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The Roar of the Crowd

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When the COVID-19 pandemic struck in early 2020, there was a general feeling that it would all be over in six months. Few expected the global shutdown of live events and professional sports. Concert tours were postponed and sports arenas stood empty as the effects of the pandemic rolled on into the year. I had bought tickets to see the My Chemical Romance reunion tour in September 2020, for my son Max’s 18th birthday. But of course, it’s been postponed (twice) and it looks like I’ll be taking him for his 20th birthday instead! Pro sports are starting to open up in many countries, and people like me are itching to go to concerts to see our favorite bands, comedians and theater productions, and be immersed in the collective cheers and applause of the audience again. In the immortal words of the late, great Freddie Mercury, “the show must go on!”

BlueRiver® for Stadiums

Software Defined Video over Ethernet (SDVoE™), powered by Semtech’s award winning BlueRiver® technology, is changing the way we transport content in Professional Audio/Video (Pro AV), providing software-defined workflows and greater flexibility using standard IP-based infrastructure. In Pro AV verticals, where low latency performance and pristine, artifact-free image quality really matters, SDVoE is the ideal solution for AV distribution over high performance networks. When it comes to live sports and events, it is critical that the fidelity of video content is maintained when shown on the big screens, and the audio remains synchronized, not only with the video on the screen, but to the actual event itself. Keeping latency to a minimum is key to a flawless presentation; avoiding unnecessary processing such as compression will ensure that there is no perceptible delay between what you see live and what’s on the big screen.

Let’s take a look at the AV infrastructure in a typical large venue or sports stadium, illustrated in the diagram below. At the heart of this AV distribution system is a high performance IP network, utilizing standard Ethernet equipment and infrastructure. All AV sources and displays connect to this network via SDVoE endpoints, or through direct integration of the BlueRiver chipset. The SDVoE stadium delivers:

  • Crystal clear live action up to 4K resolution
  • All AV sources throughout the venue, inside and out
  • Near zero latency which means everyone cheers at the same time
  • Configurability to meet the needs of sports, live music and exhibitions
  • Flexibility to support stunning, customized digital signage
  • Simple centralized software management and control via a single application programming interface (API)
  • Centralized AV production
  • Unified advertising and billing systems
  • Integrated security, control and building management

The SDVoE Stadium

The SDVoE™ Stadium

Advanced Digital Signage and Displays

The use of advanced signage and displays is commonplace in today’s stadiums and arenas, whether it be your “center ice” display cluster, where you have multiple high resolution displays showing the game live, scoreboards, player stats, or promotional content in between the action. All these displays can be driven from a centralized production center. If you think about a typical sports game, there’s a live production occurring in parallel, with a dedicated crew who is determining what everyone in the stadium is seeing on each of the displays, not only at center ice, but also on the ribbon displays around the arena.

Of course, playing surface projection is very popular in many sports venues, with the ability to project team logos and player information directly onto the ice surface or basketball court. Most modern stadiums also provide very high quality digital signage around the exterior of the venue. You can watch pregame events outside, in the parking lot or while lining up for tickets before entering the stadium itself. All this is tied into the AV distribution system powered by SDVoE.

Don’t Miss a Thing

Outside the seating area of the main arena, there are concession stands and merchandise kiosks where screens are provided, so you can continue watching the live action while ordering food and drinks. How many of you have experienced the roar of the crowd when a player scores, but the display you’re watching above the concession stand is a few seconds behind the live action? You want to be cheering at the same time as everyone else, and you don’t want to miss a thing while queuing for refreshments! Only an AV system with near-zero transmission latency, such as SDVoE, can deliver this experience.

Many stadiums provide private suites and boxes where you are given access to a variety of AV content; not only the video production of the live game itself, but other games in progress around the league, unique programs advertising upcoming events, even regular TV channels to keep guests entertained during breaks in the live action. Again, all this can be sourced and distributed using the power and flexibility of SDVoE.

In large venues, safety and security of both staff and guests is paramount, especially when attendance can be in the many thousands. By giving security staff access to the high quality live camera feeds throughout the stadium, displayed on state of the art control room displays, emergency response teams can be better directed and informed. The advanced multiview processing feature of BlueRiver provides display systems the ability to show many video feeds, placed in custom layouts on a single display.

Why Live Events Need SDVoE™

The key features of SDVoE that are critical for high performance AV distribution systems in stadiums and for live events are:

  • Low latency: essential for lip sync and audience reaction at live events. There’s nothing more annoying at a concert when the big screens at the side of the stage are not in sync with the music. It can be very off putting to hear an amazing drum solo but see the drum sticks hit the drums a second after hearing it.
  • Lossless video performance: large venue displays are getting bigger, with higher and higher resolutions up to 4K. With the size of displays used for stadiums and live events, it is essential to maintain the fidelity of a high quality source when scaled up to the size of these displays. Distribution systems that need to employ video compression will introduce artifacts that will be very noticeable (and objectionable) when blown up on the big screen.
  • Fiber transmission medium: optical fiber is the only way to distribute AV over IP in stadium-scale installations. Fiber is critical to meeting the transmission distances in a distributed AV over IP system which benefit from a centralized source equipment room that may be kilometers of cable distance away from the remote displays.
  • Leveraging existing infrastructure: many large venues and sports arenas are pre-wired with optical fiber cabling, which is typically provisioned for broadcast signal distribution, where the broadcast team rolls up to the venue and hooks in to this fiber network. This same fiber network can be utilized for SDVoE, so when event crews using SDVoE-based equipment arrive at the venue, they simply plug directly into the stadiums AV network and take advantage of all the displays within the venue, saving time and rental costs.

SDVoE is the only fully interoperable AV over IP standard that delivers pristine visually lossless image quality, up to 4K resolution, with imperceptible latency. Join the growing team of SDVoE adopters today and reap the benefits of a rapidly expanding ecosystem of products and services that enable the next generation of AV distribution systems for stadiums.

The Roar of the Crowd

As lockdown restrictions ease, many will feel the need to gather and experience that sense of community that can only be derived from cheering for our favorite sports team, or pumping our fists into the air collectively to the musicians—who need our support more than ever. At the same time, providers of Pro AV systems for live events are poised to take our entertainment to another level, with ever more sophisticated displays, sound systems and lighting displays, and SDVoE as the backbone of their AV distribution solution.

You can learn more about the power and flexibility of BlueRiver solutions for SDVoE in the webinar, “BlueRiver ASIC: Enabling a New Class of SDVoE Products,” and why key Pro AV verticals such as entertainment and live events require the power and flexibility of SDVoE in the “Spotlight on Key Verticals for BlueRiver” webinar.

Source: Semtech

South Korea leads the 5G race and lays out the blueprint for the rest of the world

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In this report we took an in-depth look into how South Korea became the 5G power house that it is and why many countries and especially the United States are so far behind in the 5G race.

The US operators have misled Americans since 2019 about the capabilities that 5G can offer. Remember AT&T claiming 4G as 5G, with its new logo and icon 5GE. Still today, the US carriers are confusing the public with different names of 5G. For instance, AT&T uses three different nomenclature for 5G, such as 5GE, 5G and 5G plus. The same is the case with Verizon, which has two flavours of 5G, namely 5G Ultrawideband and 5G Nationwide. These are all the marketing tactics to hide US operators’ incapability, which still fail to provide fast and seamless 5G like South Korea.

It’s probably news to most Americans that South Korea’s 5G networks are No. 1 in terms of fastest download speeds. In this article, we look at the various factors contributing to the overall success of 5G in South Korea. There is much to learn for the rest of the world in order to enjoy fast speeds and budget-friendly mobile internet at the same time. We have analyzed and compared the US and South Korean markets in the following sections.

World’s highest download speeds: 10 times faster 5G speeds as compared to the US!

South Korea ranks No.1 with 449 Mbps in 5G median download speeds, based on speedtests conducted during February-March 2021 by Speedcheck. On the other hand, 5G operators in the US provide only 43.4 Mbps, ten times slower than Korean operators. No doubt speed thrills, especially when a subscriber feels enhanced and immersive experience while downloading big files/movies, enjoying AR/VR content or even playing online games.

Relative speeds (Mbps) and prices per Gigabytes shows an out of proportion ratio in both markets

The exciting result of our analysis shows that consumers in the US are paying a little less per Gigabytes than in South Korea, but at the same time getting ten times slower speeds. These figures show a considerable gap between the cost per GB and relative internet speeds in both countries. What’s the main reason for this huge gap? The situation could have been avoided by allocating a mid-band spectrum in the range of 3.5 GHz and following an aggressive rollout strategy by covering a more extensive US population, with much more 5G sites.

The following table shows the data prices of major mobile operators in the US and South Korea.

Operators 5G Data Plan Comparison in the US and South Korea
Mobile Operator
Plan
Cost
Data
Details
Verizon Play More 80$ /line per month 50 GB Premium data After exceeding allowance 600 kbps speed for the rest of the month
AT&T Unlimited Extra 75$/line per month 50 GB premium data After 50GB, AT&T may temporarily slow data speeds if the network is busy
T-Mobile Essentials 65$/line per month 50 GB of premium data Essentials customers may notice speeds lower than other customers and further reduction if using >50GB/mo. due to data prioritization
LG U+ Data Special D KRW 110,000 (98 $) 40GB/month+4GB/day After that up to 3Mbps
SK Telecom 5GX Prime KRW 89,000 (80 $) 30 GB/month
KT Super Plan Basic Choice 90,000 KRW (80 $) 40 GB data Speed limit at 200Kbps

Yet another insight of our research shows that the average price per Gigabyte in the US is around 1.5 USD, while in South Korea, it is 2.3 USD. Our study also indicates that affordability is not a constraint; US citizens could pay more if they can get faster speeds. The Purchasing Power Index (PPI) score published in 2020 shows the US well ahead of South Korea in terms of purchasing power. The US is placed at No.3 in the world ranking with a PPI score of 109.52 compared to SK, which is 20th place with a PPI score of 85.21.

5G Price Comparison between US and South Korean Mobile Operators
Mobile Operator
Price per Gigabyte
Verizon 🇺🇸 $1.6
AT&T 🇺🇸 $1.5
T Mobile 🇺🇸 $1.3
SK Telecom 🇰🇷 $2.6
LG U+ 🇰🇷 $2.45
KT 🇰🇷 $2

Mid-band is a must for 5G, whereas FCC is late to auction the required spectrum in the US!

Another important factor contributing to the successful deployment of 5G in South Korea was spectrum allocation in 3.5 GHz and 28GHz bands. The telecom regulatory authority released enough chunks of the spectrum (100MHz and 800 MHz in 3.5GHz and 28GHz, respectively) to power the telecom sector in SK. The three telecom operators got 280 MHz in 3.5 GHz and 2400 MHz in 28 GHz bands.

Available Spectrum in SK: 3.5 GHz and 28 GHz

South Koreans were lucky to get enough chunks of 3.5 GHz spectrum from the very beginning of the 5G launch in 2019. South Korean operators took advantage of the 3.5 GHz (C-Band) spectrum for 5G services due to its radio propagation characteristics, providing a perfect balance between coverage, capacity and speed. On top of that, SK operators used a 28 GHz (mmWave) frequency spectrum to ensure faster internet to a more extensive customer base in dense urban areas.

Available Spectrum in the US: 600 MHz, 850 MHz, 39GHz… (NO 3.5 GHz)

Unfortunately, the US operators were left with limited choice when it comes to spectrum availability for 5G. The absence of a mid-band spectrum (3.5GHz/C-band) was the bottleneck to have successful 5G. Operators in the US used lower frequency bands (600/850 MHz) to cover larger geographical areas. However, they could not provide faster speeds due to the radio propagation characteristics of the low band spectrum. Even worse, in some areas, the 5G speeds were slower than 4G.

Moreover, to bear the fruits of the high-end spectrum (39 GHz), a more significant 5G cell site density is required to cover a more extensive consumer base. However, the US has fewer 5G sites, resulting in insufficient capacity and lower speeds.

The US is too late to auction the mid-band/C-band, which is called the golden band for 5G. Instead, the US either relied on lower and higher bands. The lower bands are good at coverage but not at speed, and higher bands are best for speed but not to cover a broader area. FCC is planning to auction 5G mid-band (C-band) later this year, at least three years behind SK.

The question is why the US delayed the C-band spectrum, while other countries like South Korea were too quick to set aside the C-band for mobile operators. It seems the US was too cautious about using C-band for mobile operators, considering the interference issues it may have caused for the devices already used in the military, aviation industry and satellites.

South Korean operators adopted an aggressive rollout strategy reaching a 5G penetration rate of more than 20 % just in three years, while in the US, the penetration rate is still under 10%

SK operators implemented an aggressive 5G rollout strategy since April 2019. As a result, the total 5G subscriptions in SK surpassed 15 million at the end of April 2021, which is more than 20 % penetration given 52 million people. Today, 5G is available in 85 cities of SK. The big boost in 5G subscriptions in 2021 came due to Samsung Electronics latest flagship Galaxy S21 smartphone. Three SK operators have deployed more than 166,250 5G base stations.

On the other hand, the 5G penetration rate is just under 10 % in the US. The US operators claim to have 75 % nationwide 5G coverage, with 5G available in 279 cities, and the performance of 5G networks remains uneven.

SK government boosted the competition by providing a level playing field and introduced independent MVNOs to reduce the prices further

Local 5G products and R&D helped fuel 5G in SK: In SK, the contribution of local industry and R&D from telcos such as Samsung makes it easier to deploy and cheaper to roll out. Whereas the US is primarily dependent on foreign companies for its 5G, though there is some change in the mindset to use indigenous products, it will take time.

South Korea provides a level playing field to boost the competition further. Unlike the US, in SK, there is no restriction on any company. Prominent vendors like ZTE and Huawei are allowed to participate in SK 5G, which provides a level playing field to all the telcos irrespective of the country of origin. Thus SK benefits from state of the art technologies at a lower cost.

Introduction of independent MVNOs: Till today, only the three players, namely SK, KT, and LGU+, dominate the Korean market. Recently the SK government has come up with a novel idea to further boost the 5G competition by allowing MVNOs to offer 5G data plans independently. According to a local news agency, the Mobile Virtual Network Operators will be offering 5G data plans (30 GB) at the cost of 35 USD. It is essential to mention that three leading operators do not currently provide 5G data plans at a similar price for the same amount of data. On the other hand, though many MVNOs are already operating in the US, they are not independent of legacy telcos, thus cannot provide the data prices feely.

SK mobile operators are offering compelling content and partnerships to boost 5G subscribers further

In SK, a considerable amount of content and value-added services (VAS) are bundled by carries into mobile plans to attract more 5G subscribers. Most of the VAS is related to gaming (e-sports and cloud gaming) and applications like AR/VR, which are very popular among South Koreans, ensuring an immersive experience while watching 360 live sports, dancing, and training sessions. While in the US, there is still a lack of rich AR/VR content to attract 5G subscribers. Only recently, big operators are acquiring media companies which is a positive sign.

Finally, we summarise our analysis in a tabular form, illustrating the main differences between the US and SK market.

Comparison of 5G in South Korea and the USA
USA
South Korea
Speeds Slow (43Mbps) Fast (450Mbps)
Spectrum Limited, No C-Band, Only low and ultra-high bands are available Enough spectrum in low, mid (C-band) and higher bands
Price per GB Relatively Low Relatively High
MVNOs Dependent Independent
Healthy Competition No Yes
Vendors Dependent on foreign companies with limited options due to restrictions No restriction on local and foreign vendors
Aggressive Rollout No, it results in the low penetration rate Yes, it results in a high penetration rate
Content Limited to the media industry Rich AR/VR content and VAS, extended partnership to media and other verticals

BT and ABP’s Port of Ipswich trial IoT solution to digitise port operations

 Ipswich crane

BT deploys its Intelligent Asset platform across the Port

BT and Associated British Ports (ABP) are trialling the next generation of Internet of Things (IoT) and sensor technology to speed up the movement and processing of cargo goods and digitise the Port of Ipswich’s logistics and operations processes.

ABP and BT have installed IoT devices on cranes and transport equipment, which are used for the safe and efficient collection and transportation of cargoes across the port. The data generated by BT’s IoT solution are captured, analysed and visualised on BT’s Intelligent Asset platform to make the unloading and transportation of cargoes more efficient – in near real time.

The solution interprets the data from a wide range of port equipment, providing a record of time, travel distance, routes taken, and weight of goods unloaded. The information is then automatically sent to port management, allowing them to track the progress of the ship-to-shore operations. This allows the Port of Ipswich operational team make rapid, data-driven management decisions, and facilitate more collaborative decision-making with customers, making the best use of resources and assets to meet customer demand.

In addition to tracking the movement of assets, the data collected from BT’s IoT solution also monitors periods of inactivity, underutilisation, and maintenance requirements. For instance, the data provides better understanding of the resourcing of crane drivers and uses that analysis to reduce costs as well as greenhouse gasses. Cranes are used more when downtime is assessed accurately, and resources can be flexibly deployed to reduce periods of inactivity. The solution also gathers insights such as how often the equipment is being used, and how much distance they have covered. This provides an accurate view of maintenance requirements for plant equipment and machinery.

Dean Terry, Managing Director, Corporate and Public Sector, BT’s Enterprise unit said: “It’s fantastic to see the early success of our partnership with ABP as we support their ambitions for the Port of Ipswich to become a leading smart port. In deploying our IoT solution, we’re able to help produce intelligent, actionable insights to support the teams on the ground to monitor equipment in real-time, and make instant, autonomous decisions to speed up the supply chain. This is made possible by combining our award-winning 4G EE network with our deep expertise in sensor technology, network infrastructure and supply chains.”

Andrew Harston, Region Director, Wales and Short Sea Ports, Associated British Ports, said: “The trial with BT is an exciting step in the Port of Ipswich’s journey to becoming a smart port. The data generated by the Internet of Things solution gives the team in Ipswich the power to manage our resources and assets more effectively, improving our productivity and reducing our costs. Ultimately this trial will help us to provide even better customer service.”

Source: BT

LKQ Euro Car Parts Group Goes Live with Microlise Proof of Delivery Solution Across 3,000 Vehicles

LKQ Euro Car Parts, the UK’s largest distributor of parts for all makes of cars and LGVs, has just deployed Microlise’s full Journey Management and Proof of Delivery (POD) solution across its network of 3,000 vans.

SmartPOD, the mobile App of Microlise’s full Proof of Delivery (POD) is designed to provide visibility of delivery operations and minimise supply chain challenges. Drivers will have access to delivery and consignment information via the Zebra TC77 device, with  delivery activities tracked electronically. Additional software features will also support task management, driver communication and provide access to site notes and manifest information.

Journey Management will help LKQ Euro Car Parts understand schedule adherence and trip status in real-time to deliver proactive customer service. It gives the business the ability to monitor the performance of order delivery SLA against what actually happened both in real-time – on a schedule execution or customer service specific display – or by using historical data. It also provides the data required to effectively debrief drivers by exception against route and schedule adherence with guided navigation helping drivers to use the most efficient routes to reduce mileage.

According to Tony Shearer, Branch Operations Director at LKQ Euro Car Parts:
“We have been impressed with the Microlise team during planning and go live and are already seeing the improvements and benefits set out at the start of the project, across areas such as improved utilisation and enhanced customer experience.

“Our aim is to deliver the best customer service possible while maximising our planning, resourcing and communication capacity. We also hope to free up management time by removing many manual processes to focus more energy on the customer journey.”

Source: Microlise

 

Ericsson launches 5G RAN Slicing to spur 5G business growth

 New software solution enables communications service providers to deliver innovative 5G use cases to consumers and enterprises with guaranteed performance

  • Built on Ericsson radio expertise and a scalable and flexible architecture, the new solution supports customized business models and growth requirements of advanced use cases
  • Ericsson 5G RAN Slicing strengthens end-to-end network slicing capabilities needed to deliver different services over a common infrastructure
PRESS RELEASE
JAN 26, 2021 08:00 (GMT +00:00)

Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) has launched a 5G network slicing solution for radio access networks (RAN) that will enable communications service providers to deliver customized 5G services with guaranteed performance.

Now commercially available, Ericsson 5G RAN Slicing allocates radio resources at 1 millisecond scheduling and supports multi-dimensional service differentiation handling across slices. This strengthens end-to-end slicing capabilities for dynamic resource management and orchestration that ensure the high-quality end-user experience required by diverse use cases.

Network slicing supports multiple logical networks for different service types over one common infrastructure. It is a key enabler for unlocking 5G revenue opportunities such as enhanced video, and in-car connectivity, and extended reality. An Ericsson report estimates USD 712 billion in an addressable consumer market for service providers by 2030. The addressable market for network slicing alone in the enterprise segment is projected at USD 300 billion by 2025 (GSMA data). As 5G scales up, service providers are looking to maximize returns on their investments by targeting innovative and high revenue-generating use cases such as cloud gaming, smart factories, and smart healthcare.

Per Narvinger, Head of Product Area Networks, Ericsson says: “Ericsson 5G RAN Slicing dynamically optimizes radio resources to deliver significantly more spectrum-efficient radio access network slicing. What makes our solution distinct is that it boosts end-to-end management and orchestration support for fast and efficient service delivery. This gives service providers the differentiation and guaranteed performance needed to monetize 5G investments with diverse use cases. With 5G as innovation platform, we continue to drive value for our customers.”

Network slicing is one of the major 5G deployment models. Ericsson has ongoing 5G network slicing engagements for RAN, transport, core network and orchestration across the globe involving use cases for the consumer segment and enterprises/industry verticals such as video-assisted remote operations, AR/VR, TV/Media for sports event streaming, cloud gaming, smart city, and applications for Industry 4.0 and public safety.

Toshikazu Yokai, Executive Officer, Chief Director of Mobile Technology, at KDDI, says: “End-to-end slicing is key to monetizing 5G investment and RAN slicing will help make that happen. Across different slices in our mobile networks, RAN slicing will deliver the quality assurance and latency required by our customers.”

Mark Düsener, Head of Mobile and Mass Market Communication at Swisscom, says: “We’re gearing up for the next stage of 5G where we expect to apply end-to-end network slicing, and RAN slicing is key to guaranteed performance. With efficient sharing of network resources across different slices, we will be able to provide communications for diverse 5G applications such as public safety or mobile private networks.”

Sue Rudd, Director, Networks and Service Platforms, Strategy Analytics, says: “Ericsson is the first vendor to offer a fully end-to-end solution with RAN slicing based on dynamic radio resource partitioning in under 1 millisecond using embedded radio control mechanisms to assure Quality of Service, Over the Air, in real time. This truly end-to-end approach integrates radio optimization with policy-controlled network orchestration to deliver inherently secure virtualized private RAN slicing without the loss of the 30 – 40 percent spectrum capacity due to ‘hard slicing’. Ericsson’s real-time dynamic RAN slicing bridges the ‘RAN gap’ to make e2e slicing profitable.”

About Ericsson 5G RAN Slicing

The Ericsson 5G RAN Slicing solution offers a unique, multi-dimensional service differentiation handling that allows for the effective use of dynamic radio resource partitioning, slice-aware quality of service (QoS) enforcement, and slice orchestration functionality for service-level agreement (SLA) fulfilment. Built on Ericsson radio expertise and a flexible and scalable slicing architecture, the solution dynamically shares radio resources at 1 millisecond scheduling for best spectrum efficiency. This enables service providers to offer a variety of use cases with increased flexibility and versatility. It ensures end-to-end network slice management and orchestration support for fast service delivery and supports business models for virtual, hybrid and dedicated private networks. The solution can also power use cases for mission-critical and time-critical communication services.

NOTES TO EDITORS:

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First public autonomous car trials begin in Oxford

UNP_Performance_41649_Endeavour_self_drive_car_Oxford_smart__rt

The public trials with a fleet of six autonomous cars will take place on roads in the UK city of Oxford.

City environments

The trials will demonstrate autonomous driving in a variety of urban and city environments and will develop engagement models with local authorities and communities to help them prepare for the future launch of autonomous vehicle services.

According to the consortium, the development brings the deployment of commercial autonomous vehicles in the UK one step closer.

The consortium, part-funded by the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) and delivered in partnership with Innovate UK, is using a combination of advanced simulations and on-road demonstrations to help accelerate and scale the deployment and adoption of autonomous vehicles.

The Government-backed R&D project will run until Autumn 2021 with live tests undertaken in three major UK cities.

A fleet of six Ford Mondeo vehicles, enabled by Oxbotica to be capable of Level 4 autonomous driving, will complete a nine-mile round trip from Oxford Parkway station to Oxford’s main train station. Trials will be run at all times of day and night, allowing Oxbotica’s autonomous vehicles to experience a range of traffic scenarios from morning commutes to school runs, in a range of weather conditions.

“The first live on-road public trials mark a key landmark for Project Endeavour as we work with local authorities and members of the public in London, Oxford and other major UK cities to shape the future of mobility”

Launched in September 2019, the project has brought together Oxbotica, a global leader in autonomous software, urban innovators DG Cities and Immense, a transport simulation company. Ahead of the public trials, three new consortium partners have joined Project Endeavour: the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL), the British Standards Institution (BSI) and Oxfordshire County Council.

“Trials of Level 4 vehicles are an important milestone, keeping the UK at the head of the field in bringing the benefits of this technology into mainstream use,” said Camilla Fowler, head of automation at TRL.

“These exciting trials, and what we learn about assuring safety and encouraging interoperability, will open up new opportunities for many more research demonstrations across the UK, which are the forerunners to the full-scale public trials so eagerly awaited.”

Safety assurance

The trio of new partners will focus on the development of a new safety assurance assessment scheme against PAS 1881 standard for public autonomous trials, helping inspire trust and define a consistent approach to safety that will enable future deployments to happen efficiently without slowing down the rate of innovation.

“The first live on-road public trials mark a key landmark for Project Endeavour as we work with local authorities and members of the public in London, Oxford and other major UK cities to shape the future of mobility,” added Dr Graeme Smith, senior vice president at Oxbotica and Project Endeavour consortium director.

“Alongside our valued partners, we’re making autonomous vehicle services an everyday reality, right here in the UK.”

Project Endeavour builds on the Driven consortium, which demonstrated the capabilities of a fleet of self-driving vehicles in Oxfordshire’s and London’s challenging and complex urban environment.

Source: Smart Cities World

SHV Energy improves customer service with smart devices and IoT connectivity from Orange Business Services

SHV Energy improves customer service with smart devices and IoT connectivity from Orange Business Services

  • “Smart IoT” connectivity ensures a reliable and secure gas supply for its customers
  • Improved truck routing saves fuel costs and reduces carbon emissions

SHV Energy has chosen IoT connectivity from Orange Business Services to deploy smart telemetry and meters on its gas tanks across Europe and the US. The solution will provide an enhanced gas delivery service to its customers across the world. It will help SHV Energy to improve infrastructure management, customer satisfaction and supply security, while saving on fuel costs and reducing carbon emissions.

SHV Energy is a leading global distributor of off-grid energy such as LPG, LNG and is active in the area of biofuels and renewable energy solutions. It supplies gas under brands, including Calor Gas, Gaspol, Liquigas, Pinnacle, Primagas, and Primagaz across four continents.

The company will fit smart devices to both legacy and new gas tanks, along with an antennae and a magnet mechanism that measures the gas. Each of these smart telemetry devices includes an Orange global SIM, which transfers data to SHV Energy’s offices via the Orange global mobile network. There the data is collected and analyzed to ensure that a customer’s gas tank is never empty. SHV Energy is also alerted if the tank registers any malfunction or leak. The data is also used to optimize gas delivery routes to reduce the company’s carbon footprint.

“The move toward smart metering and the deployment of digital functionalities are critical in delivering the best possible service in supplying gas to our customer base. With this innovative IoT connectivity solution from Orange Business Services we can increase the flexibility, reliability and robustness of our network, and become greener in the process” , explains Marieke Schoningh, SHV Energy Management Board Member.

Orange’s global mobile network is enhanced by an alliance of operators and more than 500 roaming agreements. This ensures that data gets to the data platform at SHV Energy’s offices fast, efficiently and securely. In addition, Orange provides value-added services, such as service and implementation management, to accompany SHV throughout its entire IoT journey. Orange Business Services was positioned as a Leader in Gartner’s 2019 “Magic Quadrant for Managed IoT Connectivity Services, Worldwide.”

“Connectivity is a key enabler of IoT. SHV Energy’s smart monitoring deployment is an excellent example of how a company can use our IoT connectivity solution to connect devices safely and reliably to transport data for actionable business insight and build a successful IoT-enabled business”,says Fabrice de Windt, senior vice president, Europe, Orange Business Services.

Source: Orange Business Services

Utilise your customer services with a career at Co-Star

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Co-Star are a global supplier of 4G and 5G mobile connectivity products based near Harrogate.

Due to continued growth we are looking for someone to join us in our busy sales and marketing team.

The position is varied and includes taking and processing sales orders over the telephone, e-mail, and website. Informing customers of the progress of their order, booking international shipments and updating the companies websites.

Co-Star have have grown and developed over the years by offering outstanding levels of customer service and been responsive. If you are committed to working to a high standard and have the initiative to actively contribute to the future growth off the company and would like to utilise your customer services skills to the maximum  then we would love to hear from you.

The position is full time and the hours are 9 am to 5.30 pm Monday to Friday.

For more information please call Tim on: 01423 340066 or e-mail your CV to: tim@co-star.co.uk

Vodafone named London’s best network for 5G

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  • Leading mobile benchmarking company, umlaut, names Vodafone as London’s best network for 5G.
  • Report says Vodafone has fastest 5G, and is most reliable for YouTube, web browsing and downloading files.
  • Vodafone is also enhancing 4G coverage to make sure every customer is getting a great connection.

Vodafone is today confirmed as the best 5G network in London, thanks to its commitment to giving customers the fastest speeds and best reliability across the nation’s capital.

A 5G report, by global consultancy and testing company umlaut (formerly P3), found that Vodafone gives customers 99.7% reliability when using YouTube on 5G, and 100% reliability for web browsing. The nearest rival achieved 94.5% reliability for YouTube. Vodafone’s network was also the most reliable for file download and upload tests, and had the highest average download speeds, at 215.2 Mbps. The tests measured 5G from all four UK operators, and covered 55% of the total population of London.

Vodafone’s Consumer Director, Max Taylor, said: “The results from this report show that our customers are getting the best 5G experience and that our investment in our network is really paying off.

“In London, our network is the most reliable, and is delivering on the promise of 5G download speeds. Every day we’re bringing this great 5G experience to more customers around the UK.

“We’re making sure Vodafone is the best place to come for the latest smartphones – a great network, with great benefits, and great value.”

Vodafone has recently launched its Annual Upgrade Promise, which gives customers the opportunity to unbox the latest iPhone every year without upgrade fees. Vodafone is also the only operator that lets customers use 5G when they choose to travel in Europe, giving customers access to 5G in more places than any other network, with 116 places covered today.

As well as investing in 5G, Vodafone is also constantly enhancing 4G coverage to make sure all customers can enjoy great connectivity. Vodafone is using creative ways to add more 4G, including:

  • 4G small cells on phone boxes across Edgware, Guildford and Harrow offering 200-metre radius of coverage;
  • 4G antennas on the underside of manhole covers in Covent Garden;
  • Seven shoebox-sized 4G units attached to telegraph poles, and other street furniture, around Trafalgar Square;
  • and indoor coverage in the West 1 Shopping Centre, Bond Street, which is also 5G-ready.

In London, where Vodafone uses Ericsson as its sole network partner, Vodafone’s 5G uses 50MHz of 3.4GHz spectrum. These mid-band airwaves deliver increased download speeds for 5G customers, as well as excellent coverage. Massive MIMO technology (64 x 64) is included on more than 95% of sites, which sets Vodafone’s network apart from its biggest rivals.

Vodafone is also deploying Ericsson Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS) technology in the 2.1GHz spectrum band, to expand 5G coverage further and build the platform for the next generation of 5G services, including network slicing. In July, Vodafone showed off the UK’s first standalone 5G network. Many upcoming 5G devices are expected to be DSS compatible, so will benefit from Vodafone’s latest investment. The DSS coverage will meet all 3GPP criteria for 5G connectivity.

Vodafone customers will experience London’s best 5G network on a 5G-capable device. Vodafone recently launched the new Samsung Galaxy Note20 5G and Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G smartphones to add to the wide range of 5G smartphones available.

Source: Vodafone

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