Tag Archives: 4G LTE

AT&T and Porsche Enter Mult-Year Connected Car Agreement

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Companies to Deliver Wirelessly Connected Vehicles with Wi-Fi and Infotainment Services

AT&T* and Porsche Cars North America, Inc., are bringing high speed Internet to select 2017 models in the U.S. as a part of a new multi-year agreement.

AT&T will offer wireless connectivity on AT&T’s 4G LTE network in certain 2017 Porsche Macan, Boxster and 911 models. Porsche’s Connect Plus services, powered by AT&T, are either standard or an available option on a number of models and will include a Wi-Fi hot spot, navigation, news and weather alerts and other infotainment services. Customers will be able to connect up to 5 devices to the hot spot.

“Porsche’s technologies have advanced performance and spurred improved innovations within the automotive industry,” said Chris Penrose, senior vice president, Internet of Things, AT&T Business Solutions.  “Our work with Porsche will continue that innovative tradition and deliver a connected experience in their cars for drivers and passengers.”

Porsche customers can take advantage of Connect Plus services with a stand-alone plan.  Existing AT&T customers can easily share data among phones, tablets and their vehicles with Mobile Share Value or purchase a separate stand-alone plan. The cost for connecting Porsche vehicles equipped with Connect Plus to an existing Mobile Share Value plan is a $10 access charge per month.[1]

To learn more about IoT’s potential to transform business, visit www.att.com/iot

Source: AT&T

4G CONNECTIONS HIT ONE BILLION AS MOBILE BROADBAND MOMENTUM EXTENDS TO THE DEVELOPING WORLD

4G

New Study Sees 4G Market Double in 2015; Industry Accounts For 4.2% of Global GDP

The number of 4G mobile connections worldwide has surpassed the one billion mark and is on track to account for a third of all mobile connections by 2020, according to a new study by the GSMA. The 2016 global edition of the GSMA’s ‘Mobile Economy’ series of reports points to an accelerating technology shift to 3G/4G mobile broadband networks across both developed and developing markets, which is fuelling digital innovation, smartphone adoption and mobile data growth. The study calculates that the mobile industry made a $3.1 trillion contribution to the world economy last year, equivalent to 4.2 per cent of global GDP.

“Our new report reveals that mobile broadband is now a truly global phenomenon, extending high-speed connectivity and services to citizens in all corners of the world,” said Mats Granryd, Director General of the GSMA. “The unprecedented growth in mobile broadband last year is testament to the billions of dollars that mobile operators have invested in next-generation networks, services and spectrum in recent years. Mobile is now the most ubiquitous platform for people and businesses to connect and innovate in today’s digital economy.”

4G accounted for one billion of the 7.3 billion mobile connections1 reached by the end of 2015. The number of 4G connections doubled in 2015, largely as a result of the increase in 4G network deployments in the developing world. At the end of the year there were 451 live 4G (LTE) networks available in 151 countries, with almost half of these in the developing world. 4G is forecast to account for around a third of the almost nine billion mobile connections expected by 2020. Mobile broadband networks (3G and 4G) accounted for 50 per cent of connections in 2015, a figure set to rise to 70 per cent by 2020.

The combination of increasing mobile broadband access and rising smartphone adoption is contributing to an explosion in mobile data usage. Smartphones accounted for 45 per cent of mobile connections in 2015 (up from just 8 per cent in 2010) and a further 2.6 billion smartphone connections are expected to be added over the next five years. Mobile data volumes are forecast to grow at a CAGR of 49 per cent over the next five years – a more than seven-fold increase – approaching 40 exabytes per month by 20202. This will be equivalent to a global average of 7 gigabytes per subscriber per month.

The number of unique mobile subscribers3 worldwide stood at 4.7 billion at the end of 2015, equivalent to 63 per cent of the world’s population. Unique subscribers are forecast to reach 5.6 billion by 2020, by which point more than 70 per cent of the global population are expected to have a mobile subscription. More than 90 per cent of subscriber growth over the next five years is forecast to come from developing world markets.

Mobile Contributing to GDP, Jobs and Public Funding 
The global mobile industry added $3.1 trillion in economic value to the global economy in 2015, equivalent to 4.2 per cent of GDP4. This is predicted to rise to $3.7 trillion by 2020. The industry also directly and indirectly supported 32 million jobs in 2015 (forecast to rise to 36 million in 2020) and contributed $430 billion to public funding in the form of various types of taxation, a figure expected to grow to $480 billion in 2020 based on current levels of taxation. This public funding contribution excludes fees paid by operators for spectrum licences, which generated more than $90 billion for governments around the world last year as operators continued to acquire the spectrum they require to deploy mobile broadband.

The widespread availability of mobile networks is accelerating the ability to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. From improving access to vital services such as education, healthcare and financial services, to delivering smart agriculture and electricity management solutions, building resilient infrastructures or closing the gender gap, mobile technology is central in addressing a range of socio-economic development challenges. However, the report also notes the need for regulation to keep pace with rapid innovation.

“The fast pace of change means regulation can quickly become obsolete, irrelevant or, in some cases, harmful – distorting competition, slowing innovation and ultimately depriving consumers of the benefits of technological progress,” added Granryd. “Recognising these challenges, the mobile industry is calling on policymakers worldwide to adapt out-dated market regulations to reflect the new digital ecosystem.”

The new report ‘The Mobile Economy: 2016’ is authored by GSMA Intelligence, the research arm of the GSMA. To access the full report and related infographics please visit:http://gsmamobileeconomy.com/2016/global/.

Source: GSMA

5 Ways 4G is Improving Healthcare

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Patients and Medical Professionals Benefit From Wireless Connectivity

Advancements in technology and connectivity are simultaneously improving the quality and efficiency of healthcare. One of the most powerful factors in the rapid evolution of healthcare IT has been the development of 4G LTE networking.

Reliable wireless connectivity enables thousands of new technologies and applications to help medical care providers “Cut-the-Wire” and provide care far beyond hospital walls. From kiosks and the Internet of Healthcare Things (IoHT) to Telehealth, mobile clinics, and electronic medical records—connectivity is revolutionizing the ways people tend to their health and well-being.

Kiosks

Waiting Room Kiosks: Reliable wireless connectivity gives providers the flexibility to place patient kiosks in waiting rooms to streamline simple data entry, as well as create a more personalized patient experience. At kiosks, patients can:

  • Set appointments and check in
  • Complete forms and questionnaires
  • Scan driver licenses and insurance cards
  • View account balances and pay for services
  • Review medical information
  • Learn more about specific medical conditions and how to care for them
  • Use interactive maps to navigate the building or campus

Specialized Kiosks: Some kiosks are used to increase awareness of and seek candidates for medical donations. Often set up in retail outlets, office complexes, and other high-traffic areas, these kiosks allow potential organ, blood, and bone marrow donors to answer screening questions and watch videos about the process.

Potential donors also can see profiles and photos of patients in need of donations, and they can sign up to receive a donor-testing kit in the mail.

Diagnostic Kiosks: Diagnostic kiosks have been around for decades. For example, blood pressure stations in pharmacies and grocery stores are used by an estimated 70 million people each year.

Today, the potential for diagnostic kiosks to improve patient care and operational efficiencies is rapidly growing. 4G LTE is helping usher in an era of kiosks with Machine-to-Machine (M2M) functionality to help providers do more than just remotely collect data from patients.

Today’s “clinic-in-a-store” kiosks can connect patients to physicians in real time. A patient may use a kiosk to conduct and transmit a retinal scan to an ophthalmologist, who can diagnose ocular disorders based on the findings.

Some kiosks serve as virtual offices where onsite healthcare professionals can conduct diagnostic appointments between remote physicians and patient. These kiosks also are capable of:

  • Updating patient health records on the spot
  • Gauging vital signs and informing patients whether they should seek further medical advice.
  • Administering diagnostic tests and then saving the results for patients to review and track online from their homes

The Internet of Healthcare Things (IoHT)

In the just the past few years, wireless technologies and medical devices within the Internet of Healthcare Things (IoHT) have transformed the way medical care is delivered. For instance, a new generation of intelligent heart rate monitors, blood pressure cuffs, glucometers, asthma inhalers, and thermometers no longer must be connected with wires.

These days, patients can send providers integral personal health information from the waiting room, at home, or even as they travel. For those with more severe medical conditions, healthcare professionals can remotely monitor patients’ vital signs via 4G LTE-connected, wearable body sensors.

Real-time data improves the ability of providers to quickly and accurately administer treatment based on up-to-date information. In other words, it helps achieve better health outcomes.

One of the most significant challenges physicians face is ensuring patients take medicine when and how it was prescribed. New wireless IoHT technology embedded in pill bottles enables doctors to remotely track whether a patient has taken his or her medicine.

Telehealth

The rise in healthcare costs has led to a reduction in the number of physicians and medical staff available to treat patients. Emerging trends in Telehealth seek to correct this imbalance through the use of wireless networks to connect providers with one another from remote locations.

Modern-day healthcare professionals can use video conferencing to bridge the gap between rural and urban offices. A family medicine physician in a small town can consult with specialists in a large city much easier than before. This practice literally can save the life of a rurally located patient who needs highly specialized care.

With systems now in place to remotely share electronic medical records, review scans or X-rays, and discuss treatment options in real time, doctors can save substantial time and money—which is important for everyone.

Mobile Healthcare

One of the most transformative improvements in healthcare technology has been in-vehicle connectivity. Emergency medical personnel now send triage information and patient histories ahead to the emergency room from the road.

While the patient is en route, ER staff can monitor vital signs, review photos or videos that might help diagnose the patient, check the person’s prescription drug history, and dictate treatment instructions to paramedics.

In-vehicle 4G LTE connectivity allows patients at mobile clinics to receive highly advanced healthcare services without setting foot in a traditional doctor’s office. Also, with mobile routers small enough to fit in a carry-on, in-home and mobile caretakers enjoy a secure, reliable Internet connection for accessing reference materials, email, and patient medical and prescription histories.

Electronic Health Records (EHRs)

The healthcare industry’s widespread move toward electronic health records has streamlined various processes and made access to a patient’s medical history practically instant— from anywhere.

Remote access to EHRs has been particularly useful in emergency care. As soon as first responders know a patient’s name, they can gain access to a wealth of information about medical status and begin to treat the patient accordingly.

Patients directly benefit from EHRs. They are are subjected to far fewer redundant questions from multiple practitioners during sign-in and follow-up processes. In turn, practitioners can spend a larger percentage of their time providing care.

Of course, security is a major factor regarding EHRs, as well as one of the main concerns for network administrators at healthcare facilities. Should a data breach result in patients’ personal, medical, or financial data being stolen, the resulting fallout could harm patients and subject the provider to fines for failure to comply with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) or Payment Card Industry (PCI) guidelines.

Cradlepoint’s 4G LTE routing and cloud management solutions enable best-in-breed, cloud-based network security applications — that fully meet HIPAA and PCI regulations — to keep patients, hospital administrators and IT managers at ease.

“Our infrastructure is more secured now because of how Cradlepoint has enabled us to configure, monitor, and manage the network,” said Shawn Wiora, CIO and CISO forCreative Solutions in Healthcare. “We’ve made tremendous progress in achieving a much higher level of awareness of the network. If someone were to try to attack our facilities, we’d know it immediately and have solutions in place to thwart the attack.”

For additional protection, organizations use Cradlepoint solutions to enable Parallel Networking, which keeps credit card and other sensitive data completely separate or “air-gapped” from other applications and third-party networks.

Healthcare Technology Improves Patient Experience

The present and future of 4G LTE-enabled healthcare networking is bright. For instance, robotics is poised to emerge as a major tool for patient care—potentially affecting everything from the distribution of medication to exoskeletons enabling paraplegics to walk.

For now, practitioners and patients alike are reaping the benefits of 4G LTE connectivity making healthcare more accessible, efficient, and flexible than ever before.

Co-Star supply Cradlpoint wireless routers for 4G LTE Networking. Please click here for more information>

Source: Cradlepoint

5G Innovation Centre opens at the University of Surrey

5G Innovation Centre officially opens at the University of Surrey | University of Surrey – Guildford

5G Innovation Centre officially opens at the University of Surrey

The University of Surrey today opens its state-of-the-art 5G Innovation Centre (5GIC), securing the UK’s role in leading the development of the next generation communications technology, 5G.

The 5G Innovation Centre

Housing over 170 researchers and attracting over £70 million of investment, including £12 million from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the 5GIC is the world’s largest academic research centre dedicated to next generation mobile and wireless connectivity.

The Centre brings together leading academic expertise and major industry partners to define and develop a global 5G network that will radically change lives across the world. Through their work, they have already developed a technology that enables speeds of one terabit per second (Tbps) – more than 1,000 times faster than the highest 4G speed, and filed over 15 patents.

Professor Rahim Tafazolli, Director of the 5GIC, said: “While we have already achieved record-breaking speeds, 5G is not only about delivering faster mobile internet. It is a transformative set of technologies that will radically change our private and professional lives by enabling innovative applications and services, such as remote healthcare, wireless robots, driverless cars and connected homes and cities, removing boundaries between the real and cyber worlds. These capabilities make 5G a ‘Special Generation’ of connectivity.

“The true impact of 5G will come from the innovative applications the new network will enable, some of which are yet to be realised. The opening of the Centre today marks an important step in allowing those from across the globe to work with us in developing the new network and for partners, other universities and industry to test out their new applications in a real world setting, before they are brought to market.

“The ethos of the Centre is not built on competition but cooperation.  5G will be achieved through global collaboration so that everyone will benefit from working to a single standard. This technology will then be commercialised from 2020, driving economic development and research for the UK, while delivering research that will impact the world.”

Jo Johnson, Minister for Universities and Science, said: “The development of 5G presents a significant economic opportunity and this world-leading centre will position the UK at the forefront of research into the next generation of communications technology. The Government wants Britain to be the best place in Europe to innovate and we are committed to supporting collaborations like this one to ensure pioneering research continues to improve people’s lives.”

Video of the future

Opening alongside the Centre is the 5GIC’s new testbed facility, providing researchers with a fully-functioning advanced 4G network. Over time, it will be upgraded to include fully-fledged 5G technologies and large scale Internet of Things (IoT). By 2018 the testbed will be able to deliver 10Gbs/per cell, ten times faster than the highest speed available over 4G.

To demonstrate the potential of the testbed, 5GIC researchers and partners are today unveiling a pioneering wireless technology performing mobile streaming of ultra-high definition video.

Developed in partnership with Huawei, BBC R&D and the 5GIC, ultra-high-definition (4k) video will be streamed to a mobile device over an enhanced outdoor mobile network, providing a first major step in delivering the expected capacity of 5G.

Professor Rahim Tafazolli explained: “Using evolved hardware and software, the demonstration showed the capabilities 5G could hold for bandwidth hungry applications such as ultra-high definition video on the move. This provides much higher quality, less compressed images than 4G/LTE, streamed to a mobile device or television.”

5G Supporting the Internet of Things (IoT)

Another key demonstration is focussed on the requirement for 5G to provide the necessary “backbone” to connect the billions of devices which will form the future IoT, supporting thousands of devices per square kilometre in addition to smart phone usage. The demonstration shows how a new (5G-Sparse Coding Multiple Access) radio waveform can support at least three times the number of IoT devices than would be possible with 4G. It is a great example of how the newly opened 5GIC testbed can be used to trial real 5G IoT applications, illustrating the level of improvement in network capacity that can be expected from a 5G network.

Notes to Editors

5G Innovation Centre Partners

The 5G Innovation Centre (5GIC) at the University of Surrey brings together leading academic expertise and key industry partners to develop the next generation of wireless technology, 5G. Partners include: EE, Huawei, O2, Vodafone, HEFCE, Enterprise M3, TEOCO Corporation, BBC, BT, Cobham, Anite, Ascom, Catapult Digital, Fujitsu, Rohde & Schwarz, Samsung, Roke, McLaren Applied Technologies, Ofcom, Imagination Technologies, ITRI, MYCOM OSI, Three and Ordnance Survey.

Huawei

Dr. Tong Wen, IEEE fellow, Huawei wireless CTO and 5G principal scientist, said: “Huawei is very pleased to be working as part of the team at the 5GIC. We are committed to researching and developing future technologies that help build better connected societies, businesses and economies, and ensuring 5G is a success is essential in achieving this. Globally we will work closely with research institutions, operators and small enterprises, to turn the 5G dream into reality. The 5GIC will play an important role in this by helping us start testing foundational 5G technologies as early as possible.”

Telefonica

Dr Mike Short , Vice President of Research & Development at Telefonica  said: “As an industry we have seen significant change in market requirements over the past few years – and our customers now expect to have access to fast mobile connectivity at all times. These changing behaviours, coupled with the rise of wearable technology and the Internet of Things, mean that video and data usage are increasing rapidly. As a result, the development of 5G is going to be absolutely crucial in helping to bring customers the new digital experiences they want in the future.

“We are delighted to be collaborating with leading international companies through our partnership with the University of Surrey, to explore and define how 5G connectivity will influence how we work and play. We are excited to help develop this technology over the coming years.”

EE

Paul Ceely, Head of Network Strategy at EE, said: “This is a great start in the UK’s development to become the world leader in 5G. Mobile services become more and more central to businesses and consumers every year, and the 5GIC will be central to building the next generation of wireless connectivity.”

TEOCO Corporation

Stephen Bowker, Vice President of Technology and Strategy, TEOCO Corporation, said: “As a Gold Founder member, TEOCO are extremely proud today to see the UK open a world leading global centre of excellence to drive research into 5G and beyond.  TEOCO initially pledged support for this important 5G initiative in August 2012 (as AIRCOM International) which helped the University secure funding from the HEFCE.  Since then we have been active in 5G research providing advanced radio planning, network dimensioning and service assurance capabilities to the 5GIC.  Our market leading TEOCO Helix Service Assurance Suite is being deployed as part of the 5G Internet of Things (IoT) programme helping the UK lead the world to a “Smarter” future.”

Samsung

Chang Yeong Kim, Executive Vice President and Head of Digital Multimedia and Communications R&D of Samsung Electronics, said: “Samsung are proud to be a founding partner of the 5GIC. We are sharing our technical expertise in mmWave, Internet of Things and developments in the existing LTE advanced standards to create the next generation of mobile communications. Working with the centre’s researchers and industry partners, Samsung will help bring these new technologies into the global standards arena, putting the UK at the heart of 5G”

Cobham Wireless

Li-Ke Huang, research & technology director at Cobham Wireless, said: “Cobham Wireless is proud to be a 5GIC partner, and supporting this ground-breaking research by participating in the development and validation of the advanced air interface that is essential to power 5G.”

Enterprise M3

Geoff French, Chair of the Enterprise M3 LEP, said: “The opening of this centre is tremendously exciting and is of worldwide significance. The £5million funding which we have contributed to this innovative project is to support SMEs so that they can make the most of the opportunities which emerge from this research and give them a head start on putting these new exciting technologies into operation. The LEP is determined to support innovation and this centre will be a driving force to increase productivity and economic growth.”

Rohde & Schwarz

Roland Steffen, Executive Vice President Test and Measurement at Rohde & Schwarz, said: “We are delighted to contribute our test & measurement expertise to the 5G research programme developed at the 5GIC in Surrey. With a strong global footprint for 4G LTE/LTE-Advanced, Rohde & Schwarz is committed to continuously accompany the evolution from 4G to 5G. We support the 5G vision to give the users the perception of infinite capacity, which will require a very flexible 5G infrastructure and the ability to manage additional spectrum resources in potentially high frequency bands.”

Imagination Technologies

Tony King-Smith, EVP marketing, Imagination, said: “Our collaboration with 5GIC is particularly significant, especially as we gear up for the next wave of innovations for a highly connected world.  Imagination will invest significant resources into 5GIC over the next five years, including both people and state-of-the art IP platforms, to help 5GIC develop technologies that will be highly scalable and easily deployable by the widest possible semiconductor, electronics goods and service provider community.”

Ascom

Rikard Lundqvist, Ascom Executive Board Member and General Manager of Ascom Network Testing, said: “We are really excited to be members of the 5GIC’s initiative to establish the next generation of mobile standards.  Our TEMS™ test and monitoring tools have already been deployed at the Centre to ensure the test network environment. We look forward to further opportunities to collaborate.”

Anite

Paul Beaver, Products Director at Anite, said: “5G has the potential to transform wireless communications, however it will be essential to ensure that key technology attributes are appropriately designed and tested, and this is where Anite can play an important role. We are really excited to part of 5GIC, adding Anite’s valuable expertise to help accelerate key research initiatives.”

MYCOM OSI

Payam Taaghol, CEO MYCOM OSI, said: “As a UK headquartered company with 95%+ of our business coming from leading telecoms brands internationally, participation in the UK’s 5GIC will directly benefit our business through improved development of our market-leading telecom network management technology. 5G is more than just another tech upgrade but a big deal which will fundamentally change how we interact with our world, and we are delighted to contribute technology and expertise to help 5GIC lead global efforts in 5G R&D.”

Vodafone

Luke Ibbetson, Vodafone’s Group R&D Director said: “Vodafone is proud to be a founding member of the 5G Innovation Centre and we believe it will form a vital part of the UK and European 5G research efforts. A fundamental 5G requirement is to enable compelling new use cases and deliver a level of performance, cost and energy efficiency which is a real “step change” ahead of current mobile technologies. 5GIC has the facilities and world class academic resources to undertake primary research and demonstrate how well the emerging 5G technologies work under real world conditions, in a way which is meaningful for customers. Exciting stuff!”

Sierra Wireless next-generation embedded modules offer integrated device-to-cloud architecture for the Internet of Things

sierra wireless

Newest AirPrime® WP Series modules enable developers to go from prototype to production quickly, with integrated application processing, a Linux-based embedded platform, cloud connectivity, and an open hardware reference design

Sierra Wireless have introduced the next-generation AirPrime® WP Series of smart wireless modules, designed to reduce system complexity and accelerate the development of connected products and applications for the Internet of Things.

“With the introduction of the new AirPrime WP Series modules, we have launched a powerfully integrated device-to-cloud architecture to make it easier for our customers to innovate,” said Dan Schieler, Senior Vice President, Embedded Solutions for Sierra Wireless. “With an application processor running the open source Legato™ platform, along with the AirVantage® cloud for device and application management, and a new open hardware reference design, the latest WP Series modules enable developers to quickly build connected products using a single module to run all their applications.”

The WP Series is interchangeable and completely footprint-compatible with the AirPrime HL Series, and is available in 3G and 4G LTE variants with 2G fallback on certain modules. Like the HL Series, the new WP Series modules can be soldered down or used with a socket, for flexibility in manufacturing and inventory management. The form factor, called CF3™ (common flexible form factor), will be supported by Sierra Wireless through multiple generations of both WP and HL Series product lines, providing a secure migration path for customers through multi-year deployments.

The next-generation AirPrime WP Series offers industry-leading ultra-low power mode for applications that need to prioritize power management over constant connectivity. This deep-sleep mode is ideal for industrial solar- or battery-powered applications where constant connectivity is not required, opening up new use-cases for cellular connectivity where it was previously impractical.

For OEMs and developers, the integration of processors and device software with wireless functionality can be complex and time-consuming, even more so when modifications are required for each region and each generation of the product. If location-based services are required, a global navigation satellite system (GNSS) receiver must be integrated as well. Furthermore, the data from the wireless connection, the connected asset, and its location must be aggregated and delivered to enterprise applications.

The next-generation AirPrime WP Series is designed to address all of these issues. It offers an integrated processor and a GNSS receiver, reducing the number of components, integration time, and cost for developers. The Linux-based Legato platform running on the module’s processor provides the modem services needed to get the module communicating on a cellular network, plus an application framework and secured processing space to run third-party applications. Through Legato, AirPrime WP modules are pre-integrated with the AirVantage cloud for simple, secure configuration and management of the device and its data once deployed.

For more information about the new AirPrime WP Series, as well as the open hardware reference design (Project mangOH™) and IoT connector open interface standard, also introduced today at the Sierra Wireless Innovation Summit in Paris, please visit http://www.sierrawireless.com/WP_launch.

EE ramps up LTE Broadcast efforts


EE Trials 4G Broadcast for FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium, connected by EE

UK operator EE is gearing up to push its LTE Broadcast service live next year after a successful trial at Wembley Stadium last weekend, predicting that by 2019 the technology will be the sole driver of live TV content delivered over its network.

Following a trial at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow last year, EE demoed LTE Broadcast services to a small group of selected users (approximately 20 tablet devices) at the FA Cup Final two days ago.

Viewers were able to select multiple camera angles, access real-time match statistics and watch HD-quality replays of the action (on-demand) within a minute of events happening on the pitch. The trial was the latest tech development by EE at Wembley Stadium, which it has dubbed “the mothership” of its national 4G network.

EE is keeping its cards close to its chest in terms of specific timeframes for next steps, but a statement from the operator says it “intends to build the 4G Broadcast capability into its network in 2016.”

LTE-Broadcast is being pitched by operators such as EE, Telstra and Verizon Wireless as a cost-effective way to provide TV and video content in crowded areas that would normally suffer problems with pixellation or buffering due to network congestion. Unlike traditional unicast mobile streaming, which sends content from the network to each individual user as they demand it, LTE Broadcast (also known as eMBMS) makes the same live video content available to everyone in the same location, connecting any number of people all at the same time.

US operator Verizon Wireless has commercially launched the technology via a partnership with motor racing series Indycar, and EE says it is preparing for its own commercial deployment. “The next time we do something it will be a live deployment that will stay and then we can move on to light up the next area,” Matt Stagg, head of video at EE, told Mobile World Live. “Anywhere we light up next year for event or capacity reasons will stay.”

ee4Stagg noted that its LTE Broadcast services won’t be restricted to stadia, instead offering a cost-effective way to support video delivery in any high traffic area.

Of course, as with any new technology, there are major challenges to overcome. There are only a handful of devices currently available that support LTE-Broadcast technology, as well as issues around content rights. And there’s a big question mark over the business model behind the service; after all, watching a 90-minute football match will consume a huge amount of data that has to be paid for in some way.

“The technology is great as underlined by the numerous successful trials but the lack of actual commercial deployments demonstrates the uncertainty around the business model,” commented CCS Insight analyst Paolo Pescatore. “There is no doubt that LTE Broadcast will be a useful tool in overcoming network congestion and coping with the explosion in video traffic. It provides sports fans with a great second screen experience, but it is unclear whether they will pay for it; it’s too early to say. As a result, operators are probably unwilling to invest millions in upgrading their networks. The most likely scenario would be joint investment with a venue owner or content owner to share the financial risk which reinforces the clear use case that is emerging.”

EE’s Stagg is, unsurprisingly, upbeat, claiming his company’s progress so far is evidence that this form of mobile TV distribution – unlike previous ill-fated technologies such as DVB-H and MediaFlo – will succeed.

“Once we move through 2017 and we get organic growth… then we will start to do the other things eMBMS is good for – things like pushing software updates for mass downloads for the internet of things. By 2019 on our network there will be no live or linear tv that isn’t [LTE] Broadcast.”

Source: Justin Springham. Mobile World Live

Verizon agrees $4.4B AOL Deal to drive LTE Video, Mobile advertising

aol-triangle-logo

Verizon Communications announced an agreement to buy AOL, the digital content and advertising platform provider, in a deal worth around $4.4 billion, which the operator said would “further drive” its LTE and OTT video strategy, as well as bolster the operator’s mobile advertising platform.

“Verizon’s vision is to provide customers with a premium digital experience based on a global multiscreen network platform,” said Lowell McAdam, Verizon CEO. “This acquisition supports our strategy to provide a cross-screen connection for consumers, creators and advertisers to deliver that premium customer experience.”

AOL’s assets include its subscription business and portfolio of global content brands, includingThe Huffington Post, TechCrunch, Engadget, MAKERS and AOL.com, as well as its programmatic advertising platforms.

Indeed, TechCrunch flagged an internal memo by Tim Armstrong, AOL CEO. He spoke warmly about the merits of being acquired by Verizon.

“The deal means we will be a division of Verizon and we will oversee AOL’s current assets plus additional assets from Verizon that are targeted at the mobile and video media space,” said Armstrong. “The deal will not change our strategy – it will expand it greatly. The deal will give our content businesses more distribution and it will give our advertisers more distribution and mobile-first features. The deal will add scale and it will add a mobile lens to everything we do inside of our content, video, and ads strategy.”

McAdam was equally effusive. He said that Verizon had already been “strategically investing in emerging technology” which taps into the “market shift to digital content and advertising”.

“AOL’s advertising model aligns with this approach, and the advertising platform provides a key tool for us to develop future revenue streams,” he said.

The transaction will take the form of a tender offer followed by a merger, said Verizon, with AOL becoming a wholly owned subsidiary of Verizon upon completion.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals, but Verizon expects the deal to close this summer.

Source: Mobile World Live. Ken Wieland

Raco Wireless Selected to Support the Next Generation of Audi Connect

RacoWireless today announced that it has been chosen to support Audi’s new lineup of 4G LTE connected vehicles in the Audi connect program. The news comes shortly after Audi and AT&T made headlines at the recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas by announcing a partnership to provide the first-to-market 4G LTE connected car in the U.S. with the all-new 2015 Audi A3 sedan, which comes to market this spring.

RacoWireless will continue its strong relationship with Audi of America to support its award-winning technology. Providing complete connectivity management, including 24/7/365 call center support, RacoWireless will work with AT&T to deliver the most immersive in-car infotainment system available.

“The momentum that we have been able to build with RacoWireless as a partner has been tremendous,” said Anupam Malhotra, Senior Manager, Connected Vehicles, Audi of America. “Audi connect continues to lead the industry when it comes to innovation, technology, and overall experience – and we expect that to continue.” The new lineup of Audi A3 models will feature the most advanced platform and suite of services allowing motorists and passengers access to real-time information, voice navigation, and Wi-Fi® connectivity for up to eight devices. Using 4G LTE technology, the vehicles will be equipped with the fastest in-car experience available.

John Horn, President of RacoWireless, said: “We are thrilled to continue our relationship with Audi of America and assist in powering the most innovative connected car program in the nation and the first-ever 4G LTE experience.” “Working with AT&T to bring this solution to market will only help augment Audi’s position as the clear leader in the connected car space.” While the new service is initially only available in the A3, Audi plans to roll out 4G LTE throughout its vehicle lineup in the coming years. Eddie Meyersick, VP of Telematics, RacoWireless, added: “Providing the highest level of service is of utmost importance to our team. We look forward to supporting Audi and AT&T as they expand their reach.”

Source: M2M World News

4G driving data usage but not all markets reaping the rewards


NEW ANALYSIS: ‘Digital pioneers’ are seeing a positive impact from 4G but Europe is still struggling, says a new report from GSMA Intelligence.

The rapid migration towards 4G-LTE in the world’s most advanced mobile markets is driving a surge in data usage, with 4G users typically consuming twice as much data per month as other users. However, while the introduction of 4G has led to an uplift in ARPU in some instances, the impact on revenue varies widely depending on the market.

As the only major market to have reached 100 per cent 4G population coverage, South Korea is the world’s most advanced 4G market, with penetration as a percentage of total connections passing the 50 per cent mark in Q4 2013. This compares to around a quarter 4G user penetration in Japan and the US.

Market-leader SK Telecom’s average monthly data consumption per user has risen significantly since the launch of its 4G network in H2 2011. The average monthly data consumption of its 4G users approximately doubled between Q4 2011 and Q1 2013, rising from 1.1 GB to 2.1 GB, while data usage via HSPA remained flat. This means that the operator’s total 3G/4G data traffic almost doubled in the space of 15 months, despite only a 2 per cent growth in total connections.

With such extensive 4G coverage available in the country, users in South Korea have also begun to eschew Wi-Fi networks – continuing to use 4G even when Wi-Fi is available – to maintain the consistency of their experience, especially when the 4G network provides a faster download/upload speed than a Wi-Fi service.

Although this trend is putting increasing strain on their networks, South Korean operators are generating significantly increased revenue from their 4G customers. At KRW46,000 ($43), SK Telecom’s 4G ARPU in Q3 2013 was around 32 per cent higher than its blended ARPU, with the operator noting that more than 70 per cent of new and upgrading 4G customers were opting for its higher-priced tariffs. Meanwhile, rival KT’s 4G ARPU of KRW44,000 ($42) was more than 40 per cent higher than blended ARPU.

Operators in the US are seeing similar trends. In October 2013, Verizon Wireless – the largest 4G operator globally with 36 million 4G connections in Q3 2013 – announced that those 38 per cent of its retail customers connected to its 4G network were responsible for 64 per cent of its total data traffic. The operator’s Q3 2013 ARPA (average revenue per account) was up 7.1 per cent on a year earlier, and has increased by 21 per cent since the launch of its 4G network in Q4 2010. Similarly, Cricket Communications CEO Jerry Elliot said in August 2013 that its “usage from a 4G customer is about twice that what it is for a 3G customer.” The operator’s ARPU was up 8.4 per cent year-on-year to reach $45.45 in Q3 2013.

In regions such as Europe the migration towards 4G is at a significantly earlier stage. This means that, while they have reported similar trends in terms of data consumption, operators in these regions are not yet seeing the same positive impact on revenue from 4G as witnessed in ‘digital pioneer’ markets such as South Korea, the US and Japan.

For example, in Q1 2013, Vodafone reported that average monthly data usage for its 4G smartphone users in Europe was 640 MB, approximately twice that for a 3G smartphone (350 MB) and roughly the same as a tablet operating on 3G. In Germany, Vodafone’s rival O2 said in Q3 that monthly average data consumption by smartphones using 4G services was three times that of non-4G smartphones.

In terms of revenue, the UK’s EE observed in its Q2 2013 report how an “increase of nearly 10 per cent was witnessed in the ARPU for existing customers migrating to 4G by June 2013”, and in its Q3 2013 report that “existing consumers migrating to 4G continue to show high single digit ARPU uplift.” This contributed to a slight annual rise in blended ARPU (+0.5 per cent), to £19.00 ($29.45) in Q3 2013.

This is a fairly modest increase compared to EE’s counterparts in South Korea and the US, but one which would surely be welcomed across the channel in France, where the expected ARPU uplift from 4G has evaporated for the three largest operators after low-cost rival Free Mobile introduced a 4G offering at no additional charge to its existing 3G service. This month, Orange France was forced to cut its lowest 4G tariff to €24.99 ($33.99) per month (via its SoSh low-cost unit), to ward off competition from Free, which offers 4G plans starting at just €19.99 ($27.19) per month. Similarly, second-placed French operator SFR has dropped its entry-level 4G tariff to €25.99 ($35.35) per month.

The average ARPU in France was down 13.2 per cent year-on-year in Q3 2013 to €22.82 ($30.23), and despite Bouygues Telecom, Orange and SFR all hitting 1 million 4G connections by the end of 2013, we expect to see the downward ARPU trend continue when those operators report their Q4 2013 financial results.

But France isn’t the only market where an operator has chosen to offer 4G services without charging a premium. For example, 3UK, which switched on 4G last month, is allowing customers to migrate without switching from their 3G contracts and will continue to offer unlimited data allowances. Telefonica Movistar – the market leader in Spain – is also offering 4G at the same price as 3G alongside a host of other incentives.

SK Telecom, average monthly data consumption per connection, Q2 2010 – Q1 2013
Source: SK Telecom

gsmai table

 Source: Calum Dewar GSMA

4G driving data usage but not all markets reaping the rewards

4G driving data usage but not all markets reaping the rewards


NEW ANALYSIS: ‘Digital pioneers’ are seeing a positive impact from 4G but Europe is still struggling, says a new report from GSMA Intelligence.

The rapid migration towards 4G-LTE in the world’s most advanced mobile markets is driving a surge in data usage, with 4G users typically consuming twice as much data per month as other users. However, while the introduction of 4G has led to an uplift in ARPU in some instances, the impact on revenue varies widely depending on the market.

As the only major market to have reached 100 per cent 4G population coverage, South Korea is the world’s most advanced 4G market, with penetration as a percentage of total connections passing the 50 per cent mark in Q4 2013. This compares to around a quarter 4G user penetration in Japan and the US.

Market-leader SK Telecom’s average monthly data consumption per user has risen significantly since the launch of its 4G network in H2 2011. The average monthly data consumption of its 4G users approximately doubled between Q4 2011 and Q1 2013, rising from 1.1 GB to 2.1 GB, while data usage via HSPA remained flat. This means that the operator’s total 3G/4G data traffic almost doubled in the space of 15 months, despite only a 2 per cent growth in total connections.

With such extensive 4G coverage available in the country, users in South Korea have also begun to eschew Wi-Fi networks – continuing to use 4G even when Wi-Fi is available – to maintain the consistency of their experience, especially when the 4G network provides a faster download/upload speed than a Wi-Fi service.

Although this trend is putting increasing strain on their networks, South Korean operators are generating significantly increased revenue from their 4G customers. At KRW46,000 ($43), SK Telecom’s 4G ARPU in Q3 2013 was around 32 per cent higher than its blended ARPU, with the operator noting that more than 70 per cent of new and upgrading 4G customers were opting for its higher-priced tariffs. Meanwhile, rival KT’s 4G ARPU of KRW44,000 ($42) was more than 40 per cent higher than blended ARPU.

Operators in the US are seeing similar trends. In October 2013, Verizon Wireless – the largest 4G operator globally with 36 million 4G connections in Q3 2013 – announced that those 38 per cent of its retail customers connected to its 4G network were responsible for 64 per cent of its total data traffic. The operator’s Q3 2013 ARPA (average revenue per account) was up 7.1 per cent on a year earlier, and has increased by 21 per cent since the launch of its 4G network in Q4 2010. Similarly, Cricket Communications CEO Jerry Elliot said in August 2013 that its “usage from a 4G customer is about twice that what it is for a 3G customer.” The operator’s ARPU was up 8.4 per cent year-on-year to reach $45.45 in Q3 2013.

In regions such as Europe the migration towards 4G is at a significantly earlier stage. This means that, while they have reported similar trends in terms of data consumption, operators in these regions are not yet seeing the same positive impact on revenue from 4G as witnessed in ‘digital pioneer’ markets such as South Korea, the US and Japan.

For example, in Q1 2013, Vodafone reported that average monthly data usage for its 4G smartphone users in Europe was 640 MB, approximately twice that for a 3G smartphone (350 MB) and roughly the same as a tablet operating on 3G. In Germany, Vodafone’s rival O2 said in Q3 that monthly average data consumption by smartphones using 4G services was three times that of non-4G smartphones.

In terms of revenue, the UK’s EE observed in its Q2 2013 report how an “increase of nearly 10 per cent was witnessed in the ARPU for existing customers migrating to 4G by June 2013”, and in its Q3 2013 report that “existing consumers migrating to 4G continue to show high single digit ARPU uplift.” This contributed to a slight annual rise in blended ARPU (+0.5 per cent), to £19.00 ($29.45) in Q3 2013.

This is a fairly modest increase compared to EE’s counterparts in South Korea and the US, but one which would surely be welcomed across the channel in France, where the expected ARPU uplift from 4G has evaporated for the three largest operators after low-cost rival Free Mobile introduced a 4G offering at no additional charge to its existing 3G service. This month, Orange France was forced to cut its lowest 4G tariff to €24.99 ($33.99) per month (via its SoSh low-cost unit), to ward off competition from Free, which offers 4G plans starting at just €19.99 ($27.19) per month. Similarly, second-placed French operator SFR has dropped its entry-level 4G tariff to €25.99 ($35.35) per month.

The average ARPU in France was down 13.2 per cent year-on-year in Q3 2013 to €22.82 ($30.23), and despite Bouygues Telecom, Orange and SFR all hitting 1 million 4G connections by the end of 2013, we expect to see the downward ARPU trend continue when those operators report their Q4 2013 financial results.

But France isn’t the only market where an operator has chosen to offer 4G services without charging a premium. For example, 3UK, which switched on 4G last month, is allowing customers to migrate without switching from their 3G contracts and will continue to offer unlimited data allowances. Telefonica Movistar – the market leader in Spain – is also offering 4G at the same price as 3G alongside a host of other incentives.

SK Telecom, average monthly data consumption per connection, Q2 2010 – Q1 2013
Source: SK Telecom

gsmai table