Don’t focus only on 5G when it comes to launching IoT offerings

The Internet of Things (IoT) has been maturing for 20 years with some companies driving long-established strategies with high volumes of connections and demonstrably successful business cases. These established deployments are helping their owners generate money, save costs and achieve compliance but, as Peter Fowler, senior vice president North America at Quectel Wireless Solutions says,

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LKQ partners with Tractable to accelerate auto parts recycling and distribution with AI

LKQ North America, the provider of alternative vehicle parts, is now using Tractable’s Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) to accelerate and optimise the recycling of the salvage vehicles the Company procures across their North America segment.

The AI uses computer vision, a technology that allows algorithms to reason based on images, to assess the specific damage on each vehicle and determine which parts can be recycled and reused. Tractable’s AI has been trained on millions of historical examples and performs on par with human intelligence, increasing the level of consistency and accuracy.

Yogi Shivdasani, vice president of North America supply chain at LKQ, says, “We are excited to be the recycled parts provider to apply AI to the effective and efficient procurement of salvage vehicles. Tractable’s AI has enhanced our expertise with identifying high quality parts on salvage vehicles and to make sure those parts can be recycled and reused. Tractable further assists LKQ in delivering the right parts, to the right place, and at the right time.”

Alex Dalyac, Tractable co-founder and CEO, says, “Through this collaboration with LKQ North America, our technology is improving the value of parts recycling for the entire North American auto repair ecosystem. By finding reusable parts at scale and ensuring they are distributed more quickly, our technology is already having a positive impact on both the auto industry and the environment.”

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Managing third-party risk in a connected world

Recent world events have accelerated digital transformation programmes in organisations of all sizes and sectors. As businesses create more connected products, integrate new technologies or enter new partnerships, they need to ensure they are not exposing their data and systems or their clients’ data to cyber risks, says Paul Kenealy, co-founder & managing director at

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Overcoming the barriers to global IoT connectivity: How regional operators can reap rewards from IoT

It is exhilarating to be involved in an innovative and fast-paced technology sector with the potential to transform lives and disrupt business models, acting as a real global gamechanger. IoT is just that, says Nick Earle, CEO of Eseye. Its potential across a diversity of sectors from medicine to manufacturing and logistics to retail is immense

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Sierra Wireless’s secure 5G IoT modules are certified on Deutsche Telekom’s 5G network

Sierra Wireless, an IoT solutions provider, announced that its EM9190 5G mmWave/Sub-6/LTE New Radio (NR) and EM9191 5G Sub-6/LTE NR embedded modules to be fully certified to operate on Deutsche Telekom’s 5G public network and campus (private) networks in Europe.

This certification will reportedly enable customers in Europe to leverage the higher data speeds, lower latency and capacity of 5G with one of the  integrated telecommunications companies.

“This is a significant milestone for 5G, and for the wider industry,” says Jens Olejak, head of new access technologies, Deutsche Telekom IoT. “5G is set to profoundly impact the mobile industry and its customers and we’re proud to be partnering with Sierra Wireless to deliver organisations the high-speed, reliable connectivity they need to digitally transform their operations.”

With this certification, EM9190 and EM9191 customers can commercially deploy networking devices, computing devices and other connected products on Deutsche Telekom’s high speed and low latency 5G network for industrial applications, live video streaming, video security, high-definition cloud-based video gaming, extended reality (XR), robotics and other next generation IoT applications.

“This certification further demonstrates that when it comes to bringing 5G to the IoT, Sierra Wireless is leading the way,” says Jim Ryan, SVP partnerships, marketing & IoT solutions, Sierra Wireless. “When you combine Deutsche Telekom’s 5G network with the EM9190 and EM9191 module’s performance, robust security and industrial-grade design, along with Sierra Wireless’ decades of IoT experience and global presence, the answer to the question of which IoT solutions provider you should partner with as you map out your 5G future becomes clear it’s Sierra Wireless.”

Transforming IoT with 5G

5G’s higher data speeds, lower latency, and higher device capacity are set to transform the IoT market, enabling OEMs, advanced electronic and other industrial companies to support enhanced mobile broadband, ultra-reliable, low-latency communication and massive machine-type communication use cases that simply were not possible without 5G.

5G’s ability to support these new use cases is why in a recent report, McKinsey and Company state, “As new use cases gain traction, it is expected that B2B 5G IoT unit sales will soar… in the B2B sphere, we expect total revenue for 5G IoT modules to increase from about US$180 million (€151.25 million) in 2022 to almost US$10 billion (€8.40 billion) by 2030.”

Modules designed for easy integration, private networks, global connectivity

Based on the industry-standard M.2 form factor, the EM9190 and EM9191 modules are an industrial-grade module that enable OEMs, system integrators and other companies to easily integrate secure 5G connectivity into their products.

The EM9190 and EM9191 also include an embedded SIM (eSIM) based on GSMA’s embedded SIM specification, eUICC. This eSIM makes it easier for customers to switch networks anytime using carrier-specific profiles, for added IoT product deployment simplicity and flexibility.

Part of Sierra Wireless’ EM Series, the modules have been designed to connect to 5G networks around the world, and have already been certified by 5G mobile network operators in North America and other global regions.

The EM9190 and EM9191 modules are currently available globally from Sierra Wireless’ global network of partners.

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Ridecell promotes Kumar to chief financial officer

Automation and mobility platform provider for digital transformation, Ridecell Inc., has promoted Shiva Kumar to the role of chief financial officer (CFO).

Shiva joined Ridecell in 2019 as executive vice president of business development and strategic finance. During his tenure, Shiva has successfully led the latest financing round and played an important role in securing and strengthening long-term partnerships with industry ecosystem leaders and customers.

In his new role, Shiva will lead the company’s finance, accounting, corporate development, and investor relations. He will continue to serve as part of the executive leadership team, play a key role in helping shape company strategy and long-term business planning, and drive strategic initiatives with customers, partners, and company stakeholders.

“At Ridecell, our mission is to move the world better through digital transformation,” says Aarjav Trivedi, CEO of Ridecell. “Our success requires strong long-term partnerships with fleets, ecosystem leaders, and strategic financial investors. At a challenging time when COVID impacted many mobility companies, Shiva’s vision and leadership have been key in helping Ridecell thrive and grow. We are excited to have Shiva take the CFO position at Ridecell. I look forward to partnering with him in the next phase of our growth.”

Renowned for his mobility expertise, Shiva was previously with Jefferies, LLC, where he served as senior vice president and co-led the mobility technology investment banking practice. Prior to Jefferies, Shiva worked as an investment banker with Deutsche Bank Securities and BofA Merrill Lynch, focusing on software and healthcare IT.

Shiva earned a Bachelor of Technology in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT Mumbai), received his Masters in Electrical Engineering from the University of California Los Angeles, and his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Shiva holds seven U.S. patents and has published several papers in technical journals.

“The future of transportation and mobility remains exciting and is the passion behind what we do at Ridecell,” says Shiva. “We are changing the way the world moves. From shared mobility to digitised fleet operations and maintenance, Ridecell is part of the transportation revolution. I look forward to working closely with Aarjav, the management team, the board, shareholders, customers, and partners to capture the next phase of company growth.”

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Using private wireless to charter a flight to economic health for airports

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented change to airports. Global passenger traffic declined by 94% year-on-year in April 2020 according to Airports Council International.

Even as restrictions ease, numbers remain low. Eurocontrol reported air traffic throughout Europe was 61% down in May 2021 compared to May 2019, says Richard van Wijk, global aviation practice lead inside Nokia.

While traffic isn’t expected to return to pre-COVID levels until 2024, Eurocontrol recently predicted an upward trend and hope for some recovery across Europe this summer, with the most optimistic scenario showing numbers rising to up to 69% of 2019 levels during August.

Airport costs are predominantly fixed. Even with low passenger numbers and declining revenue they need to maintain operations for cargo flights. Operational, maintenance, utility and personnel costs remain constant.

So, how will they manage their economic turnaround and tempt passengers back as countries tentatively reopen borders for international travel? The answer can be found in accelerating digital transformation programs, allowing them to leverage automation and enable new services and operational efficiencies.

The connected airport

Tomorrow’s airports will be all about digitalisation, otherwise known as Airport 4.0 , targeting operational excellence, enhanced awareness and greener, safer spaces. Stakeholders will communicate more efficiently and be able to collect data from connected sensors to analyse operations, passenger flow, environmental information and more. To do this cost-effectively and securely, airports will have to re-think their connectivity strategy.

Today airports use a mix of connectivity technologies; copper-based wireline, Wi-Fi and public wireless services. Although these still serve a key purpose in the digital airport, there are concerns over costs, service reliability and flexibility.

To create the connectivity foundation for Airport 4.0, airports should consider 4G and 5G private wireless technology. This will allow them to flexibly and efficiently connect any device, application sensor or sub-system in a secure way inside the terminal, at airside and landside.

Coaxing back passengers

It’s no surprise that even as restrictions lift, some people are wary of traveling. To tempt passengers back, airports must first show how they can keep them safe.

One way is to implement biometrics systems and move toward touchless and ticketless travel. Using sensors and cameras to scan passengers’ features in real time as they navigate the airport can reduce bottlenecks as well as the need for boarding cards or passports decreasing the chance of delays when documents are misplaced.

Another solution is to implement queue monitoring systems and collate passenger numbers from sensors. As queues reach capacity in terms of social distancing or to maintain efficiencies and keep people moving new lanes can be opened automatically.

Private wireless provides the connectivity and low latency capabilities to support the real-time demands of these applications. The ability to collect data from sensors will allow airports to show how they are adhering to COVID regulations and introduce new services more rapidly.

Implementing a sustainable turnaround and enhanced passenger satisfaction

To step away from paper and pencil, airports will have to implement a connectivity service at airside that allows stakeholders to use devices anywhere. Private wireless is a perfect fit, allowing airports to purpose-build a network that ensures coverage and capacity wherever it’s needed, while keeping operational data securely within the airport campus.

Resource planning will be made much more accurate, and aircraft turnaround time will be reduced. Stakeholders will communicate over a single, multiservice network and airport vehicles will become mobile offices, reducing the need to return to base for more sustainable operations.

The extensive coverage enabled by private wireless will also allow airports to connect mobile cameras within vehicles to enhance operational and situational awareness. This will enable airport operation centre teams to enhance decision-making by providing a view of incidents that they don’t currently have using Push-to-Talk radios.

Enhanced operational efficiencies and awareness will also have a positive impact on passenger safety and satisfaction in terms of reduced flight delays and queues inside the terminal. Additionally, as private wireless networks offload operational traffic from Wi-Fi and public networks, capacity is freed up for a better passenger connectivity experience.

Soaring to economic health

Richard van Wijk

Using private wireless, airports will have more flexibility and agility to implement new services. They will be better prepared for a world where restrictions change dramatically, with the ability to not only leverage analytics to show how they are adhering to regulations but also to show customers how they are enhancing services to remain competitive.

As the world reopens, and the aviation industry begins to move on from the effects of COVID-19, airports have the opportunity to spark their economic recovery and transformation using private 4G and 5G wireless networks. By becoming Airport 4.0 digital hubs, they will benefit from extensive new capabilities and operational efficiencies that will streamline costs and help them tempt passengers back to the skies once again.

The author is Richard van Wijk, global aviation practice lead inside Nokia.

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Consortium starts trials of ‘low-cost, and sustainable’ robotic inspection in hazardous areas

Electrocomponents plc, a global omni-channel provider of product and service solutions, reports that Project nautilUS has entered the validation phase of its inspection robotic platform. This has been developed for non-destructive testing (NDT) on storage tanks used in the petrochemical industry.

nautilUS 2 is a 12-month extension to the three-year project, enabling it to move forward from the initial phase of development and testing to the delivery of a commercially viable product based on the underlying technology. Field trials are now taking place on 10 water tanks in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) conducted by project partner Sonomatic, an oil and gas exploration service provider, which is supplying the NDT sensor and service. Two further consortium partners are providing remote support during this second phase, with project lead Electrocomponents responsible for fulfilling delivery, and InnoTecUK providing the robotics platform.

Oil and fuel storage facilities require a robust and reliable infrastructure and regular inspection is critical to ensure that tanks are fit for purpose. Existing inspection methods often result in storage tanks being taken out of service to be drained and inspected for corrosion, which is hazardous, time consuming and costly work.

However, one answer to this problem is a small robot that can monitor and plot its own position while carrying out inspections. The nautilUS robot uses active real-time remote controls to move around a tank and an ultrasound probe to take measurements of floor thinning. It then records data regarding location for post-processing following retrieval of the robot. The robot’s design also offers the smallest possible footprint to allow entry to liquid storage tanks via small manholes.

“The project has now been extended by a further 12 months, supported by additional funding from this innovative industrial consortium, which brings together complementary skillsets from many different companies and organisations in the UK,” says Mike Burrows, senior innovation adviser at Electrocomponents.

“We are excited to see the project deliver proof of concept and move to the next stage in its evolution with field trials and possible commercialisation. The platform and the NDT inspection devices have gained significant interest from more than 60 operators and inspection companies. Additionally, we believe the platform will not only prove to be of significant value to the petrochemical industry, but also will open up many opportunities for the reuse of the technologies being deployed in the robotics and in the system,” Burrows adds.

Project nautilUS is a UK-based consortium championed by several global companies and institutions, which started working together in February 2018 to design and develop a multi-million-pound certified non-destructive testing (NDT) solution. Co-funded by Innovate UK, the full consortium includes InnoTecUK, London South Bank University, Sonomatic, and TWI. In addition, the Quality Functional Deployment (QFD) model for the project was developed via RS Monition, Electrocomponents’ maintenance engineering specialist service.

The nautilUS project’s initial three-year development programme began in February 2018, and the prototype robot undertook its oil tank inspection in an industrial environment in the summer of 2020, achieving successful proof of concept for the project.

In addition to activities carried out by the project members, Electrocomponents’ DesignSpark engineering platform has been part of the multidisciplinary team throughout the project.

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