Tag Archives: 4G

Realm Pictures Create New Genre Of Interactive Video Game Using Peplink Connectivity

Realm Pictures is a film production company based in the UK that has created a new genre of live interactive video game events. Their first was the Live First Person Shooter which they filmed in their studio grounds using local fixed line connectivity. When they went to film the second level in a disused power station which had no fixed line connectivity available, they realized that they needed a different way to obtain reliable, high bandwidth, low latency Internet connectivity to make it work.

After searching for a solution that could use multiple 3G/4G LTE cellular connections they discovered Peplink SD-WAN technology, and contacted Grapevine Connect – a local Peplink Partner, to help.

Grapevine Connect has now worked on two productions with Realm Pictures – the latest being a series of real life interactive Hitman games for Io Interactive, where multiple 3G/4G LTE connections were bonded at the location and connected over SpeedFusion VPN via a FusionHub virtual appliance in the cloud to the Internet. This not only gave Realm Pictures a high bandwidth, reliable, low latency Internet connection, but also allowed for inbound connections from the Internet to on location set pieces (like a remote controlled machine gun) providing a full interactive experience for the end users.

For Realm Pictures, Peplink SD-WAN enables them to consider bold exciting locations for new levels and future projects, safe in the knowledge that Grapevine Connect and Peplink SD-WAN will enable them to connect to their audience and players successfully – wherever in the world they may be.

“We didn’t have a single problem with the cellular – it was super robust, very impressive! [and] on a shoot like this [that is] utterly utterly vital.” -David Reynolds. Artistic Director, Realm Pictures.

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For more information on how Peplink can provide connectivity for your business please e-mail or call Co-Star on: sales@co-star.co.uk t: +44 (0) 1423 340066

 

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

The Connected Car Revolution

connected carThe Connected Car is enhancing the in-car experience as IOT, 4G/LTE technologies become more widespread.

The concept of “connected cars” is becoming commonplace in automotive sector with digital technology making inroads into the sector to enhance the “in-car” experience. Connected car is a vehicle which can optimize its own operation and maintenance thereby enhancing comfort, convenience, performance, safety and overall user experience. These cars consist of devices and technology that connect to other devices within the cars or outside of them and are able to connect to network or services outside the cars – facilitating real-time interconnectivity. Automotive digital technology for long has traditionally been focused on optimizing the vehicle’s internal functions with the application of computing technology, but now attention is shifting towards developing the car’s ability to connect with the elements outside the vehicle.

Car manufacturers and service providers are offering powerful network connectivity with the help of various devices such as sensors on varied platforms such as Machine-to-Machine (M2M) connectivity platform– to promote interconnectivity in between two connected cars. Whether it is through an integrated modem with 4G/LTE technology buried beneath the dash or a high speed connection to private cloud, manufacturers are integrating a myriad number of car connectivity features & functionalities to gain a competitive edge over others. AT&T Inc., an American multinational telecommunications corporation, is offering on select car models 4G LTE connectivity- considered to be most reliable & strongest network technology on the wheels so far. Connected cars are rolling as 4G Wi-Fi hotspots, with automobile manufacturers trying to include these in the standard features and price. With unlimited 4G LTE internet access on the go, users can stream content to other devices offering numerous entertainment and utility apps. Vinli, a maker of a connected car system, has recently revealed its plans to lure developers to its platform with a promotion that will give developers 1 billion free API (Application Program Interface) requests each month for five years totaling to 60 million free calls.

Safety and peace of mind are vital aspect that users of connected cars desire. As some industry experts correctly opine that the, actual experience of a “connected car” should extend outside the car. Automatic, a start-up firm, in an effort to enhance the experience of connected cars hopes to bring the automobile into the app age by launching APIs, SDKs for different connected car platforms. At least a dozen of partner companies have integrated their services into Automatic’s platform, which offer a host of functionalities that can help drivers track mileage expenses, automate routines based on their daily driving behavior. By 2020, integrated solutions are expected to occupy around 45% of the market share driven by consumer freedom of choice in customizing their connectivity devices and data plans.

With ample opportunities in connected car segment, the market is estimated to generate a revenue of $141 billion by the year 2020, pegged to grow at a CAGR of 32.7% during the forecast period (2014 – 2020) as per a recent report. The fact that the connected cars market has immense growth opportunities does not insulate it from market challenges in terms of dominant security and privacy concerns, which will hamper its rapid adoption. New car buyers have genuine concerns that their cars will be hacked and essential system such as brakes can be easily manipulated. What makes the connected cars open to such vulnerabilities? The difference in lifecycles in the automotive and the mobile industry creates gaps leading to serious challenge for the future of connected cars. New features, such as operating system upgrades and applications, essential for car connectivity can be provided constantly for the smartphone, whereas automobile manufacturers mostly work on five-year cycles. The gap can be addressed with the combined cooperation between automobile and mobile manufacturers. In fact, the key market players have already begun to address such concerns by entering into partnership and collaboration. For instance, Chrysler, for example, is partnering with Sprint Nextel to connect cars like the Dodge Viper … General Motors selected AT&T as its mobile partner, as revealed by Forbes. New ownership models, such as Zipcar’s, the world’s largest car sharing and car club service will further fuel the growth of the market. Such models portray a future where the vehicle you use knows who you are, who is in the car with you along with finely distributing the cost of ownership/usage seamlessly. Creating awareness among the end-users about the advanced connectivity functionalities is another significant factor to foster the adoption rate of the connected cars. Services such as the Internet of Things will offer new opportunities for connected cars market.

It would not be a market gimmick to say that in order to create a successful “connected” proposition in connected cars, it’s important to think in terms of the “connected driver” not the “connected car”. A different approach to connected cars which takes into account all aspects such as significant cost reduction, integration of various platforms and innovative ownership models, will boost the market growth.

 Source: M2M World News

EE SELECTED TO DELIVER CRITICAL NEW 4G VOICE AND DATA NETWORK FOR BRITAIN’S EMERGENCY SERVICES

EE-log-Nov-2014
East Midlands Ambulance Service – 4G Connected Ambulance
  • 300,000 Emergency Services end users, including Police, Fire and Rescue, and Ambulance, to benefit from nationwide 4G voice and data services for the first time
  • Phased transition of end users to new Emergency Services Network to begin in mid-2017
  • EE to invest in building more than 500 new 4G sites and deploying highly resilient new core system to deliver ground-breaking critical communications network
  • EE customers to benefit from expanded coverage and enhanced network reliability

 

EE today announced it has been selected by the Home Office to provide Britain’s Emergency Services with a resilient national mobile network, giving 300,000 critical emergency workers access to 4G voice and data for the first time.

The Government’s £1 billion Emergency Services Mobile Communications Programme (ESMCP) will ensure that Britain is a world leader in Emergency Services communications, and a 4G pioneer. EE already has the UK’s biggest and most mature 4G network, and will expand coverage and enhance resilience to meet the Emergency Services’ critical communications requirements.

The EE 4G network will significantly improve the efficiency of the Emergency Services by giving them access to the type of data and applications that have benefitted private businesses in recent years. Some of the applications that the new network will enable for Britain’s Emergency Services are:

  • An ambulance crew sending vital patient data on to the hospital to allow staff to make the best preparations for a patient’s arrival
  • A policeman recording an arrest on a body worn camera, and live-streaming to nearby officers for assessment and support
  • A fire and rescue crew assessing a burning building based on digital blue prints on tablets and live helicopter camera footage

 

EE CEO Olaf Swantee says:

“We are immensely proud to be selected to deliver this vital new network for Britain’s Emergency Services. We’ve worked closely with the Police and Ambulance crews to show the power of 4G in helping save time and save lives. We will now work tirelessly to deliver a highly resilient, truly nationwide 4G network to serve all of Britain’s Blue Light and First Responder teams across the UK.”

EE’s new 4G Emergency Services Network will replace the existing TETRA system from mid-2017 as current contracts expire.

EE has already committed to spend £1.5 billion on its network up to 2017, and will increase that investment in order to deliver the Emergency Services Network. Work to enhance and expand the EE network has already commenced in order to be ready in time for the first transitions, and existing consumer, business and public sector customers will benefit from this. The dedicated EE Emergency Services team will work closely with the current provider, Airwave, the Lot 2 service provider, Motorola, and Lot 1 delivery partner KBR, as well as all 300,000 end users to manage a smooth transition to the new 4G network.

In order to deliver the mission critical Emergency Services Network (ESN), EE will:

  • Build a new, highly resilient dedicated core network for the Emergency Services
  • Build more than 500 new sites, expanding coverage in rural areas
  • Switch on low frequency 800MHz spectrum on more than 3,800 sites to enhance rural and indoor coverage
  • Implement the capability to afford network access priority to Emergency Services when required
  • Implement VoLTE (calls over 4G), and new LTE voice capabilities including ‘push to talk’
  • Deploy a fleet of Rapid Response Vehicles to ensure maximum service availability
  • Implement satellite backhaul for Britain’s most hard-to-reach areas

ESMCP is a Home Office-led, cross-departmental programme set up to provide cheaper, better and smarter communications services for the emergency services.

Los Angeles Deploys Street Lighting With Built In 4G LTE Wireless Technology

A better signal wherever you go. Los Angeles is the world’s first city to deploy Philips’ SmartPole Street lighting with fully built in 4G LTE wireless technology from Ericsson

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  • Delivers enhanced and more reliable wireless data broadband coverage to businesses and citizens in one of the largest cities in the world.
  • 100 LED light poles to be fitted with new small cell technology from Ericsson that will host mobile network operator equipment.
  • Leading-edge energy efficiency LED street lighting to help LA to meet sustainability goals while improving mobile network performance and reducing urban clutter.

Philips-SmartPole-LED-Cellular-Street-Light

Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA), the global leader in lighting, today announced that the City of Los Angeles (LA) will be the first city in the world to deploy 100 Philips SmartPoles – connected LED street lighting that includes fully integrated 4G LTE wireless telecommunications technology by Ericsson. The collaboration between Philips and Ericsson delivers on the latest Internet of Things (IoT) innovation and provides a double benefit to LA citizens: high quality, public lighting that is energy efficient as well as improved network performance in dense urban areas.

 

“The analog light pole has evolved right here in Los Angeles,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “L.A. is a world leader in LED street lights and has more poles than any other city in America. We are now taking advantage of previously untapped real estate to give our streets better broadband connectivity and future-ready infrastructure, while generating revenue for the city. This project shows what smart infrastructure can do for Los Angeles: create jobs, save tax payer dollars, and improve our environment.”

 

This project expands on Philips’ existing relationship with the City of LA. Earlier this year, LA became the first city in North America to monitor and control its street lighting through Philips CityTouch, an advanced Philips streetlight asset management system that uses mobile and cloud-based technologies. Better lit streets contribute to safer streets, less accidents and deter crime while connected management of street lighting reduces further the amount of energy used and simplifies maintenance.

 

Amy Huntington, President of Philips Lighting Americas said: “The Philips SmartPole technology proves its role as the backbone in an outdoor Internet of Things platform capable of delivering new services and value.  This is also fully aligned with many of Mayor Garcetti’s key priorities and outcomes by taking LED street lighting and turning it into a services hub that can adapt to the changing needs of a particular neighborhood over time.”

 

With cellular data traffic expected to grow 9 times by 2020, according to the Ericsson Mobility Report, and current telecoms infrastructure struggling to respond to this demand, Philips SmartPoles are enabling seamless mobile wireless 4G/LTE connectivity, with the small cell technology from Ericsson housed in the poles to enable increased data capacity in the telecoms network.  Philips SmartPoles were specifically designed and tested to accept FCC licensed wireless mobile network operator equipment. This enables an alternative deployment methodology for 4G LTE broadband services which will connect each pole through a fiber link to its core network.

 

Arun Bansal, Senior Vice President and Head of Business Unit Radio, Ericsson, said: “LA will be a role model for other smart cities that place sustainability and connectivity high on their agenda. As citizens, businesses and industries transform through mobility, cities have an increasingly important role to play as eco-system partners enabling the next wave of innovations that will bring us to 5G in 2020. Innovative solutions like Philips SmartPoles and Ericsson Zero Site that efficiently improve the performance of mobile networks will be necessary to address the growing demand from both smartphone users and the Internet of Things.”

 

For mobile network operators this innovation offers new possibilities to find the right site location. It also helps scale mobile wireless 4G/LTE infrastructure deployment beyond traditional sites. As a result operators can improve data coverage and capacity for citizens so there are no more signal dropouts.

Source: Royal Philips

 

Huawei warns on IoT hype, confusion over LPWA

NAZIR

 

LIVE FROM GSMA MOBILE 360 MIDDLE EAST: Chinese vendor giant Huawei fired a warning shot on the potential of the Internet of Things (IoT) market, claiming that the numerous different technologies capable of supporting Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) services are hindering overall market growth.

LPWA networks are designed for IoT applications with low data rates, long battery lives and that operate unattended for long periods of time. According to analyst firms Analysys Mason, Machina Research and Strategy Analytics, LPWA connections will reach 2.7 billion by 2022.

European operators such as Orange, KPN and Proximus are in the process of using LoRa (Long Range) technology for LPWA services. Meanwhile the GSMA recently launched its own Mobile IoT project,  designed to address the use of low-power solutions in licensed spectrum. And other solutions include Sigfox, Telensa and Weightless.

“If I’m a sensor manufacturer, what standards do I use?” mused Safder Nazir, Regional VP Smart Cities & IoT, Huawei. “There’s a role for regulators in this space to decide, and then we can accelerate the development of sensors.”

Session moderator Matt Hatton, CEO of Machina Research, asked Nazir if there was a concern that mobile operators could end up deploying “the IoT equivalent of WiMAX”, a technology marketed as ‘4G’ but eventually trumped by the more successful global technology LTE.

Indeed, technologies such as Wi-Fi and LPWA are battling with cellular to connect the IoT world.

“Yes that is an issue and should be settled 5 years from now when we have 5G, but we’re in a period of turbulence. It requires close collaboration between operators and regulators to drive standardisation forward and settle on the rules of the game. The more specific it becomes the easier it becomes for people to understand.”

Nazir also urged the industry not to get carried away by IoT hype. “Just because we can connect everything doesn’t mean we should. It should be about the internet of value.”

“For operators, be careful you don’t become Uberised,” he added.

Source:  Justin Springham Mobile World Live

Co-Star to Showcase the latest Cradlepoint Wireless Technology at Coach & Bus Live

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Co-Star will be showcasing the latest Cradlepoint wireless technology at the Coach & Bus live exhibition which starts on the 30th of September.

  • WIFI HOTSPOT FOR PASSENGER CONNECTIVITY
  • REAL-TIME LOCATION TRACKING
  • ELECTRONIC & MOBILE TICKETING1100-hero-img (1)
  • POINT OF SALE
  • CCTV MONITORING AND MANAGEMENT
  • DIGITAL SIGNAGE

Co-Star will be showcasing the latest Cradlepoint wireless technology at the Coach & Bus live exhibition which starts on the 30th of September.

Public transport organisations are rapidly expanding their on-the-road technology in order to deliver improved efficiencies and to expand customer service capabilities. From passenger WiFi, to improved scheduling notifications, connectivity is a key enabler of this. Offering simple installation and integration with existing network infrastructure, 3G/4G solutions can deliver superfast, reliable and secure connectivity anywhere – a perfect solution for mobile applications.

WiFi Hotspot for Passenger Connectivity

From commuter to tourist services, public transport organisations now look to deliver advanced technological services across the board to improve their customers’ experience – with the most in-demand of these services being passenger WiFi. A 3G/4G cellular networking solution provides the perfect answer to this requirement.
Delivering powerful WiFi passenger hotspots both in and around the vehicle, Westbase solutions can also incorporate content filtering, portal sign in, and other security measures to protect both you and your passengers.

Real-time Location Tracking

Many Co-Star solutions feature active GPS and easily integrate with other 3rd party hardware and software to provide the connectivity required to help track the fleet’s movement, delivering real-time information about its whereabouts. This can be used to enhance vehicular security and to provide real-time passenger information, so that customers remain informed about expected arrival and departure times, including up-to-date information on any delays.

Electronic and Mobile Ticketing

Improving the ease with which passengers can book and carry their travel tickets, electronic and mobile ticketing is a fast growing trend across public transport but requires a reliable scanning solution which can check that the customer’s ticketis valid. By implementing a cellular solution the connection required to instantly check ticket information is easily established – both for contactless or paper-based tickets.

Point of Sale (PoS)

Many public transport operators, from trains to taxis, now accept credit card payment and between this and the shift to centralised back-office payment systems, a connection between the vehicle’s PoS equipment and the core network is essential.
A 3G/4G mobility solution provides the connectivity required anywhere, anytime.

CCTV Monitoring and Management

Public transport vehicles now frequently feature in-vehicle CCTV equipment to improve passenger and driver safety. They also use it for factual verification in potential insurance disputes where a road traffic accident or personal injury has occurred.
Using a 3G/4G networking solution, transport companies can:
Electively retrieve footage over cellular
Instantly access and retrieve incident footage from in-vehicle CCTV equipment, perfect for critical situations where footage needs to be accessed quickly or when the vehicle is prevented from returning to depot.
Daily retrieval of footage using WiFi
A mobile connectivity solution can also continue to support daily retrieval of footage over WiFi as WAN when the vehicle returns to depot – helping to reduce data costs.

Digital Signage

Public transport is the ideal advertising location and by installing a digital signage solution operators can further monetise their routes, while improving customer experience by also using the signs to provide information and entertainment.
A mobile connection enables remote control of the digital signage solution, for example hardware updates and content delivery, and can also support the use of location-based advertising.

Cradlepoint
The Cradlepoint COR IBR1100 is a fully-ruggedised, compact 4G router, designed specifically for in-vehicle connectivity. It also features active GPS and has ignition sensing technology.
Offering the latest 802.11ac WiFi it can connect up to 128 devices at high speeds and offers an increased WiFi footprint.
Also in the COR series, the COR IBR600 is a semi-ruggedised, compact 4G router which can connect up to 64 devices.

Please visit Co-Star (stand number C25) at the Coach & Bus Live exhibition for more information on the latest Mobile Communication Technologies.

 

EE TARGETS INTERNET OF THINGS WITH EE CONNECT, THE UK’S FIRST 4G-CAPABLE DEDICATED M2M PLATFORM

  • EE launches EE Connect, the UK’s first 4G-capable dedicated Machine to Machine (M2M) service, driving the future of the internet of things, from smart businesses to driverless cars
  • Over 4 million connected machines on EE’s network forecast by 2017
  • EE Connect platform offers dedicated M2M customer service, remote monitoring, automation and reporting for efficient business operations
  • EE Connect provides businesses and public sector organisations with the highest levels of flexibility, service and scalability – making developing and deploying connected technologies easier and more manageable

EE today launched EE connect, the UK’s first 4G-capable dedicated Machine to Machine (M2M) service. EE Connect provides the foundation for businesses and public sector organisations to develop the connected products and services of the future on the UK’s best 4G, 3G and 2G network.

EE Connect offers M2M customers real time monitoring of all devices, automation to easily set and edit business rules remotely, and granular reporting for more informed decision making. A dedicated M2M service team is also in place to support all M2M customers with expert assistance.

From smart cities and businesses, to smart watches and wearables, analysts estimate that there will be more than 30 billion connected devices by 2020. EE Connect has been developed to provide the platform to ensure that UK businesses are a major part of this booming new ecosystem.

There are currently more than two million machines communicating to each other over the EE 2G and 3G network, and EE predicts that will double to more than four million by 2017. The ability to utilise 4G will make all M2M communications more efficient, and support new scenarios that require higher bandwidth, such as remote video distribution, in-car diagnostics and entertainment, and scenarios where low latency is critical, like driverless cars and future healthcare applications.

Mike van Bunnens, Managing Director at Comms365 Limited, an EE M2M partner said:

“Our business requires the best possible M2M service and support. EE has been a strong and dependable partner as we’ve grown, and we’ve developed new advanced connected products and services such as our Fixed IP SIMs and Fibre Failover solutions on EE’s network. EE Connect provides us with even more flexibility, giving us the ability to offer granular level support to our customers and faster, tailored M2M solutions.

“The strength of EE’s 4G network and EE Connect are helping us to enhance our capabilities including our popular Continuum bonded services for rapidly deployed, mission critical internet access and corporate network connectivity, ensuring that we’re able to meet customer expectations the first time, every time.”

Gerry McQuade, Chief Marketing & Sales Officer, EE Business said:

“Every day, the strength and reliability of our 4G network allows businesses to develop innovative connected products and services that improve our lives – whether it’s telematics in cars that help improve driving and road safety, healthcare applications that drastically cut testing and diagnosis times, or connected infrastructure that creates smarter and more efficient public services. EE Connect provides the best M2M management capabilities, on the best network, with the best service through a dedicated support team, which together is helping businesses create the connected technologies of tomorrow.”

Customers will be able to monitor and manage connected devices remotely via the EE Control Centre, providing visibility and flexibility that allows them to save time, money and make more informed business decisions. The EE Control Centre allows customers to remotely diagnose and repair issues with connected machines in the field as well as an ability to set up powerful automation rules to increase efficiency,  resilience and manageability.

The new 4G-capable M2M service is supported by EE’s commitment to invest £1.5bn in its network over the next three years, with a particular focus on rural parts of the UK. In order to further support the inevitable growth of the Internet of Things, EE’s 4G network will reach 90% of the UK geography by the end of 2017, with high capacity 4G+ enabled in 20 of the busiest UK cities.

EE Connect is available to all EE business and public sector customers from today, and EE Connect trial packs are available for free by registering at http://ee.co.uk/business/large/m2m-with-ee

RapidRide uses Cradlepoint to provide WiFi access to commuters in the US

Metro RapidRide

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION FLEET ADMINISTERS MOBILE WIRELESS TO HI-TECH COMMUTERS

SUMMARY

King County, Washington has become one of America’s major technology hubs. Large companies such as Microsoft, Amazon, and Google have major offices there, and hundreds of smaller technology companies have started up in the greater Seattle area. With so many hi-tech employees using public transportation, King County decided that it could serve its ridership better by providing WiFi access on its RapidRide commuter bus lines. After an extensive search and in-depth testing, the County’s Metro Transit Division’s System Development & Operations department implemented Cradlepoint LTE networking solutions in its fleet of high-end commuter buses.

COMPANY PROFILE

In 2006, King County voters passed an initiative calling for the creation and continued funding of a new high-tech, high-speed commuter transportation system. RapidRide buses, which serve approximately 30,000 passengers per day, have introduced a number of high-end features to the county’s transit system. The buses send signals to traffic lights so green lights stay green longer and red lights switch to green faster. To provide convenient service, the buses are scheduled to run at least every 10 minutes during the busiest morning and evening travel hours. Bus passengers have access to real-time route information at stops and on board the buses. By providing services that encourage residents to take advantage of this affordable, energy-efficient alternative to private vehicles, King County hopes to relieve road congestion and contribute to cleaner air.

BUSINESS NEEDS

According to King County Department of Transportation (DOT) IT project manager Greg Debo, studies show that between 2000 and 2012, the percentage of adults who own cell phones increased from 53% to 88%. As such, the County knew that providing WiFi access on the buses would be well received by a highly “wired” ridership. But the county had to be very cost conscious about providing WiFi access to these devices. They needed a solution that was affordable and “bullet-proof.” Installing a system that did not provide a consistent, high level of service would only result in customer/rider complaints.

We service an area that includes Seattle, Redmond, and Bellevue [the center of the Microsoft campus], so there’s no question; it’s a service a lot of people are taking advantage of,” says Debo. “Whether it’s just to socialize or check work email, now people can use the time they spend on their bus ride more productively.”

The DOT’s IT Department conducted extensive research to establish criteria for the solution it needed. Then it selected a small group of devices from various manufacturers that met baseline criteria. Criteria included durability, serviceability, compatibility, expandability, remote manageability, and cost. The few devices that met the criteria were physically setup and configured to perform a road test. Based on the results, the System Development & Operations team selected Cradlepoint IBR600LE-PWD. The team concluded that Cradlepoint would give King County the greatest benefit in terms of time, cost, and quality.

The county’s Vehicle Maintenance Electronics division installed the devices in 113 buses, and then implemented Cradlepoint Enterprise Cloud Manager so that the team could monitor and manage all the devices from one central location.

BENEFITS

Remote Access: As a government entity answerable to tax payers, King County is continually trying to find ways to do more with less. IT project manager Debo’s challenge was to find a way to oversee the county’s mobile wireless network with a limited number of staff.

“A key element in our decision was that Cradlepoint has a method to remotely manage the devices through the cloud. I needed to make sure that we could efficiently execute the right firmware updates, the right patch updates, and hot fixes on all 100-plus devices—without our staff having to physically travel to each bus.”

Real-Time Control: Enterprise Cloud Manager also enables Debo to be proactive, to see problems as they develop, and to put solutions in place to keep the devices up and running.

“If a device has an issue, I can go in and stop it and restart it. Or I can remove it from a group, reconfigure it, and then push it back into service. And I can do all of this from my desk, instead of having to find the bus, physically remove the device, and make passengers go all day without having WiFi access. Enterprise Cloud Manager simplifies and streamlines our ability to manage our mobile wireless network.”

Peace of Mind: Part of King County’s fiduciary responsibility is to protect its investments. B y purchasing Cradlepoint CradleCare for its devices, the county benefited from extended warranties as well as from enterprise support agreements, installations, and site surveys to optimize WiFi and 3G/4G/LTE signal strength to increase performance and uptime.

“We’ve invested a lot of money to provide WiFi access on our RapidRide buses. If something happens to the devices, we can just rest a little easier knowing that we’ve bought the CradleCare services.”

Small Footprint: Even on a large bus, space can be at a premium. The Cradlepoint COR IBR600LE-PWD takes up very little space while still delivering WiFi to as many as 64 passengers at a time.

Passenger Support: According to King County, recent customer surveys show that approximately half of all RapidRide riders have taken advantage of on-board WiFi. Twenty to thirty percent say that they use WiFi every time they travel on a RapidRide bus. The county’s analytics show that passengers made more than 5,500 connections in October 2013 alone, and it expects this number to grow as RapidRide passengers become aware of this fast, new Cradlepoint-enabled WiFi connection.

Co-Star supply the full range of Cradlepoint Wireless Routers. Click here for more information>

Source: Cradlepoint

 

VE Connect use Cradlepoint COR IBR600 for flexible connectivity

VE CONNECT

VENDORS EXCHANGE TRANSFORMS RETAIL AUTOMATION WITH FULLY INTERACTIVE DIGITAL SIGNAGE

SUMMARY

The VE CONNECT is no ordinary vending machine. The “traditional” vending machine experience – dropping coins into a metal and glass box, punching numbers into a keypad, and watching a bag of pretzels fall from the slot – now has a ferocious challenger that comes with rotating 3D product images, sleek multimedia advertising, and unique informational displays, all experienced through a beautiful, intuitive, interactive touchscreen.

While the VE CONNECT is certainly transforming the traditional vending of chips and sodas, it is also moving the automated retail experience into other markets. You might soon spot the VE CONNECT interface distributing:

  • Purple nail polish at grocery stores and malls
  • Laptop batteries and other computer peripherals at business offices
  • Protective gear such as goggles, helmets, and gloves at factories
  • Fancy cupcakes at airports

A typical vending machine gives instant gratification in places where cost and/or space limitations make a regular store impossible or impractical. The VE CONNECT has that same benefit – in a much slicker package – but it also functions as a digital sign when no one is directly interacting with it and can be used as a virtual shopping device.

CHALLENGE

The VE CONNECT requires constant Internet connectivity for uninterrupted operations and an optimal customer experience. These machines are distributed all over the world in incredibly diverse locations including university campuses, factories, malls, airports, sidewalks, and business offices, each with different connectivity challenges. Vendors Exchange needed a single connectivity solution that was both affordable and would work in any environment.

With narrow profit margins, there is little room for error, especially with no one there to troubleshoot. “We wanted to make sure that when we integrated technology, we didn’t disrupt the existing functions of the VE Connect,” explains Chris Goumas, Senior Vice President of Business Development and User Experiences. “Installation of the Cradlepoint is seamless, enabling our machines to create a dynamic user experience.”

SOLUTION

Vendors Exchange needed a network solution that was reliable, cost-effective, and could easily connect to any of the following Internet sources – depending on the unique needs of each diverse location:

  • Ethernet
  • Public WiFi (e.g. university campuses)
  • Private WiFi (e.g. office buildings)
  • Mobile broadband from numerous carriers around the world

The Cradlepoint COR IBR600 with robust features in a small, M2M-designed package met the requirements. The Cradlepoint COR was built for flexible and reliable connectivity anywhere through Ethernet, WiFi, or its embedded modem that works with carriers around the world.

Vendors Exchange found a perfect marriage for its VE CONNECT in the Cradlepoint COR, in part because of its flexibility, but also because of its excellent reliability. “Shy of unplugging the device, Cradlepoint routers pretty much run all the time,” says Goumas. “That’s been something I haven’t had to worry about as we bring this game-changing technology to the world.”

For more information on the Cradelpoint COR IBR600 click here>