Category Archives: Uncategorized

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.

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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

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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

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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.

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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

 

 

AT&T eyes large slice of the smart city pie

 

FROM TM FORUM LIVE, NICE, FRANCE: The different connectivity options set to underpin smart cities of the future are expected to account for between 5 per cent and 10 per cent of the total smart city value chain, providing a multi-billion dollar opportunity for operators such as AT&T which are already investing heavily in this area.

So explained Mike Zeto (pictured), general manager of AT&T Smart Cities, who said the US operator is already planning to take a much larger share than those percentages by “moving up the stack” towards applications and working with partners on the hardware side.

Zeto also noted 5 per cent to 10 per cent of a market which analysts such as Frost & Sullivan estimate will be worth around $1.57 trillion by 2020 is a sizeable opportunity on its own.

AT&T – which announced its smart city framework in January 2016 and formed strategic alliances with Cisco, Deloitte, Ericsson, GE, IBM, Intel and Qualcomm – is currently collaborating with around nine US cities on their smart strategies, including Atlanta and Chicago. It recently expanded beyond its domestic market for the first time, choosing Dublin as the launchpad for its future European expansion.

Irish capital
Zeto told Mobile World Live the Irish capital was an obvious choice, in part because many large US multinational corporations are based there, but also because Dublin and the Republic of Ireland in general are already engaging in a number of Internet of Things (IoT) initiatives and Horizon 2020 projects. He said the fact Ireland would still be part of the European Union once the UK completes its exit had “not really” played a role, but praised cities including Dublin and Cork for breaking down traditional silos and enabling the development of a number of services, including intelligent transportation solutions.

In the US the operator is focusing on critical areas with a major impact on the daily lives of citizens. These include smart irrigation systems and the use of IoT sensors to reduce leaks, a traffic intersection network solution to help improve traffic flow, intelligent lighting, and many more besides.

Furthermore, in March 2017 AT&T and the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) formed a public-private partnership (PPP) with the goal of building a modern, mobile broadband LTE network for first responders across the US. AT&T is investing about $40 billion over the 25-year life of the contract, while the government is investing $6.5 billion.

Zeto noted PPPs will also play a key role in creating smart cities, although many hurdles still lie ahead in the realisation of large-scale smart city projects. Cities have little choice but to respond to growing population levels. As Zeto pointed out, they are moving as fast as they can: “and that is the scary thing.”

Source:  Anne Morris, contributing reporter to Mobile World Live

Would you put your phone in a cement mixer?

Would you put your phone in a cement mixer?

British phone retailer Tuffphones has unveiled a new range of hard-wearing handsets aimed at construction workers and outdoors enthusiasts.

It’s the latest addition to a range of extra-durable Android devices in the growing market for rugged phones.

The BBC took them to a building site to try them out.

Construction giants De Walt and Cat licence similar rugged handsets, which are subject to more rigorous testing than ordinary smartphones.

Jaguar Land Rover has also announced a partnership with phone manufacturer Bullitt Group and says it intends to launch a smartphone with a “combination of durability and elegance” in 2017.

However, now Chichester-based Tuffphones has made its first foray into selling its own brand, which is being manufactured in Shenzhen.

Like many of its rivals, the Tuffphone phones, which are priced between £228 and £389, come with thicker Gorilla glass screens and are certified to be dust resistant and waterproof for several minutes at a time – but none of the models operate on the latest version of Android (Marshmallow).

Security experts always recommend using the newest version of an operating system as they are usually the most secure.

The Cat let us know it had been in the water.
Image captionThe Cat let us know it had been in the water.

The BBC tested out the 4G-enabled Tuffphone 400, priced £288, on a building site and found it could receive calls under water after several minutes of being submerged, survive a tumble in a cement mixer full of sand and could still make calls and get online after being dropped from scaffolding over 2m high.

We were advised by the retailer that it would not withstand “a direct blow from a hammer”.

At the end of our experiment the device screen was scratched and the handset vibrated for a few minutes – but it was also still functioning.

While many of the latest smartphones, including the Samsung S7, are also waterproof, the S7 could not receive calls while under water in our test.

Priced at £529, the Cat S60 has considerably more features, including thermal imaging functionality. It also survived both the water and sand tests but its owner was not keen on experimenting with the height drop.

‘Long tail’

The rugged phone market is forecast to account for around 18 million handset sales from a global predicted overall figure of 1.5 billion in 2016, phone analyst Ben Wood told the BBC.

“It’s the long tail of the smartphone market, there are so many little niche opportunities that exist and that’s where these guys are playing,” he said.

But why not just buy a durable case for an existing handset?

A rugged phone provides the convenience of an “all-in-one” solution, Mr Wood said, but they have another key advantage – because they are chunkier, heavier devices, they tend to be fitted with bigger, longer-lasting batteries.

“People want a good sustainable battery and most people when they’re using a smartphone today find they struggle to get through the day,” he said.

Another alternative is to buy a cheap but basic handset – although smartphone functionality is becoming more essential for people in the industry, Mr Wood added.

“People in construction want to have access to email, a good camera, they need to look at plans,” he said. “They need a smarter phone, a bigger screen.”

However no phone is invincible, he added.

“Different types of glass, different types of materials, different designs will offer you a certain amount of rugged capability but make no mistake, any device will break if you really want to break it,” he said.

Rugged phones at the end
Image captionBattered but OK – the phones at the end of our experiment.

Source: 

Tough Smart Phones are available from Co-Star. Click here for more information>

Co-Star Develop GT5 Adaptor For Installation Improvisation

gt5 fme f

Co-Star have developed an adaptor cable that quickly converts an  antenna terminated with an FME male or female to a GT5 connector which than interfaces with the in-car communications device.

GT5 connectors have been designed for use in heavy duty applications were there is vibration and movement such as the automotive and marine industry. They lock securely on to the communications device and interface with the antenna ensuring that the RF signal strength is optimized for clear voice and mobile data communication.

GT5 connectors are common on a range of  devices including:  In-car communication, automotive audio systems, GPS antenna systems, RACS antenna audio/video antenna systems and LAN systems.

Tim Cosgrove of Co-Star;

” GT5 connectors can be difficult to crimp when engineers are working on site, so we developed the adaptors with an FME male and FME female which are the most common antenna terminations, our fly lead than quickly converts the antenna to GT5 allowing versatility and improvisation on installation projects ”

Source: Co-Star