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Sony announces new flagship smartphone: Xperia Z1

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Sony Mobile has introduced the Xperia Z1 and a wide range of companion products and offering a better camera experience.

‚”Xperia Z1 represents a significant milestone for Sony in our continued efforts to deliver unforgettable experiences to our consumers,‚” said Kunimasa Suzuki, President and CEO, Sony Mobile Communications. ‚”Not only by bringing the power of Sony to the smartphone and through close collaboration with our partners but by setting a new standard in premium smartphones.‚”

The world’s leading camera in a smartphone

The elegant, 5‚” Xperia Z1 is the latest addition to Sony’s premium Z series of products and brings Sony’s proven world-class technologies to the smartphone like never before – including the very best of Sony’s camera expertise. Xperia Z1 features Sony’s award-winning ‚”G Lens‚” with a 27mm wide angle and bright F2.0 aperture, custom made large 1/2.3-type CMOS image sensor Exmor RS for mobile with20.7MP and a BIONZ for mobile image processing engine. The combination of these technologies delivers the same level of quality and performance as a conventional compact digital camera in a slim, waterproof smartphone. Indeed, independent testing has confirmed that Xperia Z1 provides the best overall image quality of all leading smartphones. This means that Xperia Z1 captures beautiful, sharp and bright images even in lowlight conditions. High shutter speeds and 3x clear image zoom also prevents shots from being blurred while enabling them to be captured at distance.

Innovative suite of Xperia Camera Applications

Xperia Z1 takes the conventional camera experience to a whole new level by including an innovative set of Xperia Camera Applications that deliver new experiences. Applications at launch include:

¬∑ Social live: Broadcast real time and precious moments live from Xperia Z1 to Facebook and get your friends’ comments right on your screen.

· Info-eye: Innovative visual search function that provides related information on landmarks and on items such as books or wine simply by capturing them with the camera.

· Timeshift burst: Capture the perfect shot every time РXperia Z1 takes 61 images in 2 seconds Рa second before and after pressing the shutter Рso you can scroll back and forth to find the perfect image.

¬∑ AR effect: Overlay a selection of fun, customisable animations to create pictures using Sony’s SmartART augmented reality technology.

This experience is supported by a robust ecosystem of established and up-and-coming developer partnerships who are working to createXperia Camera Applications. Many more apps will be available through the Sony Select recommendation store after launch.

Beautiful design with high power and performance

Xperia Z1 also includes all of the features consumers have come to expect of a Sony smartphone. Its stunning looks combine Sony’s acclaimed OmniBalance design with premium materials and precision engineering in a slim waterproof and dust resistant smartphone (IP55 & IP58). A solid one-piece aluminium frame with tempered glass on the front and back ensures beauty and durability as well as a consistent viewing experience from any angle.

Xperia Z1 features the fully integrated Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor with 2.2 GHz quad-core CPU and 4G LTE to provide a seamless connected entertainment experience, industry leading battery performance and amazing speed. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor features the latest GPU and dual ISP for incredible graphics, 3D games and videos. The Xperia Z1 also includes a 3000 mAh battery for a high battery performance. Sony’s Battery STAMINA Mode automatically turns off functions to save power when you don’t need them and restarts them when you do.

Incredible out of the box entertainment with Sony’s media applications and technologies

Xperia Z1 integrates Sony’s signature media applications – ‚”WALKMAN‚”, Movies and Album which allow users to enjoy, control and view content. Thanks to the inclusion of Sony’s BRAVIA TV technology, Xperia Z1 features Sony’s unique TRILUMINOS Display for mobile, creating a wider palette of rich natural colours for an immersive viewing experience. It also includes X-Reality for mobile – Sony’s intelligent super resolution technology which analyses each image and optimises the quality to deliver super sharp videos. Xperia Z1 also brings Sony’s audio expertise to play with Sony’s ClearAudio+ which automatically optimises the audio experience without the need to adjust individual settings.

‚”Xperia Z1 combines unique Sony expertise and intelligent technology and for the first time ever, bringing real digital camera quality into smartphone,‚” says Mark Fenzel, Sony Mobile Communications Sales Director, Middle East and Africa. ‚”We are excited to launch this new flagship premium waterproof smartphone in South Africa from October 2013.‚”

Unrivalled ecosystem of companion products and smart accessories

Xperia Z1 is supported by an ecosystem of innovative companion products and accessories. All are underpinned by Sony’s one-touch functions with NFC technology which will number approximately 100 compatible products by the end of the year including TVs, headphones, audio speakers, tablets, and more. Key products include:

Companion products to enhance the camera experience

· Smart Imaging Stand IPT-DS10M: An intelligent accessory that helps Xperia Z1 detect smiles and capture special moments without needing to hold the handset

· Smartphone Tripod SPA-MK20M: A versatile tripod perfect for extra stability when taking pictures or capturing video

A host of other companion products and smart accessories that enrich your smartphone experience.

· SmartWatch 2 Use as a second screen for Xperia Z1. Read messages, handle calls, easily access notifications all from your wrist. Trigger the Xperia Z1 camera shutter. Download other camera apps to enhance the Xperia Z1 experience. Sony is working closely with developers for even more optimised apps

· SBH52 Smart Bluetooth Handset Splash proof wireless audio accessory that enables you to listen and talk without taking out your smartphone.

· MDR-10BT NFC headphones and SRS-BTS50 wireless speaker РNew, high quality NFC enabled headphones and wireless speaker.

· SmartTags NT3 Create a unique experience for your tag and share with a friend via NFC.

· Continually update the experience over time with the Bluetooth Music Receiver BM10 stream music and audio from Xperia Z1 to your home Hi-Fi system

· Miracast Wireless Display IM10 Mirror your smartphone display on your HDTV or projector

Xperia Z1 key specifications

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Prepare for Wi-Fi 6

From traffic to healthcare, the applications of the new Wi-Fi 6 standard are set to transform how we connect.

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20 years ago, with the release of 802.11b, Wi-Fi began its conquest of the world networking scene in earnest. Wi-Fi can easily be called out as one of the most popular technologies of the last two decades. Just as mobile telephony and mobile internet, it has become a part of everyday life. And with the advent of IoT and the introduction of 5G, the time has come for the new standard – Wi-Fi 6.

Beyond being significantly faster than the previous generation, Wi-Fi 6 delivers up to four times greater capacity. Latency is vastly improved, allowing for near real-time use cases. Wi-Fi 6 is also easier on connected devices’ batteries.

So what impact will Wi-Fi 6 have on business in the coming years?

Digitisation, mobility and IoT are driving the need for connectivity. By 2022, more IP traffic will cross global networks than in all prior ‘internet years’ combined up to the end of 2016. In other words, more traffic will be created in 2022 than in the 32 years since the internet started. In 3 years, 28 billion devices will be connected to the Internet, many of which (robots, production lines, medical devices) will communicate over a wireless network. Against this background, it is easy to understand why we need a redesigned wireless standard that is more responsive to present and future challenges.

Wi-Fi 6: The business impact

“In the first phase, we expect the new wireless standard to gain a significant foothold in the B2B field, where it brings important innovations,” said Garsen Naidu, Country Manager, Cisco South Africa. “We will see it, together with other technologies, penetrate significantly into manufacturing, into the logistics industry. The technology is also more effective in high-density settings like large lecture halls, stadiums and conference rooms, so we are likely to see significant penetration in these settings too. And, with its extremely low latency, Wi-Fi 6 also promises to open up new opportunities in AR/VR, healthcare, and self-driving vehicles. ”

Ever since the launch of the Internet, every leap in network speed has had a major impact on technological innovation: 4G has brought along the age of smartphones, whilst 5G and Wi-Fi 6 will transform the business world. According to Cisco experts, these two technologies – 5G and Wi-Fi – will be widely adopted at the same time, complementing each other.

A short history of Wi-Fi

In 1999, half a dozen technology companies, including Aironet, which was later acquired by Cisco, formed the Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance. The standard announced that year, 802.11b, which gained significant commercial traction, was the first to emerge under the ‘Wi-Fi’ brand. As such, 1999 marks the year in which Wi-Fi really began.

Solutions that carry the official Wi-Fi logo work consistently with the IEEE 802.11 data transfer standard. These solutions are certified by the Wi-Fi Alliance, which guarantees compatibility between various wireless devices. In addition, networking manufacturers have done a lot to improve compatibility. Launched as early as 2002, Cisco Compatible eXtensions is a free licensing program that has enabled other vendors’ Wi-Fi products to be securely deployed on Cisco wireless networks.

Subsequent developments in Wi-Fi technology included managing interference and increasing data stability. Cisco is supporting these with the Cisco Flexible Radio Assignment and Cisco CleanAir technologies. The latter is capable of identifying and graphically displaying radio interference, identifying the source of the problem, and directing users to other, less crowded, channels.

Challenges of the present and opportunities for the future

One of the most widespread business applications of wireless technology is office Wi-Fi. Using Wi-Fi, employees can move freely and access the network from anywhere where there is a hotspot. Wi-Fi-based analysis and location services are also becoming increasingly popular. And with the spread of IoT, Wi-Fi is becoming ubiquitous, and is today found everywhere from agricultural fields to production lines.

“We see promising business opportunities and a wide range of new applications. At the same time, with hundreds and thousands of new devices connecting to wireless networks, IT teams are facing increasing complexity. So we need to rethink IT architectures from the ground-up,” added Naidu.

Much of this need to rethink network architectures is driven by the enormous growth in wireless connectivity.

Wi-Fi has driven growth in general IT use, which in turn has led to the need to provide and run bigger and more complex networks with a greater variety of endpoint device types on them. This complexity ‘feedback loop’, driven in no small part by Wi-Fi, requires that new solutions are developed to deal with this complexity.

Cisco has pioneered in this area, using AI, machine learning, and machine reasoning, via products such as Cisco DNA Assurance to eliminate manual troubleshooting and reduce the time spent resolving service issues.

The latest Wi-Fi 6 developments introduced earlier this year make a consistent, efficient and seamless wireless connectivity experience a reality.

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Getting London wired

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Ruckus Wireless has been selected by Telefónica UK, which operates the O2 brand, to supply high-capacity small cell products for high-speed wireless services being deployed throughout London.

Already deployed throughout the busiest, iconic areas in central London, such as Trafalgar Square, Parliament Square, Leicester Square, Regent Street and Oxford Street, Ruckus SmartCell 8800s have initially been deployed to provide free, fast and reliable Wi-Fi to anyone.

Within a single, low-profile design, the SmartCell 8800 is the first carrier-grade, modular multi-radio system to integrate patented adaptive antenna array technology supporting multiple licensed and unlicensed radio technologies including: high-speed dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi, small cell 3G/4G radios and 5GHz wireless backhaul. This gives Telefónica UK the flexibility to easily and economically offer high-speed Wi-Fi and cellular services in specific locations when needed.

‚”For O2, it’s all about us providing customers with fast and reliable connectivity where they need it,‚” said Derek McManus, chief operating officer for Telef√≥nica UK. ‚”Our vision is for Wi-Fi to be simply another access layer to our mobile core. Customers don’t really care about the underlying technology: they care about getting connected, fast and reliably. The introduction of small cells helps us to support these requirements and completely complements our mobile strategy by letting us push capacity closer to users in locations where it makes the most sense.‚”

‚”In telecoms there is now a mad race to the lamppost, and the first one there wins,‚” said Selina Lo, president and CEO of Ruckus Wireless. ‚”A big barrier in small cell deployment is simply securing the physical locations with the requisite power and backhaul to support small cells. Once physical assets secured, it becomes important for operators to exploit them with as much technology as they can. This means multi-function, carrier-grade products that are simple deploy, unobtrusive and massively scalable. SmartCell is one of those products and O2 is one of those operators taking a lead in this race.‚”

After extensive evaluations of wireless suppliers, Telef√≥nica UK selected Ruckus and its SmartCell system. ‚”It all really boiled down to who had the best Wi-Fi for carriers and the most forward-thinking strategy to integrate Wi-Fi within existing and future cellular infrastructure,‚” said McManus.

‚”Such partnerships prove that industry players are starting to see the benefits Wi-Fi is bringing to their services,‚” adds Michael Fletcher sales director for Ruckus Wireless sub-Saharan Africa. ‚”We are likely to continue to see more industry players embracing this transformation globally, and hopefully locally as well as operators look for solutions to cater for their growing customer base.‚”

Beating the Backhaul Dilemma

‚”A major challenge with small cell deployments is how to reliably backhaul traffic from potentially thousands of small cell nodes without breaking the bank,‚” said Robert Joyce, chief radio engineer at Telef√≥nica UK.‚”

Telefónica UK effectively eliminates this problem by meshing traffic over highly reliable 5GHz Wi-Fi mesh links between nodes using Ruckus Smart Mesh technology. Smart Mesh uses advanced self-organising network (SON) principles with Ruckus-patented adaptive antenna arrays (BeamFlex) and predictive channel management techniques (ChannelFly). Combined these technologies create highly resilient, high-speed Wi-Fi mesh backbone links between nodes that automatically adapt to changes in environmental conditions.

Thought by many to not be possible, Smart Mesh has demonstrated to deliver reliable backhaul for licensed cellular and unlicensed Wi-Fi traffic in both line of sight and non-line of site environments.

‚”Ruckus Smart Mesh technology is proving to offer a cost-effective, reliable and flexible alternative to conventional approaches,‚” said Joyce. ‚”With Smart Mesh, we are running fiber to just one of every five nodes. This has proven to be a huge benefit in reducing capital and operational expense with the added bonus of reducing the time to market.‚”

Big Improvements with Small Cells

Small cells represent a new architectural approach for injecting much needed capacity into service provider networks. Small cells are miniature base stations that combine licensed and unlicensed radio technology with wireless backhaul to deliver lower powered wireless signals much closer to mobile users. This results in better signal coverage, improved voice quality and higher data performance.

Small cells enable operators to provide a premium quality mobile signal where it was never previously economic, such as indoor environments and remote outdoor locations. They also enable operators to meet the burgeoning demand for mobile data, by multiplying the data capacity of the macro network at a fraction of the cost.

With the Ruckus SmartCell system, mobile operators gain a capacity boost from LTE small cells, cutting costs and complexity by co-locating and combining them with Wi-Fi access points, sharing site-lease agreements and backhaul. The integration of Wi-Fi and LTE small cells within the cellular core also helps operators optimize network utilization across the radio access network, providing a further improvement in performance, and creating a seamless experience for subscribers.

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