Tag Archives: co-star

The Benefits of 4G LTE & Software-Defined Networking in Smart Cities

Smart Cities Smart City LTE

Cities & Regions Connect People, Places & Things While Leveraging Data

Cities and public-sector IT personnel must balance a unique combination of community expectations, budget limitations, and employee capacity. As cities become smarter and more connected, community members financially responsible growth. At the same time, it is common for cities to struggle with budgets and for elected officials to be held accountable by the public to ensure they are investing wisely and in ways that have a noticeable impact.

As technology continues to evolve, cities are evolving in parallel. A Smart City, according to Gartner, is “an urbanized area where multiple sectors cooperate to achieve sustainable outcomes through the analysis of contextual real-time information shared among sector-specific information and operational technology systems.”

Broadly speaking, Smart Cities use technology to collect data, analyze information, share results with different departments, and use those results to drive improvement. They understand how the combination of innovation, technology, and collaboration can truly improve the quality of life and the economic well-being of their citizens and businesses.

The effects of 4G LTE and Software-defined Networking (SD-N) have been profound within this context. The potential for connected people, places, and things has enabled cities to provide a deep and vast array of services in many different areas. Today cities are connecting:

  • K-12 public schools, students, and faculty
  • Public recreation centers and other amenities, such as golf courses
  • Fare boxes, passenger WiFi, digital signage, and surveillance cameras on buses in major metro systems
  • Cameras and tracking sensors/RFID tags on school buses
  • Police cars, laptops, body-worn cameras, dash cameras, evidence collection kits, and even IoT sensors to a city’s secure, private network
  • Search and rescue mobile vehicles, particularly those in remote locations
  • Code enforcement and building inspector vehicles, which traditionally serve as remote offices for city employees and contractors
  • Ambulances, stroke kits, and first responders to doctors local at hospitals
  • Traffic cameras, traffic light controllers, and cameras at intersections
  • Public trash compactors and recycling bins, allowing cities to be more efficient in how often receptacles need to be emptied
  • Digital signs that provide live route maps for public transportation users
  • Payment kiosks for citizens wishing to pay for city services out in the field
  • Election machines at precinct locations
  • Sensors for large public events that can be used to look for any kind of public safety threat

These services are increasingly essential to a city’s infrastructure. For example, Gartner predicts that by 2020, “streetlamps will be the primary infrastructure for 80 percent of Smart Cities.” While full of potential, these streetlamps can’t fully function as needed without reliable connectivity solutions. Flexible lighting allows city employees to remotely control switches and dimming devices, thereby enabling efficient, timely management. Video cameras and sensors attached to streetlamps also allow cities the ability to track — in real time — which streets have been plowed during inclement weather.

Without reliable 4G LTE connectivity, along with devices such as routers that can withstand the elements and be updated through the cloud, cities may focus too heavily on becoming a Smart City without paying enough attention to the logistics needed to fully get there.

When cities do fully implement reliable and secure 4G LTE and/or SDN solutions, the effects can be tremendous. The City of San Antonio understood the importance of becoming a Smart City and utilized 4G LTE to assist with traffic management. With more than 1.4 million people and further growth expected, transportation infrastructure is becoming increasingly critical to the city’s quality of life. Its Traffic Management Center needed remote access to monitor key applications, troubleshoot problems, and adjust traffic flow mechanisms (such as timers) in real time. In a city of this size, manual adjustments were no longer a reasonable solution.

By installing Cradlepoint’s cloud-managed routing platforms in nearly 700 traffic cabinets and utilizing 4G LTE, San Antonio now has constant connectivity for reliable access, streamlined network troubleshooting and real-time management, easy physical access, and the potential to scale up the network and applications.

The City of Boise helped its police department further advance the city toward Smart City status by updating its in-vehicle systems. The department upgraded its devices and implemented NetCloud Manager to enable central configuration, monitoring, and management. Whereas it previously took the city as many as 160 staff hours to complete network updates for the whole police cruiser fleet, it now takes approximately 5 minutes with remote cloud management. The cost savings, efficient use of officer resources, reliability, central network management, network flexibility, and future-proofing of these solutions allow the police department to evolve its technological infrastructure while demonstrating to the public its responsible use of valuable resources.

As 5G, often referred to as “next-generation WAN,” becomes more readily available, Smart Cities will have both the opportunity and the obligation to explore how a drastic increase in speeds, combined with a drastic decrease in latency, can better empower their infrastructure, services, and personnel.

The ways in which cities become “smart” depends heavily on the wireless connectivity, devices, and networking infrastructure solutions available to and adopted by IT professionals and approved by city leaders. In essence, the effects of 4G LTE, 5G, IoT, and SDN are only as powerful as the solutions that utilize them.

Learn More About Connecting Smart Cities

Learn more about Smart City drivers, needs, and solutions in our white paper: Developing Smart Cities & Communities.

Co-Star supply the full range of Cradlepoint 4G LTE connectivity technology Click here for more info>

Source: Cradlepoint

Co-Star supports the FCS Vehicle Installer and Business Radio 2017 events

Co-Star to Showcase Latest Technologies at FCS Business Radio 2017

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Co-Star, the UK’s leading supplier to the ICT   industry will be supporting  the FCS Business Radio and Vehicle Technology Installer events at Chateau Impney Droitwich Spa on the 16th November.

This unique event for the mobile communiccations industry sets out to encompass the latest developments and emerging oppurtunities for the future.

Co-Star will be sowcasing the latest mobile communications technologies including: 4G LTE Wireless Routers from Cradlepoint, Sierra Wireless and Encore, the latest High Speed Data and RF Connectors, RAM Mounting Solutions, and USB Power Supplies.

The programme for the events includes:

  • The latest FITAS news from Jason McComb.
  • Petrochemical Regulation ESN Updates from John Thompson.
  • 5G LTE Technology by Stuart Revell from the 5GIC.

Click here to register for BR17

Source: Co-StarFor more information on the event please contact the FCS.

Co-Star to Showcase Latest Technologies at FCS Business Radio 2017

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VTI-logo-web

Co-Star, the UK’s leading supplier to the mobile communications industry will be exhibiting at the FCS Business Radio and Vehicle Technology Installer event at Chateau Impney Droitwich Spa on the 16th November.

Co-Star will be sowcasing the latest mobile communications technologies including: Cradlepoint and Sierra Wireless Routers, 4G LTE Antennas, RAM Mounting Solutions, HSD Connectors, Twin Port FAKRA Connectors and USB Power Supplies.

This unique event for the communiccations industry sets out to encompass the latest developments and emerging oppurtunities for the future.

For more information on the event please contact the FCS.

Source: Co-Star

 

 

Cradlepoint Connect Provides New Levels of Cloud Management

How Remote Connect Provides New Levels of Cloud Management

Remote Connect LAN Manager

IT Administrators Can Manage Nearly Any LAN Device Through NetCloud Manager

The scope of things that organizations must connect to their enterprises network continues to expand, with seemingly no end in sight. In response, there are exciting new options for network administrators and IT teams to simply and securely access, manage, and troubleshoot virtually any device — from routers to just about anything that lives on the LAN.

Cradlepoint’s NetCloud Manager Remote Connect allows IT administrators to instantly and securely access devices remotely through the cloud. Remote Connect gives IT administrators a suite of functionality including secure, real-time remote cloud management of both Cradlepoint devices and third-party, LAN-connected devices — allowing them to be cloud managed from a single pane of glass with no additional setup.

Remotely Connect to LAN Devices

Remote Connect LAN Manager allows administrators to connect to nearly any device that can get an IP address on the LAN through Cradlepoint NetCloud Manager (NCM). Essentially, this makes third-party devices that previously were inaccessible now capable of being managed securely through the cloud — without any additional software or hardware.

Until now, management of devices on the LAN — everything from switches and access points to security cameras and digital signs — has been complex, to say the least. IT specialists had to set up a variety of complex routing rules, port forwarding, and more, plus they potentially had to purchase third-party software for each and every device.

Today, the entire process is simpler — in the cloud — through Remote Connect. Once plugged in, a device that lives behind a router on the LAN is accessible from anywhere in the world through NCM’s single pane of glass. That device, with its IP address and host name, immediately appears in the NCM platform; the IT team can make it cloud managed with one click.

The cost savings potential of Remote Connect are vast, as IT managers can avoid purchasing individual cloud management services for the rapidly growing list of devices on their network. They can also avoid on-site IT or truck rolls for troubleshooting, setup, and diagnostics of devices that were previously inaccessible, accept from the LAN.

Advanced Out-of-Band Management (OOBM)

With a traditional network architecture, when wired-line connectivity is down, an IT team cannot manage the primary router. However, if the organization is using a Cradlepoint router for failover LTE connectivity, an IT professional can use advanced OOBM to traverse through a Cradlepoint router and troubleshoot or config any generic primary router remotely (or any device with a serial console port).

Advanced OOBM affords IT staff the same capabilities as if they were sitting next to and plugged into the primary router — regardless of whether the wired line is up or down. Then the IT staff can troubleshoot and determine — if not implement — potential fixes.

The business benefits and ROI of advanced OOBM are substantial, including the ability to troubleshoot and repair the primary router without sending someone to the location. OOBM also eliminates the need to rely on a non-IT, on-site employee to help with troubleshooting and eliminates the monthly POTS (analog) circuit subscription for OOBM.

Robust Real-Time Info & Troubleshooting

Each Cradlepoint router runs the NetCloud Operating System (NetCloud OS), which network administrators now can access remotely via Remote Connect for robust real-time statuses, troubleshooting information, and logs.

Router-level data available through NCM’s Remote Connect GUI is more fine grain, including information such as Connection Manager interface status, VPN tunnel status, router tables, system logs, connected client list, firewall tracking and hit counter, and many more. Also, access is highly secure, with no static IP or open SSH / SSL ports required.

It’s just like local access to each router’s UI — but anytime, from anywhere, through the cloud. Organizations can leverage this service for highly valuable real-time trouble-shooting, with always-available insights into routing tables, which clients are connected, and how much data clients are using.

Router Console Access

Remote Connect allows IT teams to connect remotely to the console of a Cradlepoint router, and recently this feature has undergone some improvements. Now the data available to IT departments through CLI access is more in-depth than ever. Access to more robust real-time analytics is particularly helpful for troubleshooting. Suspected router issues such as slow service or misdirected traffic can be viewed via real-time routing tables. This real-time data stream means IT professionals can provide real-time fixes as well.

Additional Software-Defined Solutions

Many organizations today are looking to not only perform device administration and management remotely, but to actually create an easy, flexible, instant, secure network over commodity Internet from anywhere at any time. NetCloud Engine, Cradlepoint’s Software-Defined Perimeter (SD-P) solution, allows IT teams to instantly create always-on Virtual Cloud Networks over any Internet connection that allows IoT devices, administrators, and resources to have constant communication with each other.

Source: Cradlepoint

Co-Star supply the full range of Cradlepoint Software and 4G LTE & WiFi Routers. For more information please click here

Dual Port FAKRA Code Z now available from Co-Star

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Co-Star the UK based global supplier to the mobile communications industry has introduced dual port FAKRA code Z water blue universal crimp connectors to it’s comprehensive range of RF adaptors for the latest telematics and connected car applications.

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Female code Z universal

FAKRA connectors (FAKRA = FAchKReis Automobil, a german automobile working group) are
coaxial high-frequency connectors that meet the requirements of DIN20860 and USCAR 17 &18.
Their application lies in the transmission of a variety of signals, such as shortwave, mobile telephony, GPS, or telematics signals.

Double Fakra Male Water Blue (Neutral) Code Z (RG58)

Male Code Z Universal RG58

Available in male or female for both RG174 and RG58 coaxial cable the FAKRA connectors are used by vehicle manufacturers, Telematics companies and installers of after-market mobile communications equipment.

The water blue code Z is a universal FAKRA that can be used for all types of application and is particularly common for DAB, Audio and Telematics equipment.

  • Available for RG174 or RG58 Coaxial Cable.
  • Code Z universal – Can be used for all FAKRA applications.
  • Male and Female versions available.

Tim Cosgrove of Co-Star commected;

” Co-Star have experienced a high demand for the dual-port FAKRA connectors from vehicle manufacturers and companies who install telematics equipment. We supply the code Z universal version as it simplifies the installation process and can be used for all types of applications  allowing our customers to standardise and just stock one type of connector”

Source: Co-Star

 

 

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

SierraLogoTM

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

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

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

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

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

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

mangOH™ Red

mangOH™ Green

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

Source: Sierra Wireless

New Apple iOS Software Update to Encourage Safe Driving

iOS 11 Preview – Apple (UK)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tim Cosgrove of Co-Star commented;

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

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

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

Source: Co-Star

 

 

Would you put your phone in a cement mixer?

Would you put your phone in a cement mixer?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘Long tail’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

However no phone is invincible, he added.

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

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

Source: 

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

Co-Star Develop GT5 Adaptor For Installation Improvisation

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

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

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

Tim Cosgrove of Co-Star;

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

Source: Co-Star