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5G gets WIVE boost

Several groups in Finland have established the WIreless for VErticals which is designed to make new industries to gain competitive advantages from the latest wireless technologies, especially 5G.

An industry group led by Nokia Bell Labs and including several academics in Finland has established a collaboration project called WIVE (WIreless for VErticals) to make it possible for new types of industries to gain competitive advantage from the latest wireless technologies, especially 5G. The project, co-funded by the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation (Tekes), involves several industry, research institute and academic partners such as Nokia, Teleste, Telia, ABB, Cargotec Kalmar, Finnish Broadcasting Company (Yle), Digita, regulator FICORA, key Finnish universities as well as VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.

Over the next 10 years, tens of billions of connected devices are expected to converge into intelligent and programmable systems that will improve lives in a vast number of areas. Transportation and resource consumption, learning and work, and treatment of health and wellness will all be affected by this change, which will bring massive opportunities for these industries but also new capacity requirements for networks.

The WIVE project, which is planned to run for 2 years, will focus on the needs of the following vertical sectors.

· Media and entertainment (M&E)

· Machine-type connectivity for application areas, including:

·Ultra Reliable Low Latency Communications (URLLC), serving sectors like smart grids and remotely controlled machines

· Massive Machine Type Connectivity (mMTC), allowing a high number of devices to be connected with limited cost and energy consumption.

WIVE aims to develop concepts and enable technologies, as well as to test and experiment new vertical services offered by 5G, especially for URLLC, mMTC, and media content delivery. These new communication services have versatile requirements for reliability, latency, data rates, security and availability. The WIVE project aims to demonstrate that these requirements can be fulfilled with future 5G networks with improved flexibility and cost-efficiency.

The WIVE project implements vertical service pilots based on industry driven use cases on the top of 5GTNF testbeds (e.g. TAKE-5 and 5GTN+), and tests new vertical services and applications in a realistic testing environment (out of the laboratory) to discover possible technical and business opportunities and constraints associated with new technologies to speed up the roll out of new 5G vertical services.

Spectrum is one of the key enablers for the exploitation of the full innovation potential of 5G. Therefore, WIVE is taking an active role in investigating and promoting flexible spectrum policies and spectrum management schemes to unlock new spectrum assets for 5G.

A vital part of WIVE is also the focus on users and identifying business opportunities for different verticals. 5G enables innovative service concepts and business cases across industries, as devices and machines are increasingly connected, paving the way for new business models and markets to emerge in the connected world. WIVE takes content consumption patterns and routines among end-users into account when exploring new business opportunities and scenarios for 5G.

“Industry collaboration is essential in fostering innovation around 5G, and for enabling different industries to take full advantage of the faster connections that 5G promises. Nokia Bell Labs has a strong focus on ultra reliable, low latency communications targeting new wireless communication systems for verticals, and the WIVE project provides us with greater insight into the requirements and opportunities for experimentation to test our solutions,” said the industrial coordinator of the project, Mikko Uusitalo, head of wireless advanced technologies research at Nokia.

“Deep understanding of the needs of different verticals and the variety of 5G user contexts is in the core of our business. We are looking at evolving media consumption patterns and developing revolutionary spectator experiences, for example at Telia 5G Arena in Helsinki and as part of our agreement for Finnish Ice Hockey League media rights. Machine-type connectivity and ultra-reliable communications are just as crucial for building smarter traffic, manufacturing solutions and other digitalization initiatives, which are topical for our B2B customers,” said Janne Koistinen, director of Telia 5G program in Finland.

“The number of connected devices in the Internet of Everything era will pose new challenges to future networks from interoperability, scalability and reliability perspectives. WIVE has a lot to contribute here as part of, and in collaboration with, the 5G Test Network Finland – on top of the media business transformation activities bridging the work from preceding research activities in the FUHF (Future of UHF) project,” said program manager Mika Klemettinen from Tekes.

“A substantially higher level of automation, together with reliable, low-latency communication between nodes in a power distribution grid, are prerequisites to improving the reliability of supply and integrating a large amount of distributed, renewable and intermittent generation. The development of energy policies, legislation and regulation all drive smarter and greener grids, and the transition will be facilitated by new technologies, such as 5G,” said Dick Kronman, manager of ABB’s Grid Automation Solutions business. “We will adapt our most advanced smart grid applications to a 5G test network as a benchmark. Collaboration within the consortium and practical tests will give us a comprehensive understanding of the Ultra Reliable Low Latency Communication (URLLC) capabilities of 5G and new business opportunities,” said Petri Hovila, program manager at ABB’s Medium Voltage Products unit in Finland.

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Mobile is the new branch

Standard Bank has launched an account for mobile devices that gives back 500MB of data a month

Standard Bank has introducd a R4.95p/m bank account called MyMo that customers can open on their mobile devices, loaded with data and airtime offerings and other benefits such as virtual and Gold physical card.

MyMo account holders will also enjoy the convenience of a cheque account through a Visa and Mastercard gold card. Once the account is open, users can choose to either receive R50 in airtime or 500MB of data a month, if their card is swiped more than four times a month. A further megabyte of data is loaded on the account for every R20 spent.

“MyMo is an account for everyone, whether you just landed your first job or have been around the block. With no documentation required it only takes a few minutes to open the account,” says Funeka Montjane, Chief Executive for Personal and Business Banking, South Africa, at Standard Bank Group. “For just R4.95 a month customer will be able to enjoy free swipes and ATM withdrawals at only R6.50 for amounts under R 1 000.

“Mobile is the new branch. This account is about bringing the mobile branch into customers hands, it is about convenience and security while banking.”

She says mobile offers low cost transactional banking which integrates people and businesses into the new connected economy, making mobile the new branch ecosystem that will drive and connect Africa’s growth. Physical connections to the economy are rapidly changing to digital where banks have to move from being financial institutions to service organisations.

“In the past people congregated in communities and eventually cities to maximise the advantages of connectivity. Today a simple hand-held device has the potential to open infinite doors, transforming individuals’ access to opportunities, regardless of where they are, and like never before in history. 

“Historically, a bank account represented access to economic citizenship. Today, having a simple device enabling digital access to a modern banking platform is a passport to global connectivity and vast human development potential.”

The bank says it is using technology, and mobile phones in particular, to deliver low-cost transactional channels accessible to all our customers. The evolution in mobile can be seen in transaction options like cash back at the retail checkout till rather than the ATM, free digital banking rather than using a branch, and the ability to transact using digital wallets, even without a bank account.

“Developing comprehensive connected ecosystems requires a mind-set change from Africa’s banks,” says Montjane. “Banks will evolve away from traditional financial service organisations, into service ecosystems enabling broad universal access to almost everything like enhanced purchasing experiences of vehicles and homes, online procurement of goods and services and lifestyle elements like rewards and travel. 

“These connectivity drivers will also act to future-proof evolving connectivity ecosystem by allowing us to offer untold future services while deriving income from as yet unrealised revenue streams,.   

From a customer perspective, the kind of ecosystems of knowledge, access and, ultimately, connectivity that banks will come to provide will radically transform the share of life that almost all individuals will be able to access.”

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Two-thirds of SA staff hide social media from bosses

With 90% of people in employment going online several times a day, it can be hard for most workers to keep their private and work-life separate during the working day (and beyond). The recently published Global Privacy Report from Kaspersky Lab reveals that 64% of South African consumers choose to hide social media activity from their boss. This secretive stance at work also extends to their colleagues, with 60% of South Africans also preferring not to reveal online activities to their co-workers.

Globally, the average employee spends an astonishing 13 years and two months at work during their lifetime. Interestingly though, not all this time is directly related to solving work tasks or earning a promotion: almost two thirds (64%) of consumers admit visiting non-work-related websites every day from their desk.

Not surprisingly, 35% of South African employees are against their employer knowing which websites they visit. However, more interestingly, 60% of South African are even against their colleagues knowing about their online activities. This probably means that colleagues constitute an even greater threat to future perspectives of an office slouch or maybe the relationships with colleagues are more informal and therefore, more valuable.

On the contrary, social media activity appears to be a less private domain for many and therefore, more suitable for sharing with colleagues but not the boss. This is probably because workers fear harming the public image of a company or interest in decreased staff productivity motivates companies to monitor employees’ social networks and make career changing decisions based on that. Such policies have led to 64% of South Africans saying that they don’t want to reveal their social media activities to their boss and 53% even don’t want to disclose this information to their colleagues.

A further 29% are against showing the content of their messages and emails to their employer. In addition, 3% even said that their career was irrevocably damaged as a consequence of their personal information being leaked. Thus, people are worried about how to build a favourable internal reputation and how not to destroy existing workplace relationships.

“As going online is an integral part of our life nowadays, lines continue to blur between our digital existence at work and at home. And that’s neither good nor bad. That’s how we live in the digital age. Just keep remembering that as an employee you need to be increasingly cautious of what exactly you post on social media feeds or what websites you prefer using at work. One misconceived action on the internet could have an irrevocable long-term impact on even the most ambitious worker’s ability to climb the career ladder of their choice in the future,” comments Marina Titova, Head of Consumer Product Marketing at Kaspersky Lab.

To ensure workers don’t fall prey of the internet threats at a work, there are some core guidelines to adhere to in the digital age:

  • Don’t post anything that could be considered defamatory, obscene, proprietary or libellous. If in doubt, don’t post.
  • Be aware that system administrators may at least, in theory, be informed about your web browsing patterns.
  • Don’t harass, threaten, discriminate or disparage against any colleague, partner, competitor or customer. Neither on social networks or in messages, emails, nor by any other means.
  • Don’t post photographs of other employees, customers, vendors, suppliers or company products without prior written permission.
  • Start using Kaspersky Password Manager to ensure your social media and other personal accounts are not at risk of unauthorised access by someone else in an office. Install a reliable security solution such as Kaspersky Security Cloud to protect your personal devices.

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