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”→
Vodafone NZ localizing its global IoT platform for New Zealand will help win domestic customers.
Overall, carriers need to move the IoT conversation away from connectivity to applications and outcomes to move up the value chain.
Earlier this week, Vodafone New Zealand announced it would be bringing new IoT capabilities to businesses in New Zealand. Specifically, the company has launched a local version of its IoT Global Data Service Platform (GDSP) called ‘Connect’ that will be delivered via Vodafone NZ’s XONE innovation labs. Vodafone NZ had previously offered only the global version of the IoT management platform, but updates to policy, software, and other support features could be hampered by latency issues. The move is important for Vodafone NZ’s ambition in the Kiwi IoT market. Rival carrier Spark has made recent investments into developing IoT solutions for New Zealand businesses that go beyond SIM management platforms. Spark now has productized solutions for asset tracking and management as well as a parking solution for both SME and enterprises. In a sign that it is gaining lost ground, Spark saw IoT connections grow 60% year over year to end June 2020. Vodafone NZ, however, is still the market leader in terms of connections and has the international advantage through its affiliate companies’ global networks. Localizing this solution will now help grow domestic-only customers with broader offers. Continue reading “IoT in New Zealand: About Outcomes, Not Networks”→
As more countries roll out contact tracing apps to notify citizens when they have come into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, concerns are emerging about how this data could be used.
Human rights organization Amnesty International called out the apps from Bahrain, Norway, and Kuwait for not anonymizing end-user data.
Amnesty International is issuing a warning that some of the new COVID-19 contact tracing apps may not just be an invasion of privacy but potentially put lives at risk. Contact tracing – the process of finding and notifying people who have interacted with an infected person so they can be tested and quarantine – is vital to allowing businesses, educational institutions, and governments to resume operations that are closer to normal even as the virus continues to spread. Continue reading “COVID-19: Some Countries Come Under Fire for the Potential Misuse of Contact Tracing Apps”→
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”→
• VirusBlockchain deployed this week to identify and monitor COVID-19 free zones
• The blockchain monitoring system is backed by technology provider Qlikchain
This week the tech industry partnered with a public health consortium to launch a blockchain-enabled monitoring system aimed at keeping communities at bay from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Public Health Blockchain Consortium (PHBC) announced the new system which monitors healthy, uninfected individuals as they move between locations in order to automatically identify zones that are safe or unsafe. The system is built on a blockchain solution which combines AI, geographical information systems (GIS), and real-time information systems provided by virus surveillance providers.
Companies that have yet to jump on the remote working bandwagon may have their hand forced due to the self-isolation and social separation measures put in place by their respective national governments.
We will undoubtedly see an uptick in the adoption of telehealth technologies, including remote monitoring.
On the 11th March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 (Coronavirus) a pandemic. As of writing, there have been over 130,000 cases reported across 123 countries, areas or territories and almost 5,000 deaths from the virus, which emanated from Wuhan in China. We have witnessed a wide variety of responses to the threat including mass self-isolation in Italy, travel bans, fiscal stimulus packages, health insurance policy allowances, business and school closures, and the cancellation of large events such as Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and HIMSS20 in Orlando, at which U.S. President Trump was scheduled to address the situation. Continue reading “COVID 19: Keep Calm and Corona On – A Global Perspective”→
Maxis is enhancing its IoT portfolio with Microsoft Azure to deliver solutions more efficiently and provide flexibility in the market.
While it is a positive move, Maxis could consider integrating Azure features into its IoT network, collaborate on MEC and strengthen its professional services capabilities.
Maxis recently announced its partnership with Microsoft to enhance its IoT portfolio (note: the partnership also includes cloud and UC, but this article discusses the IoT collaboration). Through the partnership, Maxis will be using Microsoft Azure IoT in its offering. Azure is ranked as ‘very strong’ by GlobalData in the ‘Enterprise IoT Platforms’ category and stands out with its development capabilities such as IoT Toolkit, its open source platform and initiatives with the developer community. Azure IoT is also used by many leading carriers in their IoT solutions, including AT&T, Singtel, Telstra and Vodafone. For Maxis, this partnership provides a significant upgrade to its previous M2M platform that has been in place for many years. Microsoft Azure IoT enables Maxis to address various limitations of its IoT solutions, such as offering more flexible and scalable deployments through the cloud-based platform. The AI, machine learning and analytics capabilities supported by Azure IoT provide the carrier with better data visibility and hence enable the carrier deliver its IoT solution more efficiently. The open source and API capabilities provide Maxis a platform to expand its vertical offerings and offer better integration with customers’ existing systems. Besides, the Azure Stack and IoT Edge enable Maxis to offer low-latency applications and address the growing edge-compute demand. However, the Microsoft Azure IoT platform will not sell by itself and the partnership is not exclusive. Besides viewing this as a platform upgrade, Maxis should look at other ways to achieve differentiation in its IoT business. Continue reading “Maxis Strengthens Its IoT Portfolio with Microsoft Azure”→
• MWC is nearly upon us and GlobalData consumer, infrastructure, and enterprise technology analysts are anticipating the major topics and themes to be showcased at this year’s event.
• While 5G and IoT have been the two big (and broad) themes at the last two shows, this year’s focus may be more granular and, hopefully, will be based more on real-world solutions than on hype, as these technologies start to mature.
Every year at MWC, analysts prepare for a diverse array of one on one meetings, booth tours, and occasionally inspiring keynotes and panel discussions, as well as a barrage of media and marketing events aimed at getting analysts excited about new products and services and turning these into “story” ideas.
Assuming that coronavirus doesn’t further disrupt the event by the time it is scheduled (February 24th-27th) it is fairly easy to anticipate what we will see there. Like the last two years, this year’s show is going to be focused a lot on 5G, on IoT, and on new and improved offerings for both consumers and enterprises, including devices, services, applications, and infrastructure solutions. But since this is the third year in a row that 5G and IoT are the major themes (which is not surprising as MWC remains a show about the mobile industry and these technologies dominate the news cycle), we are hoping that this year will be more about the real world and less about the hype. Clearly IoT has been around for a long time, but has been somewhat disappointing so far in terms of revenues to the provider ecosystem. 5G has barely gotten started, but is already dominant in the service and product discussions of mobile operators and equipment vendors. Continue reading “What to Expect at MWC 2020 for the Enterprise”→