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Feb 23,2020

Cisco Innovates Cellular IoT Connectivity Management with 5G Readiness and Machine Learning

Cisco IoT Control Center becomes more intelligent with anomaly detection and Smart billing. - Cisco IoT Control Center introduces new machine learning capabilities for improved cellular IoT connection management, control, and increased security. - Service provider partners increase customer satisfaction with optimized billing. - Cisco works with service provider partners and customers to develop 5G use cases. Cisco announced advancements to its IoT portfolio that enable service provider partners to offer optimized management of cellular IoT environments and new 5G use-cases. New wireless technologies – such as 5G, Wi-Fi 6 – will lead to more devices and new advanced Industrial IoT (IIoT) use cases and will give service providers the tools to create competitive cellular IoT offerings for their customers. Machine-to-machine connections are expected to rise 19% and account for 50% of all connections by 2023, according to Cisco’s 2020 Annual Internet Report. “Cellular IoT deployments are accelerating across connected cars, utilities and transportation industries and with 5G and Wi-Fi 6 on the horizon IoT adoption will grow even faster. Cisco is investing in connectivity management, IoT networking, IoT security, and edge computing to accelerate the adoption of IoT use-cases,” said Vikas Butaney, vice president product management IoT, Cisco. “With today’s advancements, Cisco is further enabling our service provider partners with machine learning to simplify and accelerate cellular IoT services while creating new bundled services to grow their revenues.” Advancing Cellular IoT Cisco IoT Control Center (formerly Jasper Control Center), the market leader in connectivity management platforms, is introducing new innovations to improve management and reduce deployment complexity. These include: Using Machine Learning (ML) to improve management: With visibility into 3 billion events every day, Cisco IoT Control Center uses the industry’s broadest visibility to enable machine learning models to quickly identify anomalies and address issues before they impact a customer. Service providers can also identify and alert customers of errant devices, allowing for greater endpoint security and control. Smart billing to optimize rate plans: Service providers can improve customer satisfaction by enabling Smart billing to automatically optimize rate plans. Policies can also be created to proactively send customer notifications should usage changes or rate plans need to be updated to help save enterprises money. Support for global supply chains: SIM portability is an enterprise requirement to support complex supply chains spanning multiple service providers and geographies. It is time-consuming and requires integrations between many different service providers and vendors, driving up costs for both. Cisco IoT Control Center now provides eSIM as a service, enabling a true turnkey SIM portability solution to deliver fast, reliable, cost-effective SIM handoffs between service providers. Cisco IoT Control Center provides the visibility and simplicity necessary to address today’s IoT challenges. Cisco service provider partners and customers are already taking advantage of the new machine-learning capabilities. The Journey Towards 5G With the introduction of 5G, use cases from low-power to the most demanding requirements will become possible. Industrial environments can benefit from the advanced IoT capabilities presented by 5G, with use cases such as flexible manufacturing, higher throughput, and autonomous vehicles. Cisco IoT Control Center has taken steps towards 5G readiness to incubate and promote high value 5G business use cases that customers can easily adopt. KPN: “We recognize that the diversity and complexity of 5G use cases can overwhelm organizations already competing in rapidly evolving and increasingly digitized industries. That is why KPN and Cisco support customers like ExRobotics to launch on 4G today and at the same time prepare for 5G tomorrow. With our 5G Field labs we help incubate clear use cases that demonstrate how to unleash the potential of 5G and create meaningful business outcomes. KPN and Cisco are committed to providing strategic thought leadership to help customers leverage cellular IoT and drive their digital transformation forward.” ExRobotics: “Robots often do jobs that are too dangerous for humans. 5G and its promise of low latency will allow robots to react faster and better to the operator’s commands. They will be capable of dealing with complex unscripted problems and making decisions in real time in the field. We are committed in this partnership with KPN to helping our customers turn the technical advancement of 5G into real value in the area of human safety, reliability and cost savings.” Astus: “Our business is fleet management, which means we need to know where our assets are at all times. The human capital required to manufacture that level of visibility is demanding. But by building the power of machine learning into our connectivity management, Control Center is effectively giving us automatic visibility and the freed resources to be proactive. Instead of crunching data, our staff is free to do the high value work of chasing down security threats or malfunctions that we’ve been alerted to and resolving them before they do damage.” Spark New Zealand: “The Machine Learning capability in Control Centre helps us to provide our customers with solutions that save them time and resources. Using machine learning, our customers can be sent proactive alerts when anomalies are detected in their IoT network. This allows our customers to resolve issues quickly before it causes any detrimental effects to their business processes, supply chain or end customers. Surfacing these insights within Control Centre via enhanced views and simple dashboards makes it easy and provides immediate value for our customers who might not have a data scientist or time to undertake detailed data analysis.” Read the full article:

Feb 19,2020

Cloud vendors depend upon partnerships to grab their share of the IoT analytics pie

As cloud suppliers continue to grow their footprint in the IoT value chain, their investments in data and analytics services are accelerating. Based on the review of cloud vendor offerings, recent acquisitions, and competitive outlook, global tech market advisory firm, ABI Research, forecasts that cloud suppliers will grow their share of IoT data and analytics management revenues from US$6 billion in 2019 to US$56 billion in 2026. While the growth is impressive, cloud vendor’s services today are focused on data management complemented by a generic analytics toolset. Cloud vendor’s revenues come primarily from streaming, storage, and the orchestration of data. Analytics services across cloud vendors, on the other hand, are less differentiated, as reflected in pre-built templates such as AWS Sagemaker and Microsoft Azure Notebooks which leverage the open source Jupyter project. Considering that many cloud vendors are in the early stages of analytics investment, cloud vendors are relying on their partners for addressing more specific advanced analytics and vertical market needs. Kateryna Dubrova, Research Analyst at ABI Research, says: “The overall approach shown by cloud suppliers in their analytics services reflects the dilemma they face in the complex IoT partnership ecosystem. Effectively, do they rely on partners for analytics services, or do they build analytics services that compete with them?” Interestingly, streaming is the one analytics technology that all cloud vendors are building into their solution portfolios to blend data management with near-real-time analytics on streamed IoT data. AWS, Microsoft, Google, IBM, and Oracle, for example, are promoting their proprietary streaming solutions to differentiate, accelerate time-to-market, and win over customers. In contrast, companies like Cloudera, Teradata, and are introducing streaming analytics services heavily reliant on open source technology, such as Spark and Flink. However, by focusing on data management and streaming technologies, cloud vendors are ceding the advanced analytics market to other suppliers. Hence, the advanced analytics market is an excellent example of the “coopetition” in the IoT ecosystem, where cloud vendors are partnering with advanced analytics suppliers. This coopetition enables them to promote an end-to-end IoT technology stack, for example Azure and AWS have partnered with Seeq to leverage its advance analytics capabilities. At the same time, other vendors, such as Oracle, Cisco, and Huawei, are pushing intelligence and analytics closer to the devices, expanding their edge portfolio. Such divergent analytics strategies represent the reality and challenges for serving a very diverse IoT ecosystem with IoT analytics services. Dubrova concludes: “Ultimately, businesses are moving to an analytics-driven business model which will require both infrastructure and services for continuous intelligence. Cloud vendor strategies need to align with this reality to take advantage of analytics value and revenues that will transition to predictive and prescriptive solutions.” **These findings are from ABI Research’s IoT Analytics & Data Management Services Strategies of Major Cloud Suppliers application analysis report.

Feb 19,2020

Four telcos test inter-operator blockchain solution for roaming agreements

Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile US, Telefonica and Orange are jointly testing a “production-ready” blockchain solution for the automated management of inter-operator roaming discount agreements. The trial is being carried out through the GSMA.

The solution was initially designed by Deutsche Telekom Laboratories (T-Labs) and Deutsche Telekom Global Carrier, the operator’s international wholesale unit. However, plans are underway to open-source the code so it can be freely used by the broader industry. The partners say the solution drastically reduces the complexity of the current process, which involves drafting, signing and manually implementing inter-operator roaming discount agreements. 

Through the use of blockchain, the agreed-upon terms cannot be subsequently changed or tampered with. In addition, the technology could help to automate roaming wholesale workflow further in the future -- for example, settlement processes between operators. Scaling for complexity

: The operators say this is also the first time they have been able to jointly test a blockchain solution that incorporates a corresponding legal framework, governance model and integration into corporate IT infrastructures. Rolf Nafziger, Senior Vice President of Deutsche Telekom Global Carrier, said, “The inter-operator workflow in roaming has been basically unchanged for the last 20 years. In the near future however, new services like NB-IoT, LTE-M or VoLTE and other quality-based services will drastically increase the complexity of inter-operator discount agreements and respective settlements. This blockchain-based solution is the start of automating sections of our workflow. It will put us in a position to handle the additional complexity while increasing overall efficiency.” Following funding: The trial follows the news earlier this month that Telefónica Innovation Ventures and Deutsche Telekom’s Telekom Innovation were among the investors in blockchain start-up Clear’s $13 million Series A funding round. Clear is also developing a blockchain solution for high-volume transaction systems like payments between telcos. Other investors included HKT and Singtel Innov8. A spokesperson for Deutsche Telekom explained that its in-house tool uses Hyperledger Fabric, an open-source permissioned blockchain framework backed by the Linux Foundation. Clear works with Ethereum, which is also open source but is a public blockchain platform. “In the future different layers might be important so it is good to [gain] experiences with diverse solutions,” the spokesperson said. Read the article here:

Feb 16,2020

O2 rolls out national LTE-M for business in UK

- O2 announces plans to roll out the first LTE-M network across the UK in 2020 – with 50 sites already live - Rollout of this low-power IoT technology will help enable business applications like asset tracking, connected traffic lights, parking sensors, soil monitoring, assisted living alerts and more - Investment reflects O2 Business’s focus on IoT as a growth area, as a move towards long-range IoT communication on a huge scale O2 has unveiled its plans to grow its IoT (Internet of Things) offering by becoming the first network to announce the introduction of an LTE-M (Long Term Evolution, category M1) network in the UK. The new O2 LTE-M network will help unlock widespread uptake of long-life IoT battery devices out in the field, with 50 UK cell sites already live and national rollout planned to complete this year. A low-power, wide-area network (or LPWAN), the new LTE-M network from O2 is designed to help encourage massive scale for future IoT deployment in the UK. It will enable businesses to support millions of connected devices, driving increased operational efficiencies and insights. It also provides higher throughput, with wide coverage for urban and rural areas, and lower latency. What’s more, because it allows businesses to share small amounts of data between assets at a low power consumption, it saves on battery life (with devices running for up to 10 years with no need to charge). All these benefits can also help bring down IoT device costs for business customers connecting to the network. Paul O’ Sullivan, Director of Wholesale & Commercial at O2, says: “IoT technology has the potential to transform the way the UK does business, so to become the first UK network operator to roll out an LTE-M network is a major milestone for us here at O2. We know that businesses looking into IoT solutions want answers now, not in five to ten years.” “Introducing a nationwide LTE-M network in 2020 will help unlock low-power use cases we haven’t seen before: from asset tracking and public sector applications like sensors on signage and traffic lights, right through to parking sensors and soil monitoring. We’re looking forward to partnering with UK businesses to bring these use cases to life.” This means that IOT and global roaming on lte-m should be possible in the near future.

Feb 13,2020

Sierra Wireless Launches Ready-to-Connect RC Series of Modules to Simplify and Accelerate IoT Deployment

Sierra Wireless Ready-to-Connect Module and Connectivity Bundles Lower TCO up to 40% and Enable OEMs and Service Providers to Instantly Connect Devices Anywhere in the World. Sierra Wireless today announced the Ready-to-Connect RC Series of embedded modules to simplify IoT development, reduce costs and accelerate time to market. The RC Series modules deliver all of the key elements needed for an IoT application—cellular module, integrated SIM that’s pre-connected to global mobile networks, IoT management platform and end-to-end security—in one integrated bundle that reduces total cost of ownership (TCO) by up to 40 percent. Ross Gray, VP, Product Management, Sierra Wireless said: “Sierra Wireless has removed the integration and management complexity that stalls many IoT initiatives. Our RC Series allows companies to instantly connect their deployments anywhere in the world to our global network with best-in-class reliability and security. Our unique device-to-cloud bundled solutions will dramatically reduce total costs for customers, while allowing them to focus on their core business, rather than IoT deployment complexities.” The RC Series modules integrate best-in-class connectivity, expanded smart edge processing options and end-to-end security. Sierra Wireless will offer a variety of bundled module and connectivity subscription services for different IoT applications, including an LTE Cat-4 solution ideal for industrial gateways, public safety, and enterprise applications, and an LTE Cat-1 solution ideal for transportation, fleet management, and access security applications. Similar to Sierra Wireless’ industry leading HL and WP Series, the RC Series will feature multiple air interfaces, including future LPWA modules. Monthly connectivity subscription plans for all RC Series module bundles can be tailored to meet the exact needs of specific use cases. Simplifying IoT Deployment and Operations: Like any module from Sierra Wireless, RC Series modules simplify operations with a single management platform and point of accountability for device and network troubleshooting, anywhere in the world. A built-in smart SIM eliminates the need for managing and provisioning external SIMs, while providing the best coverage available in any given region, with 99.9% service guarantee. Customers can easily optimize connectivity consumption, manage subscriptions and ensure edge devices are always up-to-date and secure using Sierra Wireless’ cloud and device management platform. Industry’s Lowest TCO with Ready-to-Connect Modules: Sierra Wireless Ready-to-Connect modules provide the industry’s lowest TCO for OEMs and system integrators. By reducing IoT management costs and eliminating SIM logistics and truck rolls to resolve connectivity issues, Ready-to-Connect bundles reduce TCO by up to 40 percent*, compared to other available embedded modules. Customers can work with one vendor for their IoT infrastructure and avoid the complex pairing of multiple components that can lead to security vulnerabilities. *Based on Sierra Wireless’ analysis. Customer results may vary. For more information, visit the Ready to Connect product page. Faster, Future-Proof Development: Built on the Sierra Wireless CF3® (Common Flexible Form Factor) design, the RC Series is the only module platform IoT developers need to connect their devices with expanded edge processing options in addition to essential connectivity options. Customers currently using Sierra Wireless’ HL Series modules for essential connectivity and WP Series for additional edge processing can easily migrate to the RC Series and accelerate time-to-market by up to six months. End-to-End Security: The Ready-to-Connect RC Series provides best-in-class security through the integrated, secure Sierra Wireless Core Network and AirVantage® IoT platform, complemented by a tamper-proof embedded SIM. Sierra Wireless adheres to best-in-class device, network and cloud security practices and the modules feature built-in secure boot, secure firmware upgrades, and secret key rotation over the air to keep data and deployments secure. Sierra Wireless’ resilient network infrastructure includes private network options with 24/7 monitoring to provide an end-to-end secure data stream from the device to the cloud. Availability: The RC Series essential Cat-1 and Cat-4 versions for deploying in North America (RC7611-1, RC7611) and EMEA (RC7620-1, RC7620) will be available early 2020, with LPWA (Cat-M1 and Cat-NB1), smart versions (with edge processing), and other regional variants rolling out in the future.

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