Tag Archives: vodafone

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

Huawei-Logo

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

vodafone-logo

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

Europe leads M2M and IoT growth, says Vodafone

Europe, led by a German manufacturing charge, is the world’s fastest growing region for M2M and IoT connections, says Vodafone.

At the launch of the 2015 M2M Barometer, Vodafone’s annual review of the enterprise M2M industry, the telco said Europe saw a 48% growth in the number of connections year-on-year. It claims 31% of the European businesses it interviewed now run live M2M connections on its network, up from 21% last year. The German government’s push of “Industry 4.0” and its advanced automotive sector is apparently a major factor in Europe’s rate of growth over the past 12 months. On the whole, the Africa, Middle East and AsiaPac region (AMEAP) leads the way with 35%.

Elsewhere, security and privacy were identified as the two primary barriers for organisations looking to increase the use of M2M, with 33% and 31% respectively; while cost relative to potential benefits sits at 29%.

Speaking to Telecoms.com, Vodafone’s global director of M2M, Erik Brenneis insists that despite cost being a highlighted barrier to further M2M growth for some organisations, it’s also the primary reason for the explosion in IoT and M2M buzz in the past few years.

“M2M was definitely active ten years ago,” he said. “For lorries and big trucks there were fleet management systems, and their value was so high that you could justify the expensive M2M systems. The cost overall has come down dramatically; a module now cots $5, which five years ago would have cost $30-40. As such, business cases which would not have been profitable in the past are now.”

As one of the global operators willing to discuss its IoT and M2M strategy so publicly, Brenneis also explained how the M2M division sits within the wider Vodafone business, saying its overall contribution to group revenue is low, but it’s definitely the fastest growing.

Erik Brenneis_Image3

“By revenue overall for Vodafone we’re only about 2%,” he said. “However it is the single fastest growing area at Vodafone, with 25% revenue growth; and the support we’re getting from the company is incredible. I can invest, I was able to buy a company, and we’re mentioned in [Vodafone CEO] Vittorio Colao’s annual report for Vodafone. M2M’s always a part of it, we’re the future.”

Brenneis concluded by stressing the growing importance of Vodafone’s M2M division, and suggested its usefulness in aiding business development for other parts of the company.

“We are a very strategically important businesses in terms of M2M because it’s actually the CEOs of our customers who are getting involved now,” he said. “The relationship between the M2M business [at Vodafone] and someone like Daimler Group, for example, is completely different to the relationship Vodafone’s mobility business will have with them.

“Their CEO is not really willing to meet the mobility team, because he’ll see them as another vendor, a utility. However with the M2M team, we become part of the product, so they want to have the very best relationship; and we’ve formed many fantastic partnerships where we’ve connected their products and then off the back of that we’ve received their mobility business, which can be tens of thousands more connections, which can often be more valuable than just the M2M business in itself.”

Source: Telecoms.com Tim Skinner

Vodafone sees positive signs; Project Spring on track

 

vodafone-logo

 

Vodafone Group talked up the coming year as “another very important one for execution”, as it saw some positive signs toward the end of its financial year.

Vittorio Colao, chief executive, said: “We have seen increasing signs of stabilisation in many of our European markets, supported by improvements in our commercial execution and very strong demand for data. In fixed line, revenue trends are improving supported by accelerating customer growth, and our recent cable acquisitions provide a strong platform for further growth.”

“In emerging markets, our good growth trend has continued, driven by rising data penetration and leading network quality and distribution,” he continued.

In Q4, the company returned to organic service revenue growth, albeit by a slim 0.1 percent, after 10 quarters of shrinkage. Weakness in Europe by this measure (-2.4 per cent) was offset by strong growth in its AMAP region (up 6.0 per cent).

Vodafone also said that it is Project Spring network modernisation project is 63 per cent complete on the mobile side. Its 4G coverage in Europe is now at 72 per cent, with the company claiming to be Europe’s largest 4G operator.

However, Colao noted: “We have significant opportunities ahead of us, with only 13 per cent of our European mobile customers using 4G, and our market share in fixed services only a fraction of our share in mobile.”

On a group level the company has 20.2 million 4G subscribers in 18 markets.

On the fixed side, the company has 12 million broadband customers, with this business now representing 25.2 per cent of European service revenue. The integration of the acquired Kabel Deutschland and Ono businesses is “in line with expectations”.

UK broadband launch
Meanwhile Colao also confirmed Vodafone’s plan to launch broadband services in the UK, with a debut “in the coming weeks”. This will be augmented by a television proposition later in the year, as the company looks to boost its position in a market where quadplay services are increasingly becoming the order of the day.

On a group level, the company reported a profit of £5.92 billion, down 90 per cent year-on-year from £59.42 billion, on revenue from continuing operations of £42.23 billion, up 10.1 per cent year-on-year.

Its prior-year profit benefitted from a £48.12 billion gain from discontinued operations, related to its exit of the Verizon Wireless business in the US.

Profit from continuing operations of £5.86 billion was down from £11.31 billion, with the prior-year period benefitting from a significant income tax credit uplift.

Group service revenue of £38.5 billion was up 9.4 per cent year-on-year. Growth in Europe of 15 per cent to £25.97 billion was offset by a 0.8 per cent decline in AMAP to £12.04 billion although on an organic basis (taking into account M&A and foreign exchange changes) the picture was reversed, with a decline of 4.7 per cent in Europe, and an increase of 5.8 per cent in AMAP.

With regard to its European mobile service revenue, Vodafone said that it had seen a decline but with a “better trend in H2”, as it was impacted by “growing pressures from competition, regulation and macroeconomic environment”. The UK, Netherlands and Czech Republic all returned to growth in the latter part of the year, while Germany, Italy, Spain, Greece and Romania reducing their rate of decline.

Germany was highlighted as a market where Vodafone is underperforming. Service revenue was down 3.2 per cent on an organic basis (and excluding the acquired Kabel Deutschland business). Mobile service revenue fell by 3.5 per cent as prior-year price cuts took hold among the customer base.

AMAP benefitted from “strong customer growth, increase usage of voice and data services, and effective marketing and distribution”.

In India, as part of the Project Spring effort, 3G coverage in targeted areas has reached 90 per cent.

Source: Mobile World Live. Steve Costello

Vodafone provides M2M connectivity for BBOXX Smart Power

BBOXX ensures reliable energy for remote communities worldwide using Vodafone M2M

 

BBOXX was founded in 2010 to provide “an on-grid experience in an off-grid world”. The company’s smart solar units can be activated, updated and managed centrally. It distributes to 40+ countries, though its primary markets are Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda. BBOXX aims to have four million smart solar units in operation by 2020.

 

An estimated 1.3 billion people go without reliable electricity. This has a tremendous impact on health, education and productivity across large parts of Africa and Asia. These communities tend to be rural and hard to reach. On-grid solutions are unlikely.

Business Need:

BBOXX is the brainchild of three graduates of Imperial College, London. The final-year project to deliver electricity to a village in Rwanda has turned into a serious, global business proposition designing, manufacturing and distributing solar systems. Fundamental to this solution is connectivity and the means to manage this globally from a single platform.

Solution:

The BBOXX solution is a smart solar power generator, capable of being managed centrally. Remote monitoring allows BBOXX to check for faults, install firmware updates and shut down the units in the event of missed payments. Vodafone M2M SIMs installed in every solar unit mean BBOXX can deploy quickly anywhere in the world. Five thousand units have already been deployed, there are a further 6,000 in production and 8,000 on order. BBOXX aims to have 100,000 units in the market by the end of 2016, mostly in Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda.

Business Benefits:

  • Enables BBOXX to launch robust, off-grid power unit, with means to serve rural communities
  • Single Global SIM enables the business to plan for expansion from 1,000 units to four million within six years
  • Provides a real-time view of customer usage, payments and SIM control from a single Global platform
  • Builds a detailed picture of off-grid energy use, invaluable for next rounds of funding
 

The units can be up and running almost out-of-the-box. Activation takes less than an hour, managed from London. We have units operational in more than 12 countries, from Ghana to Pakistan – this would not have been possible without Vodafone. Chris Baker-Brian, Chief Technology Officer, BBOXX

Source: Vodafone

VANMOOF uses Vodafone M2M for safer cycling

bike
VANMOOF was founded in 2008 and like many entrepreneurial businesses its founders had spotted a gap in the market. The company pursue one goal only: helping the ambitious city dweller to move around town faster, more confidently and in utmost style.

Business Need

VANMOOF wanted to include GPS connectivity in its e-bike to help combat bike theft and map commuter routes. The company needed a connectivity solution that would allow stolen bikes to be tracked, anywhere in the world.

Solution

VANMOOF uses Vodafone Global M2M SIMs, integrated in the bike frames, to provide connectivity for all its e-bikes. It means VANMOOF can manage all SIMs from the Vodafone Global M2M platform, with price consistency, for bikes shipped anywhere in the world. Vodafone connectivity, and the Global SIMs’ ability to roam to a secondary network if needed, makes for a more robust tracking solution.

Business Benefits

  • Enables a robust bike tracking solution, combating bike theft
  • Ensures global connectivity redundancy from one SIM, managed off one platform, simplifying worldwide go-to-market
  • Boosts marketing and brand credibility, partnering with a global communications leader

We’re a start-up, with a small marketing budget. We need to work with partners who can bring something extra. It is an asset to us to have Vodafone’s credibility and long-term vision.Niels Bark, Sales and Marketing Manager, VANMOOF

Source: VANMOOF

Vodafone Wallet enables contactless payment


vodafone visa

Following agreements with Visa and Carta Worldwide, bank card payments via Vodafone Wallet will be enabled in European markets from the second quarter of 2015, the operator announced.

This means customers will be able to add bank cards to their Vodafone Wallet and use smartphones to pay for goods and services at contactless terminals, as well as checking their mobile payment transaction history.

This service, which requires a Vodafone NFC SIM, will be supported on a range of Android smartphones.

To use the service, customers will need to input their bank card details to the Vodafone Wallet app, where an alias of each card will be stored securely in the Vodafone NFC SIM.

Ownership of the card will be authenticated using ‘Verified by Visa’.

Payments will be automatically debited from the selected bank cards, protected with a user-defined 4-digit PIN for higher value payments.

According to Brian Semkiw, CEO of Carta Worldwide, which partnered with Vodafone to provide the payment card enabling technology, the company’s “next generation platform is built to provide the highest security and reliability standards. At the same time, the flexibility of our platform has allowed us to develop this innovative service with Vodafone in record time”.

Vodafone Wallet is currently available in Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain and the UK.

Customers can already add loyalty cards into the Vodafone Wallet, as well as pay with Vodafone SmartPass, which was launched in partnership with Visa in 2013.

Source: Mobile World Live