Birth of the 5G era
EE is ushering in a new era of high speed connectivity, with the launch of the UK’s first 5G service in six cities (London, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Belfast, Birmingham and Manchester); a choice of SIM-only and handset plans; and six 5G smartphones and devices from Samsung, OnePlus, LG and Oppo. It expects to offer 5G in parts of Bristol, Coventry, Glasgow, Hull, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield in 2019, and in Aberdeen, Cambridge, Derby, Gloucester, Peterborough, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Southampton, Worcester and Wolverhampton in 2020. Customers can look forward to speed increases of around 100-150Mbps on 5G smartphones, with some likely to break the one gigabit-per-second barrier. The fastest speed possible when EE launched 4G in 2012 was 50Mbps.
Keeping the engine running
Arrow Electronics and IBM are hoping to improve the customer experience in airports by using IoT sensors to gather operational data on escalators, walkways, baggage handling systems and water fountains. Their Smart Airport Asset Management Solution uses IoT sensors and gateways designed by Arrow to collect information on engine temperature, vibration and motor fluid levels; the IBM Watson IoT Platform to analyse the data; and IBM asset management software to allocate resources and schedule preventative maintenance.
Following the recent launches and, in Samsung’s case, recall of foldable smartphones, Lenovo previewed the world’s first foldable PC at its American partner event, Accelerate. Part of the ThinkPad X1 family, the laptop offers the productivity of a computer and the portability of a smartphone thanks to its OLED foldable display. Because the 13.3in screen folds in half, the laptop only needs to be half as wide as a device with a rigid screen. Versatility is a key selling point, with a choice of display, book, tablet, laptop and dock modes. Launch will be some time in 2020.
NEC Display Solutions says the 55-inch MultiSync V554Q is in the vanguard of a ‘resolution revolution’ that is making ultra-high definition (UHD) available on smaller, more affordable displays. UHD technology has greater pixel density than Full HD (3,840 x 2,160 vs. 1,920 x 1,080), bringing pixel-free viewing to digital signage, technical presentations, collaboration and other applications. The MultiSync V554Q and NEC’s recently launched 55-inch InfinityBoard and E557Q display extend UHD’s benefits to smaller devices used in many corporate, retail, control room and DooH environments. Futuresource Consulting expects the EMEA market for 55in UHD displays to grow by over 50% this year.
Touch technology from Zytronic is being used in a double-sided, 55-inch interactive display currently being piloted in Volkswagen showrooms in Australia. The Blade kiosk created by Design to Production is just 40mm thick, thanks to the use of Zytronic’s Zybrid touch sensors and ZXY500 multitouch touch controllers, which add just 12mm to the kiosk’s profile. Design to Production director Peter Gordon said: “People just can’t believe The Blade is touch-enabled on both sides — they couldn’t figure out how we added touch and maintained such a slim profile.”
Slated for a Q3 launch, Nutanix Mine provides a platform for primary and secondary storage within the private cloud by integrating secondary storage operations with the Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform. Native integration with backup vendors Veeam, HYCU, Commvault, Veritas and Unitrends enables customers to manage their HCI environment and backup operations from a single management console, reducing the cost and complexity of standalone back-up and recovery solutions. Mine simplifies the lifecycle of data backup operations, including on-going management, scaling and troubleshooting, while preserving a customer’s freedom to select their choice of backup service.
Cloud telephony provider Xelion now offers full integration between its platform and the Zapappi SMS gateway, which allows users to send and receive text messages via the Zapappi SMS platform. Xelion UK Managing Director Dave Reynolds said: “We believe no other UK hosted telephony provider currently offers SMS integration out of the box with no feature charges.”