First commercial 5G magnetic levitation network test claimed to be completed by ZTE and China Telecom

ZTE Corporation announced that with China Telecom it has claimed to jointly launched the world’s first commercial 5G maglev (magnetic levitation) high-speed network test in Shanghai, China.

The test measured communications within a train travelling at a maximum speed of 500km/h (312 mph). During the test, the 5G commercial terminal was stable and easy to support various high performance mobile broadband services, demonstrating that the 5G network can provide high-speed maglev trains with ideal broadband communications.

Shanghai Maglev is the world’s first maglev line for commercial operation and at present it is also the fastest commercial high-speed train. It has been a business card for Shanghai and even for China since its operation. Built together by China Telecom and ZTE, an international provider of telecoms, enterprise and consumer technology solutions for the mobile internet, the 5G network uses a full set of ZTE 5G system equipment, perfectly enabling passengers to get high-speed data access on a quick journey and enjoy services like mobile working, video conferencing, HD/UHD video or interactive games, ensuring a brand-new communication experience.

Due to special scenario restrictions, providing high-quality network coverage for high-speed trains has always been a challenge for both operators and equipment vendors. When a 5G network is deployed in a higher frequency than 2G, 3G and 4G networks, the situation will be even less ideal. To solve these problems, ZTE and China Telecom have made breakthroughs in multiple aspects by constantly challenging the technical limits through technological discussions and tests.

With proprietary doppler frequency shift channel compensation technology, wireless channel deterioration caused by high-speed movement is eliminated. The solution can support a moving speed of over 500 KM/h, meeting the speed requirements of various high-speed trains. Besides, Multi-RRU (Remote Radio Unit) combination can realise single cell 6-12km belt shape coverage, reduce 90% of inter-cell handover and ensure continuous and stable access.

Compared with the traditional 2T2R solution, ZTE is the first to introduce 8T8R RRU for high-speed railway coverage in the 5G industry. Multi-channel equipment, combined with 5G featured channels and beam scanning technology, can enhance the coverage significantly. It is also worth mentioning that the solution is implemented through technical innovation at the base station network side and has no special requirements for terminals.

The 5G network solution used for the Shanghai Maglev line can provide a complete set of network equipment for HSR (High Speed Rail) broadband communication. The radio units can support global mainstream 5G bands like N41 and N78. The top speed of Shanghai Maglev train is the highest among commercial trains in the world, which implies that this 5G network solution can be applied to various high-speed railways and maglev lines worldwide and has great market potential.

Over the years, ZTE and China Telecom have jointly provided broadband information channels for high-speed rail transit. LTE coverage has been deployed for multiple high-speed railway lines, which was highly appraised by users. Going forward, the two parties will continue to optimise the commercial performance of the 5G networks and steadily promote tests and verification according to specific service characteristics to facilitate ubiquitous high-speed broadband access.

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Iotic raises €7.5mn to drive growth of digital twin technology used by Rolls-Royce Power Systems and Bam Nuttall

Cambridge-based Iotic has secured investment of €7.5 million (UK£6.5 million) to accelerate growth and meet increasing demand for its pioneering digital twin technology.

Iotic enables enterprises and their ecosystems of assets, objects, companies and people to interact automatically and securely. The digital software company provides the secure operating environment and tools to create digital twins of any thing, enabling their secure interactions and building true interoperable ecosystems.

The investment from leading European VCs; IQ Capital, Talis Capital and Breed Reply, will drive rapid deployment, deepen channel partnerships and expand market adoption of its patented Iotic Operating Environment, Twin technology and Event Analytics. The funding will allow Iotic to capitalise on its patented technology and unique market position.

The Iotic vision is a world where any thing can interact with any other thing – from the smallest sensor, to the largest power station, engine, train and plane along with people, suppliers and customers. The digital version of a thing, the Twin, has access to all its data and controls throughout its entire life, converting those end points into meaningful events – empowering enterprises to deliver on the promise of AI and Machine Learning, and to truly be digital.

Robin Brattel

The investment enables Iotic to build on its global pipeline of enterprise customers, including Rolls-Royce Power Systems and BAM Nuttall, who have deployed Iotic’s technology to overcome fractured, inflexible IT infrastructure and data management problems to solve significant business challenges and create new services and better customer experiences.

Robin Brattel, CEO of Iotic said, “This investment is a further major endorsement of our Operating Environment and tools and the business strategy behind them. Having already secured a number of high-profile clients, we are focused on further development and scaling – initially targeting high-value manufacturing, construction and infrastructure sectors. Our longer-term vision is for our interoperable Twins and their Event Streams to be incorporated into every single technology stack that will help to underpin digital transformation and to deliver a strong return on investment for our customers.”

Ed Stacey

Founded in 2014 out of Cambridge, growing enterprise and channel demand globally has opened up new markets enabled by Iotic’s new North American operations hub in Raleigh, North Carolina. This has been supported by the expansion of the management team with the hiring of new COO Hans Weinberg, (previously CIO at ABB, North America), and Kathy Reppucci, (who joins Iotic as VP Marketing from IBM) to deliver global integrated marketing strategies.

Ed Stacey, partner, IQ Capital, commented: “Iotic is a leader in interoperable technology, which is the biggest evolution of data management since relational databases. This technology will underpin future digital transformation projects in manufacturing and many other industries, enabling companies to integrate their data streams much more easily, securely and flexibly, and at any level of scale. These disruptive characteristics are exactly what IQ Capital looks for in the businesses it invests into, and we look forward to Iotic leading the market with this entirely new product category.”

Matus Maar

According to Matus Maar, co-founder & managing partner, Talis Capital, “Since working [...]

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How data quality makes IoT projects more profitable

Global technology spending on the Internet of Things (IoT) is expected to reach $1.2 trillion (€1 trillion) in 2022, led by industries such as discrete manufacturing $119 billion (€108 billion), process manufacturing $78 billion (€70.8 billion), transportation $71 billion (€64.5 billion) and utilities $61 billion (€55.4 billion).

Indeed, the market for Industry 4.0 products and services is expected to grow significantly over the next few years – and over 60% of manufacturers are expected to be fully connected by that time, utilising a change of technologies such as RFID, wearables and automated systems, says Ramya Ravichandar, VP Products, FogHorn.

Although the industry anticipates positive growth in current and upcoming IoT and IIoT projects, some significant challenges still need to be addressed in order to fully win customer trust and move pilot projects into successful, large-scale IoT productions. While many see connectivity limitations, security risks, and data bias, including data quantity, issues as roadblocks to IoT success, we have found data quality also plays a critical role in delivering effective IoT projects.

What is data quality – and how does it impact deployment success?

Data quality plays a vital role in the increasing adoption of IoT devices in three main ways:

Organisations can only make the right data-driven decisions if the data they use is correct and suitable for the use case at hand.
Poor-quality data is practically useless – and can lead to severe issues, such as inaccurate machine learning models, inaccurate decision-making, or deficient ROI.
Specifically, the classic problems of garbage in/garbage out resurfaced with the increase of artificial intelligence and machine learning applications.

High-quality data feeds, trains, and tunes machine learning (ML) models to empower IoT-enabled factories to make informed data-driven decisions.

For example, the unexpected failure of a steam turbine can create a critical disruption, damage, and economic loss to both the power plant and the downstream power grid. Predictive machine learning models, trained on high-quality data sets, help these industrial organisations maximise the reliability of their equipment by detecting potential failures before significant problems arise.

However, dirty data, including data that is missing, incomplete, or error-prone, leads organisations to make inconvenient, time-consuming, and expensive mistakes. In fact, according to The Data Warehouse Institute (TDWI), dirty data costs U.S. companies around $600 billion (€545 billion) every year. It is a fact that about 80% of a data scientist’s job is focused on data preparation and cleansing to ensure that the ML models provide the right insights.

Looking ahead, organisations must incorporate methodologies to ensure the completeness, validity, consistency, and correctness of its data streams to enhance insight quality, deploy effective IoT projects, and realise optimal ROI.

So, what role does edge computing play in data quality?

Industrial sensors come in many different types and collect high volumes, varieties, and velocities of data, including video, audio, acceleration, vibration, acoustic, and more. If an organisation is able to successfully align, clean, enrich and fuse all these various data streams, it can significantly improve the efficiency, health, and safety of their operations. However, to paint a complete, accurate picture of the factory operations, organisations [...]

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Where are the missing 41 billion IoT devices?

Cisco predicted that 50 billion devices would be connected by 2020 and, despite the enthusiasm for IoT, we are still massively short of this with current estimates at around 9 billion. Research indicates that this is primarily due to IoT projects being more challenging than anticipated, with 60% of organisations saying they underestimated the complexity involved, particularly when deploying IoT at scale.

From hardware design and testing to connectivity, data management and global technical support, there are many obstacles to overcome. With most organisations lacking in-house IoT expertise, they need to rely on global specialists that can help navigate this complicated landscape.

Download this insightful whitepaper to learn about 5 key steps which will help you anticipate and overcome the challenges your IoT project will face.

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New Gemalto and Eseye solution to ease IoT deployment with zero-touch global connectivity

A fully automated, direct IoT ‘Device-to-Cloud’ solution has been launched by Gemalto and Eseye. It is designed to simplify the process of onboarding an IoT device into AWS IoT Core securely.

The Intelligent Cloud Connect solution has been announced by Eseye, specialists in ubiquitous global IoT connectivity, and has been developed in partnership with Gemalto, a Thales company. It will be formally launched and demonstrated at AWS re:Invent in Las Vegas, Nevada from December 2-6.

To realise the benefits of IoT, organisations need to navigate an enormously complex ecosystem and a fragmented value chain. With many development hurdles to cross, typically it can take an average of two years to launch a new IoT solution, while many projects are paralysed by complexity and even struggle to make it to market.

With the new Intelligent Cloud Connect solution, Eseye and Gemalto are fundamentally disrupting the IoT ecosystem with a collaborative IoT Connectivity Platform, which cuts through the complexity of IoT and enables new product development timelines to be reduced from 2 years to less than six months.

The foundation of this first solution developed in partnership is Gemalto’s ground-breaking Cinterion PLS62-W Global IoT Module which comes pre-installed with Eseye’s market leading intelligent AnyNet Secure SIM, also provided by Gemalto.

Each AnyNet Secure SIM comes pre-programmed to leverage Eseye’s unique network switching as a service platform, delivering near 100% global cellular connectivity. As each Intelligent Cloud Connect device is powered-on a dedicated embedded application automatically and securely connects directly to AWS IoT Core, delivering ‘plug and play’ global IoT connectivity.

Anand Gandhi, VP of Worldwide Channels & Alliances at Eseye, comments, “This partnership will change the way IoT devices are developed and deployed in the future. Intelligent Cloud Connect vastly reduces the complexities of creating an IoT device and then directly connecting it to the cloud, saving customers significant resources and time, whilst giving them a distinct competitive advantage.”

Andreas Haegele

Andreas Haegele, VP IoT at Gemalto, a Thales company, comments, “Our customers can now follow a quick and easy process to deliver IoT data securely to the cloud with confidence. It paves the way for massive innovation and marks a watershed moment for the IoT industry, which can now accelerate the deployment of secure IoT solutions at previously unachievable speeds.”

Intelligent Cloud Connect allows customers to develop a single IoT product SKU for any application that connects out-of-the-box on power-up to any mobile network in the world, while offering seamless and secure data provisioning to the AWS IoT Core. This means it is now possible to have an IoT device automatically activated and fully connected to AWS in less than 10 minutes.

The platform handles zero-touch IoT security certification with AWS IoT Core, as well as lifecycle device management, allowing customers to manage global device estates through a single pane of glass. With this solution the complexity of balancing bandwidth, data plans and negotiating multiple Mobile Network Operator (MNO) contracts is completely removed, providing customers with only one single bill for consumed MQTT messages, which can be purchased [...]

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Georgia Tech Internet of Things Research Centre releases white paper on Digital Transformation

The Georgia Institute of Technology’s Centre for the Development and Application of Internet of Things Technologies (CDAIT) announces the release of a white paper that offers some pathways for business leaders as they explore digital transformation and the Internet of Things (IoT).

The study gives context for IoT and Digital Business Transformation (DBT) relative to ongoing digital change bounded on one hand by the basic digitalisation of information and processes and, on the other, the broader digital societal transformation that will enable a connected and digitally engaged society.

“The paper focuses on the business reinvention, opportunities and impacts brought about by pervasive digital change (across people, process, technology & environment) for which IoT technologies play a key role. It also explores some of the key DBT challenges, especially around IoT implementation and scale, and suggests frameworks for improving the approach to and efficacy of DBT programs and their IoT elements,” said Michelle Mindala-Freeman, former vice president in the Telecommunications, Media and Technology Practice at Capgemini, CDAIT Visiting Scholar and incoming chair of the CDAIT IoT Thought Leadership Working Group.

Supported by CDAIT research and members’ experience, the white paper underscores three foundational components related to digital transformation and IoT:

IoT projects must be defined, designed and delivered as part of a comprehensive DBT agenda and approach. The DIGIT framework outlined in the paper identifies the building blocks that are mission-critical to success, starting with setting and communicating a clear digital strategy.
The IoT end-to-end value chain is rich and complex, going well beyond devices, networks and applications. To create a more holistic view, the paper proposes the IMAGE model, which blends technological and non-technological aspects, all essential for delivering scale and benefits over time.
IoT and business leaders should take action now to ground their DBT programs in fast emerging value vectors such as Recycling and reuse (circular economy), Outcome-driven business models (outcome economy), and Integration (interconnected economy), i.e., the “new ROI”, which, if judiciously harnessed, will bolster up corporate return on investment.

“We recognise that creating and scaling digital transformation and IoT programs is extremely difficult to do; in particular when it comes to maintaining a big picture mindset while dealing with a myriad of related moving parts and details,” added Sebastien Lafon, former Global head of Digital and Marketing Services at Boehringer Ingelheim, CDAIT Visiting Scholar and vice chair of the CDAIT IoT Standards & Management Working Group. “We trust digital transformation leaders will find in this paper a useful and concrete set of guideposts.”

Anyone who is considering launching some kind of IoT-centered DBT initiative or has hit stumbling barriers or snags – be they business buy-in, deployment speed or value delivery – should be able to capitalise on the suggestions and lessons learned that are shared throughout the report.

“As a matter of course, we leverage industry insights from our members and Georgia Tech researchers to provide original perspectives on critical issues currently at the centre of the IoT space,” said Alain Louchez, co-founder and managing director of CDAIT.

“The white paper on digital transformation is [...]

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Transforma Insights launches to support enterprises on their Digital Transformation journey

Industry analysts Jim Morrish and Matt Hatton have announced the launch of their latest venture, Transforma Insights, a technology industry analyst firm focused on enterprise adoption of new technologies.

Technology-watchers will know Hatton and Morrish from their previous company, Machina Research, which rapidly established itself as the leading global advisory firm on the Internet of Things and Big Data. Transforma Insights, has a broader reach covering the whole of Digital Transformation.

Jim Morrish

“Across the enterprise technology market one missing component is an organisation to advise on the intersection of all of the new emerging technologies with existing enterprise processes” commented Morrish. “It’s impossible to focus on a single area of technology because they all overlap. For instance, today you can’t talk about IoT without also including discussions of AI, Product Lifecycle Management, Edge Computing and Data Sharing, amongst other things.”

The focus of Transforma Insights will be on providing decision tools for enterprise users who are engaged in their organisations’ Digital Transformation activities, whether that be project prioritisation, understanding best practice in deployments, or vendor selection. Transforma Insights will also offer comprehensive ‘total addressable market’ (TAM) forecasts for the dozen technology families that comprise Digital Transformation, alongside vendor benchmarking.

Matt Hatton

“We’re delighted to be back, with a sharpened focus on decision tools and end user needs” commented Hatton. “We have a set of new products in development which we will launch over the course of the next few months. We also have ambitious plans to expand the team rapidly.”

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Small manufacturers looking to be acquired must have IIoT

Small manufacturers, many of whom have been in business for decades and consistently generate $2 million (€1.8 million) to $20 million (€18.1 million) in annual revenue, are seeking an exit strategy. The founders of these companies are often critical suppliers in the industry sector supply chain including aerospace, aviation, automation, machining, and food production.

The founders of these firms are pushing 65 years of age or have already crossed that threshold. They are very good at what they manufacture, yet often have no clue what steps they should NOW take to prepare their company for sale, says Frances Brunelle, founder of Accelerated Manufacturing Brokers, Inc. There are specific factors that can make these small companies much for attractive to someone seeking to acquire the company.

It is not unusual for the larger company to acquire one of their suppliers; conversely a Tier 2 supplier may simply want to expand the product offering with a stable revenue generating existing company. These acquiring buyers are younger, business savvy, and monitor trends constantly (often online on their phones).

While the phrase IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) is not yet a decade old, business buyers are looking to see to what extent a small manufacturer has an Industry 4.0 IIoT implementation. Without the rudimentary elements of IIoT activated, it represents a cost that will be required upon purchase. It usually translates to a lower offering price for the business.

IIoT – Higher sales price for small manufacturers

While all the media coverage of IIoT is focused on the enterprise-wide application in Fortune 1000 companies, it is naive to ignore the fact that 94.7% of all manufacturing companies identify as small businesses, and 91% have fewer than 500 employees. Of course, the multi-million dollar investment by Fortune 1000 companies in IIoT will not resemble the applications for those $2 million (€1.8 million) – $20 million (€18.1 million) small manufacturers.

Frances Brunelle

Strategic IIoT is applicable and beneficial to small companies and has a direct impact on the attractiveness and sales price when being acquired. IIoT is brilliant at efficiencies by providing access to information. This is particularly true in a 50-person machine shop where searching for information to produce and fulfill orders is translated into late deliveries, dissatisfied customers, higher return rates, and the list goes on.

Sadly, most small manufacturers are still overwhelmed with data across spreadsheets, various software tools, and yes, paper. IIoT for small manufacturers allows them to leverage technology improving efficiency and demonstrate to a buyer the progressive forward-thinking organisation they are considering.

If IIoT did nothing more for small manufacturers than aligning the decision-making process via an accessible source of accurate data, it would be worth the investment. However, when selling a small manufacturing firm, it is a crucial and critical differentiator. The seller can easily recoup the technology investment in IIoT by asking and getting top dollar for the business.

The author is Frances Brunelle, founder, Accelerated Manufacturing Brokers, Inc

About the author

Frances Brunelle is the founder of Accelerated Manufacturing Brokers, Inc., specialising in the sale of lower middle market manufacturing companies nationally. Additionally, [...]

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