NTT DOCOMO said it has started a PoC on a new video IoT solution that will enable the interpretation and analysis of video data sourced from surveillance cameras using edge computing.

In connection with this initiative, DOCOMO also announced that it has made a strategic investment in Cloudian. Both companies plan to promote solutions utilizing the new technology. The solution being evaluated will interpret and analyze video data sourced using edge computing, supplementing processing performed in the cloud to provide superior IoT data processing capabilities.

As a first step, the PoC will test and evaluate the sourcing of data from surveillance cameras, aiming to develop a solution that uses existing cameras, requires no wired connectivity and does not involve the transmission of large quantities of data. The interpretation and analysis of video data from surveillance cameras are expected to be deployed in a wide range of scenarios, such as in general security, quality inspections during manufacturing processes, human presence detection, and marketing initiatives at retail stores. Until now, the transfer and processing of large volumes of video data to the cloud was a lengthy process involving significant delays and placing a considerable burden on cloud infrastructures and communication networks.

The new solution will aim to address these shortcomings and herald a new era of high speed image recognition and processing accelerated by edge computing, says NTT DOCOMO.

Published in Technology & Solutions

Ericsson said it has successfully deployed a unique three-technology (2G, 3G and LTE), rural coverage site that uses three frequency bands and runs on less than 1 kilowatt of power.

The deployment in a rural part of Myanmar uses the ground-breaking Psi solution to keep total power consumption per site below one kilowatt (kW). Ericsson said its rural coverage solution eliminates the need to have several radios in a coverage area, and instead uses one radio unit that connects three antennas together and provides high-quality coverage.

The radios in this scenario handle one access technology each and connect to a triple-band antenna. This maintains voice services and enables new mobile broadband over LTE where these services were not previously available. The solution name, Psi, comes from a Greek alphanumeric charter in the shape of a fork with three teeth, representing the one radio-three antenna set up.

Ericsson’s solution for rural coverage brings down the number of radios on a network and significantly reduces capital expenditure. Moreover, the solution reduces total power consumption, further reducing the cost of operation – an essential feature for rural and low-capacity deployments. In remote areas like the countryside of Myanmar, power grid supply often remains the biggest challenge in maintaining coverage. This leads to heavy dependence on unreliable diesel generators. The Psi solution provides a more reliable and cost-efficient alternative, said Ericsson. 

Published in Technology & Solutions

TPG Telecom and Vodafone Hutchison Australia(VHA) announced a merger of equals transaction worth $11 billion.

TPG shareholders will own 49.9% of the new merged group with VHA shareholders owning the remaining 50.1%. The merger will provide scale and financial strength to compete more effectively with Telstra and Optus, and be better able to invest and drive innovation, service and product improvement to benefit Australian telecommunications customers.

David Teoh, current CEO and Chairman of TPG, will be Chairman of the Merged Group, while Iñaki Berroeta, current CEO of VHA, will be the Managing Director and CEO of the Merged Group. Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) in a statement assures customers they will continue to enjoy Vodafone’s world-class mobile network, Vodafone nbn,  and its value-packed plans and products following the merger.

In parallel to the merger agreement, TPG and VHA have signed a separate Joint Venture Agreement. The scope of the joint venture is to acquire, hold and licence 3.6 GHz spectrum. The Government is auctioning 125 MHz of 3.6 GHz band spectrum, with the auction expected to commence in late November 2018.

The joint venture will register as a participant in the auction. In addition, the parties will negotiate with the aim of expanding the business of the joint venture in future, including to acquire future spectrum licences and/or facilitate various forms of efficient spectrum and network sharing including a shared 5G RAN.

David Teoh, Chairman, TPG
Together TPG and VHA will have a comprehensive portfolio of fixed and mobile products, and will own the infrastructure required to deliver faster services and more competitive value propositions to Australian customers. With this merger, we will be a more formidable competitor against Telstra and Optus.

Inaki Berroeta, CEO, VHA
The Australian telecommunications market is characterised by the presence of Telstra and Optus. Together, TPG and VHA will provide stronger competition in the market and greater choice for Australian consumers and enterprises across fixed broadband and mobile.

Arqiva, the international satellite and media services provider, has launched its first suite of virtualised media management services, covering Playout, OTT Managed Head End and Video On Demand (VoD) processing.

Arqiva will be using Amazon Web Services (AWS) to further enhance these services and offer proof of concepts to potential customers.

As broadcasters demand increased service and commercial flexibility to keep up with a rapidly changing broadcast landscape, Arqiva’s cloud-orchestrated technologies will allow customers to quickly trial, adopt and integrate new services on both a short- and long-term basis as market demand dictates.

Designed for reliability and scalability, and with simplified workflows, all elements of the virtualised services are deployed and managed using tools and software created or integrated by Arqiva. Not only does this ensure service delivery is easily repeatable, but it also speeds up the process of innovation and feature deployment.

Arqiva will leverage AWS Elemental Media Services for video processing in live and VOD workflows. Alongside this, Arqiva has deployed a serverless architecture for service creation and configuration functions, using AWS Lambda, Amazon DynamoDB and the Amazon API Gateway to provide customers and internal operations with a lightweight and low-cost application for deploying and depleting customer services. Plans for product enhancement include building upon the AWS Elemental Media Services with dynamic ad insertion and live-to-VOD later this year.

Alex Pannell, MD of Satellite & Media, Arqiva
As well as offering the solutions, we also want to give our customers the peace of mind that Arqiva will manage the complexity of deployment, management and security so they don’t have to. 

Published in Technology & Solutions

Singtel and KVH, a global satellite and maritime communications provider, announced a partnership to provide broadband satellite service with KVH’s mini-VSAT Broadband satellite connectivity to shipping companies across the Asia Pacific region.

This satellite service is designed to facilitate the use of digital solutions in the maritime industry to significantly improve operational efficiency, crew welfare and onboard safety.

Vessels can leverage this fast and reliable connectivity to harness real-time data about engine performance gleaned from onboard sensors to facilitate preventive maintenance and reduce maintenance costs; obtain information on weather patterns and sea currents to determine the most fuel-efficient routes; and provide onshore operations staff regular updates about the status of cargo.

Through this collaboration, Singtel will provide its maritime customers with KVH’s product and service offerings, including AgilePlans, a subscription-based connectivity solution for commercial fleets. This all-inclusive, no-commitment offering includes KVH’s global connectivity service, VSAT hardware, and curated content with free installation in selected ports and zero maintenance costs.

Ng Kheng Ghee, Head of Satellite, Singtel
This service provides an accessible high-speed broadband connectivity that enables digital technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud and data analytics to be deployed onboard ships.

Mark Guthrie, KVH's VP ofr APAC
With KVH’s end-to-end connectivity solution, our leadership role in global maritime VSAT, and our already strong base in this region, we look forward to combining forces with Singtel to help serve the many important fleets and ship managers operating here.

Published in Technology & Solutions

The original iPhone launched in 2007 with just a 3.5-inch display. Since then, phones have grown dramatically and Samsung’s new Note9 features its largest screen yet, at 6.4 inches. There are limits to how large phones can get, but some vendors are going to push the envelope further, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

The company’s latest report: ‘How Big Can Phones Get?’ explores the factors driving the growth in phone size, whether it can continue, and which consumers might buy seven-inch phones if vendors build them.

Avi Greengart, Research Director, Consumer Platforms & Devices for GlobalData commented: “Human factors have not changed, so for most consumers there is such a thing as a phone that’s simply too big. However, the move to narrower aspect ratios and minimal bezels is allowing screen sizes to grow beyond six inches. Samsung’s Galaxy Note9 has a 6.4-inch 18:9 ratio display and is essentially the same width as the 5.7-inch Galaxy Note 5 from 2015.”

Phones as large as 7 inches have been launched in Asia by Asus, Lenovo, and Huawei. Outside the US, consumers in emerging markets prefer larger phones because the phone is their primary computer. In some countries, the phone substitutes as a TV. However, US consumers who buy the largest phones fit into one of two categories: those who want the best, and those looking for the biggest screen on a strict budget.Greengart concludes: “A 7-inch phone targeting Western consumers is inevitable, but mainstream sales are not assured. Vendors willing to take the risk should target the same market segments as today’s ‘phablets’. The budget category is an opportunity for ZTE, TCL, Lenovo, and LG. Samsung already targets the super-premium space with the Note.

“Apple has seemingly left the smaller iPad to die of neglect; an extremely large iPhone would make a strong replacement. LG needs a high-margin hit, and a top-of-the-line 7” phablet would certainly be a huge risk. However, if Apple and Samsung do not build phones in this size and it turns out that consumers want them, LG could have a lucrative market niche to itself.”

Published in Smartphones

Iridium Communications announced the signing of a agreement with smart shipping pioneer Rolls-Royce Marine (RRM), in support of their autonomous vessel development program.

Iridium claims that it operates the world’s largest, and only pole-to-pole, mobile commercial satellite constellation. The network is comprised of 66 crosslinked LEO satellites that blanket the entire planet with reliable satellite connectivity. 

Through this arrangement, RRM and Iridium will work together to explore incorporating Iridium’s next-generation L-band satellite broadband service, Iridium CertusSM, into the RRM suite of Ship Intelligence solutions.  By doing so, RRM will have a resilient and reliable broadband capability that can serve as a standalone option or high throughput backup, while expanding the reach of autonomous vessels to all the world’s waterways.

As a leader in the autonomous vessel movement, RRM’s solutions deliver multifaceted enhancements to ships, enabling remote diagnostics, operations and performance monitoring capabilities.  Among many offerings, these solutions provide remote access to onshore operators and control centers, delivering real-time connectivity and automation. By automating processes such as navigation, crew are able to focus on more valuable areas of vessel operations helping to streamline overall functionality, ushering in a new digital era of shipping.

Kenneth Solberg, Technical Product Manager, Ship Intelligence, Rolls-Royce Marine
Their new interconnected Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite network is able to provide global coverage with low latencies for both coastal and ocean going vessels, while at the same time having the robustness of the L-band. 

Wouter Deknopper, VP and GM, Maritime, Iridium
Iridium’s constellation is an ideal network to support autonomous vessels, due to its inherent resiliency, mobility and truly global coverage.  Supporting RRM’s revolutionary autonomous vessel initiative is a natural and exciting next step that we are fully equipped to take.

Published in Technology & Solutions

This week at VMworld 2018, VMware unveiled an extended edge computing strategy, supported by new IoT offerings.

VMware said it is developing a new framework, dubbed as Project Dimension that extends the VMware hybrid and multi-cloud environments to the edge. 

Project Dimension will combine VMware Cloud Foundation, in a hyperconverged form factor, with a cloud control plane to deliver a Software-Defined Data Center infrastructure as an end-to-end service, operated by VMware.

VMware claims that Project Dimension will dramatically simplify operational complexity and cost at data center and edge and offers built-in security and isolation, allowing customers to focus on innovation and differentiating their businesses.

VMware said its broad portfolio of hybrid cloud, multi-cloud and native cloud technologies, combined with a focused effort on new edge technologies, aims to bring customers - including operations, IT or developers - the power of the cloud with critical capabilities for the edge, enabled with VMware NSX SD-WAN powered by VeloCloud.

VMware also unveiled Pulse IoT Center 2.0, VMware’s IoT infrastructure management solution that will offer updated capabilities designed to provide customers with broader management, more intelligent operations, faster innovation and better protection. 

Mimi Spier, VP, Internet of Things, VMware
Our customers are ultimately working to achieve a next-generation infrastructure foundation for the digital enterprise. IoT and edge computing are critical components of digital transformation, and VMware’s continued momentum in this space is the result of two decades of software innovation and a dedication to stay on the leading edge of technology.

Published in Technology & Solutions
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