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Cristiano R. Amon named president of Qualcomm

By Zenobia Hegde

Qualcomm Incorporated announced Cristiano R. Amon, executive vice president, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and president of QCT, has been promoted to president of Qualcomm Incorporated, effective January 4, 2018. In his new role, Amon will formulate and drive key strategies for growing the company in both Qualcomm’s core businesses, as well as new business opportunities. Amon will also continue to lead the QCT business, reporting to Steve Mollenkopf, chief executive officer of Qualcomm Incorporated.

“Cristiano’s unique mix of business, engineering and operational skills and experience make him ideally suited to continue driving Qualcomm’s technology and leadership positions across mobile, IoT, automotive, edge computing and networking – and lead the transition to 5G,” said Steve Mollenkopf, chief executive officer of Qualcomm Incorporated.

Amon joined Qualcomm in 1995 as an engineer and has subsequently held numerous business and technical leadership roles. Prior to Qualcomm, Amon served as the chief technical officer of Vésper, a wireless operator in Brazil and held positions at NEC, Ericsson and Velocom Inc. Amon holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from UNICAMP – Universidade Estadual de Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil.

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SixDomainChain Foundation Launches IoT Blockchain Commercialization Initiative: SDChain

By IoT – Internet of Things

SixDomainChain Foundation, a Singapore-based IoT blockchain organization, recently announces the launch of SDChain Initiative to serve East Asian IoT markets with innovative blockchain 4.0 technology. SDChain, an IoT blockchain commercialization initiative, aims to create a partnership ecosystem of sharing trustable IoT digital assets generated from devices, that integrates international standards of IoT six-domain model and […]

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SOTI extends Android Enterprise on Zebra devices

By Zenobia Hegde

Over the past decade, SOTI and Zebra have had a long partnership working together to meet the enterprise mobility needs of organisations worldwide.

In 2013, Motorola Solutions announced the end of development of their Mobility Services Platforms (MSP) management solution, and selected SOTI MobiControl as the approved EMM solution for their devices. Why? Because SOTI’s industry-leading ability to manage Windows Mobile/CE and Android devices is unmatched; and as Motorola Solutions introduced their first Android devices, SOTI MobiControl naturally was the first EMM solution to support them as their partner of choice, says Shash Anand, vice president, Strategic Alliances at SOTI.

When Motorola Solutions’ Enterprise Business was acquired by Zebra Technologies in 2014, SOTI continued this strong partnership with Zebra—and SOTI MobiControl is still the only EMM solution that Zebra officially resells.

Today, SOTI once again solidifies this decade-long partnership through the release of an update to the SOTI MobiControl Android Enterprise agent that includes support for Zebra management capabilities including:

Provisioning of Mobility Extensions (Mx) to manage Zebra device-specific settings
Over-the-air (OTA) deployment of Zebra operating system (OS) updates
SOTI MobiControl agent persistence when a Zebra device is enterprise reset

For any IT Director/Manager tasked with the responsibility to maintain Android devices across the enterprise, this release is game-changing: it marks the first time any Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solution is able to support OS updates and agent persistence on Zebra Android devices managed using Android Enterprise capabilities.

What does this mean for organisations?

Since Google first introduced Android Enterprise (formerly known as Android for Work) in February of 2015 as a framework for standardizing the management of Android devices, it has quickly become the preferred method for many organizations to manage their Android devices.

Android Enterprise’s broad management capabilities, including the ability to separate personal and work data on personally-enabled devices and integration with Google Play services for app distribution, were able to address the majority of the management and security requirements of organizations. But for many organisations, the majority was not enough.

Organizations that rely on business-critical mobility have business-critical line-of-business (LOB) apps running on work devices such as those offered by Zebra. Imagine being a retailer who uses an app on a handheld that scans for prices. What if that app stopped working after an update to the device’s OS? The downtime and loss of business could be significant.

When many of your core business tasks are dependent on mobile technology, the ability to control OS updates and automatically retain management of all devices (some possibly unmanned) after OS updates becomes paramount.

Currently, such capabilities are not available through Android Enterprise. With the latest update to its Android Enterprise agent, SOTI MobiControl becomes the first EMM solution in the industry to bridge this gap on Zebra Android devices.

Which Zebra devices can take advantage of the new enhancements to the SOTI MobiControl Android Enterprise agent?

Most Zebra devices outfitted with Android N or greater running the SOTI MobiControl Android Enterprise agent 13.4, build 1485 or higher will support the new features. The agent is available on Google Play and can be download from SOTI’s OEM downloads page by selecting “Android Enterprise” in the Manufacturer drop-down list.

To […]

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China Mobile selects Spirent for mobile core network validation

By Zenobia Hegde

Spirent Communications, the in mobility infrastructure testing, announced that China Mobile has selected Spirent’s Landslide test platform to accelerate validation of mobile core network functions. Landslide will execute key validation tests used by China Mobile to evaluate core network vendors and verify the performance of new core, IMS, and Diameter network functions before they go live. With support for the latest LTE, 5G and IoT standards, Landslide will enable China Mobile to launch new mobile core network functions and next generation services with unprecedented speed and quality.

The Landslide test platform accelerates validation testing by emulating an unmatched, comprehensive set of core network functions, base stations and mobile devices. The platform uses these emulated functions to evaluate the performance and functionality of new network functions in lab environments.

To accurately reflect real-world conditions, Landslide can emulate millions of mobile subscribers and tens of thousands of 2G, 3G, LTE, and Wi-Fi base stations. The platform also emulates next generation services including eMTC (Enhanced Machine-Type Communication), cellular IoT and B-TrunC (Broadband Trunked Communication). Landslide supports emerging 4.5/5G network standards and offers both physical and virtual test platforms, ensuring a smooth path towards NFV (network function virtualisation) and 5G.

“Spirent Communications is working closely with operators and standards organisations in China to satisfy their specific testing needs,” said Yang Lei, East Asia Sales Development manager for the Lifecycle Service Assurance segment at Spirent Communications.

“This collaboration, combined with our support for the latest 5G and IoT standards, allows us to automate complex validation testing of next generation mobile core network functions. We’re pleased that China Mobile has selected Landslide and look forward to working together to accelerate the launch of high-quality network functions and cutting-edge services.”

Landslide is part of Spirent’s Lifecycle Service Assurance suite for automating testing and assurance workflows across the service lifecycle, including network validation, service testing and operational assurance workflows.

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Shipments of cellular M2M terminals to reach 13.7 million by 2022, says Berg Insight

By Zenobia Hegde

Berg Insight, the M2M/IoT market research provider, released new findings about the market for cellular M2M terminals. About 4.9 million cellular M2M terminals were shipped globally during 2016, an increase of 28.0% from the previous year.

Growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.8%, this number is expected to reach 13.7 million in 2022. Berg Insight defines cellular terminals as standalone devices intended for connecting M2M applications to a cellular network. These include primarily general-purpose cellular routers, gateways and modems that are enclosed in a chassis and have at least one input/output port. Trackers, telematics devices and other specialised devices are excluded from this report.

North American and Asian vendors dominate the global cellular M2M terminal market. Cradlepoint, Sierra Wireless and Digi International are the largest vendors in North America, whilst SIMCom is the main manufacturer on the Asian market. Combined, these four vendors generated close to US$ 415 million (€349.15 million) in revenues from M2M terminal sales during 2016. This is equivalent to nearly 50% of the global market.

Other noteworthy vendors include CalAmp, Multitech Systems and Encore Networks in the US, Xiamen Four-Faith, Maestro Wireless and InHand Networks in Asia, Teltonika, HMS Networks, Advantech B+B SmartWorx, NetModule, Matrix Electrónica, Eurotech, Gemalto, Dr. Neuhaus and Option in Europe and NetComm Wireless in Australia.

A large number of small and medium sized vendors are active on the European market, whilst the North American market is dominated by a handful of major vendors, largely due to barriers in the form of carrier certifications required for cellular devices in the region.

“Adoption of 4G LTE in cellular routers, gateways and modems have increased rapidly in recent time due to increased focus on product life cycle costs and decommissioning of 2G networks”, said Fredrik Stålbrand, IoT analyst, Berg Insight. He adds that two thirds of the cellular M2M terminals sold globally during 2017 used 4G LTE as the main standard.

“LPWA technologies such as LTE Cat M1 and NB-IoT are expected to ease the transition from 2G to LTE networks further”, continued Mr. Stålbrand. In 2017, introductions of cellular M2M terminals featuring LTE Cat M1 and NB-IoT technologies were made by Encore Networks, Maestro Wireless and MultiTech Systems and several vendors plan to launch new products with LPWA connectivity during 2018.

Download report brochure here.

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Update on the Root KSK Rollover Project

The ICANN org is today announcing that it will not roll the root zone KSK in the first quarter of 2018.

We have decided that we do not yet have enough information to set a specific date for the rollover. We want to make clear, however, that the ICANN org is committed to rolling the root zone KSK and we will continue to discuss this important process with the community, gather their feedback and give all interested parties advance notice of at least one calendar quarter when we set the date for the rollover.

Furthermore, we are soliciting input from the community to help determine, if possible, appropriate objective criteria to measure the possible negative impact of the root KSK rollover on Internet users, and acceptable values for those criteria before a rollover. This is in accordance with the bottom-up, multi-stakeholder model that has been so successful for ICANN policy development.

On 27 September 2017, the ICANN org announced it was postponing the root zone KSK rollover for at least one quarter, leaving open the possibility the root KSK rollover might occur in the first quarter of 2018. We have since realized that our analysis and preparation will require additional time.

In a previous post, we described our analysis of recursive resolver trust anchor configuration information reported using the protocol defined in RFC 8145, Signaling Trust Anchor Knowledge in DNS Security Extensions (DNSSEC). Our analysis revealed that about 4% of the approximately 12,000 DNSSEC-validating resolvers reporting during the month of September 2017 were configured with only KSK-2010 (the shorthand for the current root KSK) and would have been unable to resolve DNS queries after the rollover occurred.

The ICANN org’s decision to postpone the rollover was based on the concern that we did not understand why those resolvers were not properly configured, and we needed time to investigate.

Since then, we have attempted to contact the operators of 500 addresses that had reported a resolver configuration with only KSK-2010 instead of the correct configuration of both KSK-2010 and the new KSK, KSK-2017. Ideally, that investigation would have revealed a set of clear causes for the improper configuration, allowing further communication and actions to be targeted at addressing those specific issues. But in the end, the analysis was not as conclusive as we would have hoped.

In our initial attempt, we received a response from operators of approximately 20% of the 500 addresses. Of those addresses whose operators we could contact, 60% came from address ranges known to host devices with dynamic addresses, such as routers of home broadband users and ephemeral virtual machines, making these resolvers extremely difficult (if not impossible) to track down. About 25% of the addresses corresponded to a resolver forwarding on behalf of another resolver that was reporting only KSK-2010. Since the address of the device reporting the incorrect configuration was not the actual source resolver, it is extremely difficult (if not impossible) to identify the true source address of the resolver that was reporting only KSK-2010.

To proceed with the root KSK rollover, the ICANN org must have confidence that the rollover will not have an unacceptable negative impact on Internet users. The challenge we have encountered since we began to analyze the RFC 8145 trust anchor configuration reports from resolvers is assessing the impact on users.

We can make a number of assumptions: for example, it is unlikely that a recursive resolver running at a dynamic address could support a large number of users since it does not offer a stable address for any devices to send queries to for resolution. But ultimately, determining potential user impact based on the data available to us is difficult and we are therefore soliciting the community’s input.

Input and discussion on acceptable criteria for proceeding with the KSK roll will take place on an existing email list that is already being used for discussion of the root KSK rollover. We encourage anyone interested in contributing to join the mailing list by visiting the web page here.

The ICANN org will monitor this mailing list and beginning on 15 January 2018, we will develop a draft plan for proceeding with the root KSK roll based on the input received and discussion on the mailing list. The plan will be published by 31 January 2018 and undergo a formal ICANN public comment process to gather further input. We will hold a session at ICANN61 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, to discuss the plan and hear from the community in person. Our intent is to have a revised plan available for community review and public comment prior to ICANN62 in Panama City, Panama, with a final plan published soon thereafter.

Throughout the process we’ll continue to keep the community updated on the root KSK rollover project’s progress.

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Alchemy IoT launches with $4 million seed funding to simplify industrial IoT using artificial intelligence

By Zenobia Hegde

Alchemy IoT, a provider of IoT Asset Intelligence for industrial applications, launched with $4 million (€3.40 million) seed funding from Aweida Venture Partners and several angel investors. The startup’s cloud-based application, Clarity, helps customers achieve a greater return on their industrial assets and competitive advantage.

The product introduces a novel “no-code” approach to IoT Asset Intelligence that simplifies how fleet management, plant maintenance and manufacturing performance can be improved using artificial intelligence and unsupervised machine learning.

Alchemy will focus on helping small- to mid-sized industrial customers overcome the technical and data-science resource mandates that are needed – and often unattainable – to deploy today’s expensive and highly complex IoT solutions.

“The promise of artificial intelligence, machine learning and industrial IoT are very real, but so too are the challenges smaller organisations face when trying to adopt and gain value from these new technologies,” said Victor Perez, CEO for Alchemy IoT. “Our mission is to make AI-powered IoT a ‘no-code’ proposition, one that any industrial company can quickly start and put to use to gain fast value. Too many of today’s IoT solutions require a massive budget and an extraordinary amount of customisation to even getting started – we aim to disrupt and change that.”

Led by technology industry veterans from IBM, ABB, GE, StorageTek, Seagate and Sony Electronics, Alchemy defines its industry approach as “IoT Asset Intelligence,” an AI-based method to quickly gain knowledge and ROI from industrial assets. Supporting Industry 4.0 and digital transformations, this cloud-based approach eliminates the complexity and expense of Big Data and IoT initiatives by shifting the value stream to the asset itself. It aims to standardise workflows and enable no-code IoT adoption to preemptively solve problems and discover new business opportunities.

clarity desktop

Through AI innovation, Alchemy aims to make “data science” available to small- to mid-market industrial customers by delivering a contextual view of operational and performance data – fast, and at a fraction of the cost of expensive, heavyweight, customised solutions. Its Clarity application creates a digital twin of industrial assets, allowing the full benefit of the internet to make industrial assets and data feeds easy to connect to its IoT cloud application.

Using Clarity, teams can visualise asset information in graphical dashboards, analyse asset performance through unsupervised machine learning, and take proactive action to increase the productivity of industrial fleets and machinery.

Clarity stands alone in its ability to deliver self-learning, predictive analytics to automate complex tasks typically performed by high-cost and scarce data scientists. Offering asset data analytics through a low-cost SaaS model also enables customers to quickly deploy and scale thousands of devices within 48 hours of using Alchemy’s unique auto-provisioning capabilities.

“There’s no doubt that artificial intelligence and IoT will transform how companies operate and wi

Jesse Aweida

n in the industrial IoT market, and Alchemy has proven that it can make these technologies accessible smartly and practically,” said Jesse Aweida, general manager of Aweida Venture Partners. “I am very excited to support the Alchemy team as it moves to simplify and speed time-to-value for industrial IoT […]

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Open standards are key to increasing value from IoT value chain

By Zenobia Hegde

Communication Service Providers (CSPs) must adopt an open standards approach if they are to make the most of the revenue opportunities presented by Internet of Things (IoT) applications that use Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) networks. A common IoT service layer will result in increased cost-effectiveness, improved scalability and greater confidence that today’s IoT deployments will be future-proof.

That is the finding of Boost LPWA revenue through oneM2M, a new white paper published today by oneM2M, the global IoT standards initiative. This most recent white paper is part of oneM2M’s ongoing work to accelerate mass deployment of the IoT which will bring value to both CSPs and end-users.

“While the latest figures from Analysys Mason suggest there could be 3.4 billion LPWA connections by 2025, the forecasted revenue per connected device is relatively low unless CSP strategies to tap into the larger revenue opportunity provided through application enablement become mainstream,” said oneM2M’s technical plenary chair Dr. Omar Elloumi.

“With the recent ramp-up of LPWA deployments worldwide, we have seen an increasing number of CSPs adhering to the oneM2M value proposition, but they will need to expedite their strategies to improve the value they are seeing from the IoT. oneM2M provides a great opportunity to monetise LPWA, effectively making it application developer-centric.”

Open standards for the IoT were developed after enterprises that deployed the early wave of IoT connections found themselves restricted by a vertical approach to platform management.

Working in this way restricted the applications’ scalability, limited cost-effectiveness and stifled interest from device manufacturers and app developers, who found themselves repeating efforts to integrate different connections and device management protocols.

“The need for interoperability is what drives oneM2M’s architecture, which allows CSPs to break down the silos that inhibit growth and creates a single, horizontal platform for data sharing between applications,” said oneM2M’s regional marcom vice chair Chris Meering, of Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE).

“This not only delivers OpEx savings from not having to manage multiple horizontal silos, but also opens up new service innovation opportunities. LPWA provides the means to deliver the IoT and a standards-based, horizontal approach makes it a stronger business case.”

The white paper discusses the importance of normalising data from different devices within a single platform – a common IoT service layer – that is agnostic of hardware and connectivity type. This gives app developers the confidence to create new and innovative services through easy-to-use application programming interfaces, knowing that they will work with all service provider networks and IoT deployments.

By forming partnerships with these developers and device manufacturers through the use of oneM2M, CSPs can create value in the app space and ultimately via data analytics.

Chris Meering

“Using oneM2M makes it possible for app developers to build once and reuse often,” said Andreas Neubacher, Technology Innovation at Deutsche Telekom. “This creates a win-win situation – developers can create tailor-made apps that can easily be scaled, while CSPs and platform providers have a larger pool of resources as the developers reuse code and avoid duplication of efforts.”

HPE’s Universal IoT Platform and InterDigital’s oneTRANSPORT concept […]

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Huawei Wireless X Labs sets up connected factory SIG to explore 5G applications in smart manufacturing

By Zenobia Hegde

Huawei Wireless X Labs has joined hands with several industry partners to announce the establishment of a Wireless Connected Factory Special Interest Group (SIG). This is the third in a series of SIGs created by X Labs, with others focusing on X Labs’ Digital Sky initiative and Wireless eHealth.The Wireless Connected Factory SIG has brought together partners in the field of smart manufacturing to conduct further research and promote extensive applications of 5G communication technologies in Industry 4.0.

The first SIG group meeting was also held, with guidance from the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT) being provided. All SIG members attended the gathering. These included: Huawei, ABB, Efort, Bosch, Beckhoff, Hikrobot, Geely, KUKA, and Shenyang Institute of Automation Chinese Academy of Sciences. Schneider Electric was also present.

Flexible manufacturing based on smart machines will help redefine future production lines. These next-generation machines featuring plug-and-play technology are growing increasingly flexible and can easily be adjusted to suit a diverse range of production domains.

It is important that factories be equipped with dynamic, high-performance communication networks to support such smart machines. Wireless technologies are an invaluable tool that can substantially help to reduce network construction and maintenance costs, while significantly boosting both productivity and safety.

The manufacturing industry holds the most immense potential for IoT applications. According to an analysis completed by Huawei Wireless X Labs, the connections in the manufacturing sector worldwide will reach 12.5 billion by 2020, with factory networks accounting for US $50 billion(€42.61 billion) of the potential market.

At the start of 2017, X Labs targeted wireless robotics as one of its main focuses in wireless use case research. After over half a year of hard work, X Labs and its partners decided upon the Wireless Connected Factory SIG’s four research priorities, namely cloud-based programmable logic controllers (PLC), wireless industrial cameras, wireless controlled automated guided vehicles (AGV), and industrial wearables.

Xu Heyuan, deputy chief engineer of CAICT said: “The release of the ‘Internet plus advanced manufacturing’ guidelines will promote the development of the industrial Internet and upgrade the traditional manufacturing sector. Wireless distributed intelligent communication technologies are set to play a fundamental role in the transformation of the manufacturing industry.”

“The formation of the Wireless Connected Factory SIG will help accelerate the development of all related technologies. The Industrial Internet Industry Alliance is fully prepared to work with the SIG towards jointly exploring all associated technologies, standards, and industries.”

“The mission of exploring future wireless use cases lies with X Labs,” said Ying Weimin, Huawei Wireless Research and Development President. “Huawei hopes that SIGs such as those set up by X Labs can discover and inspire many more 5G use cases and promote 5G technologies’ application in future smart manufacturing. Such efforts will contribute to the rise of connected factories. Huawei will work diligently alongside its partners to simulate further growth and innovation.”

The meeting also witnessed the signing of several Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) between Huawei and ABB, Hikrobot, Effort, Geely, and Beckhoff. MoUs help lay a solid foundation for additional cooperation between […]

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Riot starts with a claim to industry’s lowest power NB-IoT and eMTC baseband chip

By Jeremy Cowan

Internet of Things (IoT) newcomer, Riot Micro is claiming that a radical design approach applying BLE/Wi-Fi architecture has delivered a new cellular IoT solution with cost/power levels that are characteristic of short-range wireless systems. Here Peter Wong, CEO, describes the development to Jeremy Cowan.

Semiconductor start-ups are rare things these days. Vancouver, Canada-based Riot Micro has made its market debut in the IoT sector with what it claims is the industry’s lowest power baseband modem chip for cellular IoT.

The company began life a decade ago working on LTE IP technology to licence to the general market. Then three years ago, in search of faster growth Riot changed direction and brought in Peter Wong as CEO. “We retooled and refinanced,” he tells IoT Now, “grew to about 30 people, and developed a chip for cellular IoT, based on LTE NB1 and eMTC specifications.”

Peter Wong, Riot Micro’s CEO

“Why IoT?” we ask.

“Because that’s where the majority of growth was. If you look at other cellular technologies – you know Cat 3, 4 , 5, 6 – as you go higher and higher for the smartphones and tablets of the world it gets harder and harder for a start-up to compete realistically. The key differentiators are integration and powerful processors with Snapdragons etc., and going up against the Qualcomms of the world didn’t make a whole lot of sense,” says Wong.

“When the standards started to evolve for M2M (machine-to-machine communications) it looked like there could be a significant inflexion point where the requirements changed significantly and where processor technology was not the King of the Game. It was about optimising for more performance and lower power, and of course much, much lower cost.”

“Cost being a huge factor in services with low ARPUs (average revenues per user),” IoT Now suggests.

“Exactly. That drove why we formed the team that we did. LTE is a relatively sophisticated protocol and technology relative to other wireless technologies like BLE and WiFi. But when you break it right down and look at NB1 and eMTC we felt there was a ton of simplification you could do technically and implementatikon-wise and speed-wise. When you’re driving 200kbps or even 1Mb you can take certain design approaches that are extremely power-efficient and really help drive the cost down. The memory is an example. We optimised the LTE protocol stack so that it only does NB1 and MTC. We could minimise the amount of memory required. Our protocol stack operates entirely within the memory within our chip.”

So the Riot Micro RM1000 has been built using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and Wi-Fi architecture techniques to deliver a cellular IoT solution with the low power and cost levels of short-range wireless systems. The RM1000 is now being offered to module manufacturers and OEMs designing narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) and eMTC systems that can include automotive, asset management, home automation, industrial, point-of-sale, smart energy, and vending applications.

Asked who the company sees as its key rivals, Peter Wong tells IoT Now it would be companies like Sequans, and Altair […]

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