Blueprint for convergence issued by Wireless Broadband Alliance showing critical role of Wi-Fi 6

Convergence between Wi-Fi and 5G access technologies is critical for enabling new breed of services, applications and experiences such as Industry 4.0, augmented & virtual reality (AR/VR), connected cities and Edge computing. This is according to the latest report from the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA), developed with input from mobile carriers, Wi-Fi providers, telecom manufacturers, and its own 5G

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5G SA networks trigger a new era in 5G security

How 5G SA disrupts the fundamental security landscape and explodes traditional mobile core architecture Until now, 5G hasn’t changed the security experience for mobile operators or any of their customers. That’s because the first 5G services all leverage the Non Stand Alone (NSA) 5G architecture that connects 5G radios to a 4G core. According to

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Renewed focus on digitisation and customer experience fuelling cautious optimism

New research shows that more than 90% of channel partners (CPs) agree customers are taking a more strategic, long-term, approach to their digital investments.

And 82% believe that digitally-equipped organisations are significantly less vulnerable to the impacts of the pandemic. Partnerships have been critical in keeping the country running, with 96% of CPs said to be remaining operational thanks to channel support.

BT and Cisco have published new research from the UK Channel, with 96% of respondents citing that customers are now taking a more strategic approach to digital investments. 91% of Channel respondents believe businesses are prioritising digital transformation plans for the foreseeable future.

The research reveals levels of optimism in the year ahead despite the current climate, with businesses continuing to adapt in response to evolving circumstances. This cautious optimism is leading to a greater emphasis being placed on the role of technology in underpinning resiliency, continuity and future competitiveness and growth.

The survey of senior decision-makers across 100 separate channel organisations shows that the biggest opportunities are perceived to be in helping businesses increase agility and flexibility; enhance customer experience; and drive efficiencies.

The positivity felt by businesses is balanced by caution, predominantly driven by the ongoing uncertainty from the Coronavirus pandemic. While the majority agree that managing costs is an immediate priority for most organisations the research also indicates a focus on changing customer needs.

Over two-thirds of respondents have seen increased demand for network bandwidth from customers; 62% increased demand for collaboration tools. A third have seen businesses demand shorter procurement times as businesses look to adopt tools far faster, in response to the changing situation.

Gavin Jones, channel sales director, BT’s Wholesale Unit, says, “The rapid digital acceleration from the outset of the pandemic has started to settle but the consistently evolving environment means businesses must continue to evaluate how best to progress. We’re seeing a shift in the way channel partners and their customers are considering a long-term strategic approach to digital investments, including permanent changes in working practices for distributed teams of people. The research indicates a desire and need to handle complex technology via third parties which presents a huge opportunity for channel growth and, more broadly, bodes well for the technology sector in Britain.

“At BT, we’re at the forefront of this technology revolution. We know there isn’t a one-size-fits-all, adding true value comes from understanding customer pain points and then developing innovative solutions to match. We’ve spoken with partners and our continued support throughout this period and beyond, has been the most comprehensive in the telecoms channel we’re dedicated to helping CPs and their customers to look forwards.”

Cisco UK’s CTO Chintan Patel, adds, “As the pandemic persists, it’s clear that channel partners and their customers are looking to transform their emergency digital responses for the long-term. CPs highlighted cost savings through automation, enhanced agility, flexibility, and increased security as key strategic benefits. As a result, the benefits and returns on these technology investments can be viewed as a dividend, giving UK businesses a return over the years to follow.”

A permanent change to the way we work

According to the channel, this demand for new technologies is rooted in customers’ rapidly shifting the way they work with offices being reimagined, and hybrid working models here to stay. 84% anticipate that the pandemic experience will transform company cultures for the long-term.

Providing employees with increased trust and more autonomy over where and how they operate is at the centre of this. CPs themselves experienced the benefits of remote working, with 90% reporting that their productivity is the same or higher than in the office.

When thinking about the future, nearly half (49%) believe that a new hybrid working model will prevail for customers, while 15% predict a predominantly virtual working model; an opportunity for technology providers to grow, by offering a new breed of solutions that empower remote working.

“A blend of old world and new world is where we’d like to get to as an organisation, taking the best of both situations into the future, according to Justin Coombes, marketing director at Gamma. “New benefits such as expanded talent pools and more flexible working conditions leading to higher productivity are just some of the advantages, so all businesses need to engage with the positive outcomes of hybrid working this year and beyond.”

Security a firm priority

The research also reveals clear concerns over increased cyber security issues which are emerging as a result of widespread remote working. Given the immediacy of this threat, 70% of CPs are looking for external support to help their customers combat cyber security threats and are increasingly looking towards managed service providers (MSPs) to assist them with this. Nearly half (44%) are prioritising relationships with suppliers which have strong cyber security ecosystems.

Rising to the challenge: How the channel should respond

Moving forward, the research shows the combined importance of technical support and commercial flexibility to channel resellers, reflecting the shift to digital, IP-based communications and away from a traditional telecoms approach. Many have already responded to the crisis by simplifying their offer. 

The research also makes clear the importance of the channel ecosystem in these challenging times, 96% of respondents claim their CPs were essential in keeping them operational during the first wave of coronavirus; 84% state that partners have provided additional support above and beyond expectations.

To read the full whitepaper report based on the research and longform interviews with BT Wholesale, Cisco UKI and Gamma, Click here.

Methodology

The research was a proprietary online survey, conducted in October 2020, via Coleman Parkes Research, that reached 100 senior decision makers at 100 different UK telecom CPs, spanning SMEs through to enterprise level organisations of 1,000+ employees. Additional information came from a number of structured, one-hour, in-depth interviews with senior personnel from BT Wholesale, Cisco UK and Gamma Group. The primary research was complemented by an extensive literature review covering all aspects of the UK pandemic experience in 2020.

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BICS board and Kurgan agree his departure, Gatta appointed new CEO and Burton to lead TeleSign

The board of directors of BICS (Belgacom International Carrier Services) and CEO, Daniel Kurgan have come to the mutual conclusion to end their collaboration. The board of directors has approved the appointment of Matteo Gatta as new CEO of the company. Gatta joins BICS from shareholder, Proximus where he was director of Network Strategy, Innovation & Partnerships with immediate

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Semtech releases digital baseband IC for worldwide LoRaWAN network coverage and capabilities

Semtech Corporation, a supplier of analogue and mixed signal semiconductors and advanced algorithms, has announced the LoRa Core portfolio with a new chipset. The LoRa Core portfolio provides global LoRaWAN network coverage and is targeted to several vertical industries including asset tracking, building, home, agriculture, metring, and factory automation.

The LoRa Core portfolio consists of sub-GHz transceiver chips, gateway chips and reference designs including SX126x series, SX127x series and LLCC68 transceiver chips, as well as the SX130x series gateway chips, legacy gateway reference designs and the LoRa Corecell gateway reference designs. Together, they represent the essential capability of Semtech’s LoRa devices including long range, low power and cost effective end-to-end communication.

New additions to the LoRa Core portfolio are a gateway baseband processor integrated with LoRa (SX1303) and an associated LoRa Corecell gateway reference design that supports the fine timestamp feature.

“The new LoRa Core gateway IC enables the network centric geolocation of LoRa devices without requiring the inclusion of GPS hardware at each individual end node. Based on a fine timestamp capability that provides accurate time of arrival information for each demodulated message, the new chipset allows gateways to perform network centric geolocation based on Time Difference of Arrival (TDOA).

This is ideal for several cost-sensitive asset tracking applications,” says Pedro Pachuca, director of wireless products in Semtech’s Wireless and Sensing Products Group. “The new LoRa Core IC helps customers accelerate the development of their applications operating the LoRaWAN protocol. Semtech is committed to delivering solutions to customers that simplify their application development cycle when using LoRa devices.”

The new LoRa Corecell gateway reference design, with fine timestamp, is available for U.S., Europe and China regions, and is designed to enable developers to produce gateways integrating LoRa with optimal bill-of-material (BOM) and the lowest power profile, while offering the latest performance for network centric geolocation.

Features of the new LoRa Core chipset (SX1303):

  • Provides accurate time of arrival information for each demodulated LoRa frame
  • Fine timestamp is a nano second resolution value references to a PPS (pulse per second) signal
  • Geolocation accuracy is around 75–150 metres depending on many different factors
  • Size and pin-to-pin compatible with LoRa Core SX1302
  • Featured for implementations leveraging the LoRaWAN protocol and worldwide sub-GHz bands
  • Up to -141dBm sensitivity with LoRa Core SX1250 Tx/Rx front-end
  • Unique 64-bit serialized number for identification and security purposes
  • Gateway offers lower power consumption and smaller size than legacy gateways

 Semtech’s LoRa platform

Semtech’s LoRa device-to-Cloud platform is a globally adopted long range, low power solution for IoT applications, enabling the rapid development and deployment of ultra-low power, cost efficient and long range IoT networks, gateways, sensors, module products, and IoT services worldwide. Semtech’s LoRa devices provide the communication layer for the LoRaWAN protocol, which is maintained by the LoRa Alliance, an open IoT alliance for Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) applications that has been used to deploy IoT networks in over 100 countries. Semtech is a founding member of the LoRa Alliance. To learn more about how LoRa enables IoT, visit Semtech’s LoRa site.

Semtech Corporation is a supplier of high performance analogue and mixed-signal semiconductors and advanced algorithms for infrastructure, high end consumer and industrial equipment. Products are designed to benefit the engineering community as well as the global community.

The Company is dedicated to reducing the impact it, and its products, have on the environment. Internal green programmes seek to reduce waste through material and manufacturing control, use of green technology and designing for resource reduction. Publicly traded since 1967, Semtech is listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol SMTC.

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u-blox ALEX-R5 integrates cellular and GNSS technology into a miniature SiP form factor with zero compromises

u-blox , a global provider of positioning and wireless communication technologies and services, has announced the ALEX-R5, a miniature cellular module that integrates low power wide area (LPWA) connectivity and global navigation satellite system (GNSS) technology into an ultra-small system-in-package (SiP) form factor.

Comprising hardware components designed fully in-house, ALEX-R5 is based on the secure UBX-R5 LTE-M / NB-IoT chipset platform with out-of-the-box Secure Cloud functionality and the u-blox M8 GNSS chip for world-class location accuracy.

ALEX-R5 stands out for its miniature 14×14 mm footprint, achieved thanks to its SiP design, reducing its size compared to the functionally equivalent u-blox SARA-R5 module by half. Its tiny dimensions make it a perfect fit for size constrained applications.

Zero compromises on cellular and GNSS performance

ALEX-R5 makes zero performance compromises in terms of the technologies it features. Its 23 dBm cellular transmission power guarantees that end devices operate effectively in all signal conditions, even at cell edges, underground, or in other challenging scenarios.

And a dedicated GNSS antenna interface enables fully independent, simultaneous operation of the u-blox M8 GNSS chip, matching the performance of a stand-alone u-blox M8 module. u-blox IoT Location-as-a-Service with CellLocate® and AssistNow (online, offline, and autonomous) further enhance positioning performance.

Optimised for power-sensitive and battery-dependent applications

ALEX-R5 is optimised for power-sensitive and battery-dependent applications, addressing common pain points of size-constrained applications such as wearables and connected medical devices. It achieves this by leveraging the lower power modes of the u-blox UBX-R5 and UBX-M8 chipsets and giving users options to further balance power consumption and performance using GNSS Super-E mode.

Its rugged SiP construction makes it a perfect fit for harsh environments, where moisture or vibration would be a concern for conventional modules. ALEX-R5 is rated at moisture sensitivity level 3 (MSL 3), offering reduced handling and device production complexity.

Designed to last an IoT lifetime and 5G-ready

By bringing all technology building blocks in house and having full hardware and software ownership, u-blox can guarantee long-term device availability and provide lifetime support for the entire platform, down to the chipset level. Secure Cloud functionality supporting IoT-Security-as-a-Service based on an internal, hardware-based secure element enables a lightweight pre-shared key management system specifically designed for LPWA devices.

ALEX-R5 future-proofs IoT devices and solutions by enabling customers to software upgrade deployed devices for compatibility with 5G networks, offering a seamless transition to the next generation of cellular technology as 5G networks are rolled out by mobile operators.

Engineering samples of the ALEX-R5 SiP will be available by Q1, 2021.

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Smart City Peachtree Corners deploys Cawamo’s AI camera tech for COVID-19 safety and security

Peachtree Corners the nation’s smart city environment powered by real-world infrastructure and next-generation connectivity announced the addition of revolutionary artificial intelligence-powered camera technology from Cawamo at City Hall aimed at increasing public safety and preventing the spread of COVID-19. The international firm’s proprietary technology enables existing cameras to determine if someone is not wearing a mask

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How to ensure the right service quality of connected devices anywhere in the world

Enterprises launching global connected services need their cellular IoT devices to connect seamlessly all over the world, based on one global SIM, one connectivity partner and one management platform. Yet, this task is only half the battle. Once a connected service has been launched, its success depends on the effective delivery of two key factors:

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