Tag Archives: WiFi

Battle of the IoT networks: Cellular versus Wi-Fi – IoT Agenda

When it comes to the internet of things, perhaps the key enabling technology is wireless networking technologies. Without the two primary wireless data networking technologies — cellular and Wi-Fi — almost every IoT device would require a wired connection to the internet, dramatically limiting the ability of developers to create IoT applications that deliver value to businesses and consumers.

However, thanks to these two wireless networking technologies, IoT is big and getting bigger — research firm Gartner forecasted that in 2017, 8.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide, with this number reaching 20.4 billion by 2020. With as many as 10 billion additional connected devices forecast to be deployed over the next three years, IoT application developers face an important question as the market continues to mature — given each technology’s bandwidth, cost, coverage and security characteristics, should they design their IoT applications to use cellular, Wi-Fi or both?

Coverage

While the differences between Wi-Fi and cellular in terms of bandwidth and cost have been narrowing or disappearing, cellular is expanding on its coverage advantages. By definition, Wi-Fi is a local area network (LAN) which provides great coverage in a very limited area. Yet, the moment a connected device leaves that area, coverage is lost, which results in significant design limitations for IoT application developers. On the other hand, cellular data coverage today is extensive and growing, as wireless network operators compete with each other to offer better coverage to their customers. In addition, standard low-power wide-area (LPWA) cellular IoT technologies (LTE-M and NB-IoT) provide deeper coverage than traditional cellular technologies, expanding cellular connectivity to underground spaces, buildings and rural environments. While LPWA is new, it is rapidly being embraced by network operators, as upgrading 4G LTE infrastructure to support LPWA only requires a simple software update. For developers who want to deploy IoT applications around the world or to remote, underground or similar hard-to-reach locations, cellular provides clear advantages — advantages that will only grow over the coming years.

Security

When evaluating the security differences between Wi-Fi and cellular, one must always remember that no network can ever be made 100% secure. Nonetheless, cellular does possess several security advantages over Wi-Fi. First, all cellular data is encrypted by default. Wi-Fi data can be encrypted, but this encryption has to be turned on. This introduces human error into the Wi-Fi security equation, and as seen in recent cybersecurity attacks, such human-error related vulnerabilities can and will be exploited by cybercriminals. In addition, cellular security updates are made by network operators who have dedicated cybersecurity staff in place and very strong financial and reputational incentives to ensure such updates are made as quickly as possible. However, Wi-Fi depends on individual Wi-Fi network owners to make security updates, and it is easy for individual Wi-Fi network owners to delay or overlook these updates. The problem with overlooking such updates was recently demonstrated by the Key Reinstallation AttaCK, aka KRACK, on the key exchange handshakes used in the Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) and Wi-Fi Protected Access II (WPA2) security protocols. Another security issue with Wi-Fi is cybercriminals can create “fake” Wi-Fi networks that unsuspected device owners connect to, allowing these criminals to hack into these owners’ devices. While creating fake cellular networks is theoretically possible, cellular’s built-in security advantages, as well as size and scale of network operators, make the creation of similar fake cellular networks much more difficult. As cyberattacks continue to increase, cellular’s security advantages give it a leg up on Wi-Fi for developers building applications where security is a key design consideration.

Bandwidth

For years, Wi-Fi had a significant advantage in bandwidth over cellular, with older 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi technologies offering speeds up to 450 megabits per second and the newer 802.11ac Wi-Fi technology offering speed up to 1.3 gigabits per second (Gbps). However, cellular technologies based on the 4G LTE standard are now as fast as 1 Gbps, making cellular bandwidth comparable with Wi-Fi. In addition, while new Wi-Fi technologies based on the 802.11ax standard promise speeds of up to 10 Gbps, new cellular technologies using the 5G standard will offer similar speeds. With cellular now able to come close, if not match, Wi-Fi in regard to bandwidth, when it comes to video and other high-bandwidth IoT applications, there is little to no difference between the two technologies on speed.

Security, bandwidth and coverage are not the only capabilities developers need to consider when deciding whether they their IoT applications should use cellular, Wi-Fi or both, but they might be the most important. In terms of cost and bandwidth, cellular has in recent years caught up to Wi-Fi, and today Wi-Fi’s advantages in these areas are minimal or non-existent. However, when it comes to coverage and security, cellular has significant advantages over Wi-Fi, advantages that it will build on over the coming years.

Despite these advantages, Wi-Fi is not going away anytime soon. Wi-Fi has a strong established base in most households, and the fact there are no additional costs to connect multiple devices to a Wi-Fi network means that Wi-Fi will likely continue to be used for many consumer and smart home IoT applications over the coming years. In addition, with costs coming down for both technologies, building IoT applications that support both Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity is an increasingly attractive option for developers looking to cover all their bases and differentiate their consumer versus enterprise-level services. However, with cellular increasingly equal to or better than Wi-Fi in terms of bandwidth, cost, coverage and security, many developers who previously might have only considered Wi-Fi for their IoT applications are likely to be looking at, if not switching to, cellular over the coming years.

Source: Philippe Guillemette Sierra Wireless – IoT Agenda

Manchester scientists develop graphene sensors that could revolutionise the Internet of Things

Sensors

Researchers at The University of Manchester have devised graphene sensors embedded into RFIDs, which have the potential to revolutionise the Internet of Things (IoT).

By layering graphene-oxide (a derivative of graphene) over graphene to create a flexible heterostructure the team have developed humidity sensors for remote sensing with the ability to connect to any wireless network.

Graphene was the world’s first two-dimensional material isolated in 2004 at The University of Manchester, it is stronger than steel, lightweight, flexible and more conductive than copper.

Since then a whole family of other 2D materials have been discovered and continues to grow.

Using graphene and other 2D materials, scientists can layer these materials, similar to stacking bricks of Lego in a precisely chosen sequence known as van der Waals heterostructures to create high-performance structures tailored to a specific purpose.

As reported in Scientific Reports, the groundbreaking nature of this development is that such sensors can be printed layer-by-layer for scalable and mass production at very low cost. The device also requires no battery source as it harvests power from the receiver.

Sensors with a RFID enabler are at the heart of the IoT. This new development can provide various applications such as battery-free smart wireless monitoring for manufacturing processes that are sensitive to moisture, food safety, healthcare and nuclear waste.

The developed technique has the potential to simplify how the information is gathered through its wireless system, nor is it is limited to a particular wireless network and has the ability to be compatible with networks including WiFi and 5G.

Dr Zhirun Hu who led the work said: The excitement does not end with this new application here, but leads to the future possibilities of integrations of this technique with other 2D materials to open up a new horizon of wireless sensing applications.

Professor Sir Kostya Novoselov, who won the Nobel Prize in Physics and coordinated the project, added: It is the first example of the printable technology where several 2D materials come together to create a functional device immediately suitable for industrial applications. The Internet of Things is the fast growing segment of technology, and I’m sure that 2D materials will play an important role there.

Advanced materials is one of The University of Manchester’s research beacons – examples of pioneering discoveries, interdisciplinary collaboration and cross-sector partnerships that are tackling some of the biggest questions facing the planet. #ResearchBeacons

 


Virgin Atlantic becomes the first airline in Europe to be fully WiFi connected

virigin_atlantic_dreamliner_cropped_1

 First airline in Europe to offer WiFi on all services – a year ahead of competitors

  • To celebrate Virgin Atlantic will host a series of #livefromvirgin events streamed from the sky
  • With partner Delta Air Lines, up to 39 flights per day across the transatlantic now offer WiFi

Virgin Atlantic has become the first airline in Europe to offer WiFi across its entire fleet – ensuring customers can remain connected across flights to and from the US, Caribbean, Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

From today millions of customers travelling with Virgin Atlantic will be able to email, browse and socialise at 35,000ft from as little as £2.99 as the airline completes its ambitious WiFi programme – at least a year ahead of other European long haul carriers.

To celebrate being the first European airline to boast a fully WiFi connected fleet, Virgin Atlantic will be kicking off a summer long series of fun events from the sky, connecting together with #LiveFromVirgin.

Using a combination of Panasonic and Gogo technology, WiFi is now available across the fleet of 39 aircraft and connectivity is available above 10,000ft so customers will be able to connect shortly after take-off, and remain online until shortly before landing.

Results so far have shown that 42% of customers opt for the WiFi max package which lasts the entire flight, and the most popular routes for WiFi use are London Heathrow to New York (JFK), San Francisco and Atlanta.

Mark Anderson, Executive Vice President, Customer at Virgin Atlantic, said: “From today customers flying around the world with Virgin Atlantic can work and play throughout their flight as we become the first airline in Europe to offer a fully WiFi enabled fleet.”

“Innovation has always been in our blood and we’ve worked closely with WiFi providers to develop the fastest, most reliable connection across the Atlantic, and are the first carrier to offer WiFi between the UK and the Caribbean, China and Africa.”

“And of course we wouldn’t be Virgin Atlantic if we weren’t going to signify this moment with something special, so we’ve planned a summer of spectacular #LiveFromVirgin events for our customers. Keep an eye out on our social channels for your chance to get involved.”

Whilst WiFi has been commonplace on domestic carriers there’s been a challenge for the industry to find reliable connections over vast expanses of ocean – such as the Atlantic. Unlike flying over Europe or the US the signal cannot come from the ground, and instead has to be transmitted to aircraft from satellites.

The airline is using a combination of two WiFi providers across the network; customers travelling on the 787 will use WiFi from Panasonic, while the A330s, 747s, A340-600s are powered by Gogo technology.

Wi-Fi prices

Aircraft Pass Price What you get
787 WiFi light £4.99 40MB data
WiFi max £14.99 150MB data
A330, A340, 747 Messaging Pass £2.99 Messaging access throughout flight
WiFi light £4.99 One hour internet access
WiFi max £14.99 Full flight internet access 

As of today, Virgin Atlantic and partner Delta Air Lines will be the only fully connected transatlantic joint venture – keeping business customers and holidaymakers connected on up to 39 transatlantic flights per day.

Source: Virgin Atlantic

1.75bn citizens in the world’s eight richest countries remain unconnected

wifi-cellular

 A new study by the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) reveals a staggering 1.75bn citizens in the world’s eight richest countries (by GDP) remain unconnected – with 34% residing in major urban centers. The report, launched today, highlights that the digital divide remains a global problem, despite the fact, that driving universal connectivity is a common priority for all countries.

This study undertaken by IHS Markit to mark World Wi-Fi Day, explores the levels of urban and rural connectivity across eight major countries: Brazil, China, Germany, India, Japan, Russia, the UK and the USA. It also uncovers the challenges faced and the initiatives being implemented by five of the world’s major cities: Delhi, London, Moscow, New York and Sao Paulo.

Key findings from the report reveal:

  • Delhi and Sao Paulo have the largest number of unconnected citizens. 29% (5.331 million) of the population of Delhi are unconnected, 36% in Sao Paolo, (4.349 million) are unconnected
  • London is the most connected city, with just 7% of citizens unconnected (625,336)
  • 19% of people in New York City are unconnected (1.600 million), while 10% of people in Moscow are unconnected (1.231 million)

Internet adoption has been faster in cities than in rural areas, however urban areas still face significant challenges to expanding internet users. These challenges include limited spending power, lack of availability of technology, lack of awareness of benefits gained from using the internet, and also, IT literacy levels.
In both developing and mature markets, availability of affordable internet services is still an obstacle to connectivity. Even among those countries with higher average salaries, the existence of economic and social divides significantly shapes the issue of the digital divide.

  • In New York, one of the greatest barriers to connectivity is the quality and affordability of internet connections
  • For Londoners, IT skills and an understanding of the benefits provided by being connected are, along with spending power, key challenges to internet adoption
  • Moscow has faced specific challenges related to infrastructure, developing an integrated approach to promoting internet adoption, and ensuring a high standard and quality of internet services.

The report also highlights the many benefits and opportunities unconnected individuals miss out, from generating savings to personal development as a result of not having access to information and education services. What’s more, digital inclusion is an engine for economic growth for cities, nations, and businesses of all sizes as it helps to attract investment, start new companies and stimulate innovation.
“Connectivity is now an essential commodity, much in the same category as power and water. Yet many people in some of the world’s major cities are still without an internet connection,” said Shrikant Shenwai, CEO of the WBA. “Wi-Fi is playing an instrumental role in helping cities bring wider and more affordable connectivity to its citizens. The WBA is committed to helping cities bridge the digital divide through initiatives like World Wi-Fi Day and our Connected City Advisory Board, and see Wi-Fi as key to bringing connectivity to everyone, everywhere.”
“The issue of the urban unconnected is of critical importance the economies and societies around the world. We call on Governments around the world to re-double their focus on connecting the urban unconnected. It’s vital that internet access becomes recognized as a human right, and that all stakeholders involved in the provision of broadband work together to make this happen,” added Shenwai.
World Wi-Fi Day was launched by the WBA in 2016 to help accelerate the deployment of affordable connectivity globally. The initiative encourages cities and government bodies, as well as operators, service providers, technology vendors and internet giants, to come together to deliver connectivity to everyone, everywhere.
For more information on World Wi-Fi Day, please visit worldwifiday.com. The full white paper, entitled ‘The Urban Unconnected’, is available to download here.

About the Wireless Broadband Alliance
Founded in 2003, the mission of the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) is to accelerate global leadership for enabling of wireless services that are seamless, secure and interoperable. Building on our heritage of Next Generation Hotspot (NGH) and carrier Wi-Fi, WBA will continue to drive and support the adoption of Next Generation Wireless services across the entire public Wi-Fi ecosystem, including IoT, Converged Services, Smart Cities, 5G, etc. Today, membership includes major fixed operators such as BT, Comcast and Charter Communications; seven of the top 10 mobile operator groups (by revenue) and leading technology companies such as Cisco, Microsoft, Huawei Technologies, Google and Intel.
The WBA Board includes AT&T, Boingo Wireless, BT, China Telecom, Cisco Systems, Comcast, Intel, KT Corporation, Liberty Global, NTT DOCOMO, Orange and Ruckus Wireless. For a complete list of current WBA members, please click here.

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Source: Wireless Boadband Alliance

Wifi and cloud based applications bring a new wave of car hacking

Wifi and cloud based applications bring a new wave of car hacking

tracker

Security researchers* have exposed security vulnerability in Mitsubishi Outlander hybrid cars that allowed hackers to remotely turn off the car’s alarm system, control the lights and drain the battery. Stolen vehicle recovery expert, TRACKER (part of the Tantalum Corporation), which has been a longstanding campaigner against vulnerable vehicle security systems, warns that in-car wifi and cloud based applications present a wide range of opportunities for thieves to attack, making it even more difficult  for modern vehicles to be completely secure from determined hackers.

Head of Police Liaison at TRACKER, and a former Chief Superintendent for South Yorkshire Police, Andy Barrs says, “The latest security breach, involving the Mitsubishi Outlander, demonstrates just how advanced thieves are in developing their tactics to tackle new technology. Although manufacturers are constantly developing new immobiliser technology, designed to outpace criminals and make new models significantly more secure, thieves will continue to look for new ways to outwit them, including exploiting telematics and mobile connectivity.

“Of late, standalone key programming theft tools have been making news headlines, but over the next decade, cloud-based theft tools that simply require internet connection are anticipated to dominate.  By hacking this type of technology thieves are able to easily target the most desirable models and steal to order, requiring no tools to enter or drive the vehicle away.”

TRACKER’s stolen vehicle recovery (SVR) device is the only solution used by all the UK’s police forces; it works like an electronic homing device.  A covert transmitter is hidden in one of several dozen places around the vehicle, and there is no visible aerial, so the thief won’t even know it’s there.   Uniquely, TRACKER combines GSM, GPS and VHF technology, which means it is able to locate a stolen vehicle anywhere, even when if it is hidden in a garage or shipping container.  It’s this matchless combination of technology that makes TRACKER’s SVR solutions resilient to ‘jamming’ – another commonly used tactic by car thieves – creating the most robust stolen car tracking and locating unit available.

Source: Tracker

AT&T and Porsche Enter Mult-Year Connected Car Agreement

porscheAT&T_logo

 

Companies to Deliver Wirelessly Connected Vehicles with Wi-Fi and Infotainment Services

AT&T* and Porsche Cars North America, Inc., are bringing high speed Internet to select 2017 models in the U.S. as a part of a new multi-year agreement.

AT&T will offer wireless connectivity on AT&T’s 4G LTE network in certain 2017 Porsche Macan, Boxster and 911 models. Porsche’s Connect Plus services, powered by AT&T, are either standard or an available option on a number of models and will include a Wi-Fi hot spot, navigation, news and weather alerts and other infotainment services. Customers will be able to connect up to 5 devices to the hot spot.

“Porsche’s technologies have advanced performance and spurred improved innovations within the automotive industry,” said Chris Penrose, senior vice president, Internet of Things, AT&T Business Solutions.  “Our work with Porsche will continue that innovative tradition and deliver a connected experience in their cars for drivers and passengers.”

Porsche customers can take advantage of Connect Plus services with a stand-alone plan.  Existing AT&T customers can easily share data among phones, tablets and their vehicles with Mobile Share Value or purchase a separate stand-alone plan. The cost for connecting Porsche vehicles equipped with Connect Plus to an existing Mobile Share Value plan is a $10 access charge per month.[1]

To learn more about IoT’s potential to transform business, visit www.att.com/iot

Source: AT&T

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

Metro RapidRide

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION FLEET ADMINISTERS MOBILE WIRELESS TO HI-TECH COMMUTERS

SUMMARY

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

COMPANY PROFILE

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

BUSINESS NEEDS

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

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

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

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

BENEFITS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Cradlepoint

 

Huawei outlines Smart City vision

Huawei-Logo

 

Chinese vendor giant Huawei today claimed the world is just at the first stage of the journey to smart cities, with a lot of information being gathered but not used very effectively because we haven’t yet connected vertical markets.

John Frieslaar, Huawei’s director of strategy and innovation, said he thinks smart cities is a journey that goes from connected cities, to smart cities to intelligent cities, which ultimately will be more sustainable.

“The journey is all about how you use the data, moving from using data to understanding what happened, to using it to change the future,” he said.

Delivering a keynote at the event, Frieslaar noted that it’s not about connectivity or broadband anymore. “It’s about digital transformation – how do we get the information and what do we do with it.”

In terms of smart services, he said many city councils are doing interesting and innovative things that are forcing the telecoms community to sit up and take note and figure out the new types of services that are required from the networks.

Trends like autonomous vehicles, the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing and 3D printing are impacting the way networks are developed and deployed.

Frieslaar said the broadband architecture for 2020 will be built on a number of major components such as 5G radio access, software defined networks that allow the granular switching of traffic flows, network function virtualisation and storing things in the cloud.

The main reason behind all this, he explained, is the demand to accelerate business through faster network innovation cycles and more rapid development of new services.

Smart cities are becoming a major driver of Huawei’s growth around the world, he said. “Cities like London are gong to the likes of BT and saying ‘can you provide me with these services, because right now your portfolio is not what I really want’.”

City councils agree that free WiFi access is important to engage with citizens and to spur economic growth. “Clearly from a telecommunications perspective, their needs are changing and a traditional telecoms portfolio of services is probably not what they want in the future. It’s the Internet of Things and the cloud of things that they’ll want over the next five years,” he said.

The IoT market is predicted to have 50 billion devices by 2025. He noted that the world manufactures more than one trillion industrial devices each year, so the potential of IoT could be far in excess of 50 billion.

He added that as we move into the IoT world with autonomous vehicles, processing needs to be more local. Networks will have to have at least two macro base stations in the area to provide redundancy. “The whole dynamic of how we build networks has to change.”

Source: Mobile World Live Joseph Waring

5G networking tests dramatically outpace 4G connectivity

A new form of mobile networking has been tested by Samsung, with the results proving that 5G could be up to 30 times faster than the current 4G connectivity, which is available to business mobile users in the UK.logo5g

The company revealed that the 5G system that it has been developing in-house is capable of achieving download speeds of 7.5Gbps. This news comes just a few days after it announced a next-gen Wi-Fi solution, which will be similarly impressive when compared to contemporary alternatives.

At 7.5Gbps, it is possible to download almost an entire gigabyte of data in a single second. And most importantly of all, this is the fastest 5G technology to be tested so far, which means that rival firms will no doubt up their game to try and lead the market, once this type of connectivity is embraced internationally.

The peak 7.5Gbps data rate is impressive, but the stability and reach of this technology is not yet at a level that will make it suitable for widespread use. A slower but more stable 5G service of around 1.2Gbps has been created by Samsung, which should be accessible to users even if they are travelling at speeds of around 60mph, making it suitable for commuters who are using public transport.

While Samsung’s form of 5G apparently uses the 28GHz network spectrum, which has been avoided in the past as a result of the relatively small range over which it can operate, the developer has apparently overcome these issues and will be working on five technologies in this area, which it intends to act as the foundation to the next step in mobile connectivity.

Network providers and industry regulators will inevitably have to get involved in the race for 5G, which means it is still going to be many years until end users can reap the benefits. But the promise of superfast mobile connectivity, which outstrips already impressive 4G performance, will be welcomed by business users as they move towards a mobility-led approach to working.

A report published this week by Global Wireless Solutions actually shows the extent to which commuters who work in London are being let down by the current crop of network providers. Analysts looked into the worst performing operators and found that many popular places within the commuter belt around the capital are being underserved by the fastest forms of connectivity.

In some instances, providers are still falling back on older 2G coverage in order to make up for gaps in 3G and 4G services. And while making voice calls and sending texts is generally possible from most places, faster connectivity is far from universally available.

Report spokesperson, Paul Carter, argues that transport providers and network operators should work together, to ensure that customers are able to get the kinds of connectivity options that are available to them at home or once they have actually arrived at the office.

The surprising fact, that most of the biggest providers still fall back on 2G to make up for gaps in coverage over well used train routes, is likely to be a cause for concern for any commuter.

Of course, wireless connectivity is innately problematic when applied over a large area, even with faster 4G and 5G services on the horizon. So tackling this problem requires a concerted effort on the part of the companies responsible for the infrastructure, while leaving customers in a tricky position with little option but to put up with black spots as they travel to and from the office in the UK on a daily basis.

Source: Daisy Group

Ruckus boss sees smart cities, big data and improved WiFi causing a commotion

Selina-RuckusSelina Lo, CEO of WiFi specialist Ruckus Wireless, talked up growing momentum for so-called ‘smart cities’ which combine wireless connectivity with big data analytics.

In the city of San Jose, which has deployed Ruckus’ WiFi kit, Lo told Mobile World Live that such a combination is improving quality of lives.

Having installed sensors for air quality, San Jose is combining that data with real-time traffic information and availability of public transport and parking. “By doing an analysis [of all the data gathered], residents can be given options on the best way to travel to work,” said the Ruckus boss.

There can also be economic benefits, argued Lo, simply by making free WiFi available in popular public locations. “By offering free WiFi in the downtown area you can draw people away from hotel rooms, encouraging them to go to restaurants and so on,” she said.

Another benefit of widespread WiFi, said Lo, is that cities might attract more convention business. Digital signage and smart meter connections are other advantages.

Lo is keen to emphasise, however, that Ruckus does not only provide WiFi infrastructure but has its own involvement in big data analytics.

At this year’s Mobile World Congress, Ruckus launched SPoT, its cloud-based location service. As well as recording the movement and location of devices that have WiFi switched on, SPoT can also provide analytics on the data gathered. Network operators might use that information, for example, to offer location-relevant content and retail deals to users.

As far as the company’s carrier WiFi business is concerned, Lo said she had seen “great traction” in the last 12 months, both from mobile and fixed-line players. She also predicts 2014 will be the year of Hotspot 2.0 implementation, with the likes of Boingo, Time Warner Cable and Orange Poland having already made big moves on the technology.

Hotspot 2.0 is focused on enabling a mobile device to automatically discover APs that have a roaming arrangement with the user’s home network and then securely connect, much like the cellular experience.

“Soon we’ll start to see roaming services between carriers and WiFi users won’t need to log on,” said Lo. “They’ll be automatically able to get onto WiFi whenever they want.”

To watch the full interview click here.

Source: Mobile World Live