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£4m Scottish Government investment to launch 5G innovation hubs to drive economic growth across Scotland

Inside Telecom Staff

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Paul-Coffey,-CEO,-The-Scotland-5G-Centre

The Scottish Government has today confirmed a £4m funding package to support the establishment of a network of hubs to accelerate the adoption of 5G.

The Scotland 5G Centre to launch national network of hubs as announced in the Programme for Government, starting in Forth Valley.

The Scotland 5G Centre (S5GC) will today (September 17th, 2020) launch its S5GConnect Programme, delivering the next stage of the Scottish Government’s 5G strategy with a series of hubs, as announced in the Scottish Government’s Programme for Government.  The Hubs will support economic growth through the deployment and adoption of 5G services across the country, supported by a £4m investment from the Scottish Government.

The Connect Programme will help bridge the gap between academia, industry and government bodies to accelerate 5G deployment and the adoption of 5G services to  realise  its economic and societal potential for Scotland, and enable businesses, organisations and people to reap the benefits of this new connectivity platform.

The S5GC is working and collaborating to build on Scotland’s existing Innovation Centres and government initiatives to accelerate the post pandemic recovery and  address the digital gap that has been highlighted as key to ensuring Scotland’s business sectors, health care and education can thrive in the new economic environment.

Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Minister for Energy, Connectivity, and the Islands will later this morning, at an online event ,discuss plans to create a network of  S5GConnect Hubs across Scotland as part of the Programme for Government, to an audience of businesses, academic institutions, and public sector organisations with an interest in 5G.

The S5GConnect Hubs will promote innovation and investment, focussing on sectors relevant to their local areas. The Hubs will work with mobile operators and private network providers to accelerate regional 5G networks, offer a private network with advanced capabilities, as well as access to an accelerator facility and mentoring schemes.

To reflect the importance of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to the Scottish economy, the hubs will also provide specific support packages for small businesses. They will support SME engagement where they can develop, prototype and test real-world experiments and use cases over a 5G innovation platform, offer one-to-one consultancy and professional support to develop and scale businesses.

Combined, the hubs will aim to enhance Scotland’s overall connectivity by building a national infrastructure, creating momentum that establishes the entire country as a global leader in 5G technologies.

Scotland’s Connectivity Minister, Paul Wheelhouse MSP, said:

“The 5G revolution presents a significant opportunity for us in the years ahead, and seizing such opportunities is particularly important as we look to build the economic recovery following the lockdown required to suppress the COVID-19 virus. A study conducted by Deloitte in 2019 found that harnessing enhanced 4G and 5G connectivity could increase Scotland’s GDP by more than £17 billion by 2035.

“The Scottish Government’s investment of £4m through the S5GConnect programme will enhance and widen digital connectivity in all parts of the country because we believe that it is through deploying next-generation technologies that we can create something special for businesses, families and communities.

“The Forth Valley Hub, as the first of ten such hubs, will initially focus on the delivery of digital platforms that support job creation, skills programmes, and innovation support for SME and R&D activities. Its first project will aim to develop a green data recovery platform, which will support Scotland’s net zero economy.

“Potential locations for nine additional hubs across Scotland are being considered with plans for further rollout over the course of 2020 and 2021.”

Paul Coffey, CEO at The Scotland 5G Centre, said:

“We are delighted to be launching the S5GConnect programme today and to be able to start the process of offering businesses across Scotland the opportunity to get involved in the acceleration of 5G deployment. The role of the Scotland 5G Centre is to act as a catalyst for bringing together industry, academia and the public sector and this programme allows us to do that.  We are excited to begin working with industry partners from a variety of sectors on this initiative.

The first hub will be located in Alloa, Clackmannanshire serving the wider Forth Valley region, and builds on a partnership between Scotland’s International Environment Centre, which is part of the University of Stirling, and BT, the telecoms group.

“5G deployment has commenced, but the technology is still nascent – and some of the new use cases are still a few years away. The S5GConnect Hubs will play a key role in accelerating that process and making the potential of 5G a reality. They will think nationally, but act locally, bringing together global and national priorities with local expertise through the reach of existing regional centres and organisations.

“We are working in tandem with the national network of development agencies and enterprise accelerators to establish these facilities quickly. This is a hugely exciting development for Scotland and the wider UK 5G ecosystem and we look forward to announcing more hubs in the near future.”

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Press Releases

Keysight presents new high performance 5G base station test solution

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Keysight High Performance 5G Base Station

Keysight Technologies, a leading technology company that helps enterprises, service providers and governments accelerate innovation to connect and secure the world, announced a new high-performance 5G base station test solution, based on Keysight’s S9130A 5G Performance Multi-Band Vector Transceiver (VXT), that enables network equipment manufacturers (NEMs) and small cell vendors to accelerate validation of mmWave products according to the latest 3GPP specifications.

Mobile operators are deploying 5G new radio (NR) in frequency range 2 (FR2) to deliver enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) connectivity in metropolitan areas and indoor environments such as stadiums and airports.

Rapid deployment of a heterogenous network, consisting of macro base stations, small cell infrastructure, radio units (RUs) and distributed antenna systems (DAS), depends on streamlined testing across the workflow. Keysight has extended the company’s suite of 5G base station test solutions, initially launched in 2018, to meet a growing need for cost-effective 5G mmWave test and validation.

“Keysight’s new 5G base station test solution allows NEMs to validate 5G high performance macro base stations in manufacturing, and vendors of 5G small cells to validate mmWave products in R&D and design validation,” said Giampaolo Tardioli, vice president and general Manager for Keysight’s network access group. “The solution combines the new 5G performance multi-band VXT with Keysight’s internal common interface unit (CIU) and mmWave remote radio head (RRH) to deliver high performance over-the-air (OTA) testing in a compact form factor.”

Keysight’s high performance 5G base station test solution leverages the company’s new PXIe based vector transceiver (VXT) to deliver market-leading adjacent channel leakage ratio (ACLR) and error vector magnitude (EVM) measurements. The superior performance of the next generation VXT and RRH brings the measurement plane closer to the device under test (DUT). This means that the DUT can receive high power levels across a wide dynamic power range, resulting in exceedingly accurate and reliable measurement results.

Keysight’s S9100 suite of solutions supports multiple channels for testing several base stations in parallel and leverage the company’s cloud-ready suite of PathWave software solutions to simplify and speed testing as vendors scale from design validation to volume test. Supported PathWave solutions include:

  • X-Series Measurement Applications for basic measurements such as EVM and ACLR.
  • 5G NR Signal Creation and Playback for characterizing power and modulation performance of components and transmitters.
  • 89600 Vector Signal Analysis for advanced demodulation and vector signal analysis.

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Streamr signs pilot agreement with GSMA

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Deal allow telcos to monetize user data, ethically.

Swiss real-time data experts, Streamr, today partnered with GSMA, the industry body for mobile telecom communications, to allow three mobile network operators (MNOs) to monetize their user data ethically. 

GSMA and Streamr will work together to deliver a technological accelerator programme to selected MNOs. The initiative aims to fast-track potential adoption of new technologies that permit users to share and monetize data from their mobile devices in partnership with operators.  

MNOs have tried for over a decade to find a way to monetize the data their network users generate. This has proven to be difficult, particularly in light of the widespread reforms and improvements to international data protection, and information security legislation, in the 2010s.

The pilot is designed to allow telcos to realize this long-held ambition in a fully compliant manner. End-users will be asked outright if they want to join the Data Union to ‘sell’ their data on Streamr’s marketplace, or opt out, using a smartphone app. Also, no data will actually be traded as part of the study.

“Given regulatory changes, and rapidly changing consumer attitudes to both privacy and the value of their data, the only sustainable way for MNOs to monetize mobile data, is by gaining overt consent from their users. 

“We also know that the consumer insights industry is desperately underserved when it comes to data from mobiles. We are confident that Streamr’s revolutionary Data Union framework allows them to capture and record this consent dynamically and securely,” said Shiv Malik, Head of Growth at Streamr.  

Streamr co-founder Henri Pihkala added, “It’s very exciting to consider the potential for this pilot. MNOs are ideally positioned to unlock the rich customer insights that their subscribers create on their devices each day. Privacy focused data monetization that works with those users, presents a significant new income stream, as the industry faces multiple pressures on existing revenues”.

The pilot will also include a significant research element, gathering user experiences around having the ability to control how, and with whom, their data is shared – as well as how they feel about receiving a share of its value in the future. Learnings will also inform network user retention strategies.

Streamr’s Data Union approach gives people the ability to crowdsell their data, and actively choose who can buy it. It also breaks down long-term data silos to help entrepreneurs, startups, researchers and SMEs by accessing data sets previously off-limits. Data Unions decentralize control over individuals’ data away from a handful of major corporations, serving as a means to crowdsource and share information.

Immediate use cases for the pilot’s data include consumer footfall and mobility intelligence for brands, retail operators and commercial landlords, as well as in events management and city planning applications.

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Equinox Partners with XConnect to Enhance Its Fraud Identification and Prevention Capabilities

Inside Telecom Staff

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Tim Ward – SVP, Numbering Information Services at XConnect.

London, UK, 20 October 2020 – XConnect, a provider of world-class numbering intelligence solutions, and Equinox Information Systems, a global provider of software solutions for the telecommunications industry, are working in partnership to reduce the impact of telecom fraud by blocking International Revenue Share Fraud (IRSF) attacks before they even start. The collaboration bolsters Equinox’s fraud management solution, Protector, with XConnect’s Global Numbering Intelligence, to provide carriers with the ability to monitor and filter fraudulent traffic in real-time. 

Equinox’s Protector, the most installed fraud management system in the U.S, is able to stop IRSF through identifying suspicious network activity. IRSF occurs when originating calls are directed to an ‘unallocated’ number and rely on an inside job where traffic is redirected to high-cost destinations. Adding XConnect to its portfolio will strengthen Equinox’s offering that helps customers distinguish communications fraud from legitimate customer usage, helping combat even the newest schemes.

“There are 250 country codes with millions of ranges that are inactive per country. Fraudsters have a lot of inventory for their man-in-the-middle attacks that cost carriers billions of dollars per year. We provide critical intelligence that enhances Equinox’s fraud management capabilities and helps its customers to stop IRSF losses,” said Tim Ward – SVP, Numbering Information Services at XConnect. “Together with Equinox, we are helping to fight telecom fraud in its various forms and enabling customers to react in real-time.”  

The Protector solution enables real-time data integration and analytics to proactively prevent fraud losses. It resolves cases intelligently with options ranging from automated disabling of the number to configuration changes.

“XConnect’s Global Numbering Intelligence adds unique data sets to our platform and expands our ability to identify and prevent IRSF. Globally, telecom fraud costs companies nearly $30 billion every year and highly curated number intelligence is a key weapon in the fight against it. Our customers benefit from real-time fraud prevention that stops fraud losses and increases profitability,” said David West – EVP at Equinox. “Working with XConnect enables us to differentiate our offering and deliver a data-rich solution for our carrier customers. As methods of telecoms fraud change and evolve, we’re advancing our platform through collaboration to deliver new ways to protect our customers’ revenue.”

XConnect’s Global Numbering Intelligence supports a simple and data-driven approach to mitigating the risk of fraud through prevention and detection. Equinox customers will gain access to XConnect’s Global Numbering Intelligence which provides up-to-date number information that is used to recognise fraudulent number ranges. XConnect continually updates, refines and optimises its telecoms data to maximise effectiveness for customers.   

About XConnect

XConnect consolidates, maintains and delivers trusted telephone number intelligence to world leading telecommunication service providers.  XConnect processes information from hundreds of different global datasets and ensures that customers solve routing, validation and fraud challenges in real time.

XConnect’s Information Services are used for voice and messaging routing, fraud protection and to identify and validate insights. They also support the deployment and evolution of next-generation communications, such as VoLTE and RCS. 

XConnect’s Number Information Services are accessed through its global distributed hybrid cloud platform using simple, secure, scalable real-time protocols and APIs. 

About Equinox

Since 1986, Nashville-based Equinox Information Systems has helped telecom customers around the world address profitability and network efficiency issues. Currently processing 2 billion customer records a day, Equinox has helped companies in all telecom sectors protect and optimize their revenue. 

Besides fraud management, Equinox also offers data mediation, usage analytics, revenue/ expense management, routing assurance, network analysis, and custom application development solutions. The company currently serves every sector of the telecom industry, including cable/MSOs, wireless, wireline, rural independent, CLEC, UCaaS/hosted VoIP, wholesale, and conference calling providers.

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