2G and 3G networks have been around for decades and billions of IoT devices have relied on them for their connectivity. Both generations have enabled an affordable way to keep devices connected almost anywhere in the world, whether those devices are static or on the go. But now it is time for modernization and upgrades, and with only so much bandwidth to go, with 4G already established, the rollout of 5G underway, and IoT-specific technologies such as LTE-M now available, 2G and 3G will be retired and replaced.

Decommissioning of 2G and 3G has already been initiated and/or completed in some parts of the world, including in Canada and Australia, with the US to be next. Other countries and regions have a wide range of sunsetting dates, with most of Europe looking at the end of 2025, although that is not a unilateral date for all countries. Switzerland will likely be the first European country to completely close 2G, which is estimated to happen at the end of 2023. The bottom line is that 2G and 3G will eventually be retired everywhere, so this is an issue that cannot be avoided.

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Tele2 Sweden already began phasing out 3G during 2021 and initially it will only be in places with good 2G and 4G coverage. Over time the phasing out will increase in speed and completely retire in 2025.

The 2G closure is similar for all large operators in Sweden since the license for the 2G frequency ends in December 2025. Tele2 will use this opportunity to futureproof the network for all of our customers.

Tele2 IoT is here to assist you in not just understanding when and where decommissioning will happen, but also to understand how these changes will impact your deployment and what steps you need to take to deal with the coming changes – because the last thing you want is to still be using 2G and 3G networks when a carrier you rely on shuts that network down and your deployment is not ready for the next generations.

It is important to be proactive, not reactive, and most of all, to be prepared. It is essential to take inventory of every device deployed and assess which deployments and customers will need to make a transition. Tele2 IoT has the tools to help you identify where changes need to be made and our team is ready to assist you in assessing which technology you should move to, as well as address other challenges, such as if your hardware will be compatible.

The Tele2 IoT Team is committed to supporting and guiding our customers as we go through this technological shift. We are able to provide you with information on sunsetting dates for specific regions and countries as it is available so that your solution is not interrupted or otherwise impacted. There are plenty of excellent options available to replace 2G and 3G and we are happy to help you decide which best suits your particular needs.

Please get in touch, so that we can help you successfully navigate the changes ahead.

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IoT continues to drive the digitalization and datafication of both businesses and society in general. Connected healthcare, autonomous robots, smart farming… everything around us is being connected and as IoT technologies continue to mature, further benefits will be found, particularly with 5G and LTE-M as drivers.

So, as we move into massive IoT, what are some of the biggest trends we can expect to emerge or mature during 2022?

Healthcare

IoT has been enabling healthcare for a number of years already, and with the global pandemic still a reality, further innovations will emerge.  Connected healthcare is a broad use case, of course, encompassing everything from fitness trackers and remote monitoring to connected medical centers and telemedicine. The advances in connected healthcare have led to improved outcomes and better quality of life for patients.

One continued trend within healthcare will be the use of IoT devices to collect data on patient conditions. Using IoT devices means avoiding bringing large numbers of potentially infectious people together in close quarters, something that is critical during a pandemic. IoT devices and telecare will also allow doctors to continue to provide medical attention to a greater number of patients without the risk of infection via in-person visits Additionally, IoT devices will make healthcare available in more remote areas where there is less access to doctors or medical facilities. And speaking of medical facilities, IoT technology will be further integrated into everything from wheelchairs and defibrillators to oxygen pumps and even soap dispensers to ensure smoother operations at facilities.

And even connected drones are getting into the healthcare picture: Swedish company Everdrone, which delivers defibrillators via drone, recently delivered an emergency defibrillator in just three minutes. The connected drone was carrying a lightweight and easy to use defibrillator that arrived on the scene faster than first responders, something that surely saved the 71-year-old man’s life. These kinds of connected technologies will continue to expand within healthcare, leading to more successful outcomes, particularly in emergency situations.

5G growth

5G and IoT go together like peanut butter goes with jelly – and with 5G expansion will continue to accelerate IoT adoption in 2022. Why? Because successful IoT solutions increasingly require low latency and hyper connectivity, two things that 5G technology brings to the IoT table. As 5G coverage expands and 5G roaming agreements are hammered out, businesses will be able to offer services that would previously have been too costly or logistically difficult. Faster data transfers, increased coverage, and energy efficiency will become prime drivers of IoT growth and development.  That said, security concerns will continue to need attention, which means enhanced security will be another trend during 2022.

Security

Security has always needed to be top of mind when it comes to IoT and the expansion of 5G is only going to increase the need for enhanced security, in part due to the resultant increased number of IoT devices and thus attack surfaces.  The first half of 2021 saw 1.5 billion attacks against IoT devices, and this trend will not subside if security doesn’t become job one. Given that roughly 15% of businesses deploying IoT have not updated their security protocols and that there are very few government standards requiring businesses to stay on top of cybersecurity, it is imperative that IoT providers take up the slack and ensure their customers’ IoT solutions are not vulnerable.

The good news is that everyone from connectivity providers to hardware manufacturers are taking security much more seriously, and they are making sure that customers do as well. Additional layers of security are being added and the data collected from connected devices can actually be used to predict and prevent cyberattacks. There will be even more focus on cybersecurity tools in 2022 and businesses will increasingly understand that addressing cybersecurity is an essential part of their IoT solutions.

Sustainability

Sustainability will continue to be an important technology trend, with IoT in particular being used to facilitate any number of use cases. Everything from optimized fuel consumption in transportation to controlling, measuring and managing renewable energy sources such as solar panels will benefit from IoT solutions. Taking regular temperature and soil humidity measures in forests to prevent potential forest fire, utilizing water level sensors to enhance flood warning systems, using sensors on streetlights to measure and collect data about air quality – the possibilities will continue to grow during 2022.

Manufacturing

The manufacturing industry has always been a bit slow in adopting new technologies and IoT is no different – but 2022 will see that change. Manufacturers are now clear as to how IoT can benefit their setup and save them money. From preventive maintenance that reduces or eliminates production delays to enhanced operational efficiencies and improved safety – IoT brings a lot of benefits to not just the factory floor but also to the C-suite. You can learn more about the Internet of Industrial Things (IIoT) in the Tele2 White Paper.

While drones have long been associated with costly military applications or, on the other end of the spectrum, hobbyist tech gadgets, these days they are increasingly being shaped by practical commercial applications. In recent years, drone usage has broadened across a wide range of industries, being used for everything from delivery, infrastructure and crop monitoring, and mapping to industrial site inspection, emergency response, and security surveillance. And as more and more industries discover the benefits drones bring to their businesses the use cases will continue to grow, with IoT technology bringing cost and operational efficiency.

Drones have been around for a long time, with the concept of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) stretching back to 1849, when Austria attacked Venice using unmanned balloons filled with explosives. But while militaries around the world have largely driven drone technology since then, drones have also moved powerfully into both consumer and commercial spaces.

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When it comes to drones being deployed in the business space, IoT is increasingly a part of the picture. IoT-enabled drones have the ability to perform any number of important tasks, particularly when those tasks are expensive, dangerous, or impossible for humans to carry out.

Logistics

In the US alone, the Delivery Drones Market grew from $40 million to $1 billion between 2012 and 2017, with that number doubling by 2020. By 2026, it is expected to reach $5.6 billion.

Last mile delivery is the most expensive and difficult leg of a package’s journey, making up around 50% of total distribution costs. Drone technology optimizes last mile delivery by transporting packages from nearby warehouses or distribution centers to a specific address.

And unlike traditional delivery vehicles, drones can ‘fly as the crow flies’, allowing them to avoid traffic and or circuitous delivery paths. Drones are also fast, making same day delivery the norm in many areas – and in some cases even making ‘same hour’ delivery a possibility.

This also means there are environmental benefits when drones are used for delivery: the average delivery of a package by truck creates around 1kg of greenhouse gas emissions. Drones, on the other hand, reduce both energy consumption and the release of greenhouse gasses, because they generally run on battery power. If those batteries are charged with green energy, the substantial amount of carbon emitted from commercial and industrial transportation will be significantly reduced.

Beyond deliveries, drones will increase warehouse efficiencies, circling the perimeter of warehouses to conduct safety inspections, while also supporting inspections, preventative maintenance, and the repair of complex machinery within a manufacturing plant. Drones can also be used to speed up pick and put away processes, with lightweight drones being as an alternative to conveyer belts or forklifts for retrieving and putting away orders.

And finally, intelligent drones are crucial where other modes of transport are not viable, such as delivering vital relief and medical supplies to disaster zones or in other emergency situations.

Agriculture

With the global population expected to hit 9.6 billion by 2050, innovative agricultural practices will be vital in order to feed everyone. Smart drone tech will enable the application of precision agriculture techniques, which ensure efficiency of inputs such as water and fertilizer, while maximizing productivity, quality, and yield. Precision agriculture also helps minimize pests, unwanted flooding, and disease. In other words, drones are revolutionizing agriculture and offering major costs savings, enhanced efficiency, and increased profitability.

Drones can carry out comprehensive monitoring of crops and livestock conditions, with the ability to quickly spot problems that might not be apparent from the ground. By quickly surveying wide swaths of farmland, drones can map the property, predict and monitor crop growth, report on crop health, monitor irrigation, and improve spraying accuracy. Just one example would be time-lapse drone photography revealing that a crop is not being properly irrigated.

The ability to collect and analyze data in real time has very tangible outcomes: better crop yield, better use of resources, and data-driven decision making. Additionally, with the ability to identify pests, weeds, diseases and nutritional efficiencies in the early stages, there is a reduced need for harmful pesticides and other chemicals.

You can read more about IoT and Agriculture here.

Industrial applications

Inspection and maintenance of industrial facilities can be both challenging and dangerous. Things like boilers, furnaces, mines, power grids, seaports, oil and gas – these all have areas that can be hard to access and can pose health hazards to workers. Smart drones, though, expedite maintenance and inspections in a much safer way: through the use of sensors and cameras, drones gather data which is then relayed in real time to an inspector, who can then act on that information in a safe and secure way.

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By deploying drones during various phases of a facility’s lifecycle, the data gathered can be used to improve and optimize industrial processes, as well as enhance operational efficiencies. And because of their nearly limitless visibility, drones are uniquely qualified to capture aerial data in real time, enabling rapid and seamless data collection, which in turn fuels informed business processes.

Drones can be used in operations such as oil and gas facilities for security, surveillance, emergency response, and infrastructure inspection. At seaports, operational oversight, port monitoring, traffic control, mapping, and surveying can all be performed by drones. When it comes to mining, drones have a number of applications, such as mine surveying, inventory management, stockpile estimation, and hot spot detection. Additionally, drones can provide detailed information about potential sites before a mining project is begun. Drones can also access high-toxic and/or hard to reach areas and can be a vital tool in emergency response.

Construction

The construction industry is already investing heavily in drones and is one of the main adopters of the technology – and with good reason. Drones provide a birds-eye view of construction sites, machinery, and people, providing crucial information before, during, and after a project, as well as monitor its progress. Drones have access to places that are normally inaccessible or dangerous to inspect, such as roofs, recording and relaying real-time data and reducing accidents while increasing site safety.

Traditional land surveillance methods require a lot of labor, time, and money. Drones, on the other hand, provide valuable information on terrain and land distribution at a fraction of the cost. They do this by having a bird’s eye view of the entire site, inspecting the land with a much higher accuracy than previously possible, with the data collected being used by engineers to measure things like land dimensions and elevation changes.

When it comes to existing structures, 3D models can be created from scans made by drones, which can be helpful when it comes to renovations and retrofitting, as well as for inspections, potentially avoiding disasters such as the recent Surfside condo collapse in Florida. Data can also be converted into building models, allowing clients to have a better understanding of spaces and a view of final outcomes before the construction work even begins.

One of the more common drone applications on construction sites is supervision and progress checkups throughout the lifespan of the building project. Drones monitor progress by overlaying captured images onto building designs and drawings, allowing confirmation – or not – that the project is moving forward according to plan. The images can also be used to identify flaws and help eliminate human error when it comes to quality inspection and supervision.

Post-construction, drones can assess damage following natural disasters such as hurricanes or tornados, identifying the extent of damage and pinpointing which areas need immediate attention. They can also be used to identify victims and guide emergency workers in a safer manner.

Speaking of safety, construction sites can of course be dangerous places. Inspections carried out manually can expose workers to accidents and injury, particularly when heights are involved. Drones remove or reduce risks while also providing a higher level of inspection accuracy.

There are myriad other commercial applications for drones, such as sewer maintenance, insurance, filmmaking, and public safety. The use cases will continue to grow as the technology evolves. When IoT is added into the mix, the possibilities will become nearly endless.

If you would like to learn more about how IoT can enable your business, please get in touch..

If Covid-19 has taught us anything, it’s that modern society would have had a much tougher time coping during a global pandemic if it weren’t for technology. In the US alone, individual broadband use has increased 3 gigabytes since the start of the pandemic, and without the internet many of us wouldn’t have been able to buy groceries, work, educate our children, get healthcare, or access entertainment. The health and safety of us all relies on the dependability of the network, and the demand for fast, reliable communication has made it clear that the adoption of 5G and IoT technologies will be critical going forward – but what impact will they have on the environment?

As 5G networks are rolled out, the benefits will be enormous across any number of sectors. An article from Atlantic Magazine – Can 5G save the planet? – describes how international standards for 5G call for reduced energy use, when compared to 4G networks. The goal is to ‘use less power to transmit more data, decreasing the wattage required for each bit of internet traffic’ – something that could be a gamechanger when it comes to environmental impact. That said, there are potentially both positive and negative factors when it comes to 5G and carbon emissions, but because the technology is so complex, there are no simple answers.

There are, of course, any number of steps that that can be taken to offset any negative impact 5G might have on the environment, including decarbonization, biodegradable sensors, more efficient cooling, recycling toxic materials, and network sharing. And there are signs that 5G will support efficiencies across many industries that will lead to the reduction of fossil fuel usage and the resulting carbon emissions. When it comes to IoT technology, we already know it enables things like smart lighting, and has a significant impact on water usage, with sensors monitoring the entire water cycle, from sourcing to treatment to delivery to consumption.

Now, if we marry 5G technology with IoT, there are any number of opportunities to protect the environment, including increased energy efficiency, reduction of greenhouse gases, and the enablement of great use of renewable energy. Furthermore, 5G and IoT will give all infrastructure-related systems, from garbage collection and electrical grids to water and heating systems, an unprecedented level of data access and transparency, which in turn will help reduce air and water pollution, minimize water and food waste, and protect wildlife, while also giving us a greater understanding of weather, agriculture, pests, industry, waste reduction. And all of this will mean overall efficiency and better and faster decision-making.

Reduced energy consumption & emissions

Through the use of 5G-enabled IoT sensors, transportation networks, buildings, factories, streetlights, homes, and a whole lot more will be able to monitor and analyze energy needs and consumption in real time, resulting in optimized energy usage. Devices will be able to power up and shut down automatically, cutting energy usage. Already, smart meters installed in New York City’s Empire State Building have been able to cut energy costs by roughly 38%, while General Electric has been recognized by the Guinness Book of Records for having the world’s most efficient combined-cycle power plant, based on an achieved efficiency rate of more than 62%. And saving energy means you are also cutting greenhouse gas emissions; a study by Ericsson projects that IoT could cut carbon emissions by 2030.

And as we either continue to work remotely or move to a hybrid model, energy is saved, and emissions are reduced due to less commuting and business travel. If travel is necessary, time, fuel, and emissions can be cut by reducing traffic congestion through the use of 5G-enabled sensors and cameras, which monitor in real-time and change traffic lights or perform other actions.

Reduced water & food waste

Water is a limited resource – just 3% of the world’s water is fresh, and only two-thirds of that is accessible, so without improved water management strategies, people around the world could be facing shortages of clean, safe water as early as 2025.

Many of the applications and improvements that 5G will bring will be related to any any device that can be connected to a sensor and thus provide data. 5G technology will mean the ability to connect thousands of devices with robust and reliable connections, and IoT-specific technology such as LTE-M will mean reduced battery consumption. If we look at this from a water conservation perspective, thousands of smart water sensors will be able to detect leaks, water pollution, and contamination, as well as rising water levels in sewage systems and natural bodies of water. This is great news, because in the US alone households waste more than 3 trillion liters of water annually due to leaks alone. Additionally, sensors are already being used to monitor temperatures in lakes, rivers, oceans and other bodies of water, which means quicker action can be taken when rising levels are shown. In other words, when water temperatures rise, marine species and ecosystems can be under threat – and early intervention can make all the difference.

In agriculture, where a variety of factors already negatively impact the industry, the mass deployment of sensors can not only optimize water usage, sensors can also be utilized to monitor and better understand the health of soil, weather patterns, crop conditions, pests, nutrients, and a host of other factors in order to not just improve yield and use of resources, but to also cut back on the use of dangerous chemicals. And with the UN estimating that about one-third of food produced globally going to waste, sensors being used to detect both freshness and spoilage is a big step towards bringing that number down. Sensors can also be used to track the entire food chain, as well as monitor conditions in factories to assess quality and regulatory compliance. All of this reduces food waste, saves on resources, maximizes safety, and allows a faster and more agile response along the entire supply chain.

Network efficiency

The migration from 3G and 4G to 5G will lead to greater efficiency of transmissions. One study, from the University of Zurich and Empa, analyzed the impact of 5G on the emissions of greenhouse gases. They concluded that by 2030, the 5G network should cause around 85% fewer emissions per unit of data transported than today’s mobile networks. Additionally, indirect savings from new uses will come from things like smart grids or targeted use of fertilizers and pesticides in agriculture. And the faster, more reliable, and much larger data transmissions combined with the efficiency of the 5G network will support flexible working and virtual collaboration, thus reducing traffic on our roads and business travel.

There are myriad other ways 5G and IoT will support a more sustainable society, and because 5G is so new, the possibilities are not all known. And while there are concerns about negative impacts, Tele2 has committed to being a leader in sustainability and is the first climate neutral telco in the Nordics and Baltics.

If you would like to learn more about how 5G and IoT can enable your business, please get in touch.

IoT isn’t an entirely new concept for the hospitality industry. Many players have already incorporated IoT into their businesses and are using it to deliver benefits that run from delivering a more seamless customer experience to optimizing energy costs. According to PwC (PriceWaterhouseCooper), 70% of hospitality executives report already having active IoT projects, and they are using IoT to bring efficiencies to both the front of the house and the back of the house.  Here’s how.  

Hyper-personalization

Connected hotel rooms allow guests to control various room features, such as heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems, from their mobile phones or from a tablet provided by the hotel.  Guests can also use their devices to control the television, lights, and other electronics in the room, and all that data that is collected can be used by hoteliers to anticipate guests’ needs and provide a personalized experience.  Each time the guest enters their room, an automated personalized greeting can be sent, while at the same time the room automatically switches to the last saved preference, such as playing music, streaming TV services, adjusting the lighting, or opening the curtains. Additionally, by combining smartphone capabilities with beacon technology and other sensors, even more customized information can be sent to guests, such as capacity information for on-site amenities like the spa or pool, wait times for dining, or recommend suitable events close by.  Additionally, the rise of autonomous delivery robots can automate hotel room service, handling room deliveries quickly, safely, and reliably.

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For repeat visitors, actionable data allows hoteliers to preselect things like a guest’s preferred room location and bed type, along with presenting a welcome tray featuring their preferred snacks or wine. In other words, you can roll out the red carpet for your VIP customers with ease.

Seamless check-in

Instead of waiting at the front desk to get your room key, IoT eliminates the need for elaborate check-ins. With IoT hotels can automatically send a digital key to a guest’s mobile phone shortly before check-in, and this digital key can not only communicate with the door, it can also eliminate the need for checking in at the front desk, because the first time it is used to unlock the guest’s room, they are automatically checked in.

Predictive maintenance

Preventive maintenance has been the standard for hotels, with regular maintenance checks designed to reduce guest complaints and prolong equipment life. With IoT, predictive maintenance allows you to address equipment failures before they happen. Staff are provided with real time information about the operating status of equipment and appliances, with alerts being sent when there are any warning signs of deterioration or unusual performance. For example, connected thermostats and air conditioners can identify equipment issues before there is a full breakdown. Sensors indicating water usage going up in a particular room while no one is inside could indicate a leaky faucet or toilet, while sensors on pipes throughout the building can also identify leaks or other problems. The main benefit is that repairs can be carried out quickly or replacements fitted before the equipment fully stops working, something that is crucial when we’re talking about equipment or appliances that the hotel cannot operate without. It’s also a money saver, as an early repair will cost both less money and use less manpower.

Energy savings

When it comes to energy savings, IoT has some pretty obvious applications, such as monitoring the occupancy of a space to optimize heating/cooling and lighting within an environment, which leads to decreased energy consumption and therefore reduced energy costs. This is important because utility costs represent a massive portion of operational expenditure and electricity costs are going up. And energy savings means you can reach your sustainability goals.

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A connected energy management systems allows you to monitor and manage parameters online, giving you the ability to adjust settings quickly and easily in all or some of your guest rooms – without compromising on guest comfort.

Data can help determine where things like insulation, windows, equipment, etc. need to or can be improved. Integrating different systems, such as elevators, guest room management, workforce, and property, provides logic between different data points, bringing awareness of what is going on across your entire operation, allowing for better planning of energy needs, both in real time and for long term planning.

Asset management

From machines to food trays, IoT technology can help manage assets and inventory in real time, alerting staff to service needs, while also enabling long term planning needs.  Connected asset trackers placed on both indoor and outdoor equipment speed up the process of finding needed machinery and equipment, shortening or eliminating wait times for things like luggage racks. Sensors on room service trays can alert staff when they have been left outside a room for pickup. Smart equipment enables staff to keep tabs on inventory such as towels, dinnerware, or anything else automatically, allowing them to work more productively and efficiently.

Safety & security

Automated smart door locks, where guests are sent a digital key on their smartphone, is one great security feature enabled by IoT. But hotel safety isn’t just about guest room. Equipping a hotel with IoT means the entire site can be protected using customized programs and protocol settings, which, in the event of a security breach, can instantly trigger door locks, emergency lights, and automated alarms sent to authorities. Biometric-based technologies that support facial recognition can be used to streamline check-in, but they can also help detect suspicious behavior and identify people who might cause problems. Non-intrusive connected buttons that are only activated by employees also give staff a way to request assistance.

The future

While IoT is already being implemented in hotels in myriad ways, the future may bring staff-less hotels. While in theory this may make sense due to money saved and revenue boosted, what is more likely is that as IoT in more closely implemented, many services will become automated, with staff being employed for better customer engagement.

If you would like to learn more about how IoT can enable your business, please get in touch.

Mobile Private Networks (MPN) are dedicated local networks that enable businesses to connect things using 4G or 5G technology. MPNs offer high quality and reliable security and control, covering a specific location while also addressing capacity and critical communication needs.  MPNs use WIFI, LTE or 5G technology and can be tailored to your requirements. But not all Mobile Private Networks are created equal, so before you decide which one is right for your business, it’s important to understand the differences.  

A Mobile Private Network, unlike public networks, offers private reserved coverage where, among other things, critical functions can be prioritized and security enhanced. But while the rise of 5G has caused a flurry of excitement around the topic of MPNs, private LTE and WIFI-based private networks are not new. They may not yet be widespread but, like 5G, they have their role to play in this space. 

WIFI 

WIFI-based private networks are ideal for things like document management, automated ticketing, gas sensors, and other applications that don’t carry a heavy load or where you don’t need to be 100% accurate. It will be reliable and cost effective within certain perimetersThat said, the more the load increases the more WIFI’s reliability goes down – and after a certain latency it is almost impossible to provide services.  

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With WIFI, reliability decreases in direct relation to an increased load.

This means that you cannot provide low latency connectivity service for autonomous vehicles, for example, as they require almost 1 millisecond latency to be able to operate perfectly. Lower latencies are not possible and even normal latencies are not reliable, which is why WIFI is perfect for things like environmental sensing or behavioral analysis or other non-real time monitoring, but not so great for intruder detection.  

LTE 

With LTE, reliability increased with the load, so it is reliable up to certain latency. Once you reach that threshold – about 100 milliseconds – the reliability goes down and while it doesn’t decrease as quickly as with WIFI, it’s not possible to provide super-low latency and won’t have the reliability some businesses might require.   

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You can’t use LTE for autonomous vehicles, but you can use it for monitoring and controlling in real time, such as with e-scooters, sound monitoring, and geo-fencing.

This is also where you can have cable replacement. In transitional coverage on campuses you have cables and certain type of machinery that require high bandwidth and reliability. Because this doesn’t exist in WIFI, many use cables. With LTE you can start to replace those cables for many applications. This means cost cutting, because cables are expensiveand laying fiber cables is even more expensive because they are glass and you cannot even bend them. Cables also lock you in; imagine that you’ve laid out your cables and then your business starts to boom, and you need to scale. It will be a logistical nightmare to put in another line of production or switch the layout of your manufacturing plant if you’re relying on cables. LTE solves this problem  

5G 

When it comes to Mobile Private Networks, 5G has the most reliability, even with high loads. It’s also possible to have reliable and super low latency connectivity in the widest area possible. So, you can have control loops with guaranteed latency. This means there is a control loop mechanism guaranteeing latency everywhere in the plant, allowing things like autonomous vehicles to operate everywhere with super high precision, such as screwing things in or feeding production lines. And while 5G can cover the needs of WIFI and LTE, only 5G will be suitable for things alarm prediction, certain e-health applications, or evacuation assistance.  

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We should also highlight worker augmentation when we talk about 5G and Mobile Private Networks – they will perhaps be one of the earliest adopted use cases by enterprises.

With augmentation where workers on-site or in the field are augmented with high bandwidth devices with video sharing capabilities to be able to tap into remote centers of expertise in real-time, consult online databases, and interrogate connected equipment with AR status information overlay. This can be interpreted as AR/VR/XR devices and high bandwidth video cameras will become much more important on 5G mobile private networks.  

If you would like to learn more about how Tele2 IoT can enable your business, please get in touch.

Not all that long ago, the idea of autonomous vehicles was the stuff of sci-fi dreams. Fast forward a few years and suddenly many thought they’d be sitting back and scrolling on their phones while their self-driving car got them from point A to point B.  Today, we’ve landed somewhere in the middle. Fully autonomous cars are not quite yet a reality, but there has been exponential growth in self-driving features. And when it comes to other modes of transport, such as public transport, we’ve already boarded the proverbial autonomous bus. 

When we talk about autonomous cars it’s good to keep in mind that there are levels of autonomy 

  • Level 1: Some small steering or acceleration tasks are performed by the vehicle without human intervention 
  • Level 2: Includes things like advanced cruise control and the car automatically taking safety precautions while the driver remains alert.  
  • Level 3: Still requires a human driver, but a number of safety-critical functions are performed by the vehicle under specific traffic and/or environmental conditions. This level is where potential danger starts to be seen 
  • Level 4: The car can drive itself almost all thetime, butcan be programmed to not drive in unmapped areas or under certain weather conditions. Car makers in the self-driving area want to be here 
  • Level 5: Full automation in all conditions

To put these levels in perspective, when the car industry talks about ‘self-driving’, they are referring to levels 3 and 4. Yet despite the herculean efforts being made by leading players in the tech and automotive industries, we won’t be taking a nap in the back seat of our car while it takes us to work any time soon. This despite any number of announcements over the past few years about plans to bring self-driving cars to our streets. The only self-driving cars on the roads right now are in a handful of cities that are conducting readiness tests. There are a number of reasons for this. 

  • Fatal accidents cause by the few partially or fully automated cars being tested
  • Algorithms not yet fully developed
  • Connections unable to maintain speedy and steady data exchange
  • Software vulnerable to attacks

Additionally, it’s not just smart software but also smart roads that are needed to allow cars to run independently, which means cities will need to adapt their road infrastructure. When looking at these factors it’s easy to understand why self-driving cars haven’t advanced as far as predicted – and why the hoped-for ‘start’ date keeps being pushed back.  

But it’s not all bad news: even as engineers continue to develop cutting-edge technologies to advance the case of self-driving cars, the advent of 5G, along with powerful embedded top-down computers will allow stronger and better internet connections and near real-time data flow. And if we look beyond self-driving cars, there are a lot of autonomous vehicles already in play, where lessons can be learned.  

Beyond self-driving cars 

If we look past self-driving cars, we can see a different picture of autonomous vehicles.  Public transport is where we have already boarded the proverbial autonomous bus – and we’ve been on it for quite some time. 

The first driverless metro system was inaugurated in Kobe, Japan in 1991, and since then their popularity has only grown, with 63 fully automated operation lines in 42 cities across 19 countries. The benefits are clear: safety, flexibility, punctuality, cost efficiency, and perhaps most importantly, passenger satisfaction. Denmark’s capital city Copenhagen established its award-winning fully autonomous subway system in 2002 and saw commuters switching from other modes of transport to the metro, including up to 47% of bus passengers and 20% of local train passengers. Even today, nearly two decades later, a regular survey shows that 98% of travelers on the metro are either “happy” or “very happy” with the service.  

If we look at automated metros through a different lens, we can see that the first 500km of automated lines were built over the course of 29 years – but once the technology was proven, it took just eight years for that number to double. According to the International Association of Public Transport (UITP), there will be over 2,300km of fully automated metro lines in operation globally by 2025. UITP says that there is a diversity of profiles of lines and cities around the world, which demonstrates that there are a broad range of services that automated lines can offer to meet the mobility challenges of cities as rapid urbanization continues.

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Even more telling when it comes to autonomous public transport is that no city that has implemented an automated metro line has ever reverted back to a conventional system. The benefits are far too apparent, and all indicators point to the trend towards automated public transport continuing.

Moving away from the streets and into our factories, we can see that there is an ever-increasing number of semi and fully autonomous vehicles within manufacturing operations and even in the field, such as in mining. Free-range Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs), mobile robots, autonomous forklifts and cranes, and even low-payload drones are being implemented. Issues related to retrofitting, safety concerns, and lack of skills/knowledge about the technology are cited as among the barriers to adoption, yet most also recognize the cost advantages to adopting industry mobility, such as cost savings, customer/supply requirements and expectations, increased safety, and employee expectations and preferences. 

Other industries where autonomous vehicles are making themselves invaluable include airports and agriculture. In addition to beginning automation in areas like baggage handling and shuttles, airports are already seeking new airport maintenance solutions, such as autonomous tractors to keep runway edge lights clear of snow., where the technology has already been tested This is happening alongside other solutions using automatic mowing and friction measurement systems. Snow clearing is a vital function at airports, where runways must be completely clear of snow in order to enable flight take offs and landings. Many airports currently have staff on standby to clear snow when and where needed, but automated snowplows free up staff to put their focus on other safety-related tasks not suitable for automation.  

In agriculture, autonomous vehicles already represent $3 billion in investment, a number that is projected to grow to $12 billion by 2026, with controlling costs while increasing output the main drivers. For example, one autonomous tractor equipped with connected sensors can work unmanned 24/7, while another can provide guidance on fertilizer application. Other autonomous vehicles can patrol the fields collecting data on soil conditions and other factors that impact crops, such as weather conditions.  

There are many other examples of how autonomous vehicles are already playing an important role in business and one thing is clear: as technology advances and as 5G enables real-time data, usage will continue to grow exponentially.

If you would like to learn more about how Tele2 IoT can enable your business, please get in touch.  

Smart CCTV is predicted to be the biggest platform for 5G IoT in the coming three years, with the number of devices expected to reach more than 11 million units by 2022 and nearly 50 million units by 2023. With roughly 770 million surveillance cameras already installed globally, it’s clear that the world of CCTV is poised to undergo a rather seismic change.

Smart CCTV vs Traditional CCTV

5G-enabled smart CCTV does everything 4G-enabled CCTV does –and then it does a lot of things that weren’t possible previously. Faster speed (10 times faster than current 4G) and low latency (less than half a second between transmission and reception) means CCTV might just be the ideal use case for 5G, because extremely low latency equals a very quick reaction time.

With faster speed and ultra-low latency, we’ll enjoy better and clearer images that will be transmitted in near-real time. And with the help of data and enabled algorithms, the ability to understand and make sense of those images will mean that smart CCTV will not just be able to detect behavior but also to track and then evaluate it.

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In other words, information will be rapidly fed into a system which can almost instantly respond, creating alerts or making other decisions.

So, while cellular-based security camera systems using 4G are already a reality, 5G will take things to a whole different level.

Smart CCTV Business Benefits

Smart CCTV offers a wide range of advantages and has myriad business applications that include but also move well beyond security, including business intelligence and information management.

Let’s look at a warehouse: goods are loaded, unloaded, stored, and shipped. Smart CCTV allows you to not just stay on top of these activities but to also address loss prevention and ensure there are no deviations in inventory.

If we turn to manufacturing, there are many areas where smart CCTV can play a valuable role, including monitoring everything from parking lots, access to entrances and exits, office areas, delivery and dispatch areas, and of course, manufacturing and assembly areas. Smart cameras not only offer benefits in terms of the security of machinery and product but also the safety of employees: video can be used in post-incident investigations, allowing for adjustments to safety procedures.  CCTV can also monitor the overall production process, with technologies like thermal imaging allowing you to monitor potential issues, such as machines overheating, and take proactive measures.

When it comes to smart campuses, such as airports, smart CCTV applications are even more widespread. In this type of environment, smart CCTV and the data it generates can be used for the obvious security applications, but also for crowd control, merchandize ID, parking optimization, payments, inventory control, marketing, and much, much more.

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If we look at a retail operation, such as a shopping mall, smart CCTV can provide real time analysis of traffic patterns and customer movement throughout the premises. This allows for better management of customer flow/movement and better understanding of customer behavior.

It also generates data that can be analyzed and then used for commercial purposes, such as implementing higher price points on goods in heavily trafficked areas or charging more for premium retail space.  Additionally, a high-definition camera can conduct stock analysis, with alerts being sent automatically when shelves begin to empty.

Challenges

While smart CCTV has obvious benefits for both societies and individuals, there will be a number of challenges, with privacy being one of the big ones. With increased capabilities to track and monitor populations some do question the Big Brother nature of what is heading our way.

Handling the enormous amount of data that will be generated will be another challenge, both from a cost perspective and a storage perspective. Real time 5G IoT applications will require systems that sit on the edge and that are connected to a backend repository, such as the cloud.

If you would like to learn more about how IoT can enable your businessplease get in touch.

5G is on everyone’s minds these days, and for good reason. Not only will 5G improve how we use and communicate with technology, it will also change how various technologies communicate with one another. And it means everything will happen a much faster pace with far greater reliability.

The Evolution of Wireless Technology

The evolution of wireless communication technology stretches back to the 1990s, when 2G was introduced (previous technology was just a network with voice call capabilities.)

5G means
  • Faster average speed
  • Higher peak rates
  • Lower latency
  • Better security
  • Robust & reliable

During the 2G era there were a number of important advancements, such as GSM (Global Systems for Mobile Communication), which enabled data transfer at speeds that would make us laugh today (30-35 kbps), and GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) which operated on technology similar to that used by GSM, but with higher speeds (110 kbps).

With the introduction of EDGE (Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution) in 2003 we entered new territory.  EDGE represented a major technological advancement, offering speeds of up to 135 kbps, and it laid the foundation for what was to be known as 3G.

With 3G, which offered speeds of up to 2mbps, we could now send or receive large emails and texts, browse the web, enjoy video streaming, and most importantly, we had better security. 3G was based mostly on EDGE and CDMA2000 (Code-division Multiple Access) technologies, and while CDMA2000 operated on concepts similar to EDGE, it also enabled multiple channels to communicate simultaneously.

4G ushered in the era of mobile Internet, and set several requirements for mobile networks, including mandating the use of Internet Protocol (IP) for data traffic, and enjoyed minimum data rates of 100 mbps. Essentially, it was an extension of 3G technology, with more bandwidth and services.

Now it’s 5G’s turn, and while in some ways its introduction can be seen as ‘the next step’ when it comes to wireless connectivity, in reality it is the next step in digitization.

What is 5G

The fifth-generation mobile network will not just improve how we connect with each other, it will bring great benefits to how we interconnect and control machines, objects, and devices, while delivering higher speeds, lower latency, and better security. It’s been designed to meet the high growth in data and connectivity of today, while also keeping a firm eye on tomorrow’s innovations. It will initially operate in conjunction with existing 4G networks, before evolving to fully standalone networks.

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The sheer numbers of devices that will now be able to connect has the potential to revolutionize everything from modern industrial practices and campus networks to industries such as agriculture and manufacturing.

Robust & reliable

The 5G network will be able to handle a lot more devices than earlier networks, so billions of IoT connected devices will be able to instantaneously connect. To put it another way, if you have a radio cell covering a particular area you would previously have, just say, 300 mobile phones in use in this area when you hit capacity. The cell was occupied, and no more phones could connect.  With 5G you can add just say 30 thousand devices to the cell and it still won’t be at capacity.  This means 5G can better handle the high loads seen in cities or arenas or on company campuses. On the other hand, the new lower frequencies will allow for more robust and reliable connections in rural areas.

In terms of how it works, 5G is consistently a much more reliable technology than earlier generations.  This is important when it comes to outages or when parts of the network need to be updated.  The 5G architecture is much simpler while at the same time it is built on more robust foundations and standards. This means there should be less incidents and a lot less downtime, which is great news for IoT, particularly mission-critical solutions.

Faster speeds & Lower Latency

With 5G we’ll see speeds of 1 Gbps up to 10 Gbps, which means 5G will be, on average, ten times faster than 4G – and within a few years we’ll see speeds of up to 1+ gigabits per second at peak speed. To put that into perspective, today most homes with fiber have speeds of 100 megabits per second, with 1000 megabits equal to one gigabit. Another way of looking at it: you will be able to stream 400 films simultaneously on super high res TV without ever missing a beat.

When it comes to IoT, this will make a massive difference for applications such as CCTV, especially if you have maybe six or seven cameras covering an area in, just say, a factory.

If you have a 5G station, the capacity is so big that you will be able to stream an enormous amount of open video without reaching any kind of capacity ceiling. When you combine that kind of speed with lower power requirements you start to see why 5G will be ideal for IoT.

Lower latency means near real time communications, which can be a big boost when it comes to real-time control of devices, automation, autonomous vehicles, industrial robotics, and security systems. 4G latency is actually quite quick – around 30-40 milli-seconds – but with 5G that number is reduced to 1-2 milliseconds, which again, makes 5G a major game changer when it comes to IoT.

Think of a mine where you need to cut a rock. Previously, you would need to be on-site to do that but with the low latency that comes with 5G you can do this remotely. This can be a game changer when it comes to real-time control of devices, industrial robotics, vehicle to vehicle communication, and security systems.  Apply this same principle to remote surgery and other remote medical care, procedures, and treatment and suddenly healthcare becomes transformed.

5G & Security

There are more and improved security standards in 5G, with more security checks, which means your data will be a lot safer. 5G will enable better and faster tools for authentication and encryption of traffic and connected devices. Faster speeds make it possible to share and install new software and security updates much more quickly than today, enabling intelligent real-time IoT security services.  Faster speeds, faster response times, and more connected devices also make system monitoring more efficient, and actions taken much faster. 5G also gives the ability to prioritize safety-related traffic in the network much more efficiently than today, and there are more secure technologies for traffic in networks to and from other countries.

IoT devices intended for industrial and other M2M applications are, unlike many consumer devices, better designed, better secured, and will, in many cases, connect to specific network slices or through IoT gateways, which will drastically reduce the potential for security breaches. That said, devices must be monitored to ensure they behave as intended.

Big benefits come at a cost

So, while it’s abundantly apparent there are enormous benefits when it comes to 5G and IoT, 5G doesn’t use the infrastructure laid down by 3G and 4G, so it will be far more expensive and complicated to implement. That said, Tele2 is invested in the future, with 5G currently being rolled out in Sweden.

If you would like to learn more about 5G and IoT, please Get in touch.

By 2020, 83% of enterprise workloads will be handled in the cloud. Adopting the cloud can mean reduced operational costs, better scalability, faster app deployment, and increased reliability.  But here’s the rub: with a predicted 30 billion plus IoT devices being globally deployed by 2020, the amount of data that will be stored in the cloud is mind-boggling, as is the ability to derive tangible value from it. Additionally, when it comes to IoT, data constantly being sent from a device to the cloud means an increased risk of it being compromised.

Handling data outside the main cloud – at its ‘edge’ – can reduce data center loads and operational costs while improving performance and increasing security. Welcome to Edge Computing.

What is Edge Computing?

In the simplest terms, edge computing is the processing and analyzing of data at the network edge, closest to the point of action. This means it is an on-device approach to data, so instead of sending endless streams of data to the cloud (where much of it bears no practical value and is never used), the data is handled and stored locally, either on the IoT device itself or at the nearest network node.

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In other words, instead of having a centralized, remote cloud doing all the heavy lifting, the data is handled and stored locally.

This on-device approach reduces latency for critical applications while lowering dependence on the cloud and allowing you to better manage the huge amounts of data generated by your IoT solution.

How Does It Work?

IoT sensors produce enormous amounts of data and if you’re using cloud computing, the data is immediately transferred there to be processed and stored. If action is required, the cloud will analyze the data it has received before sending its response back to the device. This normally takes less than a second to happen, but there is always the possibility of a delay or an interruption, which can be an enormous problem when we’re talking about things like autonomous vehicles, where even waiting a millisecond for a response would be unacceptable.

With edge computing, you don’t need to send data from the sensors anywhere. The device itself or the nearest network node is responsible for processing the data and can respond immediately if action is required. The result is that your IoT device is no longer dependent on an Internet connection and can instead function as a standalone network node.

The Benefits

The main purpose of edge computing is to decentralize data handling, and this on-device approach leads to a number of advantages over traditional cloud computing.

1. Data Security

Data being continuously sent from the device to the cloud is at a big risk of being compromised. With edge computing, data is decentralized and distributed among the devices where it is produced, making it difficult to take down the whole network or compromise all of your data with a single attack.  This also helps in terms of GDPR compliance, because sensitive or private information is no longer being sent to and stored in the cloud, where it could be vulnerable.

2. Speed

Time is of the essence when it comes to many IoT applications and sending data back and forth between the device and the data center comes with an inevitable time lag.  By storing and processing data at or close to the source, you reduce this lag and can analyze and take action on data in near-realtime, without unnecessary delays.

3. Scalability

Storing and processing data at the edge means you don’t need a substantial amount of cloud storage, allowing you to scale your IoT network as needed. You can expand your computing capacity through a combination of IoT devices and edge data centers.

4. Improved Efficiency

IoT devices can gather unprecedented amounts of actionable data with edge computing, because instead of waiting for a device to log in and interact with centralized servers, edge computing devices are always connected and therefore always gathering data for future analysis. The data can be processed locally to deliver a fast response, or it can be delivered centrally, where it can be dissected to identify trends and notable data points. This, in turn, can help your business make better decisions and meet the needs of your customers more efficiently.

If you would like to learn more about how Tele2 IoT can enable your business, please get in touch.

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