The Future of IoT Connectivity: Which Network is suitable for you and your assets?

The world of the Internet of Things (IoT) is growing exponentially; the projected total installed base of IoT-connected devices worldwide is set to reach a staggering 75.44 billion by 2025. That’s a ten-fold increase in just ten years! As this growth continues, demand for connectivity to these devices will continue to rise. However, with so many devices and connectivity options, which network will come out on top? 

Each network has its pros and cons, and ultimately the decision will depend on the specific needs of the device. For example, 2G is known for its long battery life and low data requirements, making it ideal for alarm systems and vending machines. 4G, on the other hand, is known for its high-speed data transfer capabilities, making it ideal for devices such as video cameras and remote medical monitoring systems. 

However, as IoT devices evolve, the need for faster and more reliable connectivity will become increasingly important. This is where 5G comes in. 5G promises faster speeds, lower latency, and greater capacity than its predecessors, making it the network of choice for many IoT devices. However, it’s important to note that 5G is still in its infancy, and widespread adoption may take some time. 

One company that understands the importance of connectivity is npower, which serves almost 12 million homes with metered electricity. For npower, the means of connectivity and communication is a massive thing. According to Tom Hayton, Head of Agent Services at ASL, “One of our biggest sites that we manage – just a single site – is the equivalent of 80,000 UK homes. Last month’s bill, for just electricity for them, was £1.1m. So if we lose connectivity to a site like that, it has a huge impact on our performance and a huge impact on the customer.” 

As IoT devices proliferate, the need for connectivity will only grow. Companies that understand the importance of reliable and fast connectivity will be the ones that come out on top. Whether it’s 2G, 4G, 5G, or something else entirely, the network that can deliver the best performance and reliability will be the one that wins in the end. 

Technology Sunsetting: What it Means for IoT Devices and Connectivity 

In the IoT world, the demand for connectivity is rapidly increasing. However, older networks must be phased out, creating a challenge for IoT developers and providers. For instance, 2G, which has been around for 25 years, is no longer supported by some equipment manufacturers, and 3G may be turned off soon. This poses a problem for utility companies relying heavily on 2G for connected water and electricity meters. As a result, LTE is emerging as a viable alternative, offering high speeds and low latencies.  

As technology evolves, older networks are being phased out, posing a challenge for developers and providers of IoT devices. The sunsetting of 2G and 3G networks presents a significant problem for utility companies and others that rely on this technology. However, LTE is emerging as a viable alternative, offering high speeds and low latencies over long distances. 

The increasing demand for reliable IoT connectivity options grows as 2G and 3G technologies phase out. With LTE emerging as a promising alternative for next-gen IoT devices, Cat NB1 and LTE-M devices are ideal for low-power, sporadic data sending. While Cat NB1 has a lower bandwidth and maximum data rate, LTE-M offers wider bandwidth for higher data rates, lower latency, and more accurate positioning capabilities. 

As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, proper connectivity for your application is more critical than ever. With the impending sunsetting of 2G and 3G networks, many companies are turning to next-generation IoT devices, and LTE is emerging as a favourite. But with multiple categories of LTE devices, each with differing bandwidth, power requirements, and complexity, how do you know which one is right for your application? 

To select the suitable LTE device, it’s crucial to understand your specific use case, including data amount and frequency. Coverage is also a factor, but it’s rapidly expanding. LTE-M is suitable for tracking devices, smart meters, and alarm panels, while Cat NB1 is ideal for simple sensors and water meters. Both options offer power-saving capabilities and two-way connectivity, making them suitable for devices that only need to send data occasionally. 

 

Find out more by downloading our guide here

eVe energy

The new standard in metering management for energy suppliers has arrived with ASL’s eVe energy platform. 
eVe energy combines more data sources for clearer analytics with accredited HHDC and HHDA services so you can see more and act faster.

Take control of the whole data journey with the new standard in metering management for the UK I&C market.
Learn more about the unparalleled analytics at https://eveenergy.co.uk

In partnership with Bell International, ASL has launched smart workplace solutions to keep patients and workers safe

ASL’s eVe platform provides a single pane view of your building’s environment and utilisation so you can increase building efficiency and employee productivity. Fully scalable, it connects to all of your building’s smart devices to provide data driven process optimisation.

Solutions include:

ASL back to work solutions
As staff return to work, ASL’s eVe platform helps employers meet their obligations to keep their staff safe and productive in new working environments.

ASL smart washroom solutions
Viruses and bacteria can be slowed down with good hygiene but cleaning your premises is labour intensive needing supplies and changing maintenance schedules based on usage.

ASL’s eVe platform provides real time information to optimise every cleaning operation.

ASL smart hospital solutions
Digital transformation is revolutionising hospitals, creating smart hospitals that deliver high levels of patient care balanced with the need to operate as efficiently and sustainably as possible. ASL’s eVe platform monitors patient services and operational processes to react quickly and implement capabilities as efficiently as possible.

To find out more, please contact:

Paul Evans, Strategic Business Consultant

Paul.Evans@aslholdings.co.uk

Avoid disruption to your connectivity in the run up to PSTN’s 2025 sunset with ASL

The Public Switch Telephone Network (PSTN) is ageing and BT has confirmed Openreach will completely cut off the PSTN service by December 2025.

Any meters relying on a PSTN solution will become orphaned assets if they haven’t  switched over to an alternative service. Openreach will cease all PSTN services by December 2025.

The good news?
ASL has a ready to roll solution.  We have created a simple plug and play solution to seamlessly enable any meters relying on PSTN to carry on operating, using our own ASL ADSL broadband service.

To find out more contact us now on +44 (0)1604 883880 or email sales@aslholdings.co.uk.

Is your IoT device going to be talking to world past 2025?

 

The impending sunset of 2G technology means your 2G IoT devices will not work post 2025.

Do you use 2G devices in your IoT infrastructure? Although perfect for low cost, easy integration and managed connectivity, 2G will sunset in 2025 and all your devices that rely on it will need replacing.

ASL’s Chief Technology Officer, Allan Sydney, explains more in our downloadable executive briefing that includes:

  • Future connectivity options, such as LTE and CAT NB1
  • Finding the right connectivity for the right applications
  • Learn how npower are overcoming this problem
  • Review ASL’s cost effective modem solutions, available today, that will last beyond 2025

Discover how your business can remain connected for years to come by future-proofing your IoT infrastructure.

ASL employee finalist for Next Generation Business Awards

Caroline Moss; Marketing Assistant at ASL who leads all of the marketing communications is a finalist at the very first Next Generation Business Awards. An award created to recognise and celebrate the very best of the next generation of business leaders.

The 2019 Next Generation Business Awards was created by the Next Generation Chamber; a platform for aspiring young business people in the Northamptonshire region to help them grow and develop through exclusive networking events and personal development sessions. The Next Generation Chamber was created by Northamptonshire Chamber and Milton Keynes Chamber to help businesses support and nurture employees who are dedicated to advancing their careers.

Caroline is a finalist for the Creativity Sector Star of the Year category. The winners will be announced on Friday 5th July 2019 at the Northampton Marriott. BBC Radio Northampton’s John Griff will host the awards evening.

 

 

ASL unveil new brand identity

We’re pleased to formally announce to our customers the next evolution of the ASL brand identity.

ASL is recognised as market-leading IoT technology company that specialises in providing cost-effective, global coverage. Since our foundation in 2003, we’ve successfully worked with clients across industrial, commercial and Smart City spaces in order to deliver innovative IoT solutions all across the world.

As a dynamic technology company, we felt it was the perfect time to modernise and realign our marketing and visual identity. This decision was taken in order to better reflect our growing IoT offering and help our team of experts continue to share their expertise with the world.

London-based B2B agency Velo were tasked with providing creative leadership to the process. Using their experience working within tech and safety sectors, and other Halma PLC businesses, to refresh brand identities and accurately reflected our global marketing position and the knowledge of our offering.

The new visual identity symbolises how we are ‘Always Connected’ and provides a new identity for our eVe platform, accurately reflecting our position as a leader in IoT.

We’ve updated our logo, our website and our marketing communications including data sheets, exhibition stands and more. What is the same however is our commitment to making our customers and partners successful with IoT.

Rob Kitchen, MD, ASL

‘At ASL we’re committed to providing innovative solutions to deliver cost-effective global connectivity. It was important to us as a business that our brand identity accurately reflected this in order to give a true portrayal of our ever-growing IoT offering.’

‘We’re proud of our new look, and I believe our new brand identity demonstrates that ASL is an innovative, market-leading company capable of powering IoT solutions for smart businesses across the world. We’re delighted with the final product, and confident that the launch of our new identity, website and marketing materials will herald the start of a long successful chapter in our rich and successful history.’

Paul Crabtree, MD, Velo

‘ASL is a proven pioneer within the world of IoT. Their history of innovation and continued ambition made them a perfect partner to collaborate with on this project and together we’ve created a new visual identity that shows the world what a great technology business ASL is.’

Press release ASL11-16(UK)

ASL launches Pulse Data Logger (ASLH394) with GPRS connectivity at European Utility Week 2016

This product will interface to any pulse meter and provide connectivity via the GSM network M2M communications provider ASL has launched the first product in a range of DIN connect loggers/modems.

The Delta Plus DIN connect product (ASLH394) counts and stores pulses from utility meters, such as Electricity, Water, Heat and Gas, and provides information on usage via the GSM/GPRS network. Designed and manufactured in the UK, this new product is available in the DIN rail mount form factor, for simple installation in DIN rail enclosures, for sub-metering applications. For maximum compatibility and ease of use the unit has been designed to operate like a normal modem. There is no need to understand additional GSM network specific operations. Even when operating in GPRS mode, once installed it acts like a normal IP connection.

Features include an intelligent watchdog to monitor the state of the wireless modem for instances such as brown out detection to maximize high reliability of operation. The unit is pre-fitted with a secure solid state SIM supporting multiple networks with ASLH’s proprietary Advanced Roaming Protocol to ensure the best possible communications performance. It has a real-time clock (RTC) updated from the network, and the pulse input allows counting of any pulse contact device, providing contact wetting if needed. The pulse data is saved in 32bit non-volatile registers, and in conjunction with the RTC collects half-hourly (HH) interval count data. ASLH can provide comprehensive data reading and processing if required.

The first in a range of DIN connect products, ASLH394 is available now, with a Modbus interface version available within weeks. Visit ASL at booth number 3C43 at European Utility Week, or email sales@aslholdings.co.uk for more information, datasheets or pricing.

Press release ASL03-15(UK)

Heathrow meter reader sees ASL shortlisted for Comms National Awards

Near real-time data allows airport to accurately cross-charge electricity usage to carriers ASL’s work at Heathrow has seen the M2M communications provider shortlisted for the Comms National Awards 2015.

Heathrow asked ASL to supply an electricity meter reader capable of collecting near real-time data from passenger aeroplanes on stands at Europe’s busiest airport. Up to that point, airlines were invoiced on a time-on-stand basis and the charges did not accurately reflect the amount of electricity used.

ASL’s five-minute reader has enabled Heathrow to cross-charge usage more accurately to the carrier visiting the stand, avoiding the errors formerly produced by estimation. Heathrow estimates that ASL’s solution will help airlines to reduce by five per cent the annual £9m they were previously charged, saving £450,000 a year.

ASL will find out if it has seen off competition in the ‘Best Enterprise Mobile / Mobile Data Solution’ category on 22 October. The winner will be announced at the awards ceremony at the Grand Connaught Rooms in London.

Press release ASL02-15(UK)

ASL supports solar PV at the Commonwealth Games Athletes’ Village

Cost-effective and reliable telemetry reassures tenants and investors
M2M communications provider ASL has helped tenants in the former Commonwealth Games Athletes’ Village in Glasgow to benefit from free electricity.

In partnership with sustainable energy solutions provider Edison Energy, ASL has enabled the remote monitoring of more than 3,000 solar PV panels that were fitted to the award-winning development’s 700 homes.

ASL provided smart meters and data services to remotely monitor Edison Energy’s assets. Edison Energy monitors all of its solar systems installed on tenants’ properties through a dedicated online portal, which allows its system analysts to evaluate performance on a daily basis.

“Other manufacturers provide telemetry, but they also charge you to access the information in a format you can understand,” said Fraser MacKenzie, business development director at Edison Energy.

ASL’s method of extracting the information is cost-effective and very, very reliable.

Fraser was quick to highlight the importance of this reliability to both tenants and investors. Since solar PV is a “passive” system, the only way to check that the system is working correctly is via ASL’s telemetry and software: “It’s the critical component that makes sure that the investor gets their money back and the tenant gets the free electricity.”

ASL had to overcome the challenge of an area of Glasgow affected by poor GPRS signal strength. Previously, Edison Energy had spent a lot of time revisiting homes in which solar PV had already been installed to adjust the telemetry system so that it provided better quality data. ASL gave Edison Energy’s supervisors low-loss extension cables and signal analysers and trained them in how to identify the strongest signal areas in each property. This ensured that the telemetry equipment was delivering high-quality data at the time of installation and that second visits would not be required.

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