Convergence Plus
Technology
Sunday, May 27, 2018
Smart City Mission: Tech giants showing interest in setting up smart city centres

Smart City Mission: Tech giants showing interest in setting up smart city centresGlobal technology giants, including Cisco, IBM, and Bosch, are showing keen interest to participate in setting up of smart city centres or integrated command and control system under the Centre’s flagship programme Smart City Mission, a senior official said today.

According to the housing and urban affairs ministry official, HP and Siemens are working to set up such a centre in Bhopal, while Bosch, Cisco, Efkon and Rolta are participating in the development of a ‘smart’ centre in Varanasi.<,/

Honeywell’s expertise would be used for Bhubaneshwar, while Schneider, Cisco and HP would help in setting up of such a centre in Naya Raipur, the official said. Leading Indian firms, including Larsen and Toubro, Shapoorji Pallonji Group, Bharat Electronics Ltd, Tech Mahindra, are also participating with global technology giants to set up Smart City Centres which are key to the mission, he said.
As many as 99 cities have been selected under the Modi government’s Smart City Mission. Each city will get Rs 500 crore to carry out the projects.

Tenders have been called for 55 cities for setting up such centres which would entail an investment of Rs 5,300 crore, while works worth Rs 2,950 crore has started in 23 cities, the official said. Smart centres in eight cities -- Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat, Pune, Nagpur, Rajkot, Visakhapatnam, and Kakinada -- have become operational, the official said.

These cities are monitoring various services at the centre which included solid waste collection, smart street lights and transit management system.

These centres also offer city-wide surveillance system to enable the administration and police department keep a watch on sensitive areas such as major traffic junctions and tourist places.(Source: The Hindu Businessline)

Samsung jumps on blockchain bandwagon to manage its supply chain

Samsung jumps on blockchain bandwagon to manage its supply chainThe world's biggest maker of smartphones and semiconductors may use the technology behind cryptocurrencies to manage its vast global supply network.

Samsung Electronics is considering a blockchain ledger system to keep track of global shipments worth tens of billion of dollars a year, according to Song Kwang Woo, the blockchain chief at Samsung SDS, the group's logistical and information and technology arm. The system could cut shipping costs by 20 per cent, according to SDS.

While companies around the world have said they're planning to deploy blockchain technology on everything from cross-border payments to tracking the life-cycle of supermarket chickens, Samsung Group is one of the first global manufacturers to take a serious look at using the distributed ledgers in its operations. SDS is working on the system for Samsung Electronics, the conglomerate's crown jewel.

"It will have an enormous impact on the supply chains of manufacturing industries," said Mr Song, who's also a vice-president at SDS. "Blockchain is a core platform to fuel our digital transformation."

Thrust into the spotlight by bitcoin's meteoric rise, blockchain technology has been touted as a breakthrough that will transform the way transactions are recorded, verified and shared. (Source: The Business Times)

Phone companies including Panasonic, Lava to scale up local production

Phone companies including Panasonic, Lava to scale up local productionMobile phone makers such HMD Global, Lava and Panasonic are finalising plans, including investments, for higher scale of local manufacturing, in tandem with the government’s likely imposition of duty on imported printed circuit board (PCB) assembly from the coming fiscal year.

Heads of HMD Global — makers of Nokia brand of phones, Lava International and Panasonic India — said the government’s phased manufacturing programme (PMP), which envisages increasing the scale of local manufacturing by specifying components on which import duties will be levied over couple of years, could make India a manufacturing hub over the long term. But, the duty impositions may drive prices of devices higher in short term as the component ecosystem wasn’t in place.

“We are working with our partners to manufacture more and more components (in India). SMT is definitely on the cards for us,” said Ajey Mehta, head of India at HMD Global that makes the Nokia brand of devices in India through the world’s largest contract manufacturer Foxconn. He was speaking at the ET Telecom India Mobile Conclave 2018.

SMT, or surface mounting technology, lines are used for populating printed circuit boards (PCBs). The government is likely to impose basic customs duty on electronic components such as populated PCBs, camera modules and connectors from April 1. The government has already put a 20% duty on smartphones in the February 1 Budget, raising it from 15% within two months.

"We have a complete plan for 10 years so that design and component manufacturing can happen in India," said Lava International chairman Hari OmBSE 0.00 % Rai.

HMD’s Mehta though said that the cost of the devices in the near term could go up due to the import duty on some components.

PCB makes up 40-50% of the cost of making a phone, so a duty on the import of the component will increase prices in the near term, but push local manufacturing in the longer term, handset makers said.

The evolving mobile phone ecosystem though has become a critical platform for content providers, with some like AirtelBSE -0.33 %'s Wynk and AltBalaji now beginning to monetise content.

"We have a combination of subscription and ads for monetization, but it's very early days, some new models will also emerge," said Sameer Batra, CEO, Wynk, Bharti Airtel, adding that the cost of content was still high, and, therefore, carrier billing will play a big role, given the low proliferation of credit cards in India. (Source: Economic Times)

Majority of 8-12 year old kids prone to online threats: WEF report

Majority of 8-12 year old kids prone to online threats: WEF report“The purpose of the ‘2018 DQ Impact Report’ is to highlight the need for concerted action by government, industry and civil society”

Majority of kids in the age bracket of 8-12 are subjected to online threats like cyber-bullying and video game addiction, and the situation is “acute” in emerging economies, says a survey. The joint report by DQ Institute and the World Economic Forum, over 50 per cent of 8-12 year olds are susceptible to cyber-bullying, video game addiction, offline meetings, disinformation and online sexual grooming.

Notably, the problem is more acute in emerging economies, where “internet adoption has been more rapid and less subject to appropriate safeguards by parents, industry or government.” The purpose of the ‘2018 DQ Impact Report’ is to highlight the need for concerted action by government, industry and civil society to help parents counter the threats facing the youngest ‘digital citizens’ and “such a need is more acute in emerging economies”, it said.

“We must act quickly and take positive steps to help these children facing cyber-risks around the world, especially in information and communication technology (ICT)-emerging countries. We need to work together to help our children outsmart cyber-risks and become successful and responsible digital citizens who maximise their potential and minimise cyber-risks,” said Yuhyun Park, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the DQ Institute, Singapore.

The study of 38,000 children noted that 47 per cent have been victimised through cyber-bullying in the past year. “Today’s youth make up an important part of our informed society, they will be tomorrow’s voters and our future leaders. Ensuring they are better equipped to face the challenges of hyper-connected life, earlier on, should be a societal priority,” said Cheryl Martin, MD, Head of Industries and Member of the Managing Board at the WEF.

Moreover, the children spend an average of 32 hours per week in front of digital screens for entertainment alone — longer than the time they spend in school, the study said. There is a positive association between screen time and exposure to cyber-bullying, video game addiction, offline meetings and online sexual behaviours, it said. ( Source: The Hindu Businessline)


India, Japan to introduce AI, robotics in defence sector

India, Japan to introduce AI, robotics in defence sectorIndia and Japan will work together to introduce artificial intelligence and robotics in the defence sector, the next level of strategic cooperation between the two Asian partners.

Kentaro Sonoura, Japan's state minister for foreign affairs and a close adviser to PM Shinzo Abe, told TOI in an exclusive chat, "You should expect to see increased bilateral cooperation between us to develop unmanned ground vehicles (UGV) and robotics."

The strategic sphere is where the bulk of India-Japan convergence lies. After the nuclear agreement was ratified by the Japanese parliament late 2017, Sonoura said India and Japan would be setting up a joint task force for commercial agreements by the end of January. With the legislation behind them, the Japanese minister said Tokyo was keen to get this going. "The two PMs agreed to launch a working group, which will work on cooperation between nuclear companies. Japan's intention is to start this quickly, possibly by the end of this month," he said.

With an aggressive and expansionist China growing as a challenge to both India and Japan, the two countries are increasingly looking at the world from a similar lens. While the latest buzzword in international geopolitics, 'Indo-Pacific', might sound American, its actually Japanese in origin, having been articulated by Abe himself as far back as 2007.

In 2018, Japan's is aiming for a "free and open Indo-Pacific", a theme Sonoura expounded on at the recent Raisina Dialogue. This, he told TOI, was a coming together of Japan's Indo-Pacific policy and India's Act East policy. "We need to share the importance of rule of law and freedom of navigation among related countries. The next step is infrastructure development based on global standards, so that connectivity among countries is increased. The third step would be maritime law enforcement and disaster management that would ensure the stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region. Therefore, we would like to connect and combine our Indo-Pacific strategy and India's Act East policy as a one big picture. That's the synergy we seek," Sonoura said.

This is the kind of grand strategy that incorporates a stronger bilateral relationship as well as a multilateral one, between Japan-India-US, Japan-US-Australia and the Quadrilateral, Japan-US-India-Australia, seeking to tilt the strategic balance away from China.
Working with India in the quadrilateral, Sonoura said, the aims were slowly crystallising. "Among these four countries, we have the same standards in terms of maritime strategy and basic values. So it's important to realise these values - non-proliferation, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. Its important to utilise the strengths of these countries and use it. Rather than frameworks, its important what we can do - to create concrete results which should be visible to the world," he said. For India, the key aims of the quadrilateral is to come together on non-proliferation and on freedom of navigation.

To counter China's growing influence in India's neighbourhood, India has encouraged the presence of Japan and the US in South Asian countries, actions that might have elicited mild protests earlier. Consequently, New Delhi was remarkably quiet when Japanese foreign minister Taro Kono recently visited Pakistan, Maldives and Sri Lanka, increasing Japanese presence in these countries. Japan has already ramped up its involvement in Bangladesh and Myanmar, both countries on China's radar.
Questioned on this, Sonoura said, "Foreign minister Kono visited Maldives for the first time and Sri Lanka for the first time in 15 years. Last year I visited Mauritius, Madagascar, Kenya and Mozambique. If you place this within the rubric of Japan's Indo-Pacific strategy, you will get the larger picture."

In Islamabad, Sonoura said, the Japanese message was clear that Pakistan had to take action on terrorism and terrorists. "With Pakistan, we have an older relationship. But in terms of counter-terrorism, our foreign minister told the Pakistanis they need to do more," he said. (Source: Times of India)

MPO Tester Tailored for Contractors Supporting Enterprises and Data Center Cabling:

MPO Tester Tailored for Contractors Supporting Enterprises and Data Center Cabling: "The industry's first dedicated optical loss test set that can perform all MPO Tier 1 (basic) test and certification requirements, including the need to test for length, optical loss, polarity and inspect fiber end-face condition. With the ability to meet all Tier 1 (basic) requirements in a single solution, the MPOLx helps technicians ensure a fast and reliable workflow, delivering comprehensive test results in less than 6 seconds for all 12 fibers.".

Vendors are requiring Tier 1 (basic) certification of MPO connectivity from end to end to ensure optical network performance and validate installation warranties.

MPOLx ensures fast & reliable test workflows:

  • Test all 12 MPO fibers in <6 seconds
  • Full test visibility & control at both the source & meter
  • 3.5”Colour Touch Screen
  • Available on Source & Meter
  • Both Source and meter show the same information

With the MPOLx, field technicians can perform all the necessary test requirements for Tier 1 (Basic) certification in a single solution:

  • Measure MPO length
  • Measure optical loss
  • Check polarity
  • Inspect fiber end faces
  • Generate certification reports

The Viavi Solutions Smart Class Fiber MPOLx is the industry’s first dedicated optical loss test set that can perform all the test requirements for Tier 1 (Basic) certification using MPO fiber connectivity. The MPOLx provides a source and power meter that integrate essential MPO test capabilities together to ensure a fast and reliable workflow when testing and certifying network links with native MPO connectivity.

Full Control and Visibility for Technicians

The MPOLx gives technicians the ability to achieve a completely new level of productivity for MPO testing and certification. Like all of our solutions for Tier 1 (Basic) fiber certification, identical local and remote units are provided to enable full visibility and control by performing tests from both the Light Source and Power Meter.

Inspect All Fibers in an MPO Endface

Contaminated connectors are the #1 cause for troubleshooting in optical networks. This problem has driven the industry and International Electro technical Commission (IEC) to release IEC 61300-3-35, these challenges are eliminated with Smart Class Fiber tools. Whether using an industry standard or customer-specific requirements, the MPOLx-85P and a P5000i probe microscope makes it easy.(Source: Convergence Plus)

Samsung partners with KDDI for the first 5G demo on a high-speed train

Samsung partners with KDDI for the first 5G demo on a high-speed trainSamsung Electronics has partnered with Japanese telecommunications operator KDDI for the first demonstration of 5G on a high-speed train. The partners conducted the world-first test on a train traveling at over 100km/h (over 60 mph) along a section of track where the distance between two stations was approximately 1.5km (nearly 1 mile).

While the distance is not as far as what consumers will be hoping for in terms of coverage along transport routes, it nevertheless shows that high-speed 5G data can be delivered to high-speed vehicles.

During the demonstration, the companies achieved a successful downlink and uplink handover as well as a peak speed of 1.7 Gbps. It was conducted in the city of Saitama in Japan, near Tokyo.

As 5G is yet to be finalised, KDDI used Samsung’s pre-commercial end-to-end solution composed of a 5G router (CPE), radio access unit (5G Radio), virtualised RAN, and virtualised core.

Yoshiaki Uchida, Senior Managing Executive Officer at KDDI, says: “In collaboration with Samsung, KDDI has opened up the possibility for new 5G vertical business models, such as a high-speed train. With 5G expected to bring railway services to a whole new dimension, the success of today’s demonstration in everyday locations such as a train and a train station is an important milestone indicating 5G commercialisation is near."

“To fulfill our aim to launch 5G by 2020, KDDI will continue exploring real-life scenario experiments for diverse 5G use and business cases together with Samsung.”

KDDI and Samsung tested potential new use cases for such high-speed mobile connectivity including uploading 4K video taken from a camera mounted on the train. An 8K video was downloaded via the on-board CPE showing the potential for operators and passengers alike.

“The potential that 5G holds is powerful enough to transform the landscape of our daily lives,” said Youngky Kim, President and Head of Networks Business at Samsung Electronics. “The success of today’s demonstration is a result of our joint research with KDDI, which we will continue to pursue as we explore next generation networks and use cases. This will include research on diverse spectrums and technologies, as well as new business models and applications.” (Source:Telecomstechnews)

Smart OTU is an easy-to-deploy, scalable solution that monitors fibers used in all types of optical networks.

Smart OTU is an easy-to-deploy, scalable solution that monitors fibers used in all types of optical networks.Maintaining fiber integrity is critical, yet outages are still one of the major causes of network disruption, incurring millions of dollars of lost revenue. And, incidents of accidental dig-ups, vehicle collisions, and sabotage multiply as fiber moves deeper into data centers and storage area networks.

Smart OTU introduced by VIAVI and being marketed by Savitri Telecom Services has proved to be quite capable of taking care of above problem.

Combining a Viavi Solutions optical time domain reflectometer (OTDR) with advanced optical-switch technology, Smart OTU monitors fibers longer than 150 km in all directions. Modular in design, it monitors both dark and lit fiber and it is ideal for network security protection, pinpointing events such as fiber tapping to a few tenths of a decibel. Smart OTU is a standalone remote fiber test solution that can be deployed right out of the box with no training or IT configuration required.

Smart OTU does not require any additional server or software applications — a simple web browser is enough to access all functionality including mapping. Smart OTU displays the exact GPS location of a fault on widely-available, cloud-based mapping such as Google, Bing, or legacy GIS. SmartOTU is fully compatible with the Viavi optical network monitoring system (ONMSi) and can be upgraded to be a comprehensive remote fiber test system as the network grows.

Speeding Mean-Time-to-Repair with the Smart OTU Platform
The Challenge

The company asked their dark fiber vendor to dispatch a technician with a portable instrument to troubleshoot the network. However, it often took hours and even days to get a technician out in the field. Service troubleshooting and restoration was so poor in some areas that the company decided to find their own fiber monitoring solution to quickly pinpoint issues and push dark fiber vendors for faster mean-time-to-repair (MTTR).

The Solution

After learning of their challenges, a team led by Viavi Elite partner Butler Technologies and Viavi Solutions engineers suggested a solution: the Smart OTU platform for remote fiber test and monitoring. Smart OTU continuously monitors dark fiber and gives pinpointed locations of any fiber breaks or degradation. A real-time alarm alerts the company to any physical layer issue. With this data, the company could tell their dark fiber vendor the exact location of the issue and significantly reduce MTTR. This would improve customer experience and ensure minimal lost revenue when network issues occur.


Key Features

  • Easy-to-use interface with Web browser access
  • E-mail and SMS notifications
  • SNMP interface
  • Secure communication (HTTPS) on request
  • Solid-state disk, dual power feed, low power consumption
  • Instantaneous view of current OTDR measurement
  • Deploy right out of the box — no server or local PC required
  • Fault localization on cloud-based apps or legacy GIS
  • Auto pulse adjustment for near-end fiber faults
  • Compatible with the Viavi optical network monitoring system (ONMSi)

Applications

  • Optical fiber monitoring
  • Proactive maintenance
  • Fiber security — tap detection
  • Plant optimization (Source: Convergence Plus)
Vodafone partners with CityFibre to topple the broadband giants

Vodafone partners with CityFibre to topple the broadband giantsVodafone is teaming up with CityFibre in a bid to offer a true alternative to Openreach and Virgin Media in the fibre broadband arena. In the UK today, consumers have two major options when it comes to fibre broadband. You can go with an Openreach-leased network — such as BT, Sky, or TalkTalk — or there’s Virgin Media.
CityFibre is hoping to offer an alternative to these broadband giants with its Gigabit-capable fibre network offering faster speeds than any of its current rivals. Unfortunately, the company is yet to reach anywhere near as many homes as Openreach and/or Virgin Media.

Teaming up with Vodafone offers an opportunity to speed up CityFibre’s rollout to become a viable alternative to more consumers. Vodafone even owns a small amount of backhaul after it bough Cable and Wireless all the way back in 2012.

“This agreement will unlock the UK’s full fibre future and is a major step forward in delivering our vision for a Gigabit Britain,” says Greg Mesch, Chief Executive of CityFibre. “With this commitment from Vodafone, we have a partner with whom we can transform the digital capabilities of millions of homes and businesses and establish an unassailable wholesale infrastructure position across 20% of the UK broadband market.”

According to a statement, the partnership aims to provide Gigabit fibre to around five million UK homes and business by 2025.
Construction of the first phase of deployment to one million premises is due to start in the first half of 2018 and will be largely complete in 2021. Both parties have the right to extend the commercial terms of this agreement to expand coverage to a further four million homes and businesses by 2025.

Most existing broadband connections provided by Openreach are currently FTTC (Fibre-to-the-Cabinet) and use copper for “the last mile” into the house. CityFibre and Vodafone will be rolling out FTTP (Fibre-to-the-Premises) for a faster and more reliable connection.
Telecoms will be following the rollout closely and will keep you updated with all developments. (Source: Telecomstechnews)

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