‘Wearables – The Internet of Us’ – Connected Devices SIG Event 9th October 2014

Cambridge WirelessEvent: ‘Wearables – The Internet of Us’ – Connected Devices SIG Event
Date: 9th Oct 2014
Venue: Deloitte, Stonecutter Court, EC4A 4TR
What: Attending
There is immense excitement about wearable technology, but after the whimper of approval for the Apple Watch, where is the wearables industry going? There is no doubt about the level of innovation in wearables, as companies fight to extend connectivity to everything we wear.

Connecting vehicles and the growing M2M market: The Transport SIG

Real Wireless expert John Okas is one of four people who recently founded a Cambridge Wireless Special Interest Group (SIG), dedicated to looking at the growing ‘Connected vehicle’ sector.

The connected car is a concept that gets a lot of people excited and rightly so. The potential applications are enormous and it’s one of the more tangible areas of the nascent Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communications market.

The new SIG will look at the part played by wireless in the automotive and transport sector, covering private and public vehicles, as well as road, rail and air transport systems.

Its remit covers everything from streaming music to your car, autonomous cars, and Wi-Fi on trains, buses and planes, through to vehicle-to-infrastructure and vehicle-to-vehicle road management systems and pay as you go insurance. It will even examine the connected bus on demand services that inform users where a bus is and its estimated time of arrival.

It’s not just drivers who will benefit from these services; this technology will bring a lot of new companies into the space, including many who will never have previously seen wireless as a potential revenue stream.

For the manufacturer and its brand it provides new opportunities to keep the driver tied in to its ecosystem, via services such as remote diagnostics, vehicle tracking, servicing and preventative maintenance that detects issues that may need attention. These are likely to be connected using a 3G/4G unit in the vehicle, with a fixed SIM that is inaccessible to the driver.

There is also the potential for Wi-Fi connectivity to be supplied to the vehicle, as many cities and mobile operators look to providing carrier grade Wi-Fi services.

The M2M sector offers a lot of potential, but it’s also an incredibly complex and technical ‘system of systems’. Vehicles are set to have significant computational, connectivity and human-to-machine interfacing capabilities, both built-in and stemming from passengers’ phones and tablet devices.

There are plenty of technical and commercial challenges ahead before this sector will mature, and that’s why we’ve helped establish this new Cambridge Wireless SIG. If we’re to hope to make the most of this new technology and market, all of the companies in the space need to get together to share their collective expertise and experience.

Wireless for Good

Real Wireless strongly believes in the significant economic and social benefits that wireless coverage offers.

As well as our analysis of how small cells can help improve rural coverage we have announced a new initiative to help in maximising the social good from wireless.

Unveiled at the Conference, the ‘Real Wireless – Wireless for Good’ initiative consists of both funding and pro bono assistance.

  • To maximise the social impact of appropriate, sustainable wireless connectivity
  • We will contribute targeted funds to selected initiatives which meet our objective
  • As well as funds, we are seeking initiatives to which we can contribute advice and expertise on a pro bono basis

We would welcome suggestions for suitable projects or from NGOs or charities that would like further discussion.

The first specific award from our fund is to Télécoms Sans Frontières or TSF (English: Telecoms Without Borders) is a which specializes in supplying telecommunications services in emergency situations.  


Small Cells for rural coverage: from Glencoe to Gaberone

Rural and remote mobile coverage was a big theme at Cambridge Wireless Future of Wireless International Conference this year and it’s one that we really believe in.  

Phones & smartphones can have dramatic effects on GDP and on quality of life – a GSMA report by Deloitte found that just a 10 per cent rise from 2G to 3G penetration increases GDP per capita growth by 0.15 percentage points.

However. the cost of extending wireless coverage to sparsely populated rural areas soon becomes unfeasibly high.

Small Cells are well known as that technology developed to provide capacity in busy urban environments – but we have shown how the same technology could extend coverage into rural areas worldwide at a fraction of the usual cost.

At FWIC we showed how the cost of providing coverage to 500 million people in remote areas can be reduced to affordable levels by using re-purposed metrocell style technology, resulting in potential savings per person around 50% over macrocell based approaches.

Specifically, in one case we analysed the cost per household increased from £3,000 per household for 90% coverage, increasing to £27,800 for 98% and accelerated beyond that. 

By using a combination of traditional macrocells and small cells that could be cut dramatically, to half the costs per premise at 99%, from £27,800 to £13,600.

Or, from another perspective to reach 93% population coverage for the same CApEx investment that a tradtional approach would use to reach 75%.

The falling cost of coverage from small cells is only part of the problem. But fortunately, innovations in the satellite industry address the other half. Specifically, the advent of broadband services from Ka-band satellites allows backhaul to the small cells at economic rates.

We would be very interested in discussing this with regulators and operators about how dramatically the economics of coverage could change.

Some details: http://www.realwireless.biz/category/real-wireless-news/