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Mobile tariffs are in a continual state of change, as providers reshape and repackage mobile offers, says Strategy Analytics

By Zenobia Hegde

Mobile tariffs are in a continual state of change, as providers reshape and repackage mobile offers. Coupled with the sheer breadth and depth of information that these offers create, service providers, regulators and consumers struggle to compare, rank or benchmark different propositions and average price points.

The Teligen division of Strategy Analytics has been tracking this pricing minefield globally for over twenty years, within its OECD Mobile Voice Price Benchmarking Service. The quarterly-updated Excel-based system incorporates the internationally acknowledged OECD methodology, and is based on the top two providers across 36 countries.

In an extension to this already comprehensive coverage, it has now launched a premium version of the service, which includes additional providers in five European markets; France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK, as well as in the US, to cover providers with at least 80% combined market share (typically 4-6 providers per country).

Analysis of the extended coverage within these six markets shows that for a user making 100 calls a month (just over 180 minutes), sending 140 text messages, and using 2GB data can save, on average, over USD PPP 200 a year, depending on choice of provider. The graph below shows how costs in these extended markets compare for this basket.

Source: OECD Mobile Voice Premium Service, November 2017 (custom country & provider selection)

“Italian provider Tre is an example of where major cost savings can be found. It is currently offering an incredibly competitive tariff – ALL-IN Start, which gives users 500 minutes, 500 texts and 5GB of data a month for €5, with a six month promotional offer of 4G LTE speed at no extra cost (thereafter €1 per month). Without the 4G option, this works out at just under USD PPP 80 per year.

This is half the cost of the cheapest offer from WIND, which merged with Tre in 2016, and over 75% cheaper than its closest priced competitor, TIM. Of course, it is important to look at the specifics of each offer and consider it in the context of the specific usage profile, but in any event, this represents a significant cost saving” stated Josie Sephton, director of Strategy Analytics’ Price Benchmarking division, Teligen.

According to Angela Toal, senior tariff analyst with Teligen “while the Italian example is especially dramatic, large differences in costs can be found in other countries. The new Premium service gives access to much more in-depth coverage of providers in selected markets, allowing for a much greater insight into what the key competitors are really up to”

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Found: New Android malware with never-before-seen spying capabilities

By Dan Goodin

Enlarge (credit: portal gda)

Last year, researchers found what at the time was quite possibly the world’s most sophisticated espionage app ever written for the Android mobile operating system. Now, in a discovery that underscores the growing arms race among competing malware developers, researchers have uncovered a new Android spying platform that includes location-based audio recording and other features that have never been seen in the wild before.

According to a report published Tuesday by antivirus provider Kaspersky Lab, “Skygofree” is most likely an offensive security product sold by an Italy-based IT company that markets various surveillance wares. With 48 different commands in its latest version, the malware has undergone continuous development since its creation in late 2014. It relies on five separate exploits to gain privileged root access that allows it to bypass key Android security measures. Skygofree is capable of taking pictures, capturing video, and seizing call records, text messages, gelocation data, calendar events, and business-related information stored in device memory.

Skygofree also includes the ability to automatically record conversations and noise when an infected device enters a location specified by the person operating the malware. Another never-before-seen feature is the ability to steal WhatsApp messages by abusing the Android Accessibility Service that’s designed to help users who have disabilities or who may temporarily be unable to fully interact with a device. A third new feature: the ability to connect infected devices to Wi-Fi networks controlled by attackers.

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T-Mobile Launches Nation’s First Plan for Narrowband IoT

By IoT – Internet of Things

Look out carriers: here comes Magenta, connecting all the things. T-Mobile’s nationwide first plan for narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) for just $6 per year. At one tenth the cost of Verizon’s Cat-M plans, T-Mobile’s new NB-IoT plan takes advantage of narrowband technology, and the efficiency it provides, to significantly lower the costs of connecting things and unleash […]

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Bonitasoft partners with Amazon AWS to bring enterprise applications to the cloud

By Zenobia Hegde

Bonitasoft, the open source provider of low-code business process management and digital transformation software, announced that along with the release of v7.6 of its flagship platform Bonita, it has signed a partnership agreement with Amazon Web Services (AWS). This partnership will permit companies to effectively operate the Bonita platform with Amazon AWS cloud technology.

Bonita 7.6 comes with a brand-new platform add-on, Bonita Continuous Delivery, which automates provisioning of a Bonita platform so that deployment takes just a few minutes.

This module can be added to the Bonita platform and leverages Ansible and Docker technologies for provisioning, along with provides advanced native Bonita capabilities to manage clustering deployments and platform backups. Applications on the Bonita platform are now fully compatible with both on-premises and AWS cloud deployments.

“With cloud-based access though AWS, digital process applications on the Bonita platform are easily highly distributed and secure,” said Miguel Valdes Faura, CEO and founder of Bonitasoft. “We are pleased to have AWS as part of our partner ecosystem.”

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Businesses have just five weeks to enter The IoT Global Awards 2018

By IoT Now Magazine

London, UK. January 4th, 2018 – There’s still time to gain massive publicity for your Internet of Things (IoT) project, team or leader from a shortlisted entry in The IoT Global Awards 2018. The premier IoT Awards scheme worldwide is sponsored by IoTGlobalNetwork.com, organisers of the Awards, and Smart IoT, hosts of the UK’s leading Internet of Things event (www.smartiotlondon.com).

Smart IoT at London ExCeL

The closing date for entries is midnight (UK) on Thursday February 15th, 2018. A shortlist of entries will then be published extensively worldwide on Thursday February 22nd. Publicity will appear on www.IoT-Now.com , www.IoTGlobalNetwork.com, www.IoTNowTransport.com, www.VanillaPlus.com and www.smartiotlondon.com/ . There will also be publicity in IoT Now Magazine and through supporting media worldwide.

An unrivalled team of 12 VIP Judges, drawn from analyst firms, international academia, IoT industry associations, and IoT business experts, will then judge the Shortlisted Entries. The winners of the 2018 Awards will be announced at the event in London ExCeL on Wednesday March 21st, 2018.

If you have not yet entered the IoT Global Awards there is still time. Send us your Entries by Thursday February 15th, 2018. Find the IoT Categories that best suit your organisation at www.iotglobalawards.com/categories. Here there are also details of How To Enter. A single Entry costs just UK£49.00 and there are discounts of up to 25% for entries in more than one Category.

Jeremy Cowan WKM

Jeremy Cowan, Editorial Director & Publisher of WeKnow Media Ltd, organisers of the awards said: “With multiple entries costing as little as £37.00 each, and single entries just £49.00, a global publicity campaign for your IoT project has never been so affordable.”

John Davy

John Davy, Group Event Director, Smart IoT added: “These Awards are a celebration of everything that we admire most in the Internet of Things. So we are delighted to be highlighting these IoT success stories at Smart IoT London, the UK’s premier Internet of Things event.”

Winners will be named in 12 Categories – ranging from Automotive, Transport & Travel to Smart Cities, Government & Utilities. All Nominees and Shortlisted Entrants are warmly invited to attend the announcement, as are Exhibitors and Visitors at Smart IoT. The Winners in each category will be announced on the Exhibition Floor.

The Awards Ceremony will be held at 5.30pm (UK) on Wednesday March 21st, 2018 in London ExCeL, and the results posted Live on social media. The Awards Announcement will be free to attend for all visitors and exhibitors at Smart IoT London. Afterwards, all guests are invited to attend a Drinks Reception at 6.00pm at The Fox at Excel, where guests will be offered free drinks and refreshments.

www.iotglobalawards.com

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Are we enter the era of Wearables-as-a-Service?

By Zenobia Hegde

At this week’s CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas Omate will unveil its Wearable-as-a-Service (WaaS) exclusive partnership with Medical Guardian designed to protect senior citizens in North America.

Omate announces new Wearable-as-a-Service solution to protect lone workers.

The new, next generation Omate 4G O5LW smartwatch is powered by Arkea on Life secure location-based services.

This can be seen at Booth 43855 in the Health & Wellness Marketplace. Demo will be available later at ShowStoppers at Wynn Hotel Las Vegas, in the Lafite Ballroom on Tuesday January 9, 2018 from 6.00 to 10.00p.m.

On Sunday Omate announced its newest 4G enabled smartwatch, the Omate O5LW – wearable platform powered by Arkea on Life.

Introducing the O5LW

“We are excited to work with Arkea On Life to offer consumers the opportunity to protect their family through the most secure platform to date. Using Arkea insurance and banking background, guarantees the safety of the data of the end users.

This relationship opens up possibilities for new Wearable-as-a-Services for enterprise segments through Arkea On Life services such as lone workers in the security, public utilities, transportation and many other industries,” says Laurent Le Pen, founder & CEO at Omate.

The O5LW is a low power 4G always-on standalone wearable and GPS tracker packaged in a robust IP67 case and is ideal for companies looking for connected services tailored to their industries.

WaaS: Wearable-as-a-Service

Omate has strategically invested in IoT for smart connected wearables to offer tailored services to companies evolving in the kids, elderly and enterprise segments. Modules powered by Omate are used in wearable devices for people who need protection from kids to seniors to lone workers

Yvon Le Bihan

“We are delighted that Omate selected Arkea On Life services for its next generation platform,” said Yvon Le Bihan, CEO at Arkea On Life. “Our services are designed to meet the needs of tomorrow’s wearable devices for both consumer and enterprise segments.”

Always-on connectivity for tailored services

The Omate O5LW powered wearable is designed to deliver an always connected experience with the latest 4G modem, integrated GPS, low power Wi-Fi® and Bluetooth®.

The O5LW can last up to three days on a single charge and triangulates location using GPS, 4G cellular networks and Wi-Fi hotspots, for a more accurate positioning.

The O5LW will be available from June 2018 exclusively through Arkea On Life; associated services will be accessible through several mobile network operators and insurance companies starting Q3 2018.

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Loyalty or lock-in? Most smart speaker users won’t budge from Amazon or Google

By Zenobia Hegde

More than two thirds of current owners of Amazon Echo and Google Home smart speakers are planning to buy another smart speaker within the next six months, according to the latest research from Strategy Analytics.

The report, Smart Speaker User Survey: Brand Awareness and Ownership, also found that 75% of Amazon smart speaker owners would choose another Amazon speaker, and 69% of Google owners would choose another Google product. The report concludes that “this may simply suggest high levels of satisfaction, or a recognition that the technical platforms are different and that switching would involve unwanted complexity”.

Other key findings from the research include:

24% of respondents already own at least one smart speaker
Amazon and Google account for 94% of all smart speakers in use
More than a quarter of all respondents intend to buy a smart speaker in the next 6 months

“The early runners in the fast-growing smart speaker market look set to dominate for some time,” says David Mercer, principal analyst and the report’s author. “High customer satisfaction levels and the possibility of platform ‘lock-in’ will make it challenging for competitor platforms to carve out significant market share in the near term.”

“At this early stage it appears that Amazon and Google are successfully meeting customer needs, in spite of adopting contrasting strategies,” comments David Watkins, director of Strategy Analytics’ Smart Speakers service. “This is good and bad news for competitors: it will be tough to dislodge Amazon and Google; but new approaches to smart speaker design and user experience can help win over new customers.”

Strategy Analytics will be attending CES in Las Vegas January 9-12 where analysts will be available to discuss the company’s smart speaker research in more detail.

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One small step for 5G, one giant step for wireless

By Zenobia Hegde

Today marks a momentous milestone for the wireless industry: the finalisation of the 3GPP Non-Standalone (NSA) 5G New Radio (NR) Standard. The formalisation of the NSA standard anchors the coming Standalone (SA) version and represents a remarkable step forward for the industry.

With NSA 5G NR, players across the ecosystem for the first time have rallied around a single internationally recognised specification for 5G radio systems. It provides the technological foundation for the industry to begin testing and commercialising the next generation of wireless services and devices, says Asha Keddy of Intel.

I’d like to congratulate the parties that contributed to the development of this standard, setting the foundation for an interoperable global marketplace ripe with economic opportunity and technological possibility. As I commented in the related news release, Intel participated in the process, working closely with mobile industry leaders to support the standard and accelerate the first NR trials.

Many of the early use cases will fall into the realms of enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB), the Internet of Things (IoT), as well as Vehicle-to-Everything Communications (V2X). Intel has already been innovating in many of these segments, conducting field trials with the Intel 5G Mobile Trial Platform (MTP) and the Intel GO 5G Automotive Platform. To prepare for the specification finalisation, we have to be two to three years ahead of the standards when it comes to gathering key learnings about use cases and their related performance requirements.

Intel is proud to have contributed to the development of NSA 5G NR with proprietary research, reference designs and insights from a range of trials. Intel’s many contributions spanned the specification, including coding, error correction, modulation, spatial sub-channelisation, beamforming, reference symbol designs, radio link adaptation and more. Intel also produced prototypes for use in the testing of pre-5G standards, including 5GTF.

Those system stacks were, in essence, the parents of NSA and SA 5G NR – providing evidence of what was possible and informing the standard’s specifications. During this process, we collaborated with industry innovators like Ericsson and Nokia, and leading operators like AT&T, Korea Telecom, NTT Docomo and Verizon.

We’ve rapidly evolved our MTP in lockstep with progress of the NR specification, preparing it for the finalisation of the standard. It’s NSA 5G NR-ready, giving equipment manufacturers the platform they need to test interoperability and operators the ability to simulate real-world use cases. Powered by high-performance Intel FPGAs and Intel® Core™ processors, the MTP will have a key role in informing the pending SA standard within Release 15 in June 2018.

We already have several NSA 5G NR trials lined up using the MTP alongside our 5G RFIC supporting sub-6 GHz and mmWave, and our 5G RFFE for operations in the 28 GHz and 39 GHz bands. The learnings from our interoperability testing and real-world trials are foundational for our first commercial NSA/SA 5G NR-capable multimode solutions, the Intel® XMM™ 8000 series modem, with customer devices expected in 2019. These solutions will support a variety of use cases, including PCs, mobile phones, fixed wireless CPE and even vehicles.

Of course, it’s important to remember that as momentous as this occasion is, it’s really just […]

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Thai start-up ‘DRVR’ partners with Tata Communications to revolutionise Asia’s smart fleet network

By Zenobia Hegde

International fleet management application provider, DRVR has selected Tata Communications as its global IoT connectivity partner to help achieve its objective of making Asia’s vehicle fleets the smartest and most cost-efficient in the world.

Leveraging Tata Communications’ mobility solution- MOVE™, DRVR can convert information collected from vehicles across Thailand, Myanmar, Philippines and Indonesia into actionable insights to help drive efficiencies and improve cost savings through smarter fleet management.

The advent of connected vehicles has led to an exponential increase in consumption and creation of human to machine interface applications and solutions. A Forrester report on the Internet of Things states that fleet management and its applications in transportation and logistics across retail and wholesale will be the hottest areas for IoT growth. The Asia Pacific automotive telematics market is expected to reach a value of US$ 15,248 million by 2020 at an estimated CAGR of 11.6% during the forecast period.

Vehicles in fleets using DRVR technology have been fitted with Tata Communications’ MOVE-IOT Connect™ SIM technology. The sensors transmit data collected in real-time using Tata Communications’ MOVE, which seamlessly connects services using the best available local cellular network. The DRVR application then processes and analyses this data, turning it into actionable intelligence further illustrating fleet performance metrics on any device, mobile or laptop.

This means that faster and better informed decisions can be made as fleet managers have a more holistic view of everything that is happening across the fleet, communicating updates in real time; on a highly secure infrastructure ultimately leading to more effective and robust operations on the ground.

David Henderson, co-founder and CEO, DRVR said: “Our partnership with Tata Communications enables us to overcome two major challenges in our quest to create smarter fleets across our entire geographical footprint. First, rather than negotiate multiple contracts with individual service providers, our entire international IoT network is managed through Tata Communications.

As a result, we get valuable visibility of data collected across borders so that we can realise the benefits of smarter fleet management. Second, it allows us a holistic view on a singular dashboard allowing us to respond with improved accuracy and eliminating downtime almost entirely.”

Tata Communications’ MOVE service will be rolled out to DRVR customers through its smart fleet management applications. Tata Communications MOVE is part of the company’s long-term strategy for its mobility services portfolio and its vision of creating an access and usage agnostic, cross-border mobile experience for people and things.

The platform is underpinned by Tata Communications’ global network and partnerships with several hundred mobile communications service providers globally. The service enables DRVR to roam across different service providers in any of its covered regions without having to negotiate agreements with multiple providers or pay extra fees.

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BOE Put into Production the World’s First G10.5 TFT-LCD Line Creating New Milestone in Global Display Industry

By IoT – Internet of Things

Recently, the global highest generation line, BOE Gen 10.5 TFT-LCD production line, has put into production ahead of schedule in Hefei. It hasn’t been long after the mass production of China’s first BOE Chengdu Gen 6 flexible AMOLED production line, marking another new milestone in the global display industry. Not only does this mean that […]

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