Vodacom has demonstrated the first broadband multimedia trunking solution on a commercial LTE network in Africa making it easier for the public safety industry to communicate.
The solution makes it easier and faster for public safety industry to communicate and it incorporates latest multimedia functions which makes it quick to avert disaster situations.
Vodacom believes public safety services such as police, ambulance and fire services and other vertical industries such as public transportation, logistics, mining, construction, air/sea/rail ports and security can greatly benefit from the demonstrated LTE broadband multimedia trunking solution particularly when one factors in its performance, capability, total cost of ownership and time to market benefits.
Andries Delport, Chief Technology Officer for Vodacom Group commented:
“I’m excited by what my team has done here as this is the first LTE broadband multimedia trunking demonstration in the whole of Africa. The mission critical broadband trunking solution is an innovative new technology which leverages Vodacom’s superior coverage to enable exciting new applications on its LTE network. This is yet another example of Vodacom being the first and most innovative network to launch new technologies in South Africa and also Africa.”
Vodacom has partnered with Huawei for the demonstration to use Huawei’s LTE integrated Trunked Radio (LiTRA) application to demonstrate a broadband multimedia trunking solution which runs on Vodacom’s commercial, nationwide LTE network.
The LiTRA solution also overcomes the challenges of using a public LTE network for mission critical communication by prioritising emergency communications with a higher Quality of Services (QoS) and also ensures encryption and security of these messages.
Traditional private mobile radio network technologies (such as TETRA) mainly provide basic voice trunking services such as Push to Talk (PTT) and cannot support new, innovative, high speed data services such as video and multimedia services. In addition, these traditional private mobile radio networks are expensive to construct and maintain, the user terminals are expensive and have limited variety, and the network technology is often proprietary and inflexible.
These issues currently facing traditional private mobile radio networks are overcome by using a broadband public trunking communications system such as the one demonstrated by Vodacom. The Huawei LiTRA application enables Vodacom’s existing and entire LTE network to be leveraged to provide high bandwidth and low latency trunking capabilities to improve the performance of existing mission and business critical services such as PTT, but more importantly which can also support new broadband multimedia trunking services such as push to video, real-time video surveillance, high resolution photos and location based services.
The LTE based trunking service demonstrated by Vodacom is also compatible with existing consumer LTE smartphones and new rugged LTE smartphones, and does not restrict the user terminals to exclusive providers as was the case with traditional private mobile network technologies.
The live demonstration at Vodacom’s Innovation Centre in Midrand showcased how users of mission and business critical services are guaranteed the highest priority on Vodacom’s LTE network. Various use cases were demonstrated such as:
· Push to video and Push to talk between users in Midrand and Cape Town.
· Video uploading from a user in Cape Town to the central dispatch centre in Midrand and forwarding to selected other users.
· Real time video surveillance whereby a user is able to view a camera feed installed at a separate permanent location.
· Viewing the location of all users in real time from the dispatch centre.
· Audio and video recording of all activities.
The broadband multimedia trunking solution demonstrated by Vodacom and Huawei is fully compliant with 3GPP standards and is easy and quick for Vodacom to deploy across its entire and existing LTE network which currently provides coverage to 75.9% of the total South African population and which is the widest LTE network coverage in South Africa.
Epic Games brings a Nite-mare to Android
Epic Games’ decision to not publish games through Google Play inadvertently opens a market to Android virus makers, writes BRYAN TURNER.
Epic Games, the creator of Fortnite, decided to take the high road by skipping Google Play’s app distribution market and placing a third-party installer for its games on its website. While this is technically fine, it is not recommended for the average user, because allowing third-party installers on one’s smartphone opens up the possibility of non-signed and malicious software to be run on the smartphone.
In June, malware researchers at ESET warned Android gamers that malicious fake versions of the Fortnite app had been created to steal personal information or damage smartphones. A malware researcher demonstrated how the fake applications works in the Tweet below.
While the decision to bypass Google Play was a bold move on Epic Games’ part, it has been a long time coming for app developers to move their premium apps off Google’s Play Store. The two major app distributors, Google Play and Apple’s App Store, take a 30% cut of every purchase made through their app distribution platforms.
The App Store is currently the only way to get apps on a non-modified iOS device, which is why Epic Games had no choice for Fortnite to be in the App Store. On the other hand, Android phones can install packages downloaded through the browser, which makes the Play Store almost unnecessary for the gaming company.
The most interesting part of this development is that Google is not the “bad guy” and Epic Games is no saviour to other game developers. Epic Games is a company with a multi-billion dollar valuation and has resources like large-scale servers to distribute and update its games, a big marketing budget to ensure everyone knows how to get its games, and server security to protect against malware.
Resources of this scale allow the game company to turn a cold shoulder to Google’s Play Store distribution and focus on its own, in-house solution.
That said, installing packages without the Google Play Store must be done carefully, and it is essential to do homework on where a package is downloaded. Moreover, when a package is installed outside of the Google Play Store, a security switch to block the installation of third party apps must be turned off. This switch should be turned back on immediately after the third party package is installed.
This complex amount of steps makes it less worthwhile to install third party apps, in favour of rather waiting for them to reach the Play Store.
From a consumer perspective, ESET recommends not installing packages outside of the Google Play Store and to ignore advertisements to download the game from other sources.
How to take on IoT
The Internet of Things (IoT) is coming, whether you like it or not and organisations today will look to platforms and services that help them manage and analyse the streams of data coming from connected devices, says RONALD RAVEL, Director B2B South Africa, Toshiba South Africa.
Today, we are witnessing an explosion in IoT deployments and solutions and are moving towards a world where almost everything you can imagine will be connected. While this opens the door to many possibilities it also comes with its own challenges such as privacy and security.
The Internet has become an integral part of everyday life; it has been a free for all on a daily basis. IoT is a difficult concept for many people to wrap their minds around. Essentially, nearly every business will be affected.
Managing vast quantities of data across increasingly mobile workforces can be tremendously beneficial if done well, but equally can be cumbersome and ineffective if not managed properly. This is why technologies such as mobile edge computing are becoming increasingly popular, helping to increase the prevalence of secure mobile working and data management in the age of IoT.
The evolution of IoT, despite rapid and ongoing technological innovation, is still very much in its fledgling stages. Its potential, though, is demonstrated by the fact that by 2020, Bain anticipates a significant shift in uptake, with roughly 80 per cent of adoptions at that point to have progressed to the stage of either ‘proof of concept’ or extensive implementation. This means that technological innovation in IoT for the enterprise is progressing at a similarly fast rate with many of these solutions being developed with utilities, engineering, manufacturing and logistics companies in mind.
Processing at the edge
For IoT to be adopted at the rate predicted, technology which does not overwhelm current or even legacy systems must be implemented. Mobile edge computing solves this. Such solutions offer processing power at the edge of the network, helping firms with a high proportion of mobile workers to reduce operational strain and latency by processing the most critical data at the edge and close to its originating source. Relevant data can then be sent to the cloud for observation and analysis, thereby reducing the waves of ‘data garbage’ which has to be processed by cloud services.
A logistics manager can feasibly monitor and analyse the efficiency of warehouse operations, for example, with important data calculations carried out in real-time, on location, and key data findings then sent to the cloud for centrally-located data scientists to analyse.
The work of wearables
The potential of IoT means it not only has the scope to change the way people work, but also where they work. While widespread mobile working is a relatively new trend in industries such as banking and professional services, for CIOs in sectors where working on the move is inherent – such as logistics and field maintenance – mobility is high on the agenda.
Wearables – and specifically smart glasses – have started to gain traction within the business world. With mobile edge computing solutions acting as the gateway, smart glasses such as Toshiba’s assisted reality AR 100 viewer solution have been designed to benefit frontline and field-based workers in industries such as utilities, manufacturing and logistics. In the renewable energy sector, for example, a wind turbine engineer conducting repairs may use assisted reality smart glasses to call up the schematics of the turbine to enable a hands-free view of service procedures. This means that when a fault becomes a barrier to repair, the engineer is able to use collaboration software to call for assistance from a remote expert and have additional information sent through, thereby saving time and money by eradicating the need for extra personnel to be sent to the site.
The time is ripe for organisations to look to exploit the age of IoT to improve the productivity and safety of their workers, as well as the end service delivered to customers. In fact, Toshiba’s recent ‘Maximising Mobility’ report found that 49 per cent of organisations believe their sector can benefit from the hands-free functionality of smart glasses, while 47 per cent expect them to deliver improved mobile working and 41 per cent foresee better collaboration and information sharing. Embracing IoT technologies such as mobile edge computing and wearable solutions will be an essential step for many organisations within these verticals as they look to stay on top of 21st century working challenges.