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Low latency: An important characteristic of 5G is the low latency. Imagine a surgeon giving instructions to a team of doctors from a remote location while performing a surgery. Latency introduces lags, lags could cause a communication breakdown, and that could be a potential threat to the patient’s life. In an array of applications, data latency can prove to be disastrous. In others, like Augmented Reality apps or Gaming, latency could be a fundamental detriment to the app experience and usability. 5G is based on the foundation of ultra-reliable low latency communication (URLLC). It can process a large volume of data in real-time, which enables IoT devices to respond faster and avoid transmission delay. Industries and people can function efficiently without any disruption. For example, hospitals can now replace wired connections with low latency wireless 5G connection during a surgery.

Better network stability: Imagine if a smart city that runs on connected devices faces connectivity issues. There will be complete mayhem in the city with control lost over critical functions such as traffic management. Network stability is not just a good-to-have feature; it is a must-have in many IoT use-cases. 5G offers a stable network and better coverage than other networks. Its stability is the primary reason behind the low latency. This is perfect for IoT devices that rely on a stable network to transfer real-time data to get tasks completed. It can improve the performance of IoT devices, and consumers will also benefit from it. 


Security challenges: Although 5G has built-in security systems and encryptions that make it stronger, cyber experts believe that it could still be vulnerable to cyberattacks. One challenge is that security standards and protocols are still in the early stages of being widely understood and accepted. An AT&T cybersecurity study revealed that 39% of respondents are worried about the security of the connected devices in the network. They worry that connected devices could expose them to larger security threats. According to a 2019 Brookings report, this is because the network has moved from centralized; hardware-based switching to software-based, distributed routing. Hackers could gain control over the software managing the network and attack it. This eventually would make IoT devices vulnerable to attacks.  

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5G technology, still green but so aspired, is expected to affect all critical industries. Not only will it accelerate data transmission speed, but also bring forth new types of networks, modems, gadgets, etc. 5G is a missing element for other emerging telecom trends. Its cross-industry opportunities will help autonomous driving experience, Industry 4.0, and smart city concepts to fully mature. Such a breakthrough will be possible due to several advantages of 5G over previous generations of networks:

100Х higher network speed and throughput (maximum speed – 10 Gbps compared to 4G’s 150 Mbps). For IoT, it means faster data transfer from sensors and other IoT connected devices.

Greatly reduced latency (5 milliseconds to transmit data), which is critical for machine-to-machine communication, real-time remote control and maintenance of devices.

1K times higher capacity, that translates into the growing number of connected devices seamlessly communicating and transferring data in real-time. Thus, the 5G-powered IoT ecosystem will be able to reach its full connectivity potential applied to different aspects of our lives.

Enhanced bandwidth (covering massive volumes of transferred data). Due to 5G RAN (Radio Access Network) architecture based on 3GPP specifications, telcos will be able to manage network traffic and sudden spikes more smoothly. All this results in a more stable connection at any time of the day.

At the moment, mobile network operators (MNOs) (Vodafone, T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon, etc.) are blazing a trail to 5G mass adoption. To connect their IoT devices with the telecom network, MNOs rely on such 5G technologies as Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) and CAT-M1 (aka LTE-M). These are technologies that empower massive IoT allowing to connect low-cost and low-complexity devices with longer battery life and rather low throughput. Here are all cellular IoT segments leveraging 5G capabilities

According to the Ericsson study, 25% of 114 service providers have already rolled out both technologies (LTE-M and NB-IoT), forecasted to account for 52% of all cellular IoT connections by 2025.

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Data, as rightly claimed, is the new oil. Industries today are thriving on it, and it is shaping how businesses are managed in modern times. However, distributed data sources make it cumbersome to use the information for analysis seamlessly. The presence of data in various schemas increases the time elapsed to fetch data as one needs to connect multiple data sources to get the required set of fields needed to perform further analytical tasks.

DataOps is a collaborative data management practice focused on improving the communication, integration, and automation of data flows between data managers and data consumers across an organization. It streamlines information, reduces the time spent in fetching data and what you end up with is enhanced business intelligence, suitable to make critical business decisions. Figure 1 below provides the workflow for DataOps.Read this whitepaper to learn more about DataOps.

For a third-party logistics service provider, such data sources would be the Transportation Management System (TMS), Fleet Management Systems, Fleet Routing Systems, Order Management System, Dispatching, Routing, etc. The data from these systems are loaded into a data lake for modeling to generate business insights

Improving Truck Load Utilization Through Continuous Moves

The transportation sector often suffers from poor capacity management, which results in drivers driving empty miles on one of the legs. This, in turn, leads to driver inefficiency, higher handling costs, congestion, and fuel usage, to name a few. Through continuous moves, the empty miles can be eliminated as the same vehicle can be assigned a load to transfer on their return leg.

Successful implementation of this aspect has been showcased by the Blume Global platform through their Street Turns feature. This feature leverages AI to optimize the truck’s capacity usage, thus ensuring efficient use of driver hours of service and reduction of fuel consumption and deadhead distance.

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Nippon Telegraph & Telephone (NTT) is one of the top telecom companies in Japan with a market value of $96 billion in 2019. The company’s revenues are mainly driven by fiber optic connections and cloud computing services rather than bundle packages. It also owns NTT DoCoMo – a dominant cellular carrier in Japan, and some phone companies in the country.

Softbank Group Corp is a Japanese multinational holding conglomerate headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. It owns 80% of Sprint – a leading telecom companies in the USA. SoftBank also owns operations in broadband; fixed-line telecommunications; e-commerce; internet; technology services; finance; media and marketing; semiconductor design; and other businesses. The company has a market value of $85 billion in 2019.

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Deutsche Telekom headquartered in in Bonn, Germany, is the largest telecommunications services provider in Europe, with a market value of $81 billion in 2019. The company operates several subsidiaries worldwide, including T-Mobile, and owns major shares in many other top telecom companies in Europe, such as Magyar Telekom (Hungary), Slovak Telekom (Slovakia), Hellenic telecommunication operator OTE. Today, Deutsche Telekom has over 205 million subscribers for its mobile, broadband other network services.

Vodafone plc is a British multinational telecommunications corporation, with headquarters in London, the UK. It is one of the largest telecommunications companies in the UK, and also provides telecommunications and IT services in over 150 countries across the regions of Asia, Africa, Europe, and Oceania. It’s the world’s second largest mobile network operator, after China Mobile, with over 550 million mobile subscribers by 2019.

Telefonica Telecom is a leading Spanish multinational telecom corporation and one of the largest private telecommunications companies in the world, providing telephone, mobile, TV network and internet services in Europe, Asia, and North, Central and South America. It also owns several renewed telecommunications brands including Movistar, O2 and Vivo. With over $51 billion market value in 2018, Telefonica is also one of the top telecom companies in the world.

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In line with their digital ambition, organizations worldwide are looking to leverage Cloud-native technologies such as analytics, mobility, IoT, AI, and ML to modernize and develop new processes, services, and models for generating new revenue streams. An intelligent and adaptable network can quickly adjust according to evolving requirements, facilitating seamless transformation.

Automation and Robotics:

Several enterprises rely on Automation, Robotics, and Robotic Process Automation to improve operational efficiency, quality of services, and customer satisfaction score. The use of Automation and Robotics in the coming years will continue to surge as companies look to improve quality, workforce productivity, customer satisfaction, and more. This is even more relevant than ever in the pandemic-stricken world. As automation of processes is time-sensitive and mission-critical, enterprises will need round-the-clock availability and reliability from their distributed networks as even a minor lapse in network availability or reliability can potentially hamper the process flow and affect overall efficiencies and customer satisfaction.

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Technology Trends powering fundamental Network Transformation

Applications being modularized and distributed across Clouds:

Recently, hybrid Cloud and microservices have gained massive prominence across business verticals. The majority of software applications are being modularized and distributed across public Clouds and network edge. To support applications across such a distributed landscape, the network needs to transform fundamentally. There is a need for Networks to be agile, seamless, secure, and responsive to dynamic application landscapes.

IoT and M2M integration with mainstream Networks:

The exponential rise in the number of IoT devices worldwide highlights the need for smart Machine-to-Machine communication. This means the network must capably provide connectivity to all the IoT devices and integrate them smartly with mainstream networks.

Pervasive Mobility:

Owing to the anywhere data center and anywhere user access, there is a need for a robust network to allow users to access applications on Cloud. As anticipated, mobile users will continue to grow in the years to come and they would need round-the-clock high-performance connectivity to access applications on Cloud from private devices over Wi-Fi or 4G networks.

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By utilizing IoT solutions in telecom, enterprises can improve the cost-efficiency of machine-to-machine (M2M) communications. Conventional M2M systems are interconnected via GSM or Wi-Fi networks, both of which have high energy consumption. Moving to IoT devices, based on Wide Area Networks (WAN), will allow telecoms to save substantial amounts of energy and costs. Furthermore, telcos can develop their own IoT-based products or services that function on financially profitable WAN to generate new revenue streams.

Precise IoT-based Equipment Monitoring

Cellular towers consist of a wide range of equipment to ensure smooth network functioning. This equipment needs a strong backup to guarantee 24/7 functioning, and constant maintenance to exclude possible outages and downtimes, and, consequently, revenue losses. Telecom companies can create an IoT-powered operational control center that will integrate local IoT devices with Big Data analytics to gather and process large volumes of data from cellular towers. By using this approach, network engineers can monitor KPI’s of the equipment, and use data to decrease maintenance costs and constitute effective electric power management.

To conclude our quick review of IoT, apart from providing significant business benefits, IoT technology also creates a great number of business opportunities for telecoms. With the extreme growth of IoT devices, telcos can take the role of connectivity and infrastructure providers to the IoT service vendors. By delivering IoT ecosystem lifecycle management services, telcos can generate more revenue and forge mutually beneficial business partnerships.

Now, let’s review another important technology that, aside from its numerous benefits, will also be a powerhouse behind the IoT.

The Importance of 5G Readiness

The world is slowly switching towards advanced 5G cellular networks that will soon replace the current 4G LTE. 5G has a much higher network capacity and is significantly faster in comparison with 4G LTE, with the download speed reaching up to 20GB/s. Most importantly, 5G network latency will be immensely reduced, up to 1 millisecond compared to the current 200 milliseconds in 4G. 5G adoption promises an outstanding competitive advantage. Enhanced mobile services, real-time data exchange options, and extremely fast download speed will attract more customers to the telecom companies that offer 5G network services.

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Discovering solutions to control this data is becoming an essential task for both telecommunications companies and their customers. 

Migration to the Cloud is happening in droves, as nearly every business is becoming aware of the benefits of Cloud-based services, 

especially in light of the increase of remote work due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

These benefits include less of a need for computer resources, streamlined processes, and organization, as well as lower costs. 

Telecom companies should invest in the infrastructure for delivering and supporting more cloud-based solutions. 

Cybersecurity is one of the most essential aspects of the telecom industry. This is because cyber crimes can be easy for hackers to 

commit, stealing sensitive private data of businesses and their customers. 

As breaches become more common, telecom companies should expect their customers to ask how they’re making their data and networks 

more secure. Expect companies to make more significant investments in protecting their resources, detecting threats, preventing 

attacks, and recovering if the unthinkable happens. 

Digital Transformation involves showing people how to use new technologies and proactively pushing them to complete new processes. 

Apty is designed to do both.

From expanding 5G service to enabling more cloud services, telecom companies are managing large projects in 2021. But it’s hard to 

make accurate plans and decisions if you’re not tracking your progress or can’t trust the data you have about your progress.

Apty’s tracking tools can help you detect when a process isn’t being completed and nudge users to provide important updates. Apty’s 

validations also ensure the data that goes into the system is accurate so you can make timely decisions and how to move forward. 

As you introduce new or updated technologies, you have to make sure your customers and employees can use it. Apty’s step-by-step 

on-screen guidance helps people master new applications and processes quickly.

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A traditional on-site phone system (which is also known as a “pbx” or private branch exchange) is initially the more expensive of the two types of small business telephone systems, due to the cost of the physical equipment required on-site. However, once it has been installed, you only need to pay for your monthly telephone line rental and the calls you make. Therefore, it can be the cheaper option in the long-run, particularly for larger firms.

voip systemvoip system

Hosted VoIP Telephone Systems

A hosted VoIP phone system for small business is provided via the Internet, so the exchange is hosted off-site by the service provider. This means maintenance and repairs to this system are kept to a bare minimum and you’ll only need to buy as many telephone handsets and hosted VoIP licences (also sometimes referred to as seats, extensions or users) to suit your business’s needs.

One of the biggest advantages of a VoIP phone system for small business is that the initial outlay is much more modest when compared to a traditional on-site system. With a hosted VoIP service, you’ll get access to a telephone system which would have cost you a substantial amount of money to install and have none of the maintenance costs associated with a PBX. For more detailed information, see our blog on the advantages of VoIP systems. The main drawback of a hosted VoIP phone system for small business is that it becomes less cost-effective if you require a large number of users/seats added to the system.

When it comes to the question of identifying the best phone solution for small business, there isn’t a definitive answer; different companies have different needs. There are a few things that you should consider when choosing a small business telephone system.

Employee Numbers

The long-term cost-effectiveness of these telephone systems for small business will depend on the number of users that you have. Generally, if you have more than 30 users, an on-site system, such as Avaya IP Office, may be your best solution. If you have fewer users, a hosted VoIP system is usually more suitable.

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Skill base of engineering talent: education and training. To solve the specialized communications issues in C4I requires that the United States have the best telecommunications engineers in the world, which in turn requires that a vibrant commercial industry be maintained. Otherwise, the best engineers will migrate to countries that have protected or low-cost businesses, and ultimately U.S. security will be put at risk.

Delivery capability of government suppliers. Because meeting military requirements depends on fundamental understanding of very-high-speed optical networks, satellite communications, and support of mobility in the battlefield, it is not sufficient to have a cadre of educated and trained individuals. Corporate environments must also be available in which such individuals are trained to work together in teams on system-level designs, and to take an interdisciplinary approach.

Interconnectedness of defense systems. As more defense- and homeland security-related systems are interconnected, the pressure will increase on the United States to develop new technologies here at home, because relying on foreign suppliers for critical network components like firewalls and communications software might open the door to serious compromises of security and availability across a wide range of defense capabilities.

Military superiority. In a military context, the goal is superiority over the adversary, which requires having the best research and engineering capability in the world.

Telecommunications continues to be a dynamic sector in which significant innovation is possible provided proper research investments are made. Some examples of potential payoffs from telecommunications research include the following:

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Having moved most of their assets and other communications to cloud-based systems over a period of time, they still depended on a legacy PBX located in a physical data center somewhere, waiting to prioritize this shift once external factors like the POTS switch off finally nudged them to take action. There were probably a lot of expenses claims, during the early part of lockdown, in these organisations - from people forced to use their own mobile calling plans and data, to stay in touch with colleagues and clients.

But for the fully VoIP enabled it was so much easier to integrate the final stage of true location-independent working, and get their teams up and running fast — without having to ship out devices or install new lines, because of native apps which would run on anything they already had at home.

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Security wise, were corners cut by some organizations during the crisis? Undoubtedly, particularly at first — it was probably seen as more important to get people online and hooked into the office systems, especially those who others looked to for leadership and reassurance, via any means possible. Setting up their VPNs and firewall was of course important, but we know that in some cases this happened afterwards. In addition, the crisis itself spawned a depressing multitude of opportunistic scams, from bogus exposure alerts to fake test results, with bad actors keen to take advantage too of the naturally lowered guard people feel about work-related security issues in a domestic environment.

But once the gaps in the enterprise security blanket were plugged, users were left with an expectation of being able to connect and work from any location, and any device. Honestly, some IT directors are unsung heroes of this crisis, simply for enabling that and keeping things going — but they have forever changed the relationship of users to their workplace technology, which now pervades their personal devices and boundaries in ways we would not have dreamed of 2 years ago.

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