Author Archives: Tim Cosgrove

About Tim Cosgrove

Tim Cosgrove works at Co-Star an ICT company who supplies globally and are based near Harrogate in the UK. Working at the forefront of the communications industry gives Tim a unique perspective of the latest exciting developments that affect the ICT industry which he is keen to share through the Co-star blog.

The Benefits of 4G LTE & Software-Defined Networking in Smart Cities

Smart Cities Smart City LTE

Cities & Regions Connect People, Places & Things While Leveraging Data

Cities and public-sector IT personnel must balance a unique combination of community expectations, budget limitations, and employee capacity. As cities become smarter and more connected, community members financially responsible growth. At the same time, it is common for cities to struggle with budgets and for elected officials to be held accountable by the public to ensure they are investing wisely and in ways that have a noticeable impact.

As technology continues to evolve, cities are evolving in parallel. A Smart City, according to Gartner, is “an urbanized area where multiple sectors cooperate to achieve sustainable outcomes through the analysis of contextual real-time information shared among sector-specific information and operational technology systems.”

Broadly speaking, Smart Cities use technology to collect data, analyze information, share results with different departments, and use those results to drive improvement. They understand how the combination of innovation, technology, and collaboration can truly improve the quality of life and the economic well-being of their citizens and businesses.

The effects of 4G LTE and Software-defined Networking (SD-N) have been profound within this context. The potential for connected people, places, and things has enabled cities to provide a deep and vast array of services in many different areas. Today cities are connecting:

  • K-12 public schools, students, and faculty
  • Public recreation centers and other amenities, such as golf courses
  • Fare boxes, passenger WiFi, digital signage, and surveillance cameras on buses in major metro systems
  • Cameras and tracking sensors/RFID tags on school buses
  • Police cars, laptops, body-worn cameras, dash cameras, evidence collection kits, and even IoT sensors to a city’s secure, private network
  • Search and rescue mobile vehicles, particularly those in remote locations
  • Code enforcement and building inspector vehicles, which traditionally serve as remote offices for city employees and contractors
  • Ambulances, stroke kits, and first responders to doctors local at hospitals
  • Traffic cameras, traffic light controllers, and cameras at intersections
  • Public trash compactors and recycling bins, allowing cities to be more efficient in how often receptacles need to be emptied
  • Digital signs that provide live route maps for public transportation users
  • Payment kiosks for citizens wishing to pay for city services out in the field
  • Election machines at precinct locations
  • Sensors for large public events that can be used to look for any kind of public safety threat

These services are increasingly essential to a city’s infrastructure. For example, Gartner predicts that by 2020, “streetlamps will be the primary infrastructure for 80 percent of Smart Cities.” While full of potential, these streetlamps can’t fully function as needed without reliable connectivity solutions. Flexible lighting allows city employees to remotely control switches and dimming devices, thereby enabling efficient, timely management. Video cameras and sensors attached to streetlamps also allow cities the ability to track — in real time — which streets have been plowed during inclement weather.

Without reliable 4G LTE connectivity, along with devices such as routers that can withstand the elements and be updated through the cloud, cities may focus too heavily on becoming a Smart City without paying enough attention to the logistics needed to fully get there.

When cities do fully implement reliable and secure 4G LTE and/or SDN solutions, the effects can be tremendous. The City of San Antonio understood the importance of becoming a Smart City and utilized 4G LTE to assist with traffic management. With more than 1.4 million people and further growth expected, transportation infrastructure is becoming increasingly critical to the city’s quality of life. Its Traffic Management Center needed remote access to monitor key applications, troubleshoot problems, and adjust traffic flow mechanisms (such as timers) in real time. In a city of this size, manual adjustments were no longer a reasonable solution.

By installing Cradlepoint’s cloud-managed routing platforms in nearly 700 traffic cabinets and utilizing 4G LTE, San Antonio now has constant connectivity for reliable access, streamlined network troubleshooting and real-time management, easy physical access, and the potential to scale up the network and applications.

The City of Boise helped its police department further advance the city toward Smart City status by updating its in-vehicle systems. The department upgraded its devices and implemented NetCloud Manager to enable central configuration, monitoring, and management. Whereas it previously took the city as many as 160 staff hours to complete network updates for the whole police cruiser fleet, it now takes approximately 5 minutes with remote cloud management. The cost savings, efficient use of officer resources, reliability, central network management, network flexibility, and future-proofing of these solutions allow the police department to evolve its technological infrastructure while demonstrating to the public its responsible use of valuable resources.

As 5G, often referred to as “next-generation WAN,” becomes more readily available, Smart Cities will have both the opportunity and the obligation to explore how a drastic increase in speeds, combined with a drastic decrease in latency, can better empower their infrastructure, services, and personnel.

The ways in which cities become “smart” depends heavily on the wireless connectivity, devices, and networking infrastructure solutions available to and adopted by IT professionals and approved by city leaders. In essence, the effects of 4G LTE, 5G, IoT, and SDN are only as powerful as the solutions that utilize them.

Learn More About Connecting Smart Cities

Learn more about Smart City drivers, needs, and solutions in our white paper: Developing Smart Cities & Communities.

Co-Star supply the full range of Cradlepoint 4G LTE connectivity technology Click here for more info>

Source: Cradlepoint

Vodafone launches “V by Vodafone” bringing world-leading IoT expertise to consumers

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Mobile operator Vodafone has entered the Internet of Things (IoT) consumer market with the launch of “V by Vodafone” enabling consumers to connect millions of home and leisure electronics products to the Group’s dedicated global IoT network – the largest of its kind in the world.

IoT technologies bring Internet-connected network intelligence to a wide range of devices at work, home and on the move. Analyst estimates suggest that by 2020 there will be more than 370 million consumer electronics and smart home devices capable of connection to mobile IoT networks in the countries in which Vodafone operates, up from around 50 million today.*

“V by Vodafone” is a new, simple system for consumers to connect and manage IoT devices and a product range that includes a connected car dongle, a 4G security camera, a pet location and activity tracker and a bag location tracker.

Vodafone’s consumer IoT strategy will build upon the company’s extensive track record in developing and implementing enterprise IoT technologies. The Group is the mobile world leader in IoT, with
59 million IoT connections and an international network and services platform for a wide range of business-critical applications.**

 

The new, simple way for consumers to connect IoT devices

“V by Vodafone” comprises:

  • the dedicated IoT “V-Sim by Vodafone”. The Sim card will be shipped as standard with IoT-enabled consumer electronics products sold by Vodafone from today. “V-Sim by Vodafone” will be also offered by third-party retailers next year;
  •  the “V by Vodafone smartphone app, providing customers with a single and intuitive overview of all IoT-enabled products registered to their account. Setting up each product is simple: customers scan a QR code on the product packaging to register it and add the monthly fee to their existing Vodafone mobile account;
  • automatic straight-out-of-the-box connection to the international Vodafone IoT network in any of 32 countries***. Customers benefit from a straightforward means of managing all of their connected devices from a single interface wherever they are, and wherever they travel. Unlike Wi-Fi-enabled devices, “V by Vodafone” products  are constantly connected wherever there is a mobile signal;
  • a single, affordable fixed monthly price plan for each product connected with a “V-Sim by Vodafone”, making it easy for consumers to use multiple IoT-enabled products; and
  • during 2018, Vodafone will launch a new online product marketplace open to IoT developers that will greatly extend the product choice for customers.

The “V by Vodafone” concept and product range were developed with insights from comprehensive research involving more than 15,000 consumers in Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK.

Launch products

Vodafone has focused on four product categories at launch. Other categories will follow in 2018.

The products will be available for purchase by current Vodafone mobile customers from today in selected Vodafone stores in Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK. They can also be purchased online at v.vodafone.com.

V-Auto by Vodafone uses the same IoT technologies developed by Vodafone for some of the world’s most advanced connected cars. The “plug and drive” dongle can be added to most vehicles on European roads manufactured since 2002. The “V-Auto by Vodafone” dongle is fitted to the car in seconds by the customer and is fully configured within minutes.

Once connected, “V-Auto by Vodafone” adds the following capabilities to any compatible vehicle.

  • Auto SOS: the car owner will be contacted and offered support in the event of an accident in their home country. An automated call will be made to the emergency services if there is no response. The Auto SOS function provides the kind of eCall capability that will be a mandatory safety feature fitted in all new cars sold in the European Union from 2018, but does so simply and cheaply for millions of older vehicles that would not otherwise benefit from this life-saving technology.
  • Find My Car: enabling the car owner to track the whereabouts of their vehicle.
  • Safety Score: providing driving performance statistics on every journey. This is ideal for helping younger or inexperienced drivers improve their road sense.

V-Camera by Vodafone is a high-definition mobile security camera that automatically connects to Vodafone’s IoT network. This enables customers to set up continuous remote video monitoring of any location where there is 3G or 4G coverage.

V-Pet by Vodafone is a location and activity tracker for dogs and cats. Owners can track their pets using a combination of GPS and the mobile network and get smartphone alerts if their pet strays from a designated area. They can also use the activity monitor to track their pet’s movements and sleeping patterns.

V-Bag by Vodafone is an advanced briefcase, handbag and schoolbag tracker that helps customers reduce the risk of theft or loss. Customers can set up a smartphone alert to notify them if a bag leaves a designated area such as a playground or crowded bar.

Vodafone Group Chief Executive, Vittorio Colao, said: “The Internet of Things is already beginning to transform how businesses operate. Over the next decade, the expansion of IoT into consumer markets will bring about an equally dramatic shift in how people manage their daily lives, at home and in their leisure time. “V by Vodafone” makes it simple to connect a wide range of IoT-enabled devices, helping customers keep everyone and everything that matters to them safe and secure. We look forward to applying our world-leading expertise in IoT to help consumers make the most of the next phase of the global digital revolution.”

Source: Vodafone

BMW Connected further expands its digital ecosystem.

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The power of words: quick inquiries, fast control.

BMW Connected presents customers with an array of possibilities when it comes to managing appointments and contacts, route planning and vehicle functions based on their personal mobility agenda. To this end, the vehicle is linked (via the Open Mobility Cloud) to the digital devices selected by the user. Customers can now also enjoy the services of their BMW seamlessly integrated into their daily lives via BMW Connected at all times and extremely conveniently from their home. And here the Google Assistant provides another new option. Using voice commands, the customer can check whether the windows and doors of their BMW are closed and how much charge a BMW i3 has remaining, plus ask for information about imminent appointments and required departure times depending on the traffic situation. These inquiries can also be made via the Google Assistant on voice-activated speakers like Google Home as well as eligible Android phones and iPhones.

To activate BMW Connected, all users need to say is “Ok Google, ask BMW…”. They can then follow up with individual questions by voice command, e.g. “When is my next appointment?”, “Send the address to my vehicle”, “When should I leave?”, “What is my remaining range?” or “Is my vehicle locked?”. These functions allow users to optimise personal mobility planning at an early stage and enable comfortable and stress-free arrival at their destination.

BMW Connected will be integrated with the Google Assistant starting in December 2017 (in the USA at launch; other countries will follow).

The BMW Group is committed to building the mobility of the future through its NUMBER ONE > NEXT strategy and is investing extensively in the technologies of tomorrow. As the leading provider of premium mobility, the company is focusing squarely on the needs and wishes of its customers and continues to play an instrumental role in driving forward ACES (Autonomous, Connected, Electrified and Services/Shared) developments.

Source: BMW

PodM2M Signs Deal with ForaCare to Provide Mission Critical Connectivity for IoT Telehealth Solution

PodM2M (a division of Pod Group), a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO)

 specializing in global data connectivity solutions for the M2M/IoT market, has today announced an agreement with ForaCare Inc. a company dedicated to developing products for chronic disease management by combining innovative technologies and clinical applications.

PodM2M will provide a highly resilient connectivity solution for ForaCare´s Telehealth platform and range of connected healthcare monitoring devices designed for both the patient and the practitioner. These devices include the Test’N Go Glucose Monitoring Meter, allowing patients to see trends in their blood glucose levels and plan their treatment and the VSM100 Vital Signs Monitor, which remotely monitors key patient indicators such as blood pressure, temperature and oxygen levels and reports back to the physician. Devices are connected via the Fora 24/7 HealthView Platform, a secure, web-access management system giving physicians real-time access to patient data.

The need to quickly and securely share data between patients, physicians and hospitals means a highly resilient and secure network connection is required between the devices and the platform. ForaCare also requires a fully scalable solution to enable the company to expand into new growth markets. PodM2M´s resilient network connectivity with intelligent switching, combined with access to over 600 networks worldwide made it an obvious choice to provide the connectivity of the solution.

Adrian Alexander, Sales Account Manager at ForaCare commented, “Pod offered a cost-effective solution and always gave us a quick response to our questions. We also like the fact that Pod can operate globally as we’re in the process of expanding into other markets outside the US. Thanks to our confidence in the service that Pod provides we will continue to plan our growth and recommend the service.”

PodM2M´s specialist focus on remote and mission critical applications is based on its “No Single Point of Failure” network topology, whereby multiple core networks (IMSIs) are included on the same SIM card and can be automatically switched to provide back-up networks using Pod´s Multi-IMSI app on the SIM. Pod´s extensive experience in this area has led it to develop a special “Pod Profile” which can be used as a bootstrap IMSI on eUICC SIM cards, providing an extra layer of resilience.

Sam Colley, CEO of Pod Group USA commented, “Our expertise in providing connectivity for mission critical applications makes our solution a perfect fit for healthcare IoT applications such as ForaCare´s TeleHealth System. We are constantly researching new and innovative ways to increase the resilience and security of IoT connectivity which is vital for the growth and uptake of IoT solutions.”

About PodM2M

PodM2M is a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) specializing in global data connectivity solutions for the M2M/IoT market. Our expertise, dedication to innovation, and comprehensive range of products and services help companies develop resilient, future-proof M2M/IoT solutions, generating innovative new revenue streams for IoT communications.

About ForaCare:

Based in Moorpark, California, Fora Care Inc. is a technology company dedicated to the design, development, and marketing of products for chronic disease management. The aim of Fora Care Inc. is to complete the cycle of chronic disease management by combining innovative technologies and clinical applications. We embrace modern technologies and experience to focus on diabetes and hypertension. By utilizing the advanced information technology and integrated diabetes/ hypertension monitoring, we establish an efficient and effective healthcare management platform to serve professionals and patients.

Source: PodM2M

Verizon and Ericsson team up to deploy Massive MIMO

ericsson

Verizon and Ericsson reached another milestone in 4G LTE Advanced Technologies that will also serve as a stepping stone to 5G technology by completing their first deployment of FDD (Frequency Division Duplexing) Massive MIMO (Multiple Input – Multiple Output) on Verizon’s wireless network in Irvine, CA.

This deployment will improve both spectral and energy efficiency, increasing network capacity for current devices in the market.  Further significant enhancements are expected to come as new devices evolve toward 5G.  For customers, the result will be higher and more consistent speeds for using apps and uploading and downloading files.

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“While continuing to drive 5G development, the deployment of Massive MIMO offers very tangible benefits for our customers today.  As we innovate, we learn and continue to lay the groundwork and set the standards for 5G technology,” said Nicola Palmer, Chief Network Officer of Verizon Wireless.  “Our collaboration with Ericsson on this new deployment continues to drive industry-wide innovation and advancements.”

Today’s Massive MIMO deployment involves 16 transceiver radio units driving an array of 96 antenna elements supplied by Ericsson.  The deployment is running on a 20 MHz block of AWS spectrum.  Four way transmit has been widely deployed throughout the Verizon network and has contributed to significant 4G LTE advancements.  In Massive MIMO – the next step of antenna array evolution – the high number of transmitters enables more possible signal paths.  It also enables beamforming, which directs the beam from the cell site directly to where the customer is, dramatically cutting down on interference.  Reduced interference results in higher and more consistent speeds for customers.

Niklas Heuveldop, Head of Market Area North America at Ericsson, said: “Massive MIMO is a key technology enabler for 5G, but already today, 4G LTE service providers and end users can benefit from the superior capacity and network performance this technology enables.  The current trial is an important step in the collaboration we have with Verizon to prepare their network for 5G.”

As part of an Intelligent Edge Network that processes data where it’s generated, this Massive MIMO deployment is another step in technological innovation and leadership. As Verizon begins deploying Massive MIMO in the future throughout the network in places where there are capacity needs, customers with compatible devices will automatically begin taking advantage of this technological advancement.

Source: Ericsson

 

Ensign Bus Reduces Near Collisions by 57 Percent with Lytx DriveCam® Video Safety Programme, 54 Percent Reduction in Scored Driving Events

ensign bus

The M25 bottleneck east of London is a massive inconvenience to most drivers, but to Ensign Bus Company, it can rapidly become a “complete nightmare.” The M25/A13 junction’s slow-moving traffic and the QE2 bridge frequently push traffic onto local roads that can too often put Ensign’s 120 drivers into conflict with impatient road users, which can quickly lead to risky driving behaviours or, worse still, potential collision events.

But, since adopting the Lytx DriveCam Video Telematics Programme, near collisions have decreased 57 percent for Ensign Bus.

The Lytx DriveCam safety programme is a comprehensive video telematics solution that combines video capture of road incidents such as hard braking or sudden swerving, data analysis of those incidents, and personalised coaching insights to enable fleet managers to improve driving behaviour to help prevent those incidents. The net result is reductions of collision-related costs by up to 80 percent.

Reversing Upward Trends in Insurance Claims

Ensign Bus Company’s Driver Training and Standards Manager Mark Turner-Monk is responsible for developing and driving forward the company’s Lytx programme. Ensign’s directors searched for a solution to improve the already good, safe driving behaviour of their operators. As an award-winning medium-size bus operator in the UK, it was important to Ensign to further reduce the potential risks of operating their growing fleet on some of the most congested roads in the UK.

“Insurance costs are rising in our industry,” said Turner-Monk. “Insurance claims in general are on the rise with more and more alleged accidents and passenger falls. Our policy premiums were going through the roof and we had to demonstrate to our insurance company that we were doing everything we could to limit our exposure to claims.”

Ensign first installed a telematics solution which produced what Turner-Monk called mountains of useless data. “It would tell us there was a hard brake incident at, say, 9:55 on Tuesday. But, what happened? We hadn’t a clue. How do you take action based on raw data alone?  We needed to know the root cause to attempt to prevent it from happening again. As Driving Standards Manager, I need to know who was driving, where they were, and what had happened inside and outside the bus immediately before and during the incident. The raw telematics data system just didn’t give me the information that I needed to help my drivers understand and improve their driving.”

It wasn’t until they installed the Lytx DriveCam programme that they were able to pinpoint the drivers who represented the most risk, and help them improve their safe driving behaviour.

“DriveCam is a training tool, not a disciplinary tool,” said Turner-Monk. “We look after our drivers – they’re individuals, not numbers. We want them to arrive home safely and to be able to put food on the table for their families. We’re helping them protect their livelihoods by becoming better drivers.  The Lytx DriveCam video is the first step in our extensive training programme.”

Showing Both What Happened and Why It Happened

The DriveCam video, Turner-Monk said, tells both what happened and more importantly, why it happened. “You can take action on the why – now we don’t have to fight through mountains of irrelevant data to find what happened and the associated risks,” he said. By coaching drivers with specific data-backed insights, Ensign Bus Company reduced its overall coachable driving events by 54 percent.

It’s also helped them take pre-emptive action with local officials to fix traffic trouble spots. Turner-Monk described one road junction with a dedicated bus lane separate from the adjacent consumer vehicle lane that presented a problem for drivers.  It was by reviewing the DriveCam footage that Ensign had the proof it needed to tackle the problem.

“The sensors on the light were faulty, clearing the other lane too early, before our bus could make it through the junction,” he said. “Within the first week of having the DriveCam system, we had two incidents at that junction. We were able to take the video to the local authority who could see for themselves that the sensors weren’t working properly. That’s the value of the video! We could see it wasn’t a driver issue at all. It saved us so much hassle from collisions that would have otherwise taken place at that spot.”

Turner-Monk also appreciates the speed with which DriveCam data and video are delivered. Once captured, clips are uploaded and analysed by reviewers, who then deliver the clips along with coaching insights to a web-based workspace. “We know quickly what happened and why. We can identify and address the issue and get on with coaching the driver concerned,” he said, adding that the ability to coach drivers using a tablet further enhances the speed of event resolution.

Their insurance company also likes the programme, and they’ve seen claims-related events with passengers drop by one-third, he said. “They like what’s happening – we’re moving in the right direction.” The video footage and telematics data is playing an increasing roll in dispute resolution and claim handling by Ensign Bus Company’s underwriters.

An additional benefit to the DriveCam programme, Turner-Monk said, is the ability to identify and recognise good drivers. “We’ve had one driver who’s never triggered a coachable event, despite long shifts, a myriad of different buses and driving ALL our different routes,” he said. “He’s a model to the company.”

About Lytx
At Lytx® we harness the power of data to change human behaviour and help good companies become even better. Our flagship product, Lytx DriveCam® sets the standard for driver safety in the industries we serve. We protect more than 2,200 commercial and government fleet clients worldwide who drive billions of miles. We enable our clients to realise significant ROI by lowering operating and insurance costs, while achieving greater efficiency and compliance. Most of all, we strive to help save lives – on our roads and in our communities, every day. Lytx has offices in the UK and is privately held and headquartered in San Diego. For more information, visit www.lytx.com, @LytxUK on Twitter, or on our YouTube channel.

Source: Lytx

Co-Star supports the FCS Vehicle Installer and Business Radio 2017 events

Co-Star to Showcase Latest Technologies at FCS Business Radio 2017

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Co-Star, the UK’s leading supplier to the ICT   industry will be supporting  the FCS Business Radio and Vehicle Technology Installer events at Chateau Impney Droitwich Spa on the 16th November.

This unique event for the mobile communiccations industry sets out to encompass the latest developments and emerging oppurtunities for the future.

Co-Star will be sowcasing the latest mobile communications technologies including: 4G LTE Wireless Routers from Cradlepoint, Sierra Wireless and Encore, the latest High Speed Data and RF Connectors, RAM Mounting Solutions, and USB Power Supplies.

The programme for the events includes:

  • The latest FITAS news from Jason McComb.
  • Petrochemical Regulation ESN Updates from John Thompson.
  • 5G LTE Technology by Stuart Revell from the 5GIC.

Click here to register for BR17

Source: Co-StarFor more information on the event please contact the FCS.

UK new car market declines in September

car-manufacturingDemand for new cars declines in September as consumer and business confidence falls

 

  • UK new car market falls for sixth consecutive month in September – down -9.3% to 426,170 units.
  • First time the important September market has fallen in six years.1
  • Demand for alternatively fuelled vehicles continues to accelerate, up 41.0% last month, while petrol falls -1.2% and diesel declines -21.7%.

SEE CAR REGISTRATIONS BY BRAND


The UK new car market declined for a sixth consecutive month in September, with 426,170 new units registered, according to figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Registrations fell by -9.3% in this key month, as economic and political uncertainty, and confusion over air quality plans led to a fall in consumer confidence.

Demand from business, fleet and private buyers all fell in September, down -5.2%, -10.1% and -8.8% respectively. Meanwhile, registrations fell across all body types except dual-purpose, which grew 2.4%. The biggest declines were seen at opposite ends of the market with both luxury saloons and superminis falling -36.4% and 21.2% respectively.

Demand for alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFVs) continued to accelerate in September however, surging 41.0% in the month and 34.6% year-to-date, with nearly 95,000 leaving forecourts this year. However, this couldn’t compensate for declines in registrations of petrol cars, down -1.2%, and, especially, diesel which fell for the sixth consecutive month, down -21.7%.

Confusion surrounding air quality plans has inevitably led to a drop in consumer and business demand for diesel vehicles, which is undermining the roll out of the latest low emissions models and thwarting the ambitions of both industry and government to meet challenging CO2 targets. Indeed, if new diesel registrations continue on this negative trend, UK average new car CO2 levels could actually rise this year, the first time such an increase would have occurred since average CO2 emissions were recorded.2 So far this year 485,067 diesel vehicles have been produced in the UK, and maintaining strong demand for the latest new diesel vehicles is essential for the health of the UK automotive sector that employs over 814,000 people.

Year-to-date, new car registrations have fallen -3.9%. But, overall, the market remains at a historically high levels with over 2 million vehicles hitting UK roads so far this year.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said,

September is always a barometer of the health of the UK new car market so this decline will cause considerable concern. Business and political uncertainty is reducing buyer confidence, with consumers and businesses more likely to delay big ticket purchases. The confusion surrounding air quality plans has not helped, but consumers should be reassured that all the new diesel and petrol models on the market will not face any bans or additional charges. Manufacturers’ scrappage schemes are proving popular and such schemes are to be encouraged given fleet renewal is the best way to address environmental issues in our towns and cities.

The Government announces 5G Competition to cement UK’s position as World leader in development of 5G

 

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The UK Government has announced a new £25 million competition to cement the UK’s position as a world leader in the development of 5G technology.

Digital Minister Matt Hancock revealed the 5G Testbeds and Trials competition as part of the UK Government’s £740m National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF), which was set up to support next-generation digital infrastructure like 5G.

The government is seeking further locations across the country for test sites in order to support the rollout of 5G network technology. To that end, it’s inviting project proposals to receive grants of up to £5 million.

Winning project proposals must come from UK registered organisations that are carrying out projects in the UK and working in collaboration with others. They must also be industry-led, or at least have a strong industry component.

Submissions for the 5G Testbeds and Trials Programme will be accepted from October 23, and the process will close on December 13.

Minister for Digital Matt Hancock said: “To stay competitive we must be at the cutting edge of new technology and we are determined to be one of the first countries in the world to use 5G. In these very early stages we want all ideas, from all parts of the country, that will help us get the technology and the roll-out right to have a nationwide network of 5G innovators.

“It’s all part of our determination to make Britain the best place in the world to start and grow a digital business, and deliver for all citizens now and in the years to come.”

It was during the 2016 Autumn Statement that the UK Government first announced its intention to invest in a programme of 5G testbed intitiatives. This has led to the likes of BrightonBasingstoke and the North Eastall establishing 5G testbed programmes.

Besides these Bristol University, King’s College London, and The University of Surrey have all teamed up to create a world class 5G technology test network of their own.

In recent days Worcestershire has joined the roster of UK regions looking to supply their own 5G testbed facilities. It will be interesting to see which UK city or county will be next.

Image credit: Panchenko Vladimir/Shutterstock.com

Source: 5G.co.uk

EU gives final approval to WiFi4EU €120M public Wi-Fi plan

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The European Parliament gave the final nod to the WiFi4EU project, which will see local authorities in member states bid for a share of a €120 million fund to pay for the installation of free Wi-Fi in public areas.

Mariya Gabriel, commissioner for Digital Economy and Society at the European Commission (EC), described the development as “a concrete step forward for delivering results to all EU citizens”.

Regional authorities are expected to be able to submit applications for a stake of the pot before the year-end.

The money will be awarded to authorities across the economic bloc deemed to be most deserving, in the form of vouchers covering the cost of installing equipment in community areas such as libraries and town squares.

WiFi4EU was announced by the EC in September 2016 and since gone through a lengthy approval process, which also saw the European Council of member states give the green light to the bill.

Following today’s final sign-off from the European Parliament, it will be recorded in the EU’s official journal and passed into law.

High hopes
The announcement comes a day after Broadband Competence Office (BCO) director Jan Droge tipped WiFi4EU to have a significant impact on connectivity in underserved areas when the first round of funds are made available.

Speaking at Broadband World Forum in Berlin, Droge said the programme was: “A new aid mechanism which is quite innovative. It will make connectivity in small public spaces easier”.

The BCO is an EU body set-up to supply advice and support for member states struggling with the technological and logistical aspects of fibre broadband deployment, including securing funding and partnerships with regulators.

Source: Chris Donkin-Mobile World Live