Tag Archives: vodafone

Pioneering Curve Bike light & GPS tracker launches to help cyclists stay safer on the road

Pioneering Curve Bike light & GPS tracker launches to help cyclists stay safer on the road

The tracker combines leading industrial design with global connectivity for safety on and off the bike.

  • Vodafone launches Curve Bike light & GPS tracker – an all-in-one bike safety solution keeps riders safe, visible and connected.
  • Features an intelligent rear brake light that responds dynamically to speed, as well as GPS tracking, Impact Detection and Help Alerts – letting family and friends know if a rider needs help.
  • Addresses cyclists’ concerns about road safety and bike theft.
  • Now available to purchase online.

Vodafone have announced the next addition to its consumer smart tech offering with the launch of the Curve Bike light & GPS tracker. The new device is available to purchase for £79 (plus from £3 a month connectivity subscription fee)..

With an ultrabright LED and three light modes that automatically brightens when braking, Curve Bike light & GPS tracker gives cyclists a safer ride no matter what time of day it is. The device combines intelligent lighting with GPS tracking and connection to Vodafone’s global network with a built-in Smart SIM providing assurance that the rider is safer and that the bike is secure.

image of the Vodafone Curve Bike tracker mounted on a cycle in motion
The Vodafone Curve Bike tracker mounted on a cycle in motion.

The new IoT device features a ‘Security Mode’ with ‘Movement Alerts’ that activates a siren (107dB) if the bike starts moving. This will then send location alerts straight to your smartphone and enable the live location to be tracked in the Vodafone Smart App. GPS tracking means the rider can view each ride in the app, logging distance and duration.

‘Impact Detection’ and ‘Help Alerts’ can also notify a rider’s trusted contacts if a fall is detected, sending either a push notification, SMS or an automated call to let them know where the rider is.

The pandemic has sparked a cycling revolution in the UK, with a 20% year-on-year increase in cycling. With more British people cycling than ever before, the launch of Curve Bike light & GPS tracker provides an ideal solution for both new and experienced cyclists looking for greater peace of mind on the road and when storing their bike.

Research by Vodafone revealed that poor visibility and dark conditions on the roads [53%], fear of being hit from behind [44%], poor bike security [26%] and being in an accident unnoticed by others [26%] are among the top concerns troubling riders in the UK[1].

Designed to meet riders’ needs on and off the bike, Curve Bike light & GPS tracker has been co-created with cyclists. With a lightweight design, long-lasting battery, easy-to-set location zones and a security bolt to help prevent theft, the all-in-one bike safety solution combines form, functionality and durability.

image of the Curve Bike tracker working with the Vodafone Smart app
Close up of the Vodafone Smart app working with the Curve Bike tracker.

Curve Bike light & GPS tracker joins the Curve family of tracking devices built on Vodafone’s IoT platform. It follows Neo – the kids smart watch developed in collaboration with Disney which launched earlier this year – and the multi-use Curve smart GPS tracker.

To find out more visit the Vodafone UK website.

Max Taylor, Consumer Director, Vodafone UK comments: “Curve Bike light & GPS tracker is the latest addition to our exciting range of smart tech products. The tracker, which was co-created with cyclists, helps to provide a safer commuting experience and is designed to provide reassurance to both the cyclist and their loved ones – something that people crave to ensure their journey is enjoyable and as worry-free as possible”.

The key features of the Curve Bike light & GPS tracker include:

  • Intelligent brake light: responds to rider speed and shines brighter if they brake suddenly.
  • Ultrabright rear LED: up to 40 lumens when braking and three light modes – blink, pulsate or solid beams.
  • Impact Detection and Help Alerts: notifies riders’ trusted contacts if they have a fall. Sends a push notification, SMS or automated call to let them know where they are.
  • GPS tracker with built-in Vodafone Smart SIM: uses GPS tracking so riders can track each ride in the app or follow their bike in real-time if it moves without them. Unlike Bluetooth-only trackers, it has a built-in Vodafone Smart SIM that connects to the Vodafone network so the bike can be checked from a distance.
  • Security Mode with siren and movement alerts: if bike is moved when Security Mode is armed, a 107dB siren sounds and sends a movement alert to the cyclist’s phone so they can track the live location in the app. Riders can disarm these features remotely in the app.
  • Ride insights: riders can create a profile for their bike and see the history of their rides.
  • Zones: these can be set from the Vodafone Smart App, enabling riders to get alerts when their bike enters or leaves a Zone.
  • Curve Bike light & GPS tracker is sleek, durable and waterproof certified IP67, fitting easily onto the bike’s seatpost. It includes a security bolt to help prevent theft, and if the bike can’t be located when parked, the Vodafone Smart App can be used to make the device play a sound.
  • Easily charged: twist off the light and remove the tracker from the seatpost to charge.
  • The tracker lasts up to 4.5 days on standby and the light up to 7.5 hours when in use.

Curve Bike light and tracker is not connected to the brake on the bike and instead detects deceleration, so may not detect all braking occurrences. Not all impacts and movements may be detected and Zone notifications may not be immediate. Restrictions around addition of trusted contacts may apply. App-controlled features and accuracy of location subject to Vodafone network coverage and GPS signal. Connectivity subscription required and Terms apply. See FAQs for more info. Never operate your phone when cycling and continue to use all additional safety measures you would normally take when operating a bike.

Source; Vodafone

Vodafone named London’s best network for 5G

shutterstock_1104858749-1-1-550x367

  • Leading mobile benchmarking company, umlaut, names Vodafone as London’s best network for 5G.
  • Report says Vodafone has fastest 5G, and is most reliable for YouTube, web browsing and downloading files.
  • Vodafone is also enhancing 4G coverage to make sure every customer is getting a great connection.

Vodafone is today confirmed as the best 5G network in London, thanks to its commitment to giving customers the fastest speeds and best reliability across the nation’s capital.

A 5G report, by global consultancy and testing company umlaut (formerly P3), found that Vodafone gives customers 99.7% reliability when using YouTube on 5G, and 100% reliability for web browsing. The nearest rival achieved 94.5% reliability for YouTube. Vodafone’s network was also the most reliable for file download and upload tests, and had the highest average download speeds, at 215.2 Mbps. The tests measured 5G from all four UK operators, and covered 55% of the total population of London.

Vodafone’s Consumer Director, Max Taylor, said: “The results from this report show that our customers are getting the best 5G experience and that our investment in our network is really paying off.

“In London, our network is the most reliable, and is delivering on the promise of 5G download speeds. Every day we’re bringing this great 5G experience to more customers around the UK.

“We’re making sure Vodafone is the best place to come for the latest smartphones – a great network, with great benefits, and great value.”

Vodafone has recently launched its Annual Upgrade Promise, which gives customers the opportunity to unbox the latest iPhone every year without upgrade fees. Vodafone is also the only operator that lets customers use 5G when they choose to travel in Europe, giving customers access to 5G in more places than any other network, with 116 places covered today.

As well as investing in 5G, Vodafone is also constantly enhancing 4G coverage to make sure all customers can enjoy great connectivity. Vodafone is using creative ways to add more 4G, including:

  • 4G small cells on phone boxes across Edgware, Guildford and Harrow offering 200-metre radius of coverage;
  • 4G antennas on the underside of manhole covers in Covent Garden;
  • Seven shoebox-sized 4G units attached to telegraph poles, and other street furniture, around Trafalgar Square;
  • and indoor coverage in the West 1 Shopping Centre, Bond Street, which is also 5G-ready.

In London, where Vodafone uses Ericsson as its sole network partner, Vodafone’s 5G uses 50MHz of 3.4GHz spectrum. These mid-band airwaves deliver increased download speeds for 5G customers, as well as excellent coverage. Massive MIMO technology (64 x 64) is included on more than 95% of sites, which sets Vodafone’s network apart from its biggest rivals.

Vodafone is also deploying Ericsson Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS) technology in the 2.1GHz spectrum band, to expand 5G coverage further and build the platform for the next generation of 5G services, including network slicing. In July, Vodafone showed off the UK’s first standalone 5G network. Many upcoming 5G devices are expected to be DSS compatible, so will benefit from Vodafone’s latest investment. The DSS coverage will meet all 3GPP criteria for 5G connectivity.

Vodafone customers will experience London’s best 5G network on a 5G-capable device. Vodafone recently launched the new Samsung Galaxy Note20 5G and Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G smartphones to add to the wide range of 5G smartphones available.

Source: Vodafone

5G Mobile Private Network supports the the gas processing plant of the future

The company’s Easington plant will become the first plant in the oil and gas sector to install a 5G-ready mobile private network

Centrica

 

Centrica Storage limited (CSL) and Vodafone Business will build the gas plant of the future at their Easington facility by launching the first 5G ready mobile private network (MPN) for the oil and gas industry.

The MPN will help CSL digitalise much of its critical maintenance and engineering operations. This will allow the company to assess the risk and urgency of repairs in real time, streamline activities, reduce cost and increase environmental and worker safety by creating a fully connected digital ecosystem.

A mobile private network is a dedicated, secure mobile network for a specific site. Providing more reliable coverage than Wi-Fi, the low latency, high performance network will deliver ubiquitous secure and localised outdoor and indoor coverage for mission-critical monitoring, control and communications.

Improved worker and environmental safety and increased efficiency are key goals in CSL’s business roadmap. The advancements in network performance, availability, reliability and latency offered by an MPN mean that new overlay services can be implemented to address all of these priorities.

The mobile private network, built by Vodafone Business using Ericsson equipment, will enable the overlay use cases to support a digital maintenance ecosystem for CSL. This means employees will be connected to digital applications across the entire site, increasing productivity while also helping CSL to reduce cost.

Additionally, the mobile private network will allow CSL to have real-time visibility of work conducted at the plant, offering clarity around the condition and status of the various elements of the facility around the clock. This will ensure not just productivity but also safety, as connected workers will be alerted of potential gas emissions which will be rapidly identified and managed in line with industry guidelines.

Paul Stevens, Information System and Technology Director at Centrica Storage said “The mobile private network we are building at our Easington terminal will help us address 1970s problems with a 21st Century solution, taking our business to the future from the moment it’s live. Safety is a critical measure of success at Centrica Storage and the solution we are putting in place in Easington will reduce risk for everyone on our site. By using this technology ahead of our peers, we will establish ourselves as leaders in the future of oil and gas processing.”

Greg McKenna, CEO of Centrica Storage Limited said “The mobile private network will provide Centrica with a conduit through which we can connect a myriad of internet-enabled devices which now range from handheld personal devices to augmented reality headsets.  This will improve safety, verification, asset performance and remote monitoring which ultimately leads to a safer, more reliable and cost efficient plant.”

Vinod Kumar, CEO of Vodafone Business, said: “Mobile private networks will revolutionise the way oil and gas plants are managed by increasing efficiency while also improving workers’ safety. Thanks to this powerful technology Centrica Storage can now start building the gas plant of the future and we are really excited to be with them on this journey”.

Source: Vodafone

Vodafone using manhole covers to ‘build 5G cities’

Vodafone  manhole

Vodafone is using “yesterday’s infrastructure” to build tomorrow’s smart cities. The operator is installing small antennae within manhole covers, as well as on lamp-posts and phone boxes.

The aim is to boost speed and extend coverage of today’s 4G networks in high-traffic areas such as busy roads, town centres and shopping malls. Vodafone says the tech can then be easily upgraded to make way for 5G.

Another benefit, the company says, is that installing equipment on manhole covers causes minimal disruption for businesses and citizens – no construction work or street closures are required. Further, the landscape is not altered, making the antennae instalments ideal for busy public spaces.

In time for New Year

Vodafone has installed two types of connected manhole covers at its headquarters in Newbury. One is purpose-built and the other uses existing manhole covers. The antennae-equipped manhole covers can carry calls and internet access over 200 metres using only a small amount of power.

Further, Vodafone plans to roll 4G out beneath its own manhole covers, which it inherited through the acquisition of Cable & Wireless Worldwide in 2012 as well as those of utility providers across the UK.

Vodafone is also fitting 4G antennae to traditional phone boxes along Edinburgh’s Princes Street – it says these will be in place ahead of the New Year’s Even Hogmanay celebrations.

The company says phone boxes are ideal homes for antennae in places where mobile masts would be hard to install due to the need for a power supply and fibre optic cable connections.

Looking ahead to 5G

The antennae are connected using Vodafone’s high-speed fibre converged network.

A statement on the initiative from Vodafone said: “These fibre-connected 5G-enabled small antennae are the foundation on which connected smart cities will be built.”

There are high hopes for 5G to advance smart cities – for example, enabling connected traffic lights which automatically re-route traffic away from congested areas and allowing city councils to monitor their infrastructure intelligently and deploy predictive or on-demand maintenance.

Vodafone UK Chief Executive Nick Jeffery said: “We are committed to providing customers with the best network possible by drawing on our strengths in innovation and strong UK heritage. It is great to be able to use yesterday’s infrastructure – from phone boxes to manhole covers – to deliver the services of tomorrow.  This is one of the ways we are extending our 4G services to areas other networks cannot reach, and getting ready for 5G.”

Source: Sarah Wray-5g.co.uk

 

Vodafone to launch MediaCityUK hub to foster 5G innovation

 

Media City

Vodafone is launching a new Innovation Hub at The Landing (shown above) in MediaCityUK, Salford.

The Landing already offers workspace for companies and has developed a reputation for fostering high-tech and digital businesses. Vodafone’s new hub will give entrepreneurs and start-ups access to the latest tech resources, such as 5G, Internet of Things (IoT), high-speed fibre and more.

Gigabit cities

Vodafone says it is opening the Innovation Hub as part of its commitment to Greater Manchester as one of the UK’s seven ‘gigabit cities’.

Last year, Vodafone struck a deal along with wholesale fibre network infrastructure provider City Fibre to deliver superfast Gigabit broadband to 12 cities in the UK by 2025, benefiting up to five million UK homes and businesses. Under the agreement, Vodafone has a period of exclusive rights to market ultra-fast broadband services on City Fibre’s fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP).

The seven cities announced so far are:  Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Liverpool, London and Manchester.

Vodafone says it plans to roll out Innovation Hubs in other cities too.

Paul Dennett, City Mayor of Salford, called MediaCityUK “an emerging smart city”. He said Vodafone’s input would set Salford up as an example of what new networks and interconnectivity can deliver for a city and its citizens. He highlighted potential in areas including transport, energy and health.

Related: What is Gigabit LTE?

A living lab

The Innovation Hub will offer the opportunity for entrepreneurs to develop, test and commercialise their products.

Jon Corner, Chief Digital Officer for City of Salford and CEO at The Landing, said the Innovation Hub will turn the venue into a ‘living lab’. He said it will help to demonstrate that 5G is about more than just new handsets and faster speeds, noting that it will also have an impact on how networks are organised, and the way we share data and consume content.

Further, Corner said, 5G will enable businesses – such as the ones based at The Landing – to use immersive technologies and artificial intelligence (AI) to create completely new applications that change the way we interact on a day-to-day basis.

Anne Sheehan, Enterprise Director at Vodafone UK, commented: “I am delighted that Vodafone, in collaboration with the Mayor of Greater Manchester and MediaCityUK, will open the Digital Innovation Hub located in the heart of this connected city. The hub at The Landing will give UK businesses, start-ups and tech innovators access to 5G, IoT, high-speed fibre and our best technical resources and we plan to roll out these innovation hubs throughout UK cities.”

Source: Sarah Wray-5g.co.uk

 

Vodafone and 5G deveopment in the UK

Vodafone 5G in the UK

Vodafone 5g coverage

Updated 18th September 2018

Vodafone has amassed a decent amount of spectrum, won big at the recent 5G spectrum auction and is already carrying out various 5G trials, including some UK firsts.

It’s got big plans too, with seven UK cities set to get 5G trial networks imminently and an ambitious goal to bring 1 gigabyte per second speeds to its customers at home, work and everywhere in between.

Vodafone is in no rush though, having revealed that it probably won’t launch a 5G network before 2020 and probably won’t have widespread coverage until years after that. But doing things right is surely better than doing them fast, and its roll out timing and speed should still be roughly in line with most rivals.

Here’s everything you need to know about Vodafone 5G in the UK, including its launch plans, its spectrum holdings and what it’s currently working on.

Network and launch plans

Network

Vodafone has a large 4G network, with over 98% of the UK population covered at last count, which could help with 5G as well, because initially networks will likely use a mix of 5G and 4G technology.

This widespread coverage also shows that Vodafone has a strong commitment to upgrading and expanding its network, which will likely continue into 5G.

It’s also focused on speed, as Vodafone also has a 4G LTE Advanced network in some locations, which can be seen as a stepping stone between standard 4G and 5G.

With all that in mind it seems likely that Vodafone would make a big push into 5G, potentially seeing it catapult ahead of rival networks and develop new technologies faster.

Spectrum holdings

Vodafone came out of Ofcom’s recent 5G spectrum auction with 50MHz of 3.4GHz spectrum, which it paid £378,240,000 for and specifically acquired the 3410MHz – 3460MHz part of the band.

That’s more than any other rival acquired, as EE and O2 each got 40MHz while Three won just 20MHz. That could put Vodafone in a strong early 5G position, as 3.4GHz spectrum should be ideal for the upcoming technology, though notably Three already had some before the auction.

Vodafone also has 176MHz of immediately useable spectrum in other bands. This is less suited to 5G and Vodafone has less of it than EE, but it still has a reasonable amount.

Immediately useable spectrum 3.4GHz held 3.4GHz allocation Total spectrum held
176MHz 50MHz 3410-3460Mhz 226MHz
Note: ‘Immediately useable spectrum’ refers to spectrum in various bands that can be used now for 4G, 3G and 2G. Vodafone holds spectrum in the 800MHz, 900MHz, 1.4GHz, 1.8GHz, 2.1GHz and 2.6GHz bands.

Note also that Vodafone should have plenty of opportunities to acquire more spectrum, as Ofcom is set to auction off some in the 3.6GHz – 3.8GHz range and the 700MHz band at some point, and is also planning to look into other frequency bands that might have auctionable spectrum suited to 5G.

Launch plans

Vodafone plans to start offering 5G services in early 2020, which could see it launch slightly behind EE and BT, but probably around the same time as Three and O2.

This slightly later launch may also mean Vodafone is less dependent on existing technology from day one – a situation which O2 claims will lead pre-2020 5G networks to be ‘5G lite’.

Vodafone has additionally said that it sees its 5G roll out as following a similar timeline to 4G, which is to say it will be gradual, with 50% of UK devices getting a 5G connection by the mid-2020’s.

We don’t know which places will get Vodafone 5G first, but London is sure to be among them, as it’s the biggest UK city and as that’s where Vodafone’s 4G network started.

Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Liverpool and Manchester may also be first in line, given that the network has announced trials in those cities (more on that below).

Current trial and development activities

5G trials

Vodafone has carried out the UK’s first trial of 3.4GHz spectrum for 5G use. The network also tested Massive MIMO in the process.

Perhaps even more excitingly, it’s announced 5G trials in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Liverpool, London and Manchester, which are set to kick off between October and December 2018.

This is apparently the most comprehensive 5G trial in the UK to date and will be used to test virtual and augmented reality in factories, hospitals and offices.

Vodafone is additionally set to carry out 5G New Radio field trial collaborations with Nokia and Qualcomm.

And Vodafone’s focus on speed has already hit a major milestone, as in partnership with Huawei it’s achieved 20Gbps speeds in a 5G field test.

Vodafone has also become the first mobile operator to complete a standalone pre-standard 5G test, and along with other companies has approved the first 5G standard.

These trials and Vodafone’s 5G plans in general are part of a ‘Gigabit UK’ plan the network has, which would see customers able to access speeds of 1Gbps or more wherever they are, using a combination of 5G and fast fixed broadband.

Other development activities

Vodafone seems primarily focused on speed and Internet of Things (IoT) applications with 5G, but it’s starting with the basics, and has partnered with Huawei, Nokia, Qualcomm, Ericsson and Intel to both research 5G and prepare its network for the technology transition.

Vodafone has already started working towards a 5G network, including building some Massive MIMO sites in the UK. Massive MIMO base stations use 64 transmit and 64 receive streams, rather than the two elements used by current antennas. It’s a foundational 5G technology which will allow more data to be transferred as well as improving coverage, and Vodafone claims to be the first European network to deploy it.

And when it comes to the Internet of Things, Vodafone isn’t even waiting for 5G to expand its capabilities, as it plans to add Narrowband-IoT support to its existing network to bring 5G-like benefits ahead of time, by improving indoor coverage and supporting a high number of low-power devices within close proximity.

It’s already carried out a Narrowband-IoT test on a live commercial network, so we may see the fruits of its labour soon, but we’d expect even better IoT services from Vodafone once 5G does arrive.

Source: 5g.co.uk

Vodafone made a holographic 5G call and accelerated its launch plans

Vodafone made a holographic 5G call and accelerated its launch plans

Vodafone 5G

Vodafone has just completed the UK’s first live holographic call over 5G, with England and Manchester City Women’s Football Captain, Steph Houghton MBE being projected as a hologram from Manchester to Newbury.

During the call she gave footballing tips to 11-year-old Manchester City and Lionesses fan, Iris, emphasising in the process the potential for holographic calls to be used for remote coaching and training, as unlike just a phone call or even a video call, it’s almost like the person is actually there.

There are all sorts of useful things this technology could be used for, such as essentially placing all participants of a conference call in the same room, letting fans get closer to their idols – whether sports stars, musicians, actors or anything else, or just making calls a lot more personal and more like a face to face conversation. It’s one of many new technologies that the high speed and low latency of 5G could power.

Vodafone 5G

Of course, there’s other tech involved in holograms than just 5G, and as Richard Foggie of the Knowledge Transfer Network explained to the BBC, headgear or an enclosed ‘cave’ is required to view holograms currently, limiting their viability, but he predicts that five years from now that hurdle will have been overcome. By which point 5G should be widely available.

Coming sooner than you might think

In fact, you shouldn’t have to wait long at all to start getting 5G from Vodafone, as the network has also announced that it will bring 5G to Cornwall and the Lake District during 2019, with 1,000 5G sites set to be active by 2020.

That’s notable for two reasons. Firstly, Vodafone had previously said not to expect 5G from the network before 2020, so it seems as though it has accelerated its launch, putting it more in line with EE and BT.

Secondly, it sounds like the network will be putting a lot of focus on rural areas in the early days, which is surprising, but potentially a good thing, as there has been concern that rural places could initially get left behind, leaving a greater digital divide between them and cities than there is now. It seems Vodafone doesn’t want to let that happen.

Source: James Rogerson 5G

Vodafone to trial 5G in seven cities later this year

5g

Vodafone has made a big 5G announcement, as it’s just revealed that seven cities will become trial areas for Vodafone 5G later this year.

The cities in question are Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Liverpool, London and Manchester, and the trials are set to begin between October and December 2018.

Vodafone claims this is the most comprehensive 5G trial announced to date, and adds that the trial will be used to test new 5G applications, including virtual and augmented reality in factories, hospitals and offices.

In advance of these 5G trials, Vodafone’s engineers are already busy laying the groundwork for a 5G network at more than 40 sites in these cities.

Above shows James Hope, Head of Networks for the North, Vodafone UK, pictured with one of the new 5G base stations in Manchester.

A vision for the future

The trials are part of an ambitious plan that Vodafone has dubbed Gigabit UK and which envisions a UK where everyone can get speeds of one gigabit per second or more, wherever they are. It’s a plan that will involve both the launch of a widespread 5G network and upgraded fixed broadband connections.

And speaking of Vodafone’s 5G network, the company has additionally said that these upcoming trials should help ensure it’s ready for a full commercial launch in early 2020.

That will likely put Vodafone ever so slightly behind EE and BT, both of which might launch in late 2019, but Vodafone is still in a strong position, having purchased the most 5G spectrum at the recent Ofcom auction, a purchase which Vodafone claims has allowed it to begin these widespread 5G trials, having already carried out an earlier trial with the spectrum.

It’s worth noting also that these trial cities might well be among the first locations to get full 5G once Vodafone does launch it commercially. The company hasn’t said as much but it would make sense given that it’s being trialled in these locations, and given that they’re major cities.

Vodafone UK Chief Executive Nick Jeffery said: “We want to make 5G and new fibre broadband services available to consumers and business throughout the UK, delivering a Gigabit society for all. We will also be bringing ultra-fast 4G to several hundred sites in hard to reach rural areas this year, building on our position as the network that offers the best voice coverage in the UK.”

Source: James Rogerson. 5G

The ContiConnect™ smart tyre monitor helps prevent cost-intensive tyre-related breakdowns

vodafone_logo

Continental is helping to make the world’s roads safer with Vodafone’s support through the new digital tyre monitoring platform, ContiConnect. The companies are using the Internet of Things (IoT) to connect commercial vehicle fleets to the digital tyre monitoring platform to improve road safety and vehicle efficiencies. ContiConnect is currently deployed in US, Canada, Malaysia and Thailand with the rest of the world to follow.

ContiConnect communicates tyre temperature and pressure data to a central web portal via the wireless network, allowing fleet managers to continuously monitor the data for their entire fleet. If low temperature or high pressure data are reported the system automatically sends an alert to the driver and the central fleet manager, providing recommendations on resolving the issue.

The new platform helps prevent expensive tyre-related breakdowns and accidents affecting commercial fleets, and maximises vehicle uptime. The Vodafone mobile communications network transmits the data securely, reliably in real-time to destinations around the world.

Continental‘s Commercial Tyre Division Digital Solutions Manager Michael Neuheisel, said: “ContiConnect provides commercial vehicle fleet operators such as haulage, bus or construction companies with greater transparency in their fleet management activities and allows them to digitally monitor their vehicles’ tyres in real-time. The recorded data helps fleet managers to maximise vehicle uptime and reduce maintenance costs and fuel.”

Vodafone’s IoT Director Stefano Gestaut said: “This is a great example of how IoT can make real world differences in so many unexpected places. This ensures that truck drivers experience fewer tyre-related breakdowns and accidents – making the roads a safer place to be for every vehicle user.”

Special Continental sensors continuously monitor tyre pressure and temperature data and transmit it to a receiver unit. The receiver unit then transmits the data in real-time to the Continental server where a software program analyses it. If any of the values are critical, ContiConnect sends an alert so that the fleet manager can take action.

In the ecological fast lane

ContiConnect is putting commercial vehicles in the ecological fast lane. The regular data streams that are sent to the fleet managers help them to plan tyre changes and maintenance far more efficiently, improving the operational performance and lifespan of the tyres. Tyre pressure monitoring also contributes to protecting the environment because tyres that are operated at optimum pressure save fuel and reduce commercial vehicles’ CO2 output. For example, a tyre operating at just 80% pressure uses around 0.9 litres more fuel for every 100 kilometres driven. Over an average distance covered of 120,000 kilometres per year, that’s 1,080 litres more fuel consumed for each tyre. So in addition to the environmental benefits, ContiConnect also improves commercial fleet profitability.

Global flexibility in the Internet of Things

The system transmits data by SMS or e-mail, so the driver doesn’t need to have a display unit in the cockpit. And the global Vodafone network ensures that fleet managers have real-time data on all their vehicles that are out on the road.

Source: Vodafone

VODAFONE AND HUAWEI DEMONSTRATE HOW 5G WILL REVOLUTIONISE DRIVING

Vodafone car demo

We’ve heard a lot about AI-driven cars in recent years, but 5G is set to enable another kind of driving revolution. Vodafone has teamed up with Huawei to demonstrate how 5G can be used to remotely control a vehicle.

The test took place at the 2017 Global Mobile Broadband Forum. It involved a car located on the University of Surrey campus being controlled from London’s ExCel centre some 50 kilometres (30 miles) away. This was done via a fully encrypted pre-standard 5G connection.

It was intended to demonstrate how, in future, it would be possible to remotely control machines in dangerous or extremely remote environments. The example has been given of mining or waste disposal situations, but it would also have a number of potential applications in day to day life.

For example, in a recent white paper on practical 5G use case scenarios, Huawei highlighted the potential for a premium concierge service in which the driver of your car does so from elsewhere. This could “enable someone to participate in a conference or to work while on a journey, or to support a taxi service, or to help a person without a driving license, or when they are ill, intoxicated, or otherwise unfit to drive”.

5G is uniquely suited to hosting such a feature. Crucial to this is the forthcoming network standard’s extremely low latency of less than 10 milliseconds, which will enable instructions to be received and acted upon as quickly as the human eye can perceive change.

In the case of the recent Vodafone test, this resulted in a mere six centimetres of braking deviation when the car travelled at a speed of around 20 kilometres per hour.

Another benefit of 5G network technology to remote car control is its heightened level of security. After all, the last thing you would want in such a situation is interference from a malicious third party.

Luke Ibbetson, Vodafone Group’s Head of Research and Development and Technology Strategy, said: “The 5G standard is close to completion and it’s encouraging to see how important capabilities such as low latency and increased reliability are shaping up.

“This innovative demonstration shows us an exciting glimpse into the future, complementing 5G’s role in providing enhanced mobile broadband. It is a milestone in the work we’ve been doing with Huawei to show how our network will support 5G connected vehicles in future.”

This was the first test of its kind in Europe. The world’s first such demonstration occurred in June 2017, when Huawei teamed up with China Mobile and SAIC Motor in Shanghai. However, in this initial test the driver was only situated 30 kilometres away from the car.

Useful reading: 5G and the connected car

Source: Jon Mundy 5G