues globally and we are excited to work with Ericsson in enabling global OEMs and operators to quickly roll out commercial 5G this year using 5G standalone.”

JS Pan, General Manager, Wireless Communication System and Partnership, MediaTek, says: “We’re committed to making ultra-fast 5G speeds accessible to everyone. Ericsson’s new software will help accelerate the roll-out of Standalone 5G NR, which promises to significantly boost overall 5G network performance, furthering our efforts to bring consumers a superior mobile experience.”

With the general availability of Standalone 5G NR software on low and mid bands, Ericsson now offers an end-to-end Standalone 5G solution. This is supported by the Ericsson 5G Core (5GC) and the company’s diverse 5G radio portfolio.

Source; Ericsson

Accelerating city digitisation and avoiding silos with interoperable IoT data model and LPWA networks

As highlighted in a market report lead by Smart Cities World and released in November 2019, decision-makers at cities, utilities and integrator s admit that they regularly encounter three types of challenges to successfully roll-out their IoT projects.

First, they recognise that they currently have few, if any, controls on the data generated by the sensors deployed on the city territory. They are also too dependent on the solution provider for their collection and treatment – the silo effect – whatever the type of use case.

Second, they claim to spend too much money in a never-ending effort to become familiar with proprietary data formats or try to bypass this situation by integrating APIs in intermediate layers to reach something as close to an interoperable standard as they can get.

Third, and consequently, they decide not to deploy IoT projects, for fear of committing public money to dead-end single-source supplier systems that lack interchangeability, scalability and sustainability over the long run.

Enabling better and quicker decision-making

A first obvious and pragmatic answer to these challenges is to leverage a jointly agreed way to format the data created by the sensors on the field, whatever the type of application (street lighting, parking, water management, waste collection, environmental sensors, traffic monitoring, building efficiency, safety etc).

Smart city projects could cost 30 per cent less if they were leveraging really open solutions, that would probably dramatically reduce the rate of 82 per cent smart cities pilots’ failures currently observed on the market.

Making it uniform and transparent would not only simplify the integration of new applications, build strong synergies between applications and produce enriched and actionable data for better and faster decision-making, it would also enable cities to capitalise on existing infrastructure, software and applications to merge operations. This would come without the need to twist and adapt the communication infrastructure, if not finally adding a brand new communication layer to the existing ones to support the city new needs or plans.

Initiatives do already exist to define a “common language” between communication networks and application central management layers, like the TALQ consortium or the DALI technology, or within the software platform itself, like the FIWARE open source platform. However, until recently what was missing was a joint initiative to converge on a common data model that could enable a quick, easy and native communication format between connected sensors, communication networks and application software. This type of unified payload structure was undoubtedly key to enabling cities to avoid vendor lock-in and offer a more flexible and wider sourcing for sensors, to combine different solutions to fit their specific needs and to eventually swap solutions already deployed in case of issues such as performance, security, remote management or sustainability.

63 per cent of cities rank the lack of interoperability between smart city devices as number one in the list of hurdles that prevent them from deciding for full deployment

This unified data model highlights the opportunity to deploy additional use cases with less risks and less integration effort throughout a city’s digitisation path, but also to retake possession of existing solutions and potentially shake the yoke of their current suppliers to make them more performant, more flexible to open their proprietary solutions or more cost-efficient. The purpose of the initiative driven by the uCiFi Alliance is clearly to fill this gap and to offer a relevant complementor to already existing open building blocks.

Connectivity is a key asset

A second and complementary answer is to give the choice of an alternative connectivity solution that really fits the purpose. Most smart city use cases do not require expensive infrastructure, low latency, high bandwidth and throughput, or demanding QoS. Instead, they require energy-efficient design, easy, flexible and cost-effective deployment, widespread coverage, deep indoor penetration and high scalability to absorb an increasing number of connected sensors of all kind – the massive IoT.

These new types of networks are an exciting alternative to existing proposals by offering cities the tremendous opportunity to deploy, operate and potentially monetise a carrier-grade IoT connectivity on their own. Low Power Wide Area Networks (aka LPWAN) are thus able to offer the appropriate performance, capacity and scalability and they are increasingly perceived as key assets that cities can directly own or control, financially and/or operationally.

Key drivers for such choice potentially include the desire for increased autonomy/independence in the way connectivity solutions are implemented, whether coverage, operations, access or security), an improved trade-off between financial investment conditions and business models throughout the smart city solution’s lifetime, and a more reactive indoor and outdoor coverage optimisation for demanding use cases.

This may also help to federate citizens around open data initiatives and to position privacy-compliant by design city projects. LPWAN is an alternative to consider as it answers both technical requirements and financial advantages while bringing the openness and richness of a thriving ecosystem made of sensors makers, connectivity vendors, applications providers and solutions integrators. This expertise in the entire IoT value chain grants the availability of many validated use cases that can be easily replicated and scaled.

From rural towns to bustling large metropolises, city officials and decision-makers around the world are facing the increasing challenges of climate change, population growth, access to basic sanitation, energy supply and management, infrastructure development and mobility. Officials should consider more flexible and scalable tailored network capabilities and capacities, or the ability to rely on a partner that can quickly and easily adapt to evolving collaboration models between several parties. This would accommodate the needs of public services and authorities, service providers and users, while addressing both their technical needs and financial challenges.

If leveraging IoT solutions can definitely help authorities to monitor critical indicators for faster and better decision-making, the use of open and interoperable data model and connectivity network will accelerate their deployment, streamline their operations and cut their overall costs.

Source: Smart Cities World

FORD MAKES RANGE OF CONNECTED VEHICLE SERVICES COMPLIMENTARY FOR EUROPEAN DRIVERS

Ford has made a range of connected vehicle services complimentary to European customers, enabling drivers to control and monitor key features in their cars from their smartphone. 1

Drivers access connected vehicle features using the Ford Pass app which enables a variety of remote services, including checking on vehicle health, fuel level and oil levels, range, as well as locking and unlocking doors. 2

Previously, connected vehicle services were available to new vehicle owners as a two-year trial subscription. Ford has now waived subscription fees for most of its connected services, potentially saving drivers hundreds of pounds over the lifetime of a vehicle. 3

Ford Pass app features

With the Ford Pass app drivers can start their vehicle engine remotely, climatising the cabin to a comfortable temperature before setting out – useful for de-icing the windscreen on a frosty morning. 4

Push notifications and in-app vehicle health alerts highlight any issues that may need the owner’s attention, such as low tyre pressure or a failed light bulb. The Ford Pass app can also show the vehicle’s precise location, so drivers won’t need to worry about losing their car in a busy car park.

Being able to remotely lock and unlock their vehicle could help drivers who have forgotten whether they secured their car after walking away, or if they need to allow temporary access to a friend or family member without a key.

Owners can view and download summaries of recent trips to better analyse fuel usage and costs, and to help claim business mileage. Journeys can also be overlaid onto a map to reveal places where harsh braking or acceleration were identified, promoting more efficient driving.

Ford Pass provides support in the event of a breakdown too, automatically coordinating with roadside patrols to enable drivers to continue their journeys as quickly as possible. The Ford Pass app sends vehicle location and diagnostics information to the roadside assistance service, and gives drivers the reassurance of seeing where their patrol is and how quickly it will arrive. 5

Features for electrified vehicles

Ford Pass brings additional features that will help owners of electrified vehicles (EVs) such as the new Kuga Plug-In Hybrid and all-new Explorer Plug-In Hybrid.

Alongside information about battery level and electric driving range, the Ford Pass app helps EV owners benefit from off-peak electricity tariffs by enabling them to schedule vehicle charging. Ford Pass users can also set a departure time, warming or cooling the cabin while the vehicle is plugged in, leaving the battery to achieve the best range possible. The Ford Pass app also includes a convenient charging station locator to help driver’s top-up on the go.

The app provides feedback on fuel and electric energy usage too, including energy recaptured through regenerative braking and miles traveled using electric power alone, encouraging efficient driving behaviors to save fuel and reduce CO2 emissions.

Quote
“Whether you’re double-checking you’ve locked your car or just making sure it’s healthy for the journey ahead, the connected car features in Ford Pass help bring convenience and reassurance to Ford owners.”

“From now on, every customer in Europe who buys a Ford can benefit from a range of complimentary connected vehicle services – this is an important part of delivering on our promise to make smart vehicles for a smart world.”

Richard Bunn, Ford Pass Director, Ford Mobility

Footnotes

1 Complimentary Ford Pass Connect modem subscription available to new and existing vehicles equipped with a Ford Pass Connect modem

2 Connection between vehicle and mobile app requires mobile data coverage. FordPass app compatible with Apple and Android smartphones and is available from the Apple App Store and Google Play store in 40 markets in Europe

3 Prior to April 2020, Ford Pass Connect modem example subscriptions for drivers in the UK and France were priced at £89 plus VAT and €99 incl tax for two years respectively. Local Hazard Information and Live Traffic features require a separate paid subscription after an initial complimentary trial; Wi-Fi Hotspot comes with 3 months or 3GB of complimentary data, requiring separate subscription with local mobile network provider thereafter. Future value-added services may require additional subscription.

4 Remote start feature available for vehicles (except Ranger) with automatic gearbox only, in regions where permitted by law; key must be present inside the vehicle for it to be driven

5 Digital Roadside Assistance feature currently available U.K., Spain, France and Portugal with further markets to follow

Source: Ford

Co-Star Heat-Shrink Solder Butt Connectors Provide a Fast and Secure Connection in Seconds

Blue Heatshrink Solder Butt Connector for Wire Size 1.5-2.5mm (Pack of 25)

Co-Star the Harrogate based global supplier to the ICT industry have launched a range of adhesive lined heat-shrink butt splice connectors that contain fluxed solder to ensure a secure connection in seconds. The connectors are designed for installing after market Telematics and mobile communications equipment into vehicles and marine equipment.

Mixed Heatshrink Solder Butt Connector pack (WTHPS.PACK)

The heat-shrink solder terminals provide a quick and simple cable joint without having to use any crimping tools. They just require a low temperature heat source  that can be provided by using a hot-air gun, blow-torch or lighter. Once heat is applied the solder melts and makes the connection with the cable and the adhesive inside the terminal makes a secure watertight seal.

The shrink ratio is 2:1 and the sleeves of the terminals are transparent to allow the engineer to inspect them once connected.

The heat-shrink connectors are available in three sizes:

Red 0.5-1mm 22-18 AWG 

Blue 1.5-2.5mm 16-14 AWG

Yellow 3.2-6mm 12-10 AWG

Assorted pack that contains: 5 Red, 5 Blue, 3 Yellow. Part Number: WTPS.PACK