Smart cities or intelligent cities are not only about technology improving city services, but they are about improving the community experience as you live, work, and play. Yes, much has changed over the past 18 months, but city projects are moving forward and with a boost of energy because of the pandemic and new funding sources. The industry as a whole is finding new project opportunities centered around automation, remote operations, contactless services, public health and safety, and new ways to deliver legacy services to avoid the face-to-face interaction for safety purposes. A few key technologies directly aiding in smart city initiatives include Internet of Things (sensors, connecting assets, tracking assets, real-time alerting or intelligence), mobile applications, augmented or virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.
Historically, smart city projects have centered around traffic management, smart lighting, and city asset management, and while those areas are expected to continue to be areas of focus, new use cases are coming into the mix. Under the American Rescue Plan and Coronavirus Relief Fund (CARES ACT), cities and public schools are receiving emergency funding to support in projects related to safety, healthcare, and administering city services in new and safe ways.
READ MORE AT EXECUTIVE VIEWPOINT
A week ago, I sat down virtually with Brandon Branham, Chief Technology Officer and Assistant City Manager of Peachtree Corners (PTC, one of the first cities in the United States powered by real-world smart city infrastructure, which also features ‘Curiosity Lab at Peachtree Corners’) to get an update on all of the progress being made in making the city smarter, more interactive, and inviting to technology innovators around the globe. Peachtree Corners launched an innovative living smart city lab about 1 year back that leverages autonomous technology, IoT, AI, machine learning, edge computing, virtual reality, and other advanced technologies to advance city operations, mobility, and introduce economic development.
Some of the more interesting key facts about PTC include the following:
Below is a video that will showcase some of the advancements being made at PTC and within Curiosity Labs.
Living Lab of today brings to life technology of tomorrow from Tytan Pictures on Vimeo.
The innovation being embraced at PTC comes with the value it is placing in partnerships, leading technology company initiatives, and the live testing environment it provides to tech companies, OEMs, and startups around the globe. They currently have roughly 10 vendors with 15 different device types generating data across their network across around 15 or so different software systems. On the embracing of global companies, it is also working with a Tel Aviv company called IPgallery, that brings together city insights and intelligence using a real-time AI data platform that provides visualization (visual map) across PTC to monitor, analyze and secure all IoT devices across the ecosystem, buses, cameras, applications, etc. In addition, traffic flow and pattern data are being collected to adjust and make real-time rerouting decisions to improve public transportation.
PTC recently announced a partnership with Bosch, where they are implementing a sensor connected intersection and intelligent traffic management system to capture video including vehicle identification, vehicle recognition of objects (car, bus, scooters with drivers or without, pedestrians, etc. using machine vision). This partnership will allow real-time adjustments to traffic signaling, share the flow of traffic activity, and identify the type of vehicle in that flow for improved traffic management. PTC's Curiosity Lab will allow for a living city environment for Bosch to leverage its leading edge solution within a live, real municipality.
A few other projects on the horizon include the following:
All of these activities would not be anywhere without the public-private partnerships (3Ps) in place. PTC has a process to test in their live environment, receive funding from 3rd parties or commercial entities (for some projects), decide on whether the project is scalable, and then the city decides and will invest as needed. This is a prime example of how business and government can and should work together to advance the smart city vision.
On a final note, below is a list of key differentiators that enable PTC be the groundbreaking innovator in smart city solutions:
In late June, a group of analysts (including myself) and consultants attended the annual Sprint Business Analyst Day in New York. This event provides an update on the business group including business wireless products and services, wireline (yes they are still operating in this space!) services, and of course IoT solutions. The theme this year was focused on how Sprint Business connects people, places, and things or branded as #worksforbusiness. We kicked off the event the first evening at The Knickerbocker Hotel with a reception to meet, greet, enjoy roof-top beverages and food. Jan Geldmacher (@JanGeld), Sprint Business President, kicked off the evening with a few words on expectations the next day, and a highlight of the sessions and content. The evening was enjoyable meeting up with old colleagues, fellow analysts, good friends, and catching up with Sprint executives.
The next morning was held at Sprint's NY offices with a slightly wet commute a few blocks away as the rain helped wake up our day. Mr. Geldmacher again kicked off our morning sharing again the highlights of the day and thoughts on 5G network progress, merger expectations, IoT solutions, and more. Jan stressed his high expectations of winning merger approval, along with the challenges of attorney generals suing yet sharing of the job growth that the merger will bring. Sprint Business reached 17% year over year growth in gross adds, with net adds up 34% y-o-y despite experiencing higher churn compared to competitors. Geldmacher mentioned focus areas and goals including increased contribution from Sprint Business with improved convergence of organization for selling across portfolio, stating the organization will continue the "Sprint Way of Selling" (i.e. solution selling focus, & automation/digitization of operations). Geldmacher shared they are working government and local companies including Peachtree Corners, GA and Greenville, SC on 5G and/or IoT use cases including Autonomous Vehicles.
Next up, we heard from Dr. John Saw, CTO of Sprint (@SprintCTO), who shared their mobile 5G progress. Sprint continued to roll out 5G in several cities using massive MIMO antenna systems (assets include 2.5 GHz spectrum assets) noting in Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, and Kansas City (4 cities currently, with 5 cities coming online soon) there are over 1000 sq miles already covered with 5G. Meanwhile AT&T and Verizon are leaning on mmWave a 5G coverage approach. The primary differentiator is the ability to serve Advanced LTE and 5G customers simultaneously on a single existing antenna in split mode. Sprint essentially has an advantage on leaning towards its heavy spectrum assets to provide 5G network leadership, which will in turn be better for businesses and government. Outside of mass IoT and business use cases, 5G also brings consumer use cases noted Saw...sharing mobile gaming use case leveraging 5G and Hatch (spinoff from Rovio) edge computing centers and Sprint infrastructure. (See related article: https://www.section.io/blog/edge-computing-gaming-benefits/)
Ivo Rook, Sprint Business SVP of IoT and Product Development, provided an update on overall Sprint Business activities, IoT, and Sprint Curiosity (TM)...OS, Platform, and Core), and placing Sprint outside of being just a wireless operator but focused on software and AI. Rook shared more on bringing data to the edge, going global, a focus on talent/training, deal pipeline growth, nationwide Cat M, and #smartcities partners including AWS @awscloud, Mapbox @Mapbox, Spireon @Spireon, Nauto, Arm @Arm, and Dynamics @dynamicsinc (recently signed). Sprint closed smarty city deals with Peachtree GA, Phoenix, AZ, Detroit MI, Greenville, SC, and Sacramento, CA.
Rook also noted growth in SMB customers, up 24%, transitioning clients off CDMA. 5G was also a source of discussion, especially as it relates to autonomous vehicles (AV), where 5G can increase accuracy from 9 feet to 1 inch stated Ivo. Ivo shared 4 primary focus areas along with 5G emphasis including communication, security using #AI, engagement between colleagues, and client communications to enable business. Additional 5G use cases may include mobile wireless access points, #enterprise wireless backup, and #SMB collaboration.
The software and AI discussion continued as #AI application=reduce production costs stated Rook. #ArtificialIntelligence is expected to balance accuracy/speed providing relative #context to intelligence. New AI products announced include #Sprint Secure AI, Sprint Secure Mobile AI, and Sprint Smart Messaging all with a focus on reducing human intervention with #flatfee incentives and #endpointsecurity. Sprint Smart Messaging is helping #restaurants recapture lost reservations and field missed calls (great restaurant use case).
Kim Green-Kerr, SVP of Sprint Business, was also a speaker and shared live client examples of new #Sprint #AI products and solutions, with a highlight of service industry use case. She shared 60% of service industry experiences missed calls result in lost business to other companies or vendors (hair salons, restaurants) and Kim stated Sprint can help recapture #lostrevenue #lostcalls #lostbusiness using #AI #artificialintelligence (Sprint Smart Messaging). While sharing customer examples, Kim (@KimGreenKerr) introduced client Ron of @NationwideComm1 NCL Networks to share his experience working with Sprint Business. Ron mentioned NCL Networks maintains the largest base of Business Placement Outsourcing #BPO clients and nearshore and offshore customers in #singapore #philippines #manila #cebu sharing successes #3nodes.
Kim wrapped up by sharing a demo on Sprint Solutions Customization Tool which supports in helping those browsing #IoT solutions to a #guidedsell approach. This easy approach to find solutions, enables a no rep sale with #IoTFactory and can run full decision and close deal online #CuriosityMarketplace.
Partners include Spireon, Mapbox (Using Live mapping with @Mapbox @ericg and Curiosity(TM) platform, designed for people and things, rich data sets, near real-time intelligent data), among others...Sprint is also working with @Accenture Innovation Centers, running #Curiosity #IoT. Curiosity and Sprint's IoT Factory (launched in May 2018) continues to experience progress, noting after the launch of the #IoT Factory the focus is to (1) Engage with Developer community (2) Gather and learn from Insights in how customers think with IoT (3) Produce IoT Leads. IoT factory currently has 26 solutions added on Factory 2.0 with 368 activations in FY19, also sharing 42 new customers (added in Q1), 127% sales growth (QoQ).
#SprintCuriosity is live in #SanJose and #Ashburn with data collection nodes in 10 cities now, rolling out on weekly basis. The goal is to get data to the core (#SDN) as quickly as possible (19 Intelligent production nodes (Uber and Accenture)). #closetocustomers #sensordata #mL #AI Sprint is launching #Curiosity Labs, a public-private partnership (#3Ps #PPP) with Peachtree Corners @PCCityYes working with city Manager, Brian Johnson (#connected #smartcity #V2X #autonmous #500acres #smartcityexpo) and the expected date launch is set for Sept 9th...more can be found here vimeo.com/336207235 .
As for what's next, Sprint also continues to focus on international expansion. Sprint shared both casual and permanent roaming in 152 countries and has deployed EYCC centralized solution with continued work on roll-out and deals in 135 countries enabling local profiles activated OTA partnering with @ericsson and @TelnaGlobal.
Final thoughts on connecting PEOPLE, PLACES, and THINGS...
#IoT #IIoT #SDN #5G #certification #massIoT #IoTactivation #missioncriticalIoT #IoTSLAs
In case you didn't know, BlackBerry is not only ramping up its portfolio around IoT security services and solutions, but they are also in the asset/fleet/cargo tracking market. Based on telematics research available on compassintel.com, total global asset tracking market will reach $27.1B by 2023, growing at 14.8% compound annual growth rate, with North America holding a strong 37% of the market share. When you add fleet tracking and cold chain tracking to this, it become an even larger market opportunity.
"The BlackBerry® Radar family of products is an all-encompassing asset tracking solution that gives fleet assets such as trailers, vans, containers, flatbeds, chassis and equipment the intelligence to securely communicate in near real-time."
Blackberry introduced BlackBerry® Radar (two versions including Radar-M and Radar-L) in 2016, and has really struggled to get to the market growth it needs to compete with the likes of Verizon Connect, Omnitracs (Qualcomm subsidiary), and others. This is a highly saturated market with 100s of companies competing just in the U.S. alone. The devices offer both an AT&T SIM and Orange SIM for connectivity, and customers can choose to pay all up front through a capital investment or pay a smaller up-front fee for the equipment and monthly recurring fee (MRC) for the services. There is also a lease option available for customers who prefer not to "own" the equipment. The primary telematics focus for BlackBerry is non-powered assets including cargo, low and high value shipping assets, and even cold chain assets. In an article in FleetOwner magazine BlackBerry SVP and General Manager Phillip Poulidis stated, "Radar customers are improving fleet efficiency on average between 7% and 10%." BlackBerry also stated a goal of reaching $100 million in revenue over the next three years from the telematics product.
A few additional notes...
All in all, BlackBerry will need to continue to push branding awareness in a very competitive marketplace, which may be challenging as it is not very well-known compared to the larger market players. The real opportunity would be for BlackBerry to set up a reseller/partnership ecosystem to push BlackBerry Radar (branded or white-labeled) to the masses, and this would mean partnering with other IoT telematics companies and wireless carriers, as well as non-traditional technology companies.
Get this research! Asset Tracking Market by Technology, Connection Type, Mobility, Location Determination, and Industry Verticals 2018 – 2023
By Stephanie Atkinson, CEO CompassIntel/Chair IoT6
www.5gamericas.org | @5GAmericas
Last week was the annual 5G Americas annual Analyst Forum held in Dallas, Texas. The event was kicked off by the Chairman and CTO of T-Mobile US, Neville Ray (@NevilleRay). Just a few highlights to start off with regarding Neville's keynote, which clearly showcased the global and nationwide competitive angle 5G is being championed for and towards (also heard at MWCA in LA).
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND 5G
One of the first sessions I sat in on was focused around the impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to 5G and future growth in IoT. Ericsson is utilizing AI tools and software to improve their radio access network (RAN) specific to configuration and optimization, while Samsung mentioned heavily investing (see Softbank news on AI investments) in AI at the cloud level to support in new customer experiences (cX) and improve video content services (noted example of having video content follow users). Cisco's perspective was a bit different as they are looking at AI to support in new learning algorithms (inference and information theory) around operations, as well as using AI tools and software for social impact initiatives. Lastly, Sprint mentioned leveraging AI to improve data quality, enhance machine learning tools, generating automatic code, and simplifying for categorization (think automated text categorization, read more here). Sprint also mentioned there may be a challenge with the human input and training is an issue.
5G AND ENTERPRISE IoT
On the low band, 5G is expected to support in scaling massive IoT, specific to low latency connected and sensor solutions, specific to industrial, infrastructure, operations, and even smart cities. The use cases revolve around asset tracking and monitoring, fleet tracking and monitoring, some transportation and container tracking, and applications specific to agriculture, factory automation/manufacturing (mass production), and others.
Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) has been a focus for companies like AT&T, as they made announcements this year. As shown earlier, the carriers all have different approaches to device roll-out, yet 5G smartphones is not expected until mid-2019. On another note, there are some upcoming changes to 5G devices and antenna placement. Devices may have 3 to 4 mmWave antennas as part of 5G enhancements, and this will help to manage hand cover up issues from a user experience perspective. Qualcomm mentioned that some devices still have 2G, and that the OEMs they work with are choosing what bands to include in the devices. The 3G to 4G shift was more concentrated around power management, while that will not be as much of an issue for the shift from 4G to 5G. New RF modules will be an area of focus for 5G devices. This session had participants from Qualcomm, Samsung, and Sprint.
5G, MORE USE CASES
Focusing beyond MBB, the industry participants mentioned we need to look above and beyond broadband and smartphone devices. Sprint is focused around the mid-band, so 5G smartphones is key to their 5G strategy. Sprint is currently looking at the partnership model for 5G use cases. The foundational use cases are centered around mobility and fixed wireless. Many are in the exploratory stage from an ecosystem perspective and are seeking support from partners, research analysts, advisors, and customers. Carriers will be seeking use cases to better monetize traffic, as current smartphone revenues and the growth trajectory remains fairly stable or flat. Consumer is behind overall, and Enterprise is leading in 5G use cases at this time. Smart cities is an area to explore as well, and CityBrain (by Alibaba) was mentioned as a good use case to explore in terms of true ROI.
MY TWO CENTS
Related 5G Research and Reports:
5G Optimization: Mobile Edge Computing and Network Slicing 2018 – 2023
Voice over 5G (Vo5G) Market
5G Security Market: Technologies, Solutions, and Market Outlook 2018 - 2023
As published on csuitepodcast.com
"Produced in partnership with the European PR agency Tyto, in this episode, we Tyto’s Hype Report on the Internet of Things (IoT), hearing from a number of experts who contributed to it.
For the main part of the show, Russell Goldsmith spoke to Practical Futurist, Andrew Grill and Abraham Joseph, Founder of IOT insights, plus Stephanie Atkinson, CEO of Compass Intelligence also joined the discussion in the studio via Skype from her offices in San Antonio in Texas.
We also hear from two more IoT experts from the US, Dan Yarmoluk, Director of Business Development for IoT and Data Science at ATEK Access Technologies and Rich Rogers, who at the time of recording, was Senior Vice President for IoT Product & Engineering at Hitachi Vantara. Finally, Tyto’s Managing Partner Brendon Craigie explains why he put this report together.
To download the full report, go to www.tytopr.com/iot
To begin with, Brendon explained that this was the first in a series of reports that Tyto intend to publish, looking at the hottest technology, science and innovation trends. He said that they picked IoT first because it’s one of the top five technology discussions that’s been going on over the past five years. It’s at the top of the Gartner Hype Cycle, with around a quarter of a million articles in 2017 focused on IoT, which is more than double the 100,000 there were in 2015.
Brendon added that IoT is very much a rising trend and the objective of Tyto’s reports is to cut beneath the hype to understand what’s really going on to understand the positive success stories as well as some of the barriers and challenges.
Given that making sense of data is a key part of Stephanie’s business, we went to her with the first question on whether we are set up to cope with all of the data that’s about to be thrown at us?
Stephanie had written in the report that “connected devices and assets alone are not what is revolutionary but what we can do with the information data and analysis of things that are connected is where we expect progress” and in fact, a lot of the comments made in the report naturally talked about the amount of data that’s being generated, which course is the bedrock of which IoT is built. Also, according to IHS Markit, a global business research analytics provider, there will be more than 31 billion IoT connected devices in 2018 and just looking at the Automotive Industry as one example, Intel had previously put out a stat that said just one autonomous car will create 4000 gigabytes of data a day.
Stephanie said that one of the big things that we have to think about is that we can’t be in a position just to collect all of this data and it really not do anything, so that definitely is an issue from a carrier perspective as we have too much data being collected. She added that we have to really think about this systematically – we have to look through each and every component. First of all, how often are we collecting the data, is it monthly, is it weekly, is it hourly, is it ongoing? We also have to think about the priority, is this something that could take down our network? Is this something that could take down our supply chain, our business operations? Will this affect our customers? So those are other things that Stephanie said you have to think about. And the last piece, she said, is, as we start to look through the data, some data might need to be combined with other pieces of information to really bring that level of intelligence to the business and really make it actionable. So, all these things are what’s really driving the data collection piece. But right now there’s a concern in the industry because we can’t be in a position where we’re collecting everything, we have to think about this in a systematic approach." READ MORE
Listen to the podcast: http://www.csuitepodcast.com/podcasts/show-71-internet-of-things-2018/ or
Adopting innovative and smart infrastructure will enable businesses and government to enhance asset, infrastructure, and building performance. These physical structures are transforming into intelligence, cognitive, and predictive assets through existing and emerging technologies including Internet of Things, machine-to-machine communications, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, robotics, and deep learning. This spring’s, “Advancing Smart Infrastructure and IoT” IoT6 Exchange Summit brought together thought leaders, executives, advisory board members, and vendors to explore, learn, exchange best-in-class ideas, technology, solutions, and solve real issues around smart infrastructure. From retrofitting legacy assets and infrastructure to building smart and intelligence infrastructure from the ground up, this event presented hard hitting and actionable best-in-class learnings, and brought smart infrastructure ideas, projects, and use cases to life. The event enlightened our attendees by capturing all the technology and innovation elements as the industry transition from unintelligent, static physical structures and assets to intelligence, learning, and digital structures and assets. DOWNLOAD THE FULL SUMMARY HERE.
Compass Intelligence has covered the traditional device lifecycle market trends (smartphones, tablets, PCs, laptops), research, and intelligence for more than a decade, and now we are finally entering into real discussions around IoT device lifecycle management. What happens to the repair, maintenance, insurance, warranty, replacement, and end of life services that need to be provided for the billions of connected devices being managed globally, and who will be responsible for providing those services. When thinking about connected devices, let's just focus in on industrial and machine-to-machine connected devices. These may include devices used for tracking, monitoring, alerting, diagnostics, distribution, logistics management, digital content display, surveillance, inspection, safety response, machine communications, and many other core applications. Each of these applications will have common and unique IoT device lifecycle patterns and processes that start from the R&D/manufacturing stage and move to end of life and recycling stage.
A depiction of Compass Intelligence's IoT device lifecycle view is shown below:
Research & Development
The R&D phase includes areas such as testing, trial and error, refinement, embedded security, and other requirements, along with production runs for review and improvements. This phase is where many of the engineers work their magic, and this is also the area we are hearing needs to increase their review and processes for embedded security for supporting improved security of the device once it is deployed and operational.
This phase includes the production of connected devices.
Install and Deploy
This phase includes installation, integration, set-up, kitting, dispatching, and other services to get the connected devices working and communicating with other systems, software, and business tools.
Service and Maintain
This phase is where we expect to see a need for additional services. As devices malfunction, breakdown, become compromised (security, weather, aged), we will need better options for fast and reliable repair, warranty, and even insurance to cover business loss in case of short-term or long-term disruption of business or operations. Just as we have warranty, repair, and insurance related services for the devices we carry, we will have a growing need (especially in business or corporate) to have assurances for zero to little down-time of operations and business services. This phase is also important as it is focused on the management of all IoT and connected devices including providing physical and network security of the device, providing visibility of the devices (platform, portal, moves-adds-changes, troubleshooting), configuration, software updates management, and much more. As this phase becomes the longest phase and the most vital to operations, we expect to see services rolled out by the carriers, IoT vendors, integrators, and other tech companies, as well as see future IoT companies launch or evolve that are dedicated solely to IoT device lifecycle management.
End of Life
This phase is also an area that I believe is under-looked but will present huge opportunities for the market. What happens to older versions, retired models, aging equipment, and end of life connected devices. Just as we have a secondary market for smartphones and tablets, we will also see an opportunity for secondary markets for connected devices. This may be in both consumer and commercial application areas. In addition, as we deem equipment as not suitable for the secondary market, there will also be a market for recycling precious metals, parts, batteries, and other materials. Again, we are talking billions of devices that will need to be recycled to protect our resources.
For more research and information on the IoT Market, please visit our IoT Store. For more information on our advisory services, please visit our IoT Advisory page.
Written by Stephanie Atkinson, @stephatkins
Compass Intelligence CEO
Covering hot topics in the industry, new research, trends, and event coverage.