Vodafone’s data analytics strategy continues to focus on both internal and external opportunities to harvest data (including aggregated, anonymized customer data) for increased efficiency and monetization.
Its update briefing for analysts was notable more about its progress in the latter.
IoT is reducing costs, eliminating waste, and improving quality across the agriculture sector.
The next step is automation, with 5G-enabled robots in Sweden poised to get their hands dirty in the field.
There is now an autonomous ‘field robot’ which can pull weeds faster – and presumably more accurately – than any farmworker, at least according to Ekobot AB’s ‘precision agriculture’ tagline. The smart agriculture approach, which utilizes artificial intelligence, automation, and the public 5G network, should reduce costs and improve performance of the farm. Ekobot’s mission is to be able to offer practical and sustainable solutions to agricultural issues while reducing workloads with autonomous tools for vegetable farmers. Continue reading “Robot Farmers Will Require 5G, but Agriculture Is Already Getting Smart with IoT”→
‘Service robots’ are coming outdoors as 5G enables operation beyond the range of WiFi.
In Europe, early trials in the Nordics point towards both industrial and B2C use cases.
When 5G networks were first deployed in China, mobile robots were wheeled out almost immediately, demonstrating the possibilities of using the wireless network to control connected devices beyond the range of WiFi. As early as February of last year, makeshift hospitals set up in Wuhan to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic were using robots to perform ultrasonic scans, while on streets around the country, 5G-enabled robots were providing body temperature testing, spraying disinfectants, cleaning surfaces, and delivering prescriptions.
Private 5G networks using unlicensed spectrum could play a major role in the digital transformation of business operations, especially within industrial sectors. Having opened up the market, German regulator Bundesnetzagentur (BNetzA) has already received 78 applications, all but four of which have been assigned.
A published list of private spectrum buyers is intended to let enterprises know who else has been approved, in order to avoid interference from overlapping use of radio frequencies in local deployments. So far, it is mostly network consulting and engineering specialists along with research and educational institutions that have gone public with their private spectrum applications.
IoT’s role in Industry 4.0 isn’t about making connectivity or sensors smarter. It’s about making an enterprise’s operations smarter, integrating advanced control and automation capabilities by connecting industrial assets.
Increasingly, that means updating and connecting existing industrial control systems, with the promise of further automating thousands of operational endpoints.
Top Industry 4.0 applications include basic on/off commands and security functions.
Optimization of processes and of productivity is the main benefit that manufacturers see.
Is the Internet of Things (IoT) getting smarter? That is often how ‘Industry 4.0’ is described as digital technology is deployed in production or other industrial processes to take advantage of advanced platforms and devices (including analytics, automation, and artificial intelligence). Differing from machine-to-machine (M2M) solutions that use network connectivity simply to monitor the condition or location of an object, Industry 4.0 goes further to describe applications which actually control or operate connected things via networked connectivity. While sometimes the connected ‘thing’ refers to newer machines and devices such as robots, autonomous guided vehicles (AGV), or augmented and mixed reality (AR/MR) headsets worn by industrial workers, the ‘thing’ might also refer to core production equipment that has been installed for decades. Either way, the aims of Industry 4.0 remain the same: connecting machines to provide essential information and insights to allow companies to make smarter decisions, automate processes, and reach specific ROI goals related to efficiency and cost control. Continue reading “Industry 4.0 and the Promise of Smarter Operations Using IoT”→
The smart city is one of the key use cases for the Internet of Things (IoT), with the connected urban environment and infrastructure providing benefits to both local government and its citizens.
LoRaWAN is especially useful in large-scale, integrated smart city deployments because of its availability, cost, and reach.
While the public sector isn’t usually considered the most advanced technology vertical, until recently, it accounted for more Internet of Things (IoT) deployments than any other. Much of that activity has been focused on the smart city, where local governments – and their contracted agencies – have sought to use connectivity to monitor, track, or control city assets, with an overall goal of providing citizens with more efficient services. Continue reading “Powering the Integrated Smart City with LoRaWAN”→
Surveillance tools are being used for maintaining health and safety as public beaches reopen in Europe this summer, but connected video cameras are only counting people and their locations, not scrutinizing their actions or identities.
Telefonica in Spain and Citymesh in Belgium have both announced new solutions this week.
Just as retailers and restaurants are limiting the number of customers entering their locations at any one time, local authorities are also seeking a way to safely re-open public spaces such as playgrounds and beaches as stay-at-home restrictions are gradually lifted. Limiting numbers of people in a given space is seen as essential to maintaining social distancing in the wake of the first wave of the coronavirus, in order to prevent it from spreading and causing new cases of COVID-19. While people-counting sensors at doorways and gates are useful in spaces with controlled or dedicated entry points, open spaces are more difficult to monitor – especially in beach environments where visitors arrive from multiple directions and where access is not tightly controlled. Continue reading “COVID-19: Mitigation Comes Ashore – Video Monitoring for Social Distance Management on European Beaches”→
• Mobile operators have been offering aggregated location data for several years, with limited uptake from sectors like tourism, retail, and transportation.
• Those big data analytics solutions could be very useful to authorities and essential services in fighting COVID-19.
Telecom providers are finding their networks used in different ways since the start of measures being taken to limit the spread of COVID-19. For mobile operators, that now includes the use of user location data analytics to help governments and other entities to understand—and fight—the spread of the virus.
In the last three or four years, mobile network operators have been investing in big data analytics technologies in order to leverage the potential value of the vast amount of network and user data they collect. Accessing the technology was the easy part: the availability of open source tools, hyperscale cloud platforms, and investments already being made in the telcos’ own digital transformations led to innovative solutions launching as early as 2014. Some players in Europe went further, acquiring analytics start-ups and digital consulting firms, helping them to offer both standardized solutions providing insights on visitors, events, and journeys, as well as customized projects. Continue reading “COVID-19: Using Mobile User Location Data to Understand and Mitigate the Pandemic”→
• The biggest regional change in 2019 was the frequency of deployments with a global remit, most of which are undertaken by global companies operating in multiple countries and regions around the world.
• In 2019, the most common project goal for IoT deployments was improved operational efficiencies (79% of all deployments), while advanced automation was the most common use case.
GlobalData has been tracking data on deployments of Internet of Things (IoT) technology by enterprise organizations for several years, via its IoT Deployment Database. While collecting available data on deployment projects undertaken in 2019 will continue throughout 2020 as more information becomes available, the data collected so far provides useful insights on where activity is occurring regionally, by sector, and for each common use case. Below are highlights—including how enterprise IoT market activity in 2019 looks compared to the previous three years. Continue reading “IoT Deployment Trends in 2019”→