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With mobile phones reaching a saturation point in developed markets, carriers are looking to the Internet of Things as an important growth engine moving forward – and the International Telecommunications Union has some good news on that front, as well as some interesting data about social media and Big Data.

Internet of Things Forecast

Shipments of various types of wireless IoT devices are expected to reach 1 billion this year according to the ITU's “Trends in Telecommunication Reform 2015” report. That would be a year-over-year increase of 60 percent and would bring the global installed base of connected devices to 2.8 billion by year-end 2015. Furthermore, the number of wearable devices is estimated to have reached 109 million as of the beginning of 2015, according to ITU.

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It’s good to see researchers exploring ways to get more use out of existing spectrum, now that mobile and Wi-Fi data usage is climbing steeply. Some particularly interesting activity has occurred at Rice University, where researchers say that for the first time ever they have successfully demonstrated a wireless system that transmits data over "TV white spaces” without interfering with active television broadcasts.


Dubbed WATCH (Wi-Fi in Active TV Channels), the technology that the Rice researchers developed is designed to support high-speed Wi-Fi-like wireless data networks.


Rice researchers received FCC approval to demonstrate WATCH on the Rice campus in 2014. Boiled down to its essentials, WATCH actively monitors TV signals across UHF spectrum and makes use of signal-canceling techniques to insert wireless data signals into the same channel. Doing so effectively negates TV signals' interference with them, Rice News' reporter Jade Boyd explained.

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Tagged in: data WATCH wifi

The Internet of Things could get a boost from a new protocol recently released by The Thread Group. The protocol, also named Thread, is based in part on IPv6 and 6LoWPAN, is intended for use by group members and others aiming to develop low-power connected products for smart homes. 

ARM, Nest and Samsung launched the Thread Group a year ago. The group intends to launch a product certification program this September.

Thread-compliant chips and software stacks will be available from ARM, Freescale and Silicon Labs, with the first certified products expected late this year.

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Tagged in: IoT IPv6 Networking

On average, Americans are more satisfied with their landline phone service than they are with subscription TV or Internet service – but they’re not tremendously happy with any of those services, according to recent research from ACSI (American Customer Satisfaction Index).

ACSI measured satisfaction with both consumers’ subscription TV provider and Internet service provider (ISP) at 63 on a 100-point scale in 2015, while landline phone service provider satisfaction came in at 69. The ISP rating was unchanged from 2014. But both the subscription TV and fixed line phone service rankings were down from last year – from 65 and 73, respectively.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Finley_OTT_Infographic.jpgFinley Engineering’s broadband clients are well aware of the impact OTT video traffic has on their networks. This growing traffic impacts both broadband access networks to the home and transport networks. But the reality of the OTT video traffic trend is, it’s only going to get worse, and quickly.

Consider that Cisco, with their Virtual Networking Index, predicts that 78% of residential Internet subscribers will be watching OTT video by 2018 – that’s over 3 out of 4 subscribers in just three years.

Finley recognizes this trend has huge implications for our clients and to help put the OTT trend into more context, we’ve published an infographic. 


Please contact us for help in evaluating whether your network is prepared for this growing impact on your business. In today’s competitive  marketplace, it’s critical that broadband carriers provide the best possible OTT video experience, and Finley Engineering can help ensure you deliver it.

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Tagged in: Broadband OTT

A potentially big breakthrough for optical networking comes from the University of California at San Diego, where photonics researchers have raised the maximum power at which optical signals can be sent over fiber, thereby extending transmission range.

According to a report published by UCSD News, the UCSD research team set a new record by enabling digital data to travel 12,000 kilometers (~7456 miles) over fiber optic cables using off-the-shelf amplifiers and no repeaters.

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Tesla sees major changes ahead for utilities for reasons having more to do with energy storage than electric cars. “Having storage for the first time on the utility grid—cost-efficient storage—is going to radically reinvent the way utilities are able to operate and make them much more efficient,” said JB Straubel, Tesla Motors co-founder and chief technical officer.

Tesla recently unveiled its Powerpack. Not to be confused with the Tesla Powerwall, which is intended for residential use, Powerpack is a 100-kilowatt-hour battery pack designed for utilities and other commercial applications. Straubel said the packs can be placed together in large arrays.

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American Public Power Association - White House announces initiative to increase solar access for Americans

American Public Power Association - The White House on July 7 announced a new initiative to increase solar access for Americans through community solar projects and an expanded renewable power installation goal of 300 megawatts.

The new initiative targets low- and moderate-income communities and seeks to expand opportunities to join the solar workforce. Doing so will continue a trend of declining solar costs and climbing generation capacity, the White House said.

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Tagged in: Energy solar power

There's an old computer sciences adage that refers to the dangers, and costs, of bad data. It goes: “Garbage in, garbage out.” With e-government technology in use and being rolled out from local to national levels U.S. society has never been so exposed and vulnerable to the potential costs of bad data.

Conducting a comprehensive survey on data quality in the public sector, researchers working for online magazine Governing found that bad data costs taxpayers an unspecified but large amount of money in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Data entry errors uncovered during an audit in California, for example, reportedly cost the state $6 million.

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Tagged in: bad data data

Reducing energy consumption is a focal point of much research these days given the drive to gather data, link and embed intelligence into the myriad devices, equipment and machinery that go into facilitating modern digital lifestyles. This emerging "Internet of Things" has led researchers at MIT to develop a new radio transmitter design that is said to reduce energy leakage from wireless electronics devices and equipment 100-fold, thus dramatically increasing battery life for devices.

Developed by a research team led by Joseph F. and Nancy P. Keithley Professor of Electrical Engineering Anantha Chandrakasan, the new radio transmitter design also delivers enough power for Bluetooth wireless transmissions and even longer-range 802.15.4 wireless communications, according to an MIT News report

“A key challenge is designing these circuits with extremely low standby power, because most of these devices are just sitting idling, waiting for some event to trigger a communication,” Chandrakasan explained. “When it’s on, you want to be as efficient as possible, and when it’s off, you want to really cut off the off-state power, the leakage power.”

Chandrakasan and team showcased their new radio transmitter design at the 2015 IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC), which took place in San Francisco this past February.

Prof. Chandrakasan, MIT electrical engineering and computer science graduate student Arun Paidmarri and research scientist Nathan Ickes reduce the energy leakage across semiconductor gates by applying a negative charge to it when the transmitter is idle. The negative charge drives electrons away from the leads, which makes the semiconductor a better insulator.

In tests performed on a prototype radio transmitter chip fabricated by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company the team determined that the energy needed to apply negative charge to the gate was much less than that that would be lost through energy leakage. More specifically, they found that their circuit used only 20 picowatts of power to save 10,000 picowatts in leakage.

The new radio transmitter circuit design could reduce power consumption and increase battery life in information and telecommunications technology (ICT) devices and equipment as much as 100-fold – if it broadcasts only every hour or so, according to Hardesty's report.

“Ultra-low leakage energy is critical for future sensor nodes that need the transmitter to be on only a very small percentage of time,” Baher Haroun, director of the Embedded Processing Systems Labs at Texas Instruments (TI) elaborated

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Members of the broadband carrier ecosystem are joining together to improve the energy efficiency of equipment used to deliver broadband services. Led by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA), a range of ISPs, equipment suppliers and consumer equipment manufacturers on June 25 signed a voluntary agreement that establishes strict requirements that will improve energy efficiency of small network equipment (SNE) 10-20 percent.

Reducing energy consumption and increasing energy efficiency are key aspects of consumer and electronics industry innovation and sustainable development plans given the steep upward trajectory of electronic device and equipment energy use. The voluntary agreement will cover more than 90 percent of U.S. broadband households, a total of some 80 million homes, CEA and NCTA announced in a press release.

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Tagged in: braodband SNE

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a hot technology, not just in the U.S. but globally, as an announcement from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) reminds us.

The ITU’s telecom division, ITU-T, has launched an initiative aimed at developing IoT standards and focusing initially on smart city applications, including machine-to-machine (M2M) communications and ubiquitous sensor networks. ITU-T Study Group 20 aims to standardize end-to-end architectures for IoT and mechanisms for the interoperability of IoT applications and datasets employed by various industry sectors.

Deployment of IoT technologies by 2020 is expected to result in the connection of some 50 billion devices to the Internet that will impact practically every aspect of people's daily lives, ITU points out. Municipal infrastructure and essential services providers, such as power and water utilities, as well as transportation and healthcare providers, have stakes in IoT technologies.

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Tagged in: IoT ITU

Profound change is happening in the electricity industry, “whether utilities or governments want it” or not, Kate Burson, an aide to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, said June 23. Burson spoke in Washington, D.C., at a forum on energy that was organized by the Washington Post as part of its “America Answers” series. The June 23 event, the third in the series, was entitled “Powering Cities” and was sponsored by the Edison Electric Institute, the National League of Cities and energy company WGL.

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Tagged in: Energy

Do your customers expect a digital content experience anywhere and anytime? Broadband service providers are busy building access networks that can enable and sustain digital content distribution. But laying fiber is just one part of the equation. Join the conversation during the FTTH Connect and BroadbandTV conference session:

“Embracing Digital Content and Applications”
Wednesday, July 1st
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

FTTH, Anaheim, CA 
June 29 - July 1

Finley Engineering’s Andy Heins will be one of four panelists outlining the exploding amount of digital content and applications that customers are embracing and discussing network and technology implications for broadband service providers. Stop by Finley's booth #817 during the FTTH Connect Expo.


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GTM Research expects an increase to 848 MW in the annual energy storage market in 2019 — 13 times the size of the 2014 market and four times the size of the 2015 market, the firm said in its recent report.

Energy storage is set to experience drastic growth, according to a quarterly report released by GTM Research and the Energy Storage Association.

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Tagged in: Energy energy storage

One of the strongest growth opportunities for communications service providers is in the Internet of Things, as a new forecast from IDC illustrates.

The worldwide Internet of Things (IoT) market will grow at a 16.9 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2014-2020 as revenues rise from $655.8 billion to $1.7 trillion, IDC says. The prediction comes as part of three IoT reports IDC released June 2. 

IDC’s Internet of Things Forecast

Devices, connectivity and IT services will account for more than two-thirds of IoT market revenues come 2020, according to IDC. Devices, such as modules and sensors, will account for 31.8 percent of the market. Purpose-built IoT platforms, application software and “as a service” offerings will gain and account for larger shares of overall IoT market revenues over the course of the period, IDC expects.

"While wearable devices are the consumer face of the Internet of Things, and where recognition of IoT appears to begin, the real opportunity remains in the enterprise and public sector markets," Vernon Turner, IDC senior vice president and research fellow (IoT), Enterprise Systems was quoted in IDC's press release.

Turner noted that IoT is having a “ripple effect” and is disrupting the IT status quo because companies are rethinking traditional IT business models, processes, services and products.

IDC released three IoT market research reports: the IDC Worldwide Internet of Things Taxonomy, 2015; Worldwide Internet of Things Forecast, 2015–2020; and the Worldwide IoT Spending Guide by Vertical.

Autonomous network connectivity is the key distinguishing criterion in IDC's taxonomy of IoT technology. Hence, devices that require human interaction to connect to networks – smartphones, tablets, etc. – aren't considered IoT devices, even though apps and functions increasingly establish connections and perform tasks without user interaction, or even awareness. 

"IDC's Internet of Things taxonomy is intended to provide a framework to categorize and relate technology and industry-specific aspects of this burgeoning market," Carrie MacGillivray, IDC program vice president, IoT and Mobile research, explained.


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Finley’s Andy Heins will be available at the FTTH Connect Expo the end of the month and also presenting at Broadband TV. We hope you can attend his session where he delivers Finley’s perspective on building broadband networks that support more and more video traffic; engineering the network for peak video traffic loads.


Session description: FTTP delivered ultra-high speed broadband services enable an evolving and compelling digital content experience. One that subscribers are increasingly coming to expect. A range of applications from multiple multiscreen HD video feeds; to socially connected entertainment experiences; to anytime access to cloud based video and music content libraries; to connected home video monitoring; and many more, are now within reach. The result is an explosion in the use of and interaction with digital content. Service providers must evaluate these applications and ensure they are maximizing the business and subscriber value-add opportunities they present. This session will outline and discuss the implications of the explosion in digital content usage and consumption and highlight how service providers can best leverage this new and emerging marketplace reality.


For more information, visit the Broadband TV website.


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Stakeholders are targeting data rates above 10 Gbps for the next generation of Ethernet passive optical networking (EPON), according to a new report from the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). The report, titled “IEEE 802.3™ Industry Connections Feasibility Assessment for the Next Generation of EPON,” synthesizes input from a range of global industry players involved in the EPON value chain about what they would like to see in next-generation EPON, including minimizing footprint and power consumption, as well as higher data rates. 

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Tagged in: epon Ethernet

The traditional home security business, with its slow-growing, contract-based, monthly revenue business model, faces significant challenges during the next five years. Equipped with a wealth of new and innovative technology options for both home security and home automation, homeowners are eschewing new contracts and fees. Instead, many are opting to design, install and monitor home security systems that they can customize to meet their needs and budgets, according to a recent report from ABI Research's Smart Home Market Research. 

The challenges that ABI highlights are also faced by telecom service providers that have ventured into the home security market.

The report, Home Security Services Evolution: Staying Relevant in the IoT World forecasts that up to 15 million households will account for new growth in the connected home security market between now and 2020. Home security vendors that hope to thrive, instead of merely survive, during this time period will have to find ways to enhance their core service offerings and make other necessary adjustments to their business models.

For example, they can partner with smart home services such as call-center monitoring as a plug-in service, or they can bring home video monitoring to their call centers, according to Jonathan Collins, Principal Analyst. Partnering with smart home players of all types will enable home security providers to offer turnkey solutions to homeowners that do not wish to DIY their home security, and cause some who do to think twice about it. New partners also get home security providers up to speed quickly about new security options and trends, as well as the evolving needs of their customers.

The ABI report makes it clear that self-install and self-monitor solutions pose a threat to standard business models and it won't be easy for traditional providers to imagine living without their monthly recurring revenues. However, the shift does present them with the opportunity to re-invent their businesses and make the most of good relationships that they have built with their existing customers over many years. A true willingness to change and partner with others, combined with their deep knowledge of the home security business to date, will give home security providers – including telcos that offer home security -- more than a fighting chance to come out on top.




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As Finley clients can attest to, the growth in OTT video traffic has been meteoric. According to new research from Juniper, it’s only going to get worse, and quickly.

Subscribers to OTT TV services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime will more than triple in coming years, rising from 92.1 million in 2014 to 332.2 million worldwide by 2019, according to the market research firm. With growth continuing North America will continue as the world's leading market in terms of OTT video subscribers.

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Tagged in: OTT Video