Category Archives: Uncategorized

Carmakers call for transitional EU deal

car-manufacturing

 

The government must secure a transitional Brexit deal to protect the future of the UK car industry, a trade group has said.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said Britain was highly unlikely to reach a final agreement with the EU by the March 2019 deadline.

That meant carmakers could face a “cliff edge”, whereby tariff-free trade was sharply pulled away.

It warned the industry would suffer without a back-up plan in place.

The EU is by far the UK’s biggest automotive export market, buying more than half of its finished vehicles – four times as many as the next biggest market.

UK car plants also depend heavily on the free movement of components to and from the continent.

The SMMT said any new relationship with the EU would need to address tariff and non-tariff barriers, regulatory and labour issues, “all of which will take time to negotiate”.

“We accept that we are leaving the European Union,” said chief executive Mike Hawes.

“But our biggest fear is that, in two years’ time, we fall off a cliff edge – no deal, outside the single market and customs union and trading on inferior World Trade Organization terms.

“This would undermine our competitiveness and our ability to attract the investment that is critical to future growth.”

He called on the government to seek an interim arrangement, whereby the UK stayed in the single market and customs union until a new relationship was brokered.

UK car manufacturing generated £77.5bn of turnover last year and accounted for 12% of all goods exports, according to the trade group.

It added that almost a million people were employed across the wider automotive industry.

Source: BBC News

Ericsson Mobility Report Sees a 5G Transport Revolution

logo5g

Remote operation of vehicles with 5G

In the near future it will be a common occurrence to see driverless buses on city streets. A key step towards introducing autonomously driven buses into the public transport system is the development of remote monitoring and control capabilities, which will help to ensure safety, the Ericsson Mobility Report describes.


Key highlights

  • Scania has a 5G proof-of-concept test network used to carry out  trials in which a remote operator drives a bus around its test track
  • 5G will bring a number of benefits to remote control systems, including core network slicing that will enable priority service provisioning, and radio access to bring ultra-low latency and beamforming for high throughput and capacity
  • The work on remotely-controlled buses is making safe, autonomous vehicles a reality

While autonomous vehicles could revolutionize mass transportation as we know it, their safety has been widely debated. To address this concern, remote operation brings a safety mechanism that allows public buses to be monitored and controlled by a remote operator from a distance, if needed. The vision of operators scanning screens and on-hand to intervene if necessary, should contribute to public acceptance of autonomous vehicles.

Network requirements for remote operation include broad coverage, high data throughput and low latency to enable continuous video streaming and to send commands between a remote operations center and a vehicle. 5G will bring a number of benefits to remote control systems, including core network slicing that will enable priority service provisioning, and radio access to bring ultra-low latency and beamforming for high throughput and capacity.

At its headquarters in Södertälje, Sweden, Scania has a 5G proof-of-concept test network devoted to controlling a bus remotely from a vehicle operations center. Work at the site is focused on two important areas: total system response time for remote monitoring and control, and the automated tools required to provision prioritized network services.1

The tests involve a remote operator driving a bus around the test track, as well as to and from the parking facilities. Sensor data from the bus, including a high-resolution video feed, is streamed to the remote operations center over LTE radio access with an evolved 5G core network. The testbed features automated service ordering and provisioning, allowing the set-up and take-down of prioritized network resources needed for the remote monitoring and operation.

The 5G proof-of-concept network is not the biggest source of latency in the complete remote operation system. Additional factors that cause delays include servo-driven mechanics, as well as video encoding and decoding

Isolating and measuring contributors to system response time

A key objective is to isolate and measure the different contributors to the remote control system response time, including network latency. Response time is measured in milliseconds (ms) – for example, from when an operator sees an obstacle on the road and reacts by using the remote controls to apply the brakes, to the point when the result (the bus slowing) is visible in the video presented to the operator. During the tests, total system response times of around 185 ms were achieved. The most significant contributors to the response time and its variation were mechanical delays (physical actuators controlling the bus), followed by the video processing delay and, finally, the network delay (round trip time (RTT)).

Network RTT mostly stayed under 50 ms during the study, although some areas with obstacles along the test route increased the latency beyond this value.  Uplink throughput, which is critical for remote operation, was also measured. In good coverage areas, the uplink throughput was between 10–20 Mbps.

Graph: Illustration of system response time

5G radio access lowers round trip time to under 4 ms

Reducing system response time

Improvements are being made in all areas affecting system response time. Network latency improves significantly with 5G radio access, lowering network RTT to under 4 ms. Video encoding and decoding are on a track to continuously improve, with advances in both codecs and adaptive streaming mechanisms. Mechanical delays will decline as the buses themselves are specially designed for autonomy and remote operation is deployed – rather than being converted from today’s driver-controlled buses.

Automated network resource prioritization

A critical requirement for a remote vehicle control center is the ability to prioritize network services if remote operation is required, through a service ordering API to a mobile telecom operator. In the testbed, an interface based on the Open Mobile Alliance candidate standard is used for network resource prioritization.

Technology is being developed to enable a self-service portal, allowing network customers, such as public transport companies, to specify quality of service (QoS) requirements on their own terms; for example, to prioritize 4K video traffic for 40 buses. The software will then translate this specification into instructions for network resource prioritization.

Mechanical delays will decline as the buses themselves are specially designed for autonomy and remote operation is deployed – rather than being converted from today’s driver-controlled buses

Research concept vehicle

Parallel to the Scania activities, the remote operation of a research concept vehicle (RCV) – developed and custom-built by the Integrated Transport Research Lab at KTH Royal Institute of Technology – was demonstrated at Mobile World Congress 2017. A 5G testbed radio, using a 15 GHz carrier frequency, provided sufficient bandwidth for remotely operating multiple vehicles in the same cell. Delivering the throughput on 15 GHz is accomplished using beamforming; that is, tracking the moving vehicle and focusing the radio power for maximum effect. Due to the low latency of the 5G radio access, RTT was under 4 ms.

Attributes of 5G – including network slicing and low latency – will make safe public transport using autonomous vehicles a reality

The work on remotely-controlled buses and the RCV are making safe, autonomous vehicles a reality. Additionally, the insights from these activities can be applied to other industrial use cases that require high uplink throughput, low network latency and automated service provisioning.

Integrated Transport Research Lab: The Integrated Transport Research Lab (ITRL), a collaboration between the Swedish Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Scania and Ericsson, is actively exploring intelligent transport systems. Recent studies illustrate the use of emerging 5G cellular technologies in testbed environments.

Graph: Illustration of the Remote control system

Testbed and methodology

Testbed network

The Scania testbed network uses LTE radio access on band 40 (2.3 GHz TDD) to provide data connectivity to the bus. Throughput and RTT were measured between the remotely-operated bus and the network provisioning system. RTT was measured from the remote operations center to the vehicle and back, along with covered radio and network transport (both uplink and downlink). RTT measurements were collected at a rate of one per second, resulting in hundreds of measurements collected from different areas of the test track.

Video link

A single camera at the front of the bus requires an uplink throughput of 8 Mbps to stream a 1080p 60-frames-per-second video from the bus to the operations center. An industrialized solution will include cameras to capture video from the front, back and sides of the bus, requiring about 24 Mbps bandwidth using current codecs.  The video latency was measured using two GPS-synchronized clocks. Each clock displayed time in binary format as a line of LEDs, allowing sub-millisecond resolution. One clock was placed on the bus in view of the camera, while the second clock was attached to the video display at the control center. Photos showing both clocks were taken at one-second intervals. The difference between the clocks indicated the video latency, measured to a high degree of accuracy.

Mechanical controls

The latency of the remote control rig can be reduced to under 1 ms by using optimized equipment. On the other hand, the vehicle latency, including mechanical controls, has a wide variation.

Automated network service prioritization

A cloud-hosted application function (AF) dynamically sets up virtual connections between vehicles and the 5G Evolved Packet Core (EPC) network, with specific QoS attributes such as designated latency levels and guaranteed throughput. This application functionality can be securely opened to third parties through an API. In the use case described here, the testbed uses this API to set up priority virtual connections for vehicles in need of remote operator assistance.

In 5G radio, uplink/downlink allocation will be more flexible and able to meet the demands of uplink critical use-cases

1Ericsson Research, “5G teleoperated vehicles for future public transport” (2017), Rafia Inam, Keven (Qi) Wang, Nicolas Schrammar, Athanasios Karapantelakis, Leonid Mokrushin, Aneta Vulgarakis Feljan, Viktor Berggren and Elena Fersman: www.ericsson.com/research-blog/5g/5g-teleoperated-vehicles-future-public-transport/

Source: Ericsson

Sierra Wireless collaborates with industry leaders and developers to drive the next phase of IoT commercialization

SierraLogoTM

Sierra Wireless  the leading provider of fully integrated device-to-cloud solutions for the Internet of Things (IoT), along with technology providers including ARM, Bosch Sensortec, MediaTek, Orange, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and Talon Communications, today announced mass-market availability of the mangOH™ Red open source hardware platform.

Targeted at the industrial IoT and maker communities, mangOH Red is the most feature-rich, lowest power open source enablement platform on the market. Smaller than a credit card, it includes all of the building blocks needed to prototype and test ideas in days instead of months, with minimal investment. mangOH Red designs can then be modified and repurposed for mass production using its industrial-grade components and applications developed in the Legato™ open source Linux platform.

“For IoT commercialization to truly take hold, bringing products to market needs to be much faster and easier,” said Philippe Guillemette, Chief Technology Officer, Sierra Wireless. “mangOH Red is based on feedback from the ecosystem and developer community, resulting in the most compact, feature-rich open source platform that can quickly turn concepts into prototypes and prototypes into products without the need for significant redesign.”

Sierra Wireless founded the mangOH open source hardware program in 2015 to make it easy for developers to prototype with any wired, wireless, or sensor technology based on their unique IoT use case. Following the successful first mangOH Green edition, mangOH Red focuses on low power and miniaturization, providing a one-stop technology platform that includes:

  • Credit card size form-factor ideal for rapidly building proof-of-concepts;
  • A snap-in socket to add any CF3™-compatible modules, including wireless modules (2G to 4G & LTE-M/NB-IoT) to achieve up to 10 years of battery life;
  • Built-in Wi-Fi b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.2 BLE with an ARM Cortex®-M4 core to provide real-time access to I/O;
  • Built-in Bosch Sensortec Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Temperature and Pressure sensors, as well as Light sensors and a 26-pin Raspberry Pi compatible connector;
  • An IoT Expansion Card slot to plug in any technology based on the IoT Connector open standard;
  • Sierra Wireless Smart SIM with up to 100 MB free data, depending on region, and can also be used with any commercially available SIM;
  • Easy connection to the AirVantage® IoT Platform to create, deploy and manage solutions in the cloud, and can also connect to other cloud platforms; and
  • Ready-to-use product from selected distributors and complete source design under Common Creative License.

Please click the links below to see how managOH can bring your ideas to life:

mangOH™ Red

mangOH™ Green

For more information on mangOH please contact Co-Star on: +44 (0) 1423 344066 or e-mail: sales@co-star.co.uk

Source: Sierra Wireless

Plexal Is the UK’s New ‘Innovation Hub’

LONDON — London Tech Week — Sadiq Khan’s on a roll: Having announced Better Futures, the new Clean Tech Incubator, during his speech at London Tech Week’s official launch, London’s Mayor then opened Plexal, London’s new innovation hub situated in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford. (See London’s Mayor Unveils Clean Tech Incubator.)

New Apple iOS Software Update to Encourage Safe Driving

iOS 11 Preview – Apple (UK)

Do Not Disturb.
When you’re driving, just drive.

iPhone can now sense when you’re driving and prevent you from being distracted by calls, text messages and notifications until later. People trying to reach you can automatically be notified that you’re driving. The Apple iOS 11 Software will include a special do not disturb mode to encourage safe driving.

image_large

The Apple iOS 11 software to be launched in Autumn will include a new way to help drivers stay more focused on the road with a Do Not Disturb while driving mode.
Once the software has been downloaded it will enable the iPhone to detect when the user is driveing  and automatically send silence notifications to keep the screen dark. Users have the option of sending an auto reply to contacts listed in favourites to let them know they are driving and cannot respond until they arrive at their destination.
The update will come in the new software, released this autumn, and is intended to avoid people endangering themselves and other road users by looking at their mobile phone.
The new software was revealed at WWDC, Apple’s annual event for developers.
Source: Co-Star

O2 prepares London for 5G with sweeping small cell installations

O2 5GLondon

O2 is laying the groundwork for 5G adoption in London by installing a series of coverage-boosting ‘small cells’ around the capital.

The UK mobile network has revealed that it is spending £80 million to install 1,400 small cells in collaboration with Cisco across key areas of Greater London by the end of 2017.

It’s expected that the provision of these small cells will enhance the mobile signal, both indoors and outdoors, for businesses and consumers in London. Crucially, it will also pave the way for the rapid deployment of 5G connectivity when it starts to become available to the public from 2020.

Derek McManus, COO of O2, said: “We recognise that customers’ need for mobile data in London and other urban areas continues to grow at a rapid pace. We understand the importance of digital connectivity in terms of driving the economy and ensuring that London can continue to compete on a global scale. This is why we’re investing in a range of innovative measures from small cells to macro masts in order to ensure we continue to give customers what they need; reliability and coverage wherever they go.”

Small cells in the big city

As the name suggests, these small cells will be significantly more compact and numerous than the hulking phone masts of the 4G generation and earlier. In fact, they’re small enough to attach to lampposts and onto the sides of buildings.

It’s all part of O2’s wider plan to prepare for the oncoming 5G revolution. Earlier in the year, O2 issued a report stating that 5G could overtake traditional fibre broadband in economic terms by 2026.

Around the same time, it was also announced that O2 would be creating a free public Wi-Fi network powered by 4G technology for the City of London area, also known as the Square Mile. This is initially intended to provide enhanced mobile coverage in an area where the presence of tall buildings causes problems for smartphone users.

Once again, though, the long-term aim of this move is to prepare the City for speedy 5G adoption when it arrives.

Source: 5G.co.uk

 

 

5G Optical Network Project Awarded With EU Funding

Bristol’s Zeetta Networks wins EU backing for ambitious 5G optical network proje

Zeetta Networks wins EU backing for ambitious 5G optical network project

5g fibre optics

A Bristol-based network technology specialist and partners have been awarded €7.78m in EU funding towards a project to investigate a 5G-ready optical network.

The three-year Metro-Haul project will develop and test optical network technologies that will integrate with and support 5G wireless technology.

In particular, the idea is to create a network infrastructure that can support the increase in data traffic when 5G arrives from 2020. 5G is expected to form the basis for the expanding Internet of Things as well as smart cities, autonomous cars, and various other high speed, low-latency applications of the near future.

Following a final demonstration of the Metro-Haul solution some time in 2019, the project will release its software as a public repository, and will then work with the relevant standardisation bodies to promote its solution.

Zeetta Networks is one of 21 partners in the wider Metro-Haul consortium, which includes various members of the European telecoms industry. Led by BT, other partners include Telecom Italia, Telefonica, Ericsson and Nokia, as well as European research hubs such as University of Bristol and Fraunhofer Institute.

Vassilis Seferidis, CEO of Zeetta Networks said: “We are very proud to have played a key role in this successful EU funding bid and to be collaborating with such a group of leading researchers, Tier 1 telecoms operators, innovative SMEs, and influencers in the 5G space. This three-year project scored very highly with the judging panel recognising its importance and the huge implications it brings to the telecoms industry and the verticals they support.”

Zeetta Networks itself is a spin-out company from the University of Bristol, focusing on the development and marketing of Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualisation (NFV) solutions.

The company recently put its technology to use by teaming up with Bristol City Football Club to provide its Ashton Gate stadium with a cutting edge High Density Wi-Fi solution. Zeetta’s “Software Defined Networking-enabled ‘bare metal’ technology approach” meant that the Wi-Fi network could cope with the stadium’s large concrete and metal structures, as well as with the huge number of users present within a relatively small area on match days.

Hytera Communications Completes Acquisition of Sepura

Hytera-logo-logotype-1024x768

Global Leader in Professional Mobile Radio Solutions Sees Further Opportunity to Grow in TETRA, DMR and LTE

Hytera Communications Corporation Limited (002583.SZ), the leading global provider of innovative professional mobile radio (PMR) communications solutions that improve organizational efficiency and make the world safer, today completed its acquisition of the Sepura Group PLC, based in Cambridge, United Kingdom, a widely respected leader in TETRA with the unique ability to offer TETRA, DMR, P25 and LTE system solutions for organizations worldwide.

“The PMR industry is seeing rapid evolution, and Hytera leads in incorporating new technologies and attractive features that deliver more effective solutions for our customers,” said Mr. Qingzhou Chen, founder, chairman and president of Shenzhen, Guangdong-based Hytera. “Adding the Sepura Group complements our strengths in technological innovation, especially in TETRA, along with adding sophisticated engineering talent and an experienced operating team.”

Hytera’s acquisition of Sepura adds approximately 700 professionals and staff to Hytera’s organization, along with research facilities and offices in Cambridge, Zaragoza, and Helsinki. Sepura had itself grown rapidly, both organically and through the acquisition of Zaragoza, Spain-based PMR communications solutions provider Teltronic S.A.U. in 2015. Sepura also owns Helsinki, Finland-based applications developer Portalify. The Sepura Group markets PMR communications solutions under the PowerTrunk brand in North America.

“Sepura and its subsidiaries provide Hytera greater market share in the U.K., Europe, and North America, as well as strong channel partnerships through a worldwide dealer network,” added Hytera’s Mr. Chen.

Established in 1993 in Shenzhen, China, Hytera Communications is the world’s fastest-growing PMR solution provider, and the world’s #1 DMR Tier III Trunking provider. Hytera’s more than 7,000 employees serve organizations in more than 120 countries, including in government, the public security sector, the utilities, transportation, and oil and gas industries, and a range of other businesses.

In 2016, both Hytera and Sepura provided PMR solutions for event management and public safety at the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil. Next year, Hytera will provide similar PMR communications solutions for security and event management for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

“Joining with Hytera gives us access to a broader cross-section of the market, gives our dealers the advantage of a wider range of products and solutions, and provides growth opportunities for our engineers and research and development technicians,” said David Barrass, the interim Chief Executive Officer of Sepura. “With its growing momentum in the PMR space and some very high-profile opportunities, Hytera is executing a clear strategy as it expands globally. It’s a terrific opportunity.”

Last year, Hytera reported year-over-year growth of 39%. In 2016, Hytera’s overall sales of terminals were up 52%, and its overall sales of infrastructure increased 86%.

The announcement of the Sepura deal’s closing comes in the wake of Hytera’s highly anticipated debut at Critical Communications World 2017 in Hong Kong of its new LTE/PMR Convergence Solution, which comprises cutting-edge Multi-mode Advanced Radio terminals, narrowband-broadband infrastructure, and management software. Hytera’s LTE/PMR Convergence Solution incorporates feature-rich broadband technologies while ensuring that critically important voice services remain reliably accessible using narrowband technologies such as TETRA, DMR, and PDT.

Hytera Chairman Qingzhou Chen will visit Sepura’s offices in the U.K. and Spain in June to deepen relationships with key management and to meet personnel. “Hytera has tremendous momentum in the marketplace,” he notes. “Last year, we became the second-largest PMR communications provider in the world, and we believe there remain excellent prospects for growth in key markets.”

Added Mr. Chen: “As we add Sepura’s technical talent, market reach, and relationships to Hytera’s own, we believe the future is full of promise.”

Source: Hytera

 

AT&T IoT Solution Helps Keep Beverage Coolers Stocked and Chilled Around the World

End-to-End Solution will Connect Up To 1M Red Bull Beverage Coolers 

AT&T* will connect up to 1 million Red Bull branded beverage coolers around the world.  An AT&T Internet of Things (IoT) solution will track and manage the supply and demand of their beverage coolers globally. AT&T technologists and developers at the AT&T Foundry, centers specialising in tech innovation, worked closely with the Red Bull team and its partners to create the global IoT solution.

The data will help ensure beverages are cold and ready for shoppers. The solution will also help identify issues as they appear – or even before.

Alerts from coolers mean workers may no longer need to check the status of each unit manually. Precise data sent from the coolers will give near instant access to performance, temperature stats and geo-location information.

The data also provides shopper frequency insight from door activity from the coolers located worldwide.  Each time a connected cooler door opens and closes, an embedded monitor collects data and on regular intervals sends the data via the AT&T Global SIM. The AT&T Control Center and AT&T IoT Platform (Flow and M2X) process the data from each cooler.

“Our end-to-end solutions support the near real-time monitoring and analyzing of the global beverage market,” said Thaddeus Arroyo, Chief Executive Officer, Business Solutions & International, AT&T Inc. “This is another great example of collaboration and innovation to create real value for our customers. It streamlines the processes, creates visibility and improves operations, helping drive significant cost savings and return on investment.”

*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.

Source: AT&T

Co-Star Invest in Cutting Edge Machinery to Produce RF Cable Assemblies For Connected Devices

logo

Co-Star a global supplier to the Mobile Communications Industry have invested in the latest cutting edge machinery to speed up the production of RF cable assembies for the latest connected devices.

C23SPRP-5SRP(1)

Co-Star manufacture the cables at their UK headquarters based in Harrogate and supply them Globally.

The cables are used to connect antennas to the latest 4G wireless devices in applications including: Connected Cars, Mobile Wi-Fi, Telematics,  IoT, Emergency Services and Transport.

Co-Star can manufacture the cables with any combination of connector and cable length including: SMA, FME, TNC, FAKRA, SMB.

The cable types manufactured by Co-Star are: RG58 standard, RG58 low loss, RG58 ultra low loss and RG174.

Tim Cosgrove of Co-Star commented;

” We have made a major investment in the latest machinery to enable us to increase our production capacity and speed up delivery times to our customers. We can now  turn around orders within days which helps our customers working on time critical installation projects”.

Projects that Co-Star have worked on include supplying cables to connect Wi-Fi systems in public transport, connecting critical communications systems in Ambulances and working with the Automotive industry on connected car projects.

For more information on the cable assemblies available from Co-Star please click here>

Source: Co-Star