Let’s Get Practical: The base station of the future, today

Andre Strauss IoT.nxt

There is a lack of visibility across all systems in base stations due to multiple legacy systems being outdated, siloed and proprietary. As a result, there is no clear line of sight of a base station’s conditions including ambient temperatures and cooling requirements. Equipment health and performance is not monitored and there is no visibility of site security.

These shortfalls result in operational inefficiencies as well as a loss of revenue from unplanned downtime and excessive maintenance costs associated with equipment failure. Furthermore, uncontrolled cooling increases the operational costs of the site.

It’s time to rapidly revolutionise the operational potential of the telecommunications base stations, through an IoT solution, enabling an integrated single view and real-time intelligent control of all systems and devices.

IoT.nxt has created an IoT solution that will solve the current industry challenges as well as unlocking a multitude of benefits. The solution seamlessly integrates into the installed legacy equipment, without disrupting operation, transforming them into interoperative, interconnected smart assets. These can be related to everything else within the base station. Things like energy meters, rectifiers, cooling systems, batteries as well as various condition sensors all become visible in real-time.

This can be configured into a single view of all the connected devices, allowing an operator to monitor and gain insight into data generated. Machine learning and artificial intelligent (AI) is then incorporated to optimise energy usage while ensuring sufficient cooling with changing ambient conditions. Furthermore, AI is applied to enable predictive maintenance on expensive base station equipment.

The IoT.nxt solution: Enhancing existing ecosystems

We help companies experience powerful resurgence with compelling benefits:

The answer to complete base station management lies in having a single view of all connected devices within the ecosystem, enabling businesses to monitor, gain insights and learning from the data generated, unlocking improved utilisation and optimisation of areas like cooling and energy.

IoT.nxt enables base station operators to protect investment into installed legacy equipment, transforming them into interoperative, interconnected, smart assets that can relate to everything else within the ecosystem. Imagine a world where only relevant alarms are raised when there is an issue, where all things are controlled at the edge and performances changed to match conditions.

Knowing the status of all things in the base station ecosystem in real-time and building non-discretionary logic into this ecosystem fundamentally reduces waste at the source. The impact of this across the expansive value chain can be profound with large impact on the bottom line.

Answering the call for digitalisation

Reimagining business processes

Applying business analytical best practice, consider current SOPs, process and workflows that are performed across your business ecosystem to identify areas where standards and processes have not been optimised.

Provide relevant insights and operational functionality to users.

Leverage automation and integration to create a complete company overview and reliable, precise data collection.
Enable primary business functions while accommodating anomalies that can cause downtime.

Avoiding an information overload

As businesses digitalise, caution should be paid to not overloading operators with information. Having insight into down-the-line effects of activity may boost efficiency and the business bottom line. To ensure effectiveness, work to provide the right information to the right people to drive better decision making and improve employee accountability.

Ready, set, configure

Ruggedised to suit an industrial environment, designed to endure even the harshest condition and proven effective in the fields, the IoT.nxt technology stack is the answer to ensuring competitiveness, and relevance, in the years to come. Quick to install and easily customisable in any industry, an entire business ecosystem is connected into a centralised Commander dashboard and accessible remotely enabling real-time visibility and in-shift optimisation without disruption.

Connected your way, from edge to cloud

This flexible end-to-end solution connects non-IP based devices (2-wire and similar) through Raptor, our intelligent edge gateway, and connecting IP enabled devices directly to our IoT platform, Commander. Once connected, data is consolidated from all devices and systems to provide a single horizontal view of your systems and devices entire business ecosystem.

Raptor technology creates a normalised, edge layer of physical and virtual intelligence that can be retrofitted, deployed and connected seamlessly into an ecosystem of existing technologies and things, radically reducing the cost of having to develop multiple edge integrations into disparate cloud applications.

Being able to retrofit onto all deployed devices, whether analogue-, or IP-based reduces

  • Disruption to business processes
  • Cost of implementation
  • Cost of training
  • Cost and impact of enterprise-wide change management
  • Vulnerability at the edge
  • Technology disparity at the edge
  • Data strain on – and therefore costs of – networks
  • Processing required at the cloud platform level
  • Cost of edge integrated gateway maintenance

Real-time subsystem integration allows cloud platforms to be leveraged as the up-, and down-stream effects of an event-triggered occurrence are recalibrated throughout all edge-connected devices. The pieces of any business puzzle are in the box, and ready to be pieced together to create a big picture.

Operationalise and reap the benefits

Surpassing industry benchmarks globally, this technology-agnostic solution can be implemented in any industry, on any system and in any process leading to the collection, normalisation and aggregation of unbiased, actionable data and real-time business intelligence. The knock-on effect of complete visibility into all operations, the knock-down of operational silos and minimisation of down-time and incidents across the business ecosystem can be felt almost immediately.

Implementing without disruption

This example showcases how IoT.nxt technology can be overlaid onto organisational infrastructure, underpinning rapid digitalisation and ROI, without disruption to operations.

An entire ecosystem, in your hands

Implemented anywhere, this solution becomes an enabler for optimal results across the rest of your business. Operational requirements, tied in with big data and market shifts unlock the opportunities for organisations to move into the future – and beyond – with agility, dynamically shifting with supply and demand, resource availability and, ultimately, growth.

Demystifying IoT

IoT.nxt is a unique rapid digitisation technology enabler that future-proofs enterprises, helping them leverage existing infrastructure investment and integrate into new technologies. The resulting interoperability and interconnectivity break down data silos and cuts out vendor lock-in.

Our IoT solution allows our clients to rapidly transform their businesses and move into the digital age quickly, and without disruption to operations.

It’s still your business. Only smarter.

 


 

Avert Avoidable Disaster: The Partnership Taking on the Challenges of the Tailings Dam Industry

Avert Avoidable Disaster:

The goal for many mining professionals is to implement a real-time disaster management prevention plan that safeguards the environment, human life, and massively reduces risk. With so many potential hazards and a very real incident risk and ripple effect, data is key to understanding and, ultimately avoiding, disaster. In a bid to avert avoidable disaster, we’ve partnered with IsoMetrix to take on the challenges of the tailings dam industry.

Prevent disasters before they happen

The need for innovative solutions in tailings management has never been more apparent. Just this year, the Brumadinho dam disaster in Brazil demonstrated the kind of destruction that can occur as a result of catastrophic system failures. When the tailings dam at the Córrego do Feijão iron ore mine collapsed on January 25, many lives were lost and ecosystems destroyed. This has left behind a level of damage that experts predict will be felt for years to come in the area.

Consequently, in an ever-increasingly digitised world, the potential to transform the seemingly impossible into the possible is not only foreseeable but necessary to protect the world’s resources and human life. Enter the IoT.nxt IsoMetrix tailings solution. Using intelligent, real-time data collection from IoT and the IsoMetrix data analytics, these seemingly unattainable goals can be reached.

By rapidly deploying a full-scope tailings management platform you are granted top-down view of necessary stakeholders. This enables you to instil next-gen disaster prevention protocols for real-time results and predictive forecasting of future incidents.

Two heads are better than one

In a nutshell, the benefit of this solution to mines and other operations with large waste storage facilities is managing compliance and risks. In conducting analytics on all the data and providing information quickly through alerts, reports or dashboards, failures can be detected and acted on more readily. Benoit Froment, Regional Partner and Business Director at IsoMetrix, put it best when speaking at the International Tailings Management Conference in Chile last week.

“Together, IsoMetrix and IoT.nxt strengthen operational management practices and deliver improvements to existing controls and monitoring solutions,” said Mr Froment. “This gives environmental managers the ability to report on performance monitoring to external stakeholders and allows for the rapid collection, management, and quality-checking of data from a wide variety of monitoring instrumentation and remote sensing technologies.”

Any landscape, no matter how rugged

With this tech-agnostic solution, we can deploy our custom-fit solutions into any ecosystem, no matter how rugged. Whether it’s a mining plant or a tailings dam, our technology overlays existing legacy systems to create an agile ecosystem, with real-time data monitoring and comprehensive data analysis and reporting.

There is no doubt that a tailings dam is a significantly ruggedised landscape. As we all know, a tailings dam is an earth-fill embankment dam that can be used to store byproducts of mining operations after separating the ore from the gangue. Tailings can be liquid, solid, or a slurry of fine particles, and could be toxic and potentially radioactive. Hence, with unstable ingredients, the need to minimise risk and protect the environment, both natural and social, is paramount to not only the operation but the success of a tailings ecosystem.

Knocking challenges out of the dam

No matter how much a tailings ecosystem may need a smart IoT solution, implementation certainly brings its challenges. There are a variety of factors that can withhold, or make managers hesitate to deploy an IoT solution, including the cost of implementation, possible disruption to operations creating wasteful downtime, and fear that technology takeover fever will lead to a loss of jobs.

These challenges have halted many tailing dam ecosystems from digitising in the past, however, IoT.nxt and IsoMetrix are ready to bring the Fourth Industrial Revolution to your business, no matter how rugged the surrounding environment.

IoT.nxt implements a tailored IoT solution rapidly, without creating unnecessary downtime, and we agilely deploy our technology to ease the fear of technology fever, and simultaneously overlay with existing legacy systems, retaining a familiar environment for your valued workers.

Whether you’re a mine manager or metallurgical engineer, IoT.nxt and IsoMetrix have the tools to implement a next-gen top-to-bottom IoT platform that creates a single view of all essential parties to enable vital commands and protocols for efficient off-site management. Sounds like a bunch of words? See it in action.

tailings dam isometrix

What digitisation looks like in action

Marrying technology seamlessly, the IoT.nxt and IsoMetrix tailing dam solution digitises your ecosystem rapidly and can future-proof your business against shifting market and environmental conditions.

A tailings management platform that really has it all

The IsoMetrix platform includes a comprehensive overview of every corner of your ecosystem. This platform intertwines every necessary component from leadership and participation to planning, evaluation of performance, and improvement. Then it is married with ongoing support blocks and real-time operational procedures, such as responsibility matrices, and emergency preparedness. When you leverage our simple drag and drop usability you can reduce risk in your ecosystem, protect the exterior environment and ultimately, safeguard lives.

Reducing avoidable tailings dam risk

Implementing an IoT.nxt and IsoMetrix platform enables predictive maintenance and real-time adjustment for the rarest of anomalies. Tailings management can be risky business, so it’s vital to have the right team and technology behind you that works efficiently to reduce detrimental risk.

The IsoMetrix IoT.nxt solution reduces avoidable risk by enabling remote scheduling of audits, through a top-down accessible view of your ecosystem and immediate, contextualised visibility of findings. Our devices also enable real-time event monitoring of crucial incidents, providing relevant data to inspire affirmative and instant action.

Protecting the surrounding environment

Deploying an IsoMetrix and IoT.nxt solution also creates safeguards for the environment surrounding your ecosystem. In an environmentally-conscious market, it’s important to meet compliance laws with active compliance modules. Woven into our solution is up-to-date compliance regulation that allows your business to meet obligation without creating unnecessary disruption to your business, or wasteful downtime.

By enabling real-time environmental data collection and condition monitoring, coupled with off-site smart audit schedules, our partner solution instils barriers and procedures to protect the environment and meet external policy and compliance obligation.

Safeguarding human lives

The IsoMetrix platform layout brings together and integrates the government and community to create an efficient synergised solution that contributes vitally to disaster prevention. By creating a harmonious workflow from top-to-bottom in an accessible platform, the right people are fed the necessary and, possibly, life-saving information in real-time.

Rapidly deploying our platform will also create predictive emergency preparedness that can safeguard human lives, and prevent avoidable man-made disaster. By implementing critical components and scheduling necessary drills, our solution is ready to digitise your ecosystem, connect every asset and create a hub that protects the external environment, both natural and social.

A seamless partnership

The recent partnership between IoT.nxt and IsoMetrix creates a unique opportunity for a seamless partnership. Marrying IoT.nxt’s expertise in transforming data and IsoMetrix’s unique ability to interpret such data, coupled with their knowledge for the tailings dam niche, creates a customised solution for any tailings dam ecosystem.

IoT.nxt is committed to overlaying our solution with minimal disruption to operations by overlaying our technology onto existing legacy systems and integrating into accessible software. Think you’ll need high-tech, expensive software to be compatible with our devices? Think again. Our partner solution integrates with any Microsoft Outlook account. We mean it when we say implementing an IoT.nxt IsoMetrix solution is cheaper and faster than you think.

Inevitably, two heads are better than one! So, implement a seamless partnership into your ecosystem today. Get in touch for an IoT.nxt and IsoMetrix solution today.

Competition Commission approves Vodacom acquisition of SA startup IoT.nxt

SM-Vodacom-Announcement

9 August 2019 Staff Reporter Ventureburn

SA’s Competition Commission yesterday said it had approved the proposed merger whereby Vodacom intends to acquire IoT.nxt. The acquisition has been approved subject to certain conditions.

The telecoms giant announced in May that it had reached an agreement to acquire a 51% stake in SA Internet of Things (IoT) startup IoT.nxt.

While neither Vodacom or IoT.nxt have disclosed the amount the telco paid to acquire a majority stake in the startup, it’s likely to be in the hundreds of millions of rands.

The Pretoria-based startup, which was founded in 2015 by CEO Nico Steyn, Terje Moen and Bertus Jacobs, focuses on delivering innovative IoT software and hardware solutions.

The Competition Commission has approved Vodacom’s acquisition of IoT.nxt with conditions.

In a statement the commission said it had found that Vodacom may have the incentive to bundle their offerings of voice, data and IoT services post-merger to the exclusion of non-vertically integrated rivals.

“This concern was also raised by other market participants whom the commission engaged with during its investigation,” the commission added.

To address these concerns, the commission and the merging parties have agreed to a remedy which will ensure that:

(i) IoT.nxt’s products and services will continue to be made available to all customers on non-discriminatory terms post-merger. Specifically, IoT.nxt will not supply its products and services exclusively to Vodacom post-merger.

(ii) IoT.nxt’s customers will not be required to procure connectivity services from Vodacom when procuring gateways, edge platforms and/or cloud orchestration products and services from IoT.nxt post-merger.

The commission further found that the proposed transaction does not raise any public interest concerns.

Read more: Competition Commission Conditions.
 

Vodafone’s 5G launch: Internet of Things and wireless broadband

by Peter Griffin  01 August, 2019

Vodafone beats Spark to roll out a 5G network, which can be used to improve Internet of Things and wireless broadband services.
If you are wandering around central Auckland in December and happen to have a new 5G smartphone, like the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, you’ll be able to access Vodafone’s new 5G wireless service.

What will that actually mean?

“It will be ten times faster from a speed perspective and significantly reduced lag and latency,” said Vodafone’s chief executive officer, Jason Paris.

“If you are gaming you’ll see a noticeable advantage. If you are downloading or sending files there will be a noticeable advantage.”
Fibre-like speeds

Vodafone’s speed tests, using equipment from Nokia which is building Vodafone’s 5G network, show connection speeds of up to 1Gbps (gigabit per second), which is the maximum speed for ultrafast fibre broadband connections.

But if Australia’s recent 5G mobile launches are anything to go by, coverage will initially be patchy and a limited range of handsets and 5G services are likely to make it more of a symbolic step forward than an early game-changer.

More significant is likely to be the business applications that emerge for 5G, such as in the use of Internet of Things (IoT) devices and in the fixed wireless broadband space, where 5G cell towers will increasingly deliver broadband as an alternative to fibre and copper line connections.

The surprise move by Vodafone to confirm its launch of 5G services in December in central Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown comes on day one of the newly re-formed company.
New owners

The London-based Vodafone Group sold its New Zealand operation in May to a consortium of investors including listed company Infratil and Canadian investment company Brookfield Asset Management in a deal worth $3.4 billion. Vodafone New Zealand gets to keep using the brand, maintain its roaming relationships and access technology from the Vodafone Group.

“We will be more than 50 per cent of their business as their biggest partner market for roaming, brand, Vodafone TV, our IoT platform and procurement services,” says Paris.

“If India is buying 5G towers, we can just add ours to their procurement.”

So separating from a global giant would seem to come with few disadvantages then. Paris said the certainty over the new ownership allowed Vodafone to kick off its 5G play after a subdued public position on the new technology, compared to rival Spark which has championed it.

Vodafone had some existing 3.5GHz spectrum it inherited from its TelstraClear acquisition in 2012, which means it can roll out 5G, at least in main centres, before the Government completes its radio spectrum auction next March, which will see Vodafone join its competitors in bidding for access to the airwaves to run national 5G services.

Its choice of partner in Finnish equipment maker Nokia also meant Vodafone avoided the Huawei factor, which is dogging rival Spark. An application by Spark to use Huawei equipment in building its 5G network was rejected by the GCSB last December and it is still unclear what role, if any, Huawei can play in the network build.

“We don’t have that hesitation some of our competitors have around the Huawei decision,” says Paris.

“We can go full steam ahead with a proven technology partner.”

Read more: What the controversy over Huawei and 5G is all about
No 5G premium

With 120 5G base stations expected to be live in December, we may get a taste of that blistering speed, but Paris isn’t convinced it is worth charging customers more for.

“I still don’t think at the moment that New Zealand will pay a premium for it,” he says.

“We intend to make 5G available to our existing mobile customers for free. We will decide next year whether new customers joining us will start to pay a premium for 5G from that point.

“If you are with us today you continue to be with us or if you join us over the next few months, you’ll get 5G for free for the life of your plan.”

Instead, Vodafone will make money from new services that emerge in the 5G world. Overseas, they so far include gaming and wearable technology in the consumer space and remote surgery and factory automation applications in the commercial world.

Is New Zealand business ready to adopt the Internet of Things services that 5G will increasingly enable?

“There is still an education job to do,” Paris says. “People think IoT is about leading-edge technology, but in some instances, it is just about making old tech smarter.”

Sensor networks

He points as an example to IoT.nxt, a South African company that Vodacom has invested in.

“It put simple sensors on automatic timers in schools on lighting and energy,” Paris explains.

“Instead of the automatic timers turning the heating and lighting on at 6am and turning them off at 6pm, it turned them on when the people were there. It halved their energy bill overnight.”

Similar IoT services will emerge here, he says. Vodafone today revealed it had partnered with New Zealand Police, Auckland Rescue Helicopters, BNZ and Waste Management, to begin developing some of them.

That’s where the real value will lie for Vodafone and customers as companies and local authorities start to create smart networks fed by sensors and remote controllers.

Read more: Noted New Zealand