How to handle the vanishing radio spectrum: Share frequencies

By Patrick Nelson

With the billions of Internet of Things (IoT) devices projected to come on-stream over the next few years, questions are arising as to just where the bandwidth and radio channels are going to come from to make it all work.

The sensors need to send their likely increasingly voluminous data back to networks wirelessly to be processed.

But there’s a finite amount of radio spectrum available, and much of it is already allocated to incumbent primary users, such as public safety agencies. Other spectrum is dedicated to mobile network operators who have licensed chunks of it. Some is leftover in the millimeter frequencies, which is thus far pretty much untested in the real world — it’s going to be used for 5G in the future.

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What is eUICC and what does it mean for you?

By IoT Now Magazine

Having recently rolled out embedded universal integrated circuit card (eUICC) tariffs in Europe and the Caribbean, with plans to launch more soon, Stream Technologies is at the forefront when it comes to delivering on the value that this technology promises to deliver. Stream’s eUICC-enabled SIMs operate throughout multiple countries and multiple regions, support multiple subscriptions and can be reprogrammed remotely using our award-winning IoT-X Connectivity Management Platform (CMP).

eUICC opens the door to a range of use cases that cannot be supported by conventional SIMs and offers exciting opportunities to enterprises and mobile network operators (MNOs). This case study outlines the opportunities and challenges presented by eUICC connectivity, and examines how Stream’s eUICC offering enables enterprises and MNOs to benefit from serious value enhancement and immense competitive differentiation by embracing this new technology.

eUICC technology is transforming cellular connectivity for enterprises and MNOs. With conventional SIM cards, if a customer wants to change network operator, they need to swap the physical SIM inside their device. The development of eUICC-enabled SIMs means that enterprises can remotely provision SIM profiles over the air, without having to change the physical SIM card. For MNOs, eUICC represents an easy point of entry into the next wave of new, high net average revenue per user (ARPU) Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity revenue.

The terms eUICC and embedded SIM (eSIM) are often used interchangeably, however it’s important to emphasise the distinction between the two. eSIM is an embeddable SIM card, while eUICC is a remotely programmable SIM card which is available in a range of form factors. There is a common misconception that an eUICC solution must be an eSIM. This is a miscommunication within the market which has confused operators and enterprises. Contrary to popular belief, eUICC-enabled SIM cards are available in all the standard SIM formats.

The eUICC opportunity

Capitalising on the increasing presence of IoT connectivity represents the next big market opportunity for enterprises and MNOs. As IoT becomes commonplace, there will be an acceleration of growth for robust, secure, easy to manage and cost-effective cellular connectivity on a global scale.

Enterprises that embrace this digital transformation will see serious value enhancement and immense competitive differentiation, but only if they are able to address the patchwork and fragmented structure of the current global cellular network. The most agile networks are starting to recognise this, and are enabling access to solutions powered by the eUICC standard by acquiring or imitating net-new businesses.

For enterprises and operators, the adoption of eUICC will require multiple evolved technologies which will open up immense scaling in cellular connected devices and the transit of data via existing cellular networks. Coordinating change on this scale is undoubtedly a complex challenge.

Solve the eUICC challenge

To help scale eUICC connectivity on a global basis, two fundamental technologies are required. The first is a platform that enables simple and fast integration with IoT centred subscriptions on in-country MNO cellular bearer services. This must be a platform that can provide a single generic control layer of tariffs, SIM connectivity services and data-transit. Ideally […]

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Inside TIBCO’s ‘Connected Intelligence’ Strategy

By Alex Woodie

Not content to ride a comfortable stream of maintenance revenue into the sunset, TIBCO is on the move again as it builds out its “connected intelligence” strategy to be a one-stop shop for the evolving data integration, management, and analytics needs of Global 2000 firms.

TIBCO brought its annual user conference to San Diego, California last week, and made several customers and executives available to Datanami and its sister publication EntepriseTech. What was plainly evident from discussions with CTO Matt Quinn, CMO Thomas Been, and customers like JetBlue and Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport is that the company is positioning itself to be a capable partner for solving enterprise-scale data challenges.

“A lot of the digital evolution we see requires those two capabilities: interconnect everything and augmented intelligence,” Been says in an interview. “These are two fundamental capabilities that are really required in a lot of domains that companies are working in.”

With its history as a top provider of enterprise messaging systems, TIBCO has always had a strong data integration story. Now the Palo Alto, California company is moving aggressively to leverage emerging technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), Blockchain, artificial intelligence, and micro services to bolsters its clients’ capabilities.

Much of its analytics story rides atop Spotfire, the BI and visualization tool that TIBCO acquired several years ago to compete with Tableau, Qlik, and Microstrategy. TIBCO has plans to improve that product’s functioning through the use of data science, such as by issuing better recommendations for visualizations.

Spotfire is the linchpin of TIBCO’s analytics strategy

The recent acquisition of the Statistica package also factors into TIBCO’s data science plans. In addition to opening up access to the world of open source data science libraries, the Statistica software will also bolster its TIBCO Insight Platform and give users a way to leverage Google‘s TensorFlow framework for deep learning.

The company has plans to make its own AI offerings. Instead, it wants to leverage the accelerating rate of AI advancements to improve its own product offerings in specific areas. “I have no desire to build yet another AI framework. There’s already enough,” Quinn the CTO says. “What I am interested in is applying some of those technologies that have been built to make our technology better, and also to … do them at fundamental scale and speed.”

Graph database are in the plans, too. TIBCO is actually building its own semantic graph database, with the goal of being able to store and retrieve knowledge more effectively, which could have applications in a range of use cases and bolster other investments that customers are making in machine learning and IoT.

“Whenever you talk about AI, knowledge representation become a pretty big deal,” Quinn says. “If you go and look at what Google has done with TensorFlow, a lot of the outputs … are graphs. You need to store those graphs to be able to analyze those, so that graph database is a pretty important building block for us.”

Speaking of blocks, TIBCO is also quite keen on the Blockchain and distributed ledger technologies. “Blockchain is interesting,” Quinn says. “Specifically, the notion of smart contracts intrigues us quite a lot. The ability to provide rule-based smart contracts, that are more adaptive than just writing code, is something we’re pretty intrigued by.”

The company is also delving into “low code” environments with LiveApps, a cloud-based business process management (BPM) environment designed to allow non-technical users to assemble Web apps quickly.

Murray Rode leads TIBCO as CEO

Then there’s Project Mashling, a new open source “micro gateway” designed to help clients manage the multitude of microservices APIs. Mashling is an extension of Mashery, the full-fledged API management product that it bought from Intel in 2015. Last but not least is Project Flogo, a lightweight, open source product that can run on any device and functions as an IoT integration engine. Together, Flogo and Mashling are key to TIBCO’s strategy to push its “connected intelligence” strategy out to edge devices.

TIBCO has a lot of irons in the fire (and we didn’t even talk about its in-memory data grid or streaming analytics offerings). From machine learning and AI to IoT and Blockchain, it’s spreading its technological bets around in a fairly even manner. But the company is fully aware of the high hype level accompanying these technologies, and displays a cautious prudence that doesn’t exist at many venture-backed firms in the Silicon Valley.

If the level of hype hit 100 on a hypothetical hypo-o-meter, says Been the CMO, then perhaps we can expect the real-world impact of those technologies to register a 30. “We talk about fascinating technologies,” he says. “But if we don’t connect them to the real business, well, they’re going to go the same route as Hadoop and the others.”

TIBCO has been in a state of transition since it was sold by founder Vivek Ranadivé and transitioned from a public to a private entity. Now 20 years old, the company is entering its third decade with a solid collection of products and a thorough understanding enterprise computing needs. When you combine that with the wider dynamics occurring in the computing world, it could add up to something special.

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Real-world networks for real-world solutions

By IoT Now Magazine

As part of an ongoing commitment to accelerate the growth and adoption of Internet of Things (IoT) technology, Stream Technologies has deployed an array of incubator LoRa networks throughout the UK. With incubator networks deployed in Glasgow, Liverpool and London, Stream is providing an entryway into LoRa technology and encouraging collaboration between industry experts, academics and enterprises.

In line with the company’s objective to nurture the development of LoRa technology and foster growth throughout the industry, Stream’s incubator networks are entirely open to organisations who want to develop LoRa applications and test them in a real-world environment.

For many organisations and individuals, developing IoT projects in real-life conditions can prove challenging. For example, developing and testing smart city applications can be prohibitively expensive because of the lack of openaccess testing environments available. Developers in this field require consent from multiple parties, dedicated hardware, specialised software and network technology, as well as estates in which to create an effective test environment. This results in a heavy strain on finance and time. Stream’s incubator networks are designed to stimulate the development of IoT sensors and applications and to address the challenges of developing smart city solutions in real-life conditions.

Why LoRa?

Stream is supporting the development of LoRa technology because it’s the ideal fit for a wide-range of IoT use cases, ranging from smart cities and smart campuses to agriculture and industry. LoRa, developed by Semtech, is a wireless technology that supports long-range, low-power IoT communications.

LoRa use cases

Stream’s incubator networks are being harnessed by enterprises, start-ups and academic organisations as they develop and test LoRa-based applications. Stream’s testbeds are open to public and private sector organisations and enable the development of a wide-range of applications to support smart cities, smart campuses and smart airports. Some of the use cases that Stream’s networks are being used to develop solutions for include:

• Smart metering

The smart metering industry stands to benefit enormously from LoRaWAN technology. Since smart metering applications transmit low amounts of data, they are an ideal candidate for low-bit rate, low-power LoRa devices. While cellular connectivity usually incurs a monthly charge for line rental and data, LoRaWAN devices are much more cost-effective to use.

Thousands of smart meters can communicate with a single LoRa gateway up to 15 kilometres away, depending on urban density, with the geographical distribution of smart meters being supported by LoRa’s long-range functionality. Stream expects LoRaWAN to be used to deliver robust applications that add great value to smart meter operators, bringing reliability, accuracy and efficiency to smart metering solutions.

• Smart parking

The operational costs associated with parking infrastructure can be significantly reduced with a simple LoRaWAN smart parking deployment. LoRa sensors can be used to report on parking space occupancy, with the data being delivered in real time to the operator via Stream’s LoRaWAN network server. With real-time parking occupancy data, operators can direct drivers to empty parking spaces. LoRaWAN smart parking applications can also be used to increase staff productivity. For example, rather than ticket officers patrolling specific routes, their routes can be optimised to […]

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Easier and cheaper enterprise IoT, it’s all in the SIM

By IoT Now Magazine

Connecting individual consumers over mobile networks is one thing, but connecting a business’s multitude of IoT devices over many different global networks is another challenge altogether. Up to now though, in most cases, the same inflexible SIM technology has been deployed in both scenarios, which isn’t ideal for mission critical business data. An alternative solution for business IoT connectivity in the form of eUICC is now coming into play, Antony Savvas looks at whether it really is the game changer it’s being described as.

The embedded Universal Integrated Circuit Card (eUICC), also known as an eSIM, is smart technology that supports enterprises in their deployment of IoT devices that offer ubiquitous coverage for indoor, rural and urban environments, and in many cases, across a number of countries and continents.

And the advantage for IoT device vendors is that SIMs equipped with eUICC technology can be hard-wired at source and need never be removed over the lifetime of the device, which in some cases could be a decade or more. This is because eUICC allows customers to make service changes over the air using software, not by changing the SIMs in the device – which can be costly, time consumer and service-interrupting.

Nick Sacke, head of IoT and products at connectivity specialist Comms365, says: “Traditionally, the end user has been tied to a single operator for connectivity without any option to amend tariffs or move to another network – this imposes a punitive, fixed longterm cost for an IoT project that may last many years. But eUICC technology is a game changer as it allows complete network flexibility through a container system, where the best local and global mobile network operator (MNO) profiles are loaded into and managed over the air. This empowers users as they benefit from the most cost-effective connectivity tariff with no need to visit sites to do SIM swaps.”

The technology, says Sacke, also opens up the world of blended IoT connectivity service platforms that incorporate low power wide area network (LPWAN) technologies, such as NB-IoT, SigFox and Cat-M1. These can be easily integrated with LoRaWAN network solutions – long range, low power communications platforms for building and managing IoT networks – like that supplied by Stream Technologies and other vendors.

Stream Technologies is helping to build citywide and countrywide IoT networks in places including Newport, South Wales; in Jersey; and across Scotland in partnership with local authorities and national governments, with the use of of its IoT-X LoRaWAN platform. Now, eUICC is set to become an increasingly used solution for efficiently and securely transmitting the data public authorities are generating in such networks. Stream’s eUICC-enabled SIMs, for instance, can be re-programmed remotely using its IoTX connectivity management platform.

The connectivity that will underpin the Internet of Things will not be in the form of a single network, but will be a complex mesh of complementary network technologies blended together to offer complete coverage, and eUICC serves this need.

Service provider alliances

But to give enterprise customers the coverage they need to benefit from such technology, […]

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D-Link and Kwilt partner to offer consumers access to home photos anywhere, anytime

By Sheetal Kumbhar

D-Link Corporation announced its partnership with Kwilt, the makers of the Kwilt Personal Memories Platform. Users of D-Link routers will have unlimited access to their original photos, stored at home through their D-Link router and gathered from multiple locations such as social media, cloud storage, mobile, and tablet into one photo stream.

D-Link’s DIR-885L and DIR-895L are now Kwilt-enabled, and the DIR-882 will offer Kwilt compatibility in Q1 2018. Owners of these existing routers can upgrade their device’s firmware through the router’s web-based interface to enable Kwilt compatibility. Updated models with Kwilt features are shipping out within the next few months.

In addition to accessing cloud storage, social media and smartphone photos, Kwilt offers seamless real time access to home-based collections stored on USB drives connected to the D-Link router. This allows consumers to store and access their precious images in a safe and private home environment while enjoying the benefits of private cloud access at no extra cost, actually saving them tens of dollars annually compared to typical cloud storage.

The Kwilt platform supports iOS and Android apps, Microsoft Office and Outlook, along with integration with the Kik messenger app, Facebook Messenger, and Apple Messages, making it easy to enjoy and share memories on virtually any platform.

Marc-Antoine Benglia

“In our current photo-centric digital age, we know our customers need innovative and effective solutions to manage their photos and share their memories,” said Anny Wei, president and CEO of D-Link. “D-Link’s partnership with Kwilt combines performance, quality and creativity to satisfy the needs of our customers and establish our roles as leaders in the connected home industry.”

“The Kwilt platform offers consumers a unique, seamless and secure way to access and enjoy all their digital memories wherever they are stored, solving the user-generated content fragmentation problem we all face,” said Marc-Antoine Benglia, founder and CEO of Kwilt.

“We are thrilled to welcome D-Link to the Kwilt ecosystem. Their market position as a proven innovator in the connected-home sphere matches Kwilt’s focus on bringing pioneering solutions to consumers.”

Comment on this article below or via Twitter: @IoTNow_OR @jcIoTnow

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Data Plane Offering Marks New Phase for Hortonworks

By Alex Woodie

The new Data Plane Service (DPS) that Hortonworks unveiled today at the Strata Data Conference marks the start of a new phase for the publicly traded company, according to Arun Murthy, chief product officer and co-founder of the company.

If Hortonworks’s Distribution of Apache Hadoop (HDP) was the company’s first stage and its Apache NiFi-based stream processing system, dubbed Hortonworks Data Flow (HDF), was the second stage, then the launch of DPS marks a new stage, according to Murthy.

“It’s the third leg of the stool, but it’s a service rather than a product,” he tells Datanami. “You go to our service, then you point our service to your data assets and workloads, and we can start to manage it.”

The new Web-based DPS offering, ostensibly, provides two main capabilities. First, it lets customers manage the security and governance of data wherever it might be. That could be in a Hadoop cluster, a stream processing system, or an enterprise data warehouse (EDW) sitting on premise, in the public cloud, or a hybrid mixture of both.

Any product that integrates with the APIs for Apache Ranger and Apache Atlas can be managed via DPS. “Anything that can talk to Atlas and Ranger, we can go access and service and configure,” Murthy says. “As long as they can leverage open source standards for security and governance or metadata management — Atlas, Ranger, and so on — we can access that and give you really great services on top of them.”

Secondly, DPS allows users to dynamically spin up cloud or on-premise clusters to process the data that’s managed via the Ranger and Atlas API hooks. The DPS offering includes built-in capabilities for common tasks, such as securely uploading data from on-premise to the cloud or moving data from one cloud to another. DPS gets its workload deployment capabilities via hooks into the Cloudbreak offering that Hortonworks obtained with its acquisition of SequenceIQ two years ago.

“Obviously it ties HDF and HDP together, but it’s certainly our intent to go beyond HDP and HDF,” Murthy says. “Data Plane is a cloud based services that delivers an extensible platform to reliably manage data and workloads…spin up clusters, and apply consistent security and governance policies across streaming data, tabular structured data, unstructured data and so on, regardless of where the data resides.”

DPS is not a product that you install, Murthy says, but rather a Web-based app store where customers can select different data management and processing items from a la carte menu. “We want this to be extensible to more than just Hortonworks products,” he says. “We want you to be able to plug in multiple sources of product – it may be data in S3 or data in Azure or data in your enterprise data warehouse.”

While it hasn’t had a data plane product, per se, until now, the company has been working on data plane concepts for the past 24 months, Murthy says. At the vendor’s Hadoop Summit in June 2016, Hortonworks executives laid out a clear vision for a federated data plane that allows customers to manage data and workloads wherever they might reside — in the data center to the edge of IoT — with Atlas, Ranger, and Ambari providing the integration points.

This federated data plane idea goes somewhat against the core concept in Hadoop, which is that data should be centralized in one giant repository, and various applications are then brought to it for processing (i.e. “bring the compute to the data” rather than vice versa). Instead of physically storing all your data in one place, as many Hadoop vendors have recommended, with a federated data plane, you leave your various datasets where they want to sit and then connect them through logical views. The management layer on top of that is often called a data fabric.

“So instead of having one data lake to rule them all, it seems like enterprise need to manage multiple ponds and lakes and oceans of data,” Murthy says. “I love how Forrester talks about this notion of a data fabric, and if you like, the data plane is an instantiation of that concept.”

Forrester analyst Noel Yuhanna has been instrumental in defining data fabrics for the industry. Earlier this year, Yuhanna wrote a report on data fabrics that describe how they essentially combine a disparate collection of technologies to address key pain points in big data projects — such as data access, discovery, transformation, integration, security, governance, lineage, and orchestration — in a cohesive and self-service manner.

“The solution must be able to process and curate large amounts of structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data stored in big data platforms such as Apache Hadoop, MPP EDWs, NoSQL, Apache Spark, in-memory technologies, and other related commercial and open source platforms, including Apache projects,” Yuhanna wrote. “In addition, it must leverage big data technologies such as Spark, Hadoop, and in-memory as a compute and storage layer to assist the big data fabric with aggregation, transformation, and curation processing.”

For Hortonworks, the DPS service represents the start of a new service that gives customers the capability to manage data wherever it might be. The DPS service will expose “pluggable interfaces” that let Hortonworks and its ecosystem of partners offer a variety of data management services.

“What we’re hearing from enterprises is, we’ve been growing a lot of tooling and a lot of key technology,” Murthy says. “But I think what’s missing in the market is almost a fabric, if you will, over all this.”

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Amscreen utilises Vodafone IoT to power insight-driven media solutions

By IoT Now Magazine

UK based out-of-home screen solutions provider builds network of 15,000 insight driven digital displays to transform the outdoor advertising landscape. What place is there for blanket, out-of-home advertising in a world where mobile users are sent tailored advertising direct to their social media stream? Plenty. Out-of-home advertising is still a favourite way to reach huge […]

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Who’s making money in IoT? They’re probably not network operators. They probably are in industry

By Jeremy Cowan

Do providers of Internet of Things services view the IoT as a new revenue stream or a cost-saving exercise? This is one of the key questions Jeremy Cowan of IoT Now put recently to long-time communications industry observer Robin Kent, director of Adax. Robin Kent: From an operator point of view, I think at the […]

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Digicel Group uses IoT-X to manage customer connectivity

By IoT Now Magazine

When Digicel required a connectivity management platform to enable it to provide connectivity services to the 33 M2M markets throughout the Caribbean, Central America and Asia Pacific regions, it turned to the IoT-X platform from Stream Technologies – which now benefits from additional technologies from Starhome Mach. Digicel Business required a connectivity management platform that […]

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