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Vodafone and Huawei Trial New 4.5G Technologies to Prepare for 5G

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Vodafone and Huawei Trial New 4.5G Technologies to Prepare for 5G

 Vodafone UK and Huawei are conducting technical trials of a new mobile technology, 4.5G (TDD+) with LTE TDD, to significantly increase the capacity and efficiency of its 4G network in urban areas, as well as lay the foundations for the introduction of 5G by 2020.

New 4*4 MIMO (Multiple-Input Multiple-Output) techniques eight-way transmit and receive (8T8R), together with multi-user beam-forming are being tested in Manchester. These will support the expected rapid growth in video and virtual reality applications with the arrival of next generation smartphones.

Unlike traditional methods of transmitting mobile signals between base stations and mobiles, beam forming and four-way receiver diversity significantly improve performance in heavily built up areas, by combining the signals from multiple angles and co-located antennas in order to reduce interference and improve throughput. The trial involves 4×4 versions of MIMO in order to deliver mobile data services at much greater speeds and with improved accuracy. The 8T8R beamforming concentrates the user-specific energy and multiplexes the resource between different users, thus increasing the average as well as the edge performance.

By combining MIMO with beam-forming, Vodafone is better able to focus customers’ mobile signals in specific directions to ensure the best user experience and minimise interference during peak times in highly populated areas. As a result, more signal reaches more subscribers particularly at the edge of the base station coverage, in order to provide higher average speeds across the network.

Vodafone UK’s Chief Technology Officer, Jorge Fernandes, said: “We are working hard with our radio network equipment partners to ensure our network is future-proofed for the expected arrival of 5G in four to five years’ time, whilst continually improving our 4G performance for customers throughout the UK.”

Huawei LTE TDD President, Veni Shone, said: “This joint innovation with Vodafone has proved that 4.5G (TDD+) is a good solution to release the potential of TDD spectrum and will help Vodafone build the most advanced LTE network available. We are very proud of this collaboration, and are dedicated to providing optimal solutions to customers. The newly deployed LTE TDD network immediately serves the LTE TDD capable commercial smartphones and successfully carries significant live network traffic. This trial proves that LTE TDD with the most recent technologies can be naturally converged with LTE FDD and improve the overall experience enjoyed by all users on the network.”

Source: Huawei

5G: Huawei and Vodafone achieve 20Gbps for single-user outdoor at E-Band

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5G: Huawei and Vodafone achieve 20Gbps for single-user outdoor at E-Band

 

Huawei and Vodafone have completed a 5G mmWave field test at Vodafone Emerald House in Newbury, UK. The test covers SU-MIMO (Single User Multiple Input Multiple Output) with a strong reflection path to reach 20Gbps UE peak rate, and MU-MIMO (Multi User Multiple Input Multiple Output) for long-range UE to reach 10Gbps peak rate. It is the world’s first 5G outdoor field test at E-Band reaching 20Gbps peak rate for a single user device with high spectrum efficiency. This peak user rate is targeted by ITU-R as a 5G requirement. This is a key milestone after the two companies signed a strategic MoU on 5G technologies last year and a 5G Acceleration MoU this July.

 

The demand for spectrum to provide higher-capacity mobile access and self-backhaul has been rising drastically due to soaring mobile broadband communications traffic. The situation is even more critical when operators are faced with the challenge to deliver ultra-high throughout in emerging 5G network. As traditional lower bands used in current cellular access becomes ever more crowded, there is an increasing effort in the industry to explore the centimeter wave (cmWave) and millimeter wave (mmWave) bands to meet broadband speed requirements. This test will contribute to the study of spectrum above 6GHz for 5G enhanced mobile broadband, and to promote global spectrum harmonization in the coming World Radio Congress in 2019 (WRC-19)

E-Band is millimeter wave (mmWave) band and can be used as a complementary spectrum band to the lower-band to deliver ultra-high mobile broadband user experience. Especially it can enable new applications such as VR/AR and act as self-backhaul for the 5G mobile service traffic.

Johan Wibergh, Chief Technology Officer, Vodafone Group, said: “This field test in an outdoor environment is a significant step in validating the performance of 5G in high frequency bands, improving our understanding of the capabilities of the technology.”

Eric Xu, Rotating CEO of Huawei, said: “5G will introduce full spectrum access to support AR, VR, Smart Automobile and other unknown new services. The joint trial of 5G mmWave connectivity in a real world radio propagation environment and co-existence of different radio links is encouraging. I highly value the cooperation with Vodafone, and believe we will achieve more progress in 5G, together with Vodafone and other industry partners.”

Source: Huawei

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vodafone research suggests IoT is going mainstream

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IoT goes mainstream: Vodafone research finds 76% of companies believe the Internet of Things is critical to future success

Vodafone today published its fourth annual IoT Barometer Report – the leading global survey of business sentiment regarding innovation and investment in the Internet of Things, the term used to describe the evolution of a new generation of devices and processes using connected network intelligence to deliver advanced capabilities. Examples of IoT applications – including driverless cars, smart metering for gas and power and remote monitoring for homes and industry – can be found here . The survey was conducted by Circle Research in April and May 2016 and involved more than 1,096 companies across Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Turkey, the UAE, the UK and the USA.

The 2016 Vodafone IoT Barometer Report found that:

  • 89% of companies investing in IoT have increased their budgets over the last 12 months;
  • 76% of all companies interviewed believe that taking advantage of IoT technologies will be critical for the future success of any organisation;
  • 63% of IoT adopters are seeing “significant” returns on investment, up from 59% in last year’s Report; and
  • IoT investment now accounts for 24% of the average IT budget, on a par with cloud computing or data analytics.

The Report also found that IoT technologies play a key role in mainstream business activities in an increasing number of companies. Highlights included:

  • 48% of companies interviewed are using IoT technologies to support large-scale business transformation, rising to 61% in the Asia-Pacific region;
  • 52% of consumer electronics companies interviewed are using IoT technologies as the basis for a new generation of applications for connected homes; and
  • 46% of all companies interviewed said they intend to develop new IoT-based products and services over the next two years.

Vodafone Group IoT Director Erik Brenneis said: “Three-quarters of the companies we interviewed now recognise that the Internet of Things is a new industrial revolution that will change how people work and live forever, and almost half the companies surveyed across multiple countries and sectors told us they’re already planning to bring connected network intelligence to millions of devices and processes over the next two years. 2016 is the year the Internet of Things entered the mainstream.”

The 2016 Vodafone IoT Barometer Report can be found here

Source: Vodafone

Vodafone provide connectivity for Robotic Exoskeleton

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EKSO BIONICS ROBOTIC EXOSKELETONS GAIN GLOBAL CONNECTIVITY WITH VODAFONE IOT TECHNOLOGY

With Vodafone Global IoT SIM, Ekso Bionics Manages Device Diagnostics and Data to Help Improve the Mobility of Stroke and Spinal Cord Injury Patients

Vodafone will be connecting the world’s first and only exoskeleton that is FDA cleared for use with both stroke patients and spinal cord injuries – the Ekso GT™ from Ekso Bionics®. Vodafone’s network and global Internet of Things (IoT) SIM will ensure reliable communications for diagnostics and improved access to patient data, helping to improve the user experience with the suit.

Robotic exoskeletons are ready to wear, battery-powered robots that are strapped over the users’ clothing, enabling individuals to achieve mobility, strength, or endurance not otherwise possible.

The Ekso GT can provide adaptive amounts of power to either side of the patient’s body, helping to improve results for patients. The suit allows physical therapists to mobilise patients earlier, more frequently and with a greater number of high intensity steps, all of which will aid recovery.

Vodafone Group’s Head of IoT for the Americas Andrew Morawski said, “The Internet of Things is enabling all types of medical devices to be connected anywhere in the world, which is directly affecting the care that patients are receiving. The focus that Ekso Bionics has on helping stroke and spinal cord injury patients to increase mobility is making a significant impact on the quality of life for its users.”

“We are in business to help people achieve the remarkable, and we can do this most effectively with best in class partners. We chose Vodafone to provide a single global solution that ensures seamless connectivity, no matter where a rehabilitation hospital is located,” said Thomas Looby, Ekso Bionics’ chief executive officer. “With Vodafone IoT technology, we can monitor how our exoskeletons are performing in real time, providing therapists with data on how the patients’ rehabilitation is progressing.”

Ekso Bionic has been able to simplify its manufacturing process by using the same Vodafone SIM for all suits globally as well as having a single worldwide partner delivering a managed service. Ekso Bionics’ Ekso GT is currently available in the United States, Mexico, Canada, South Africa, and in most European countries. The Ekso GT is offered in more than 150 leading rehabilitation institutions around the world and has helped enable its users to take more than 50 million steps not otherwise possible.

Source: Vodafone

Vodafone to deploy NB-IoT in multiple markets next year

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Operator Vodafone promises to roll out NB-IoT tech across “multiple markets” in 2017, a fillip for the low power wide area (LPWA) cellular technology that is facing strong competition from proprietary rivals such as Ingenu, LoRa and Sigfox.

Vodafone’s commitment is significant as the NB-IoT standard is not yet fully ratified (expected this summer) and rival offerings (using unlicensed spectrum) have stolen a march on efforts to deploy low-cost IoT networks that only need to support low data rates, providing functions from sensor monitoring to asset tracking.

“NB-IoT operates in licensed spectrum and that is important to us at Vodafone because we need to deliver a high quality experience to our customers,” wrote Erik Brenneis, Vodafone’s IoT group director, in a blog. Taking a further swipe at the likes of Sigfox and friends, he claimed that “the alternative, using unlicensed spectrum, risks disruption to the signal from other technologies trying to use the same frequencies.”

To support its attempt to create a community of NB-IoT developers, Vodafone has opened what it claims is the world’s first NB-IoT open lab, in Newbury, UK, the first of several planned across the globe.

Vodafone operates in around 30 countries and partners with networks in over 50 more.

Industry support
Brenneis also called for closer collaboration between traditional mobile players: “To bring this exciting technology to market, the industry now needs to focus on rapid trials and to help customers to quickly and easily add NB-IoT to their products.”

These remarks echo recent comments from Huawei, itself a partner of Vodafone on the operator’s NB-IoT work to date.

While Huawei has been one of the main vendor drivers of NB-IoT, it has also seen support from chipset players including Qualcomm, Intel and HiSilicon; module makers such as U-blox, Telit, Sierra and Gemalto; and network rivals Ericsson and Nokia.

However, some operators are hedging their bets on which LPWA tech to support. For example, Altice’s SFR is deploying Sigfox while rivalsBouygues and Orange have opted for LoRa. Orange has at least suggested it would keep its options open regarding its technology of choice for IoT development in the future.

Source: Mobile World Live

Huawei enables NB-IoT application in vertical industries through innovation and collaboration

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At M2M World Congress in London, Huawei shared its Narrow-Band Internet of Things (NB-IoT) strategy and innovations to advance IoT applications and smart cities that deliver social and economical benefits. Huawei also demonstrated how it is building an ecosystem that works together to realize the full potential of NB-IoT, including its collaboration with Vodafone to launch the Vodafone NB-IoT Open Lab in Newbury, U.K.

On the ecosystem development front, on April 25, 2016, Huawei and Vodafone announced the launch of the Vodafone NB-IoT Open Lab, which aims to help third parties conduct services including network solution verification, new application innovation, device integration, business model research and product compliance certification etc., to accelerate the application advancement within the vertical industries and promote the development of the industry chain.

NB-IoT technology has emerged as the Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) standardized by 3GPP, which provides a wide array of significant advantages including supporting more than 100,000 connections per cell, a long battery life of 10 year, deep coverage with a 20db gain over GSM networks, enhanced security supported by two-way authentication and strong interface encryption, as well as providing carrier stability to enable IoT applications and smart cities.

Currently, Huawei offers a comprehensive portfolio of IoT solutions. In addition to traditional network equipment, Huawei also offers a unified business management platform and communication chipsets to provide carriers with effective support for their commercial deployment of NB-IoT solutions.

“IoT applications represent powerful opportunities to transform the way businesses and cities connect to create vast social and economic benefits. However capturing the full potential of NB-IoT applications such as smart metering and smart parking requires innovation and collaboration around NB-IoT to ensure secure, stable and robust connectivity,” said Paul Scanlan, President of Business & Network Consulting, Huawei. “Together with our partners, Huawei is applying groundbreaking NB-IoT innovation to solve core challenges around IoT applications and smart cities. As a platinum sponsor of M2M Congress, we believe this is an important forum bringing together industry experts to discuss innovation and best practices for sustainable development of NB-IoT technology to enable IoT applications and smart cities and ultimately to build a better connected world.”

To date, Vodafone, Huawei and u-blox have already completed the successful commercial trial of the pre-standard NB-IoT technology. By successfully integrating the technology into the operator’s existing mobile network in Spain, the carrier will be able to offer long-distance remote metering services to its users in the future. Huawei’s chipset and software supported this successful trial of the pre-NB IoT technology which realized narrowband communications in carrier frequency. The deployment of NB-IoT in licensed cellular spectrum means it is secure and less susceptible to interference and can provide a better guarantee of service. Further trials and large-scale commercial deployments are planned by the companies.

Moving forward, Huawei will continue to invest in innovation and is committed to building a robust, open ecosystem to drive NB-IoT technology innovation and commercialization. Together with its strategic partners such as Vodafone, Huawei will lead the development of NB-IoT connectivity across a number of different verticals including utilities, agriculture, manufacturing, wearables and transport to create a better connected world.

Source: Huawei

Environment Agency uses M2M Technology To Improve Planning And Efficiency

 

The Environment Agency deploys camera monitoring to remote locations, helping better direct the response of field engineers.

In December 2015 the UK experienced its wettest month in a century, which continued into the New Year. About 16,000 houses in England were flooded and it is estimated repairs will cost £3m and could take a year to complete.

Across the European Union the cost of flood damage is expected to rise from €4.5bn to €23bn per year by 2050. Climate change and changing weather patterns are expected to create a rainier Europe, with heavier, more damaging downpours.

In the UK, the Environment Agency (EA) is at the forefront of our flood defences. It assesses flood risk and maintains the country’s flood defences. The EA must be at a constant state of readiness. “Flash flooding has changed the way we operate,” says Mick Robinson, Technical Advisor FCRM (Flood and Coastal Risk Management) at EA. “Intense downpours can happen anywhere at any time, so we need to be able to respond quickly and effectively.” The EA manages more than 30,000 bridges, culverts and grids, all of which play a role in managing flooding. Culverts allow water to drain off harmlessly, steering flood water into rivers and drainage systems.

These culverts cannot fail. Traditionally, this infrastructure was maintained via a scheduled series of service visits: engineers would regularly check culverts for blockages. A blocked culvert could cause flood water to back up, flooding residential areas. EA wanted to improve the efficiency of these service visits, enabling engineers to be ready to move at a moment’s notice. It wanted to prioritise visits and to build early-warning systems.

Many of these culverts are in remote, hard to reach locations. They require a great deal of time and money to visit. “If our defences are being overloaded we want to be better able to direct ground responses,” says Robinson. The solution Remote monitoring to help direct field engineers The obvious solution is remote visual monitoring – cameras sending regular images of infrastructure, the bridges, culverts and drains, to support regular visits by engineers. The images can be viewed centrally, or by engineers on the move via a mobile device. They provide an early warning system and better direct service visits.

With previous solutions, the difficulty had been in powering, maintaining and ensuring the necessary connectivity to each camera. In the East Midlands region, EA is using a new solution that combats each of these issues. It is working with iDefigo Group, a remote monitoring specialist, and Vodafone’s Global M2M platform. A network of smart cameras, each connected to a central platform and powered by small, solar panels, provide regular, accurate updates. “Many of these cameras are in river valleys, where connectivity is not great. We’ve beaten this with the Vodafone Global SIM,” says Robinson.

Source: Vodafone

 

Vodafone wins €100m contract with ScottishPower Energy Networks

Vodafone has announced today a new €100 million four-year contract with ScottishPower Energy Networks, SP Energy Networks, to manage and upgrade performance monitoring and fault identification systems across the company’s electricity transmission and distribution networks covering more than 3.5 million homes and businesses across the UK.

Under the contract, Vodafone will operate and enhance remote monitoring data systems across more than 110,000 km of overhead lines and underground cables and more than 30,000 substations in Central and Southern Scotland, Merseyside and North Wales. Vodafone will also provide specialist support to SP Energy Networks to help implement new smart grid technologies and integrate generation from renewable sources such as solar and wind. Performance data gathered and analysed by Vodafone will assist SP Energy Networks in prioritising network improvement plans; the company is investing more than £6 billion over the next eight years to upgrade and enhance its infrastructure.

Vodafone Global Enterprise Chief Executive Jan Geldmacher said, “A world-class power distribution network relies on world-class digital communications to function effectively. We welcome the opportunity to work with ScottishPower in support of the company’s plans to meet the long-term needs of its customers.”

SP Energy Networks Chief Executive Officer, Frank Mitchell, added, “This is a major contract that is designed to enhance our network operations and ultimately benefit our 3.5 million customers.  We look forward to working with Vodafone who will provide communications systems that will help us to manage the day-to-day reliability of our network and plan for the future.”

Source: Vodafone

NB-IoT Forum is preparing to take off

The NB-IoT forum will bring together all of the industry and ecosystem partners in a way which helps deliver NB-IoT to the market as quickly as possible. The forum will be hosted within an existing industry level organisation.

NB-IoT is the emerging industry solution for deployment of Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) networks using licenced operator spectrum, in-band, guard band and stand-alone deployments, and is expected to have global scale. The new technology is designed to provide deep coverage of hard to reach places, supporting a massive number of low throughput, ultra-low cost devices, with low device power consumption and optimised network architecture.

The NB-IoT forum aims to:

  • facilitate demonstrations and proof of concept trials which strengthen the NB-IoT solution to meet LPWA requirements;
  • lead partners to build a strong end-to-end industry chain for NB-IoT future growth and development;
  • drive and proliferate NB-IoT applications in vertical markets for new business opportunities;
  • promote collaboration between all NB-IoT industry partners to ensure interoperability of solutions.

China Mobile, Etisalat, LG Uplus, Shanghai Unicom, Telecom Italia and Vodafone also announce their support for the creation of six new NB-IoT open labs worldwide, which will focus on NB-IoT new service innovation, industry development, interoperability tests and product compliance certification.

It is expected that these labs and others will form a key part of the NB-IoT forum initiative. New use cases and business models will be explored in these open labs, and results will be shared with the whole industry.

Customer pilots using pre-NB-IoT technology are already underway. Pre-commercial deployment is expected during the second half of 2016, with commercial roll-out from early in 2017. The NB-IoT forum and the open labs will help to drive the development of the NB-IoT industry to the next stage.

The detailed scope, format and objectives of the forum will now be worked on, with membership extended to further companies in future.

Source: Vodafone

Vodafone to offer fixed line and broadband services in UK

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MILLIONS OF VODAFONE CUSTOMERS ACROSS THE UK NOW ELIGIBLE FOR VODAFONE BROADBAND AND HOME PHONE SERVICES

  • Vodafone Broadband delivers high speed broadband and home phone services
  • Roll out to existing Vodafone UK customers across the country starts today
  • Competitive packages, with broadband speeds up to 76Mbps available
  • Innovative Vodafone router and mobile app will provide seamless control in the home
  • Easy Switching service to provide customers with hassle-free broadband set-up

 Vodafone UK today launches its broadband and home phone services to millions of its customers across the UK, ensuring its customers will always be connected, both at home and on the go.

Available at speeds up to 76 Mbps, Vodafone’s nationwide fibre optic, business-grade network reaches exchanges which pass around 22 million premises across the UK. Combined with the plug-and-play Vodafone router, the service delivers speed, reliability, unlimited data and cutting-edge features which let customers share, stream and shop to their hearts’ content.

The innovative Vodafone Connect mobile app, coupled with the router, offers a range of features which give customers greater control over the devices in the home: ‘Boost’ allows customers to supercharge any device connected to their home network, giving that device priority over others; ‘Beam’, which uses Beamforming technology, focuses Wi-Fi signal to compatible devices wherever they are in the home; ‘Family Time’ allows customers to easily manage and set time limits, giving them control over when Wi-Fi is available and when it’s not;  or  ‘Guest Wi-Fi’ allows controlled Wi-Fi access to household guests in one click.

Whether customers choose Superfast Fibre+ Broadband (up to 76 Mbps), Superfast Fibre Broadband (up to 38 Mbps) or Broadband ADSL (up to 17 Mbps), Vodafone will thank its customers for their loyalty by giving them £5 off the standard broadband price every month and for the first 12 months it will be further discounted to half price – making it one of the best value broadband and home phone packages in the UK. Vodafone Red (pay monthly mobile) customers will also get inclusive calls anytime to landlines, plus 300 free minutes to mobile numbers. And every customer gets inclusive evening and weekend calls, plus discounted Sure Signal units to boost mobile coverage indoors if necessary.

We’ll also take the hassle out of switching broadband provider with our Easy Switching service. Once a customer decides to order Vodafone Broadband, and has informed their provider where required, our switching experts will coordinate everything: from transferring the service from the old provider; to setting up the connection with us and ensuring everything is working as it should be.

This launch builds on the success of Vodafone’s fixed broadband services across 12 countries in Europe, where we are one of the largest providers with more than 11 million subscribers and our experience as the leader in unified communications to the UK business sector.

Jeroen Hoencamp, CEO of Vodafone UK said: “We have had great feedback on our broadband service from the customers involved in our regional launch.  We are really pleased that they are finding the speeds as fast as they hoped for, while the Vodafone Connect companion app gives them an unprecedented level of control over their devices.  We are looking forward to many other customers taking us up on our great offer and joining us on our journey to be the UK’s leading providers of entertainment services.”

Cindy Rose, Consumer Director at Vodafone UK said: “We started our broadband journey with an exclusive offer available only to a few Vodafone customers. We have now extended this to all of our millions of customers as our way of saying thank you for their loyalty. We know our customers depend on us to stay connected, and now we can satisfy their needs both at home and on the go.”

Vodafone’s market leading Vodafone Connect router will be provided free to customers. High-spec, it utilises the latest Wi-Fi technology, allowing priority to be given to a chosen device – supercharging Wi-Fi for seamless video streaming and gaming.

Vodafone will add broadband and home phone services to their mobile package, presenting one bill to customers covering all services – home phone, mobile and broadband.

Key features of the Vodafone Connect router and Vodafone Connect companion mobile app

Vodafone Connect companion app manages the router by mobile device  – allowing customers to change the Wi-Fi password, control features like ‘Boost’ and ‘Beam’ as well as controlling who’s connected to the network and for how long, through features like ‘Guest Wi-Fi’ and ‘Family Time’.  The Vodafone Connect companion app is available for iOS and Android.  Feature specifics, when coupled with the router, include:

 ‘Boost’ can supercharge your connected devices – Boost lets customers prioritise Wi-Fi speeds to a chosen device for up to 2 hours, giving that device priority over others within the home – perfect for quickly downloading a video to a smartphone or tablet before setting off.

  • ‘Beam’ focuses the Wi-Fi signal right where it’s needed most – Beam, which uses Beamforming technology, focusing the  Wi-Fi signal to compatible devices wherever they are in the home, even in those hard to reach corners of the house.
  • Stay in control with ‘Family Time’ – which allows customers to easily manage and set time limits, giving them control over when Wi-Fi is available and when it’s not.

 

 Source: Vodafone