Loans for more than $165 million awarded on Thursday by the Texas Water Development Board will likely be used by Austin Water Utility to replace customers’ water meters and expand its water reuse program.
Following hundreds of complaints about unexpected water bill spikes last summer, Austin Water had applied to the state agency for an $80.2 million loan to switch all customers to smart meters that electronically transmit data about water usage.
Such devices could provide earlier indicators of unusually high water use, giving customers more time to address a leak or rein in their water use before getting a large bill. As it stands now, customers don’t find out about their usage until they receive their monthly bill, which is based on the read a city-hired outside company manually takes from the meter.
“Having that much data available on a moment-to-moment basis gives you options you don’t have” now, such as sending customers a text message if the meter picks up on usage suggesting a leak, Austin Water Director Greg Meszaros told the City Council in April. “But also, you’ve got to figure it all out. It’s a very complex undertaking.”
Smart water meters, besides being expensive to provide to thousands of customers, reside in “harsh conditions” in a box underground that can contain water, dirt and bugs — and that can make it hard to obtain a digital read from the meter, Meszaros said. Austin Water is testing several ways to read meters, such as using a mobile phone network, creating its own network or using the network Austin Energy set up for its electric smart meters, he said.
Such technology would cut down on the need for manual meter readings, something Austin Water hires an outside firm to do for $3.6 million a year.
The rollout to all Austin Water customers, both inside and outside the city, could take five to seven years for roughly a quarter-million meters, Meszaros told the Council in April.
Austin Water would probably consider an opt-out program similar to the one Austin Energy has for its smart meters, Meszaros said. Austin Energy charges a one-time $75 fee as well as a $10 monthly fee for manually reading the meter.
Austin Water also won an $87 million loan to improve the filter system at two wastewater treatment plants and expand its reclaimed water system in the Montopolis, Onion Creek and Colony Park areas, as well as to properties such as cemeteries, University of Texas facilities and parks. Customers pay a subsidized rate for the treated wastewater, which is commonly used for irrigation and in cooling towers.
The Austin City Council will decide in August whether the utility can move forward on accepting the loan in August; it may not be until next summer that it votes on whether to move forward with the smart meter loan.
The loan and interest, which is likely to be a rate under 2 percent, will be paid off by ratepayers, said Joseph Gonzales, utility budget and finance manager.
Austin Water spokesman Jason Hill said the utility had been considering the smart meters even before the complaints about bills.
“We’re looking to affordably and realistically integrate this technology into our current infrastructure,” he said.
“The projects financed today help ensure that Texans will have a secure and reliable water supply for decades to come,” said Bech Bruun, chairman of the Water Development Board.
The Senior Manager of IoT Business Development leads a staff of Business Development Technologists. The Senior Manager supervises the team of engineers and also manages applicable Product and New Business resources. The position calls for someone who has both the technical competence as well as the strong managerial skills to effectively lead the IoT Embedded Solutions Business Development Team.
The primary responsibility if the IoT Embedded Solutions Business Development Senior Manager is to direct and lead the IoT Business Development (BD) Team. He or she needs to ensure the Team’s success in meeting respective objectives and goals. This includes building a portfolio of 3rd party solution partners (MCU, Module, MPU, etc.) that feature Verizon’s IoT Technology. Additionally, presenting plans, progress status updates to project stakeholders. He or she has the responsibility to oversee the development of the associated products and plans. He or she also needs to perform administrative tasks such as approving proposals, expenditures, enforcing Verizon’s policies, etc.
Technical direction: Manage all aspects of the Collaboration with MCU, MPU and Module partners (i.e. Renesas, ST Micro, Sequans, Intel, Freescale) and assist in the incorporation of Verizon’s IoT technology into their products. This includes Due Diligence on the perspective partners, ensuring a detailed technical understanding of the partner’s offerings, managing the development of any legal materials, supporting the incorporation of Verizon content into Embedded Solutions training materials.
Manage the development of the technical content for Verizon events such as Training Seminars, Hackathons, Workshops and Maker Events.
Collaborate with internal Product Development Teams to understand their Product Roadmaps and identify Technology insertion points based on Verizon’s IoT Technology Roadmap.
Collaborate with Internal Technology Organizations to understand Verizon’s IoT Technology Roadmap and drive the development of collateral for customer teams and customers.
Provide Due Diligence on prospective Product Team partners to better understand their ability to support product line needs.
Collaborate with IoT BD Team members and\or customers by providing needs analysis, engineering and design of technical solutions, technical presentations, and technical consultation to internal and external customers. Provide technical support and guidance for the development and implementation of IoT customer solutions and applications including device\module recommendation, innovation center product development, product certification, software creation and demonstration, application hosting and system integration guidance. IoT Implementation and post implementation support: Drives implementation and end to end support to business partners and enterprise customers. Point of escalation for external customers and B2B reps on technical customer issues.
Verizon offering new plans and rollover data.
Verizon has appointed Mrinalini Ingram as its new Vice President of Smart Communities. In the newly created role, Ingram will shape the long-term vision and lead the execution of Verizon's Smart Communities product and solutions organization.
Ingram's team will develop an array of smart solutions that drive efficiencies in areas such as lighting, reducing traffic congestion, and improving citizen safety, in addition to simplifying the creation of IoT applications through the Verizon ThingSpace platform.
Ingram came to Verizon from Cisco, where she spent 16 years, nearly a decade of which as a pioneer developing the Smart Communities industry on a global scale.
FARNBOROUGH: Using inflight connectivity to drive operational benefits at airlines is a big draw to help justify the capital costs of acquiring the hardware and paying for service, and thanks to the deepening integration between departments within Thales following its LiveTV acquisition two years ago, the company is getting ready to bring a solution to market that will do just that.
Dubbed LiveConnect, the platform collects data from multiple avionics systems and transmits it via satellite connectivity. An in-house dashboard displays the data in an actionable format.
“We have seven [Arinc] 429 buses tapped into various computers on board and also an [Arinc] 717 interface. These are all receive-only so we are bridged on there, monitoring the traffic, and we are able to respond based on that. We go into the core computers that are in the avionics suite,” Thales Inflyt VP product management Scott Easterling explained this week during the Farnborough Airshow. “We’ve been connecting those links from the beginning.”
The “beginning” to which Easterling is referring is LiveTV’s early work in pulling basic information like city pair, location, altitude and speed to help troubleshoot the inflight entertainment and passenger connectivity it provided to airlines. The LiveConnect platform will take that work to the next level, says Thales, extracting far more information and transmitting it over connectivity service such as the high-capacity ViaSat ‘Exede’ service in place on its customers JetBlue and United, or Inmarsat Global Xpress for which Thales is a Value Added Reseller (VAR).
We’re talking to some of our customers about doing operational benefit programs. And now that we’re part of Thales and have the resources of ASW [Avionics Services Worldwide] we think we can take this pretty far. The value proposition is there. We just have to work with the airlines at this point to turn it in to a real money-maker for them.
Additional information extracted could include fuel consumption, APU usage, engine performance or maintenance data. Connecting and transmitting Electronic Flight Bag data is also part of the offering, including manual entry items such as MEL maintenance issues (e.g. broken seat recline). Easterling is also bullish on the integration of real-time weather information to flight deck operations through this system.
LiveConnect also offers the ability to integrate with the inflight sales channels, offering real-time payment processing and validation. Thales believes it can reduce fraud instances by 80% or more.
All of the typical security concerns surround this effort; there are, of course, questions around transmitting operational data on the same data pipe as consumer traffic. Thales has addressed this topic multiple times over the past 18 months with Thales InFlyt CEO Dominique Giannoni suggesting the company is well suited to handle any security issues.
kontron newest“We already have the infrastructure, the tools, the software in place to secure highly sensitive data. We will move this into the airline world. Our vision is that in the future we will use the best pipe available to transfer data in a very secure way,” he said.
Thales is obviously not the only company moving into the operational data management and “Internet of things” side of the inflight connectivity business. Everyone from avionics suppliers to inflight connectivity providers are working on the IoT of aviation (Thales happens to be both).
The LiveConnect solution is still under development and could potentially integrate with other platforms as well – it is all just data, after all – but the company definitely has skin in the game now.
AT&T to launch pilot of Cat-M1 technologies later this year to pursue IoT
July 12, 2016 | By Colin Gibbs
AT&T (NYSE: T) said it will launch a pilot of Cat-M1 network technologies later this year as it looks to help businesses cut costs and boost device performance for IoT deployments.
The nation's second-largest carrier said Cat-M1 can operate on its existing LTE footprint and "flexibly co-exist" with mobile offerings in the same spectrum, and is designed to support next-generation devices including wearables and utility meters.
AT&T said it expects Cat-M1 to enable access to low-cost module technology; to extend the battery life of enabled devices 10 years or more; and to enhance coverage for underground and in-building areas where connectivity can be difficult. The pilot, which will be held at AT&T Labs in San Ramon, California, will represent IoT uses including alarm monitoring, smart meters, vending inventory and propane tank monitoring.
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The carrier said some "key enterprise customers" will participate in the test program.
"Cat-M1 is an advantage for the millions of IoT devices and services coming on the market. We expect this pilot will prove that. This next-generation technology will help businesses gather near real-time information on assets around the world. It will bring a connected world closer to reality," said Chris Penrose, senior vice president, AT&T Internet of Things Solutions, in a prepared release. "Following the trial we plan to make Cat-M1 available commerc
"The completion of the 5G radio specification is a key milestone toward the development of a complete 5G specification," said Adam Koeppe, vice president of Network Technology Planning, who is leading the 5G trial efforts, in a press release. "The level of collaboration that we are seeing exceeds what we saw during 4G. This agile way of developing the specification and working with the ecosystem will enable us to get to market rapidly."
Another trigger likely to help it get to market faster is the FCC's Spectrum Frontiers proposal to make an additional 17.7 GHz of millimeter wave spectrum available – the full commission will consider the proposal at its meeting this Thursday.
Craig Silliman, Verizon EVP of public policy and general counsel, and Charla Rath, VP of wireless policy development, met with commissioners last week to thank them for their vision and the speed with which they plan to adopt rules for the millimeter wave bands. They also lobbied for a few key items that Verizon still wants to see in the proceeding, like keeping satellites designated with a secondary status and steering clear of any onerous spectrum limits.
While the standards around 5G are still being developed, operators like Verizon said they have a pretty good idea of the general concepts, but they risk going down a path that ultimately isn't in the standards. The company has been conducting pre-commercial 5G tests at multiple locations, including New Jersey, Massachusetts and Texas.
During its testing process, Verizon said it has validated numerous 5G technology enablers, such as wide bandwidth operation of several hundred MHz in size, multiple antenna array processing and carrier aggregation capabilities that are substantially different from 4G.
AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands, July 11, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Gemalto (Euronext NL0000400653 GTO), the world leader in digital security, announces its Cinterion® LTE Cat.1 specific M2M module has completed the interoperability testing by NTT DOCOMO, INC., Japan’s largest mobile network operator1. The ELS31J and ELS51J wireless modules are engineered for IoT applications and helps to drive innovation to IoT device makers. Gemalto Cinterion® provides the vital communication links between a wide range of IoT devices, such as consumer wearables, smart meters, and remote sensors to the enterprise back-end enabling new services and new business models.
The module’s ruggedized and future-proof design further offers manufacturers a highly efficient and cost-effective LTE connectivity, as well as easy migration from existing to future telecommunication standards.
One of the most advanced nations in the world, Japan is constantly at the forefront of technological innovation, including IoT with key Japanese companies2 investing heavily in this sector. Last year, an estimated 624 million3 IoT devices were deployed across the country, contributing to US$103 billion4 in market revenue. By 2020, these figures have been forecast to reach over 1 billion units and 176 billion, respectively. The transformative impact of IoT is evident in all industries, from connected cars to smart factories.
“We continue to collaborate with Gemalto, a trusted and long-time partner, to deliver LTE connectivity to our M2M and IoT enterprise customers,” said Toshiyuki Futakata, Vice President and Senior Manager of Radio Access Technology Group, Communication Device Development Department at NTT DOCOMO. “Given that this wireless module has already been successfully deployed in the U.S, we are confident that businesses and consumers in Japan will also enjoy the same highly efficient LTE connectivity, harnessing Gemalto’s field-proven expertise.”
“Gemalto and NTT DOCOMO share the same vision of accelerating IoT and LTE adoption and innovation in Japan,” said Thothadri Sashidhar, VP M2M Sales APAC at Gemalto. “Our Cinterion family of wireless modules is the world’s first to support LTE Cat.1, and being qualified, means device manufacturers can shorten the time-to-market for their products.”
Zubie has a new customer, one the company says points to the big-picture potential of its business of connecting cars to the internet.
The Mount Pleasant-based technology firm says it’s selling some of the data it collects from its users to a car manufacturer, part of an effort to show automakers how their vehicles are working in the real world.
Zubie declined to identify the company, which it calls a “top tier global auto manufacturer,” but it said Wednesday it’s in talks with others.
Acting CEO Prag Shah said the deal was mostly meant to give the manufacturer a chance to see how it might use Zubie’s data as the startup grows and adds users. The Zubie Key plugs into car engines and records information about how motorists drive, where they go and whether their cars have maintenance issues.
KDDI in Japan selects Gemalto''s Connected cars and IoT solution
Read more: nasdaqDOTcom/press-release/kddi-in-japan-selects-gemaltos-connected-cars-and-iot-solution-20160630-00016
President and CEO of Sequans Communications Georges Karam discusses the future of the Internet of Things (IoT), and why cost and power efficiency are emerging as key factors in monetizing the technology…
HW: How does Sequans take advantage of a model like that?
GK: To make it work you need sensors, a sensor hub, controllers and connectivity. No matter what, you need to connect all this on the internet and if you can do it with LTE technology with low cost and low power, then this is where we can come in and the game is over. To see IoT happening you need two things fundamentally. The connectivity needs to happen and then you need to build your service offerings around that.
HW: Where do you want to take Sequans as a company?
GK: When you manage a company your objective is to grow it. The day I am unable to grow the company I’m dead. I’m lucky because the IoT market is huge and there is a lot of room to play there and make a company with revenue of a few hundred million dollars. I can add more technology, but I want to keep it in IoT because I want to make Sequans an IoT company. I can see how I can take the company down that road. But if someone comes along with a big cheque and the shareholders believe that to sell is good for them, then why not?
HW: Historically speaking, what technology has had the biggest impact on your market?
GK: I’m a signal-processing guy and so I believe wireless technology and wireless communication is key. My kids think of a smartphone as a screen and that is all. They don’t think about what’s inside it. Indeed, there are two things that are impressive here: obviously the microprocessor, but also the comms technology on the other side, starting from Shannon Theory all the way up to where we are today. Twenty years ago no one could imagine having a 1Gbit/s wireless connection on your phone. People today think that this is nothing, but when I was a PhD candidate we were saying that this would never happen.
HW: What’s the most important part of a CEO’s job?
GK: At the end of the day, job number one of the CEO is to take decisions. You have to accept that it is your call, even if the following day you realise that the decision was a bad one. I don’t care how complicated the decision is. It is the CEO’s job to take it and if he can’t do that, then he needs to give up.
What’s your idea of a perfect holiday?
One where I can work for two hours a day so that I can keep on top of business and then relax for the rest of the day with my family.
Who would you share a prison cell with?
French philosopher Luc Ferry. I love his books.
How many electronic devices do you have?
I’m not an early adopter and so I just have a smartphone and a laptop.
What gadget could you not live without?
Smartphone. I can stay connected all the time and it’s so convenient.
If you could run a business outside the technology space what would it be?
I would open a restaurant. I don’t want to cook, but I could welcome the people.
If you weren’t a CEO what would your ideal job be?
I’d like to be a politician.
What piece of technology would you donate to a museum?
Maybe an old hard-wired phone.
Apart from business books what do you read?
A lot of philosophy. Paul Davies’ ‘About Time’ and ‘The Mind of God’.
About the interviewer:
Hanns Windele is Vice President, Europe and India at Mentor Graphics. www.mentor.com
Creating a legacy through traditional values
Creating the future with start-ups
Man with a big imagination
Driving the agenda
Position of strength
The car's the star...
A question of Europe
I'm waiting for confirmation but I do know Wistron is our manufacturer!
Analysts still backing FirstNet/Verizon partnership 'conspiracy theory'
October 22, 2015 | By Nicole Blanchard
After an Oct. 19 webinar hosted by FirstNet that laid out its key criteria in selecting a partner, analysts from Evercore ISI are standing by their prediction that Verizon (NYSE: VZ) could partner with FirstNet.
Jonathan Schildkraut, senior managing director of equity research at Evercore, said the parameters laid out in the FirstNet webinar reinforced his "conspiracy theory" from this March that Verizon would be best suited to take on the FirstNet network, especially after FirstNet's announcement that it would only be considering national deployments.
Schildkraut said his bets are placed on Verizon for a variety of reasons, perhaps most importantly its existing spectrum.