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News Article | March 1, 2017
Site: www.prnewswire.co.uk

HONG KONG, March. 1, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- With shifted focus to joint innovation towards 5G, the GTI Summit 2017 was held on 28th Feb. at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2017 in Barcelona, as a significant milestone for the GTI 2.0 that strives for further promoting 4G evolution and 5G development, to build everything connected world through cross-industry collaboration. The Summit attracted top leaders from operators like Bharti Airtel, China Mobile, Softbank, Vodafone and vendors as well as vertical partners, giving their insights and views on trending topics on 4G and its evolution, 5G strategy, and emerging opportunities enabled by 5G cross-industry innovation. According to Mr. Masayoshi Son, Chairman & CEO of SoftBank Group Corp," We have made huge progress in developing 5G Technology. Last year (2016), a small group of us agreed in just one day that we will commit to developing HPUE (High Power UE). This year (2017), 2.5 GHz HPUE debuts on top Sprint devices, and is approved to be able to cover 99% of 1.9 GHz LTE coverage. This has created $100bn of value for us! In the next 2 years, HPUE will be available on all new handsets. In September 2016, SoftBank announced the first commercialization of Massive MIMO worldwide. This technology can achieve 10 times of data capacity than normal antenna. Furthermore, toward the era of IoT 1 Trillion, ARM (a SoftBank Group company) announced last week that it will provide NB-IoT solutions (Cordio-N) in 2018." Mr. LI Yue, CEO of China Mobile said: "China Mobile had deployed 1.5 million TD-LTE 4G base stations, and had more than 530 million 4G subscribers as the end of 2016. 4G has greatly changed the lifestyle, while 5G will reshape the society. China Mobile has announced the Big Connectivity Strategy and would like to collaborate with all industry partners to work for New Technologies, including 5G, Cellular-IoT (Internet of Things), and implementation of V2X; New Network rebuilt by ICT convergence with NFV/SDN; and New Ecosystem with capabilities open platforms". Mr. Li also mentioned that: "China Mobile have established 5G Innovation Center, by which we would like to do joint innovation towards 5G with cross-industry partners to embrace the Everything Connected World." Johan Wibergh, Chief Technology Officer, Vodafone Group said: "As 4G networks evolve towards 5G, it's important that the industry works together to ensure that new features and services are developed using common standards. We look forward to collaborating with companies and organisations across the ecosystem to research, develop, trial and standardise new technologies." Mr. Xu Zhijun, Rotating CEO of Huawei said, "GTI is an international and open industry platform incorporating global operators, industry organizations, equipment providers, terminal manufacturers, and many more outstanding industry partners. The 5G era features digital transformation in all walks of life. Based on the GTI industry platform, we are able to aggregate the power of the entire telecom industry, provide guidance for governments and industry organizations, deepen technological exchanges, and explore new business models with various industry partners. This also helps develop 5G key technology research, enable diverse applications, and continuously promote digital transformation for a better ecosystem." "Thinking 10 years ahead and pushing the limits of technology, we imagine a Future X Network that is a 10-fold improvement across key technology domains," said Mr. Risto Siilasmaa, Chairman of Nokia. "We are connecting everything, everyone and every system and process with a network that will enable us to explore and interact with information in new and useful ways." "Qualcomm Technologies is proud to help lead the world towards rapid development and deployment of 5G NR by working with others in the industry," said Matt Grob, executive vice president and chief technology officer, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. "We continue to utilize our expertise in 3G and 4G to bring 5G to fruition, in turn helping to elevate mobile into a technology that changes the world." As connected-car has become one of the most inspiring area enabled by cellular network, GTI and 5GAA (5G Automotive Association) signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) during GTI Summit, and jointly announced a statement for Cellular-V2X (C-V2X) industry development promoting a unified standard, innovative and converged ecosystem. By this statement, telecom and automotive sectors will work closely on C-V2X use cases and scenarios, solutions and trials, standardization and spectrum, business model and go-to-market strategies to achieve the success of thriving C-V2X market and create a new era of Internet of vehicles. Besides, to promote 4G evolution towards 5G for laying solid foundation of cross-industry innovation, GTI released three major achievements including the white paper of Future Spectrum Initiative to guide efficient spectrum usage, whitepapers on Massive MIMO and Fixed Wireless Broadband to promote improvements in performance and system evolution, and facilitate operators with new business growth, and High Power UE products and solutions on Band 41, to improve cell edge performance and lower down carriers' investment cost. In order to acknowledge significant contribution to the industry and GTI achievements in 2016, GTI Awards were also presented at the summit. Samsung, Qualcomm and R&S won awards on "innovative technical product", while Huawei, ZTE and Keysight won awards on "innovative solution and application", for their outstanding accomplishment on HPUE, Massive MIMO, uplink enhancement solution and etc. Besides, Bharti Airtel, KDDI and RJIO were granted awards of "market development" for their significant achievement in promoting TD-LTE and LTE TDD/FDD global deployment. Honorary awards, newly set up this year, were  granted Mr.Prakash Bhart from Vodafone, Dr. Herkole Save from Sprint, Mr. Eric Ekudden from Ericsson, and TDD teams of Nokia and Huawei, for their active contribution to the GTI and TDD industry as a whole. Global TD-LTE Initiative (GTI), founded in 2011, has been dedicated to constructing a robust ecosystem of TD-LTE, speeding up the commercialization of TD-LTE and promoting the convergence of LTE TDD and FDD. As 4G evolves to 5G, GTI 2.0 was officially launched at the GTI Summit 2016 during the Mobile World Congress 2016 in Barcelona, aiming not only to further promote the evolution of TD-LTE and its global deployment, but also fostering a cross-industry innovative and a synergistic 5G ecosystem.


News Article | March 1, 2017
Site: en.prnasia.com

HONG KONG, Mar. 1, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- With shifted focus to joint innovation towards 5G, the GTI Summit 2017 was held on 28th Feb. at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2017 in Barcelona, as a significant milestone for the GTI 2.0 that strives for further promoting 4G evolution and 5G development, to build everything connected world through cross-industry collaboration. The Summit attracted top leaders from operators like Bharti Airtel, China Mobile, Softbank, Vodafone and vendors as well as vertical partners, giving their insights and views on trending topics on 4G and its evolution, 5G strategy, and emerging opportunities enabled by 5G cross-industry innovation. According to Mr. Masayoshi Son, Chairman & CEO of SoftBank Group Corp," We have made huge progress in developing 5G Technology. Last year (2016), a small group of us agreed in just one day that we will commit to developing HPUE (High Power UE). This year (2017), 2.5 GHz HPUE debuts on top Sprint devices, and is approved to be able to cover 99% of 1.9 GHz LTE coverage. This has created $100bn of value for us! In the next 2 years, HPUE will be available on all new handsets. In September 2016, SoftBank announced the first commercialization of Massive MIMO worldwide. This technology can achieve 10 times of data capacity than normal antenna. Furthermore, toward the era of IoT 1 Trillion, ARM (a SoftBank Group company) announced last week that it will provide NB-IoT solutions (Cordio-N) in 2018." Mr. LI Yue, CEO of China Mobile said: "China Mobile had deployed 1.5 million TD-LTE 4G base stations, and had more than 530 million 4G subscribers as the end of 2016. 4G has greatly changed the lifestyle, while 5G will reshape the society. China Mobile has announced the Big Connectivity Strategy and would like to collaborate with all industry partners to work for New Technologies, including 5G, Cellular-IoT (Internet of Things), and implementation of V2X; New Network rebuilt by ICT convergence with NFV/SDN; and New Ecosystem with capabilities open platforms". Mr. Li also mentioned that: "China Mobile have established 5G Innovation Center, by which we would like to do joint innovation towards 5G with cross-industry partners to embrace the Everything Connected World." Johan Wibergh, Chief Technology Officer, Vodafone Group said: "As 4G networks evolve towards 5G, it's important that the industry works together to ensure that new features and services are developed using common standards. We look forward to collaborating with companies and organisations across the ecosystem to research, develop, trial and standardise new technologies." Mr. Xu Zhijun, Rotating CEO of Huawei said, "GTI is an international and open industry platform incorporating global operators, industry organizations, equipment providers, terminal manufacturers, and many more outstanding industry partners. The 5G era features digital transformation in all walks of life. Based on the GTI industry platform, we are able to aggregate the power of the entire telecom industry, provide guidance for governments and industry organizations, deepen technological exchanges, and explore new business models with various industry partners. This also helps develop 5G key technology research, enable diverse applications, and continuously promote digital transformation for a better ecosystem." "Thinking 10 years ahead and pushing the limits of technology, we imagine a Future X Network that is a 10-fold improvement across key technology domains," said Mr. Risto Siilasmaa, Chairman of Nokia. "We are connecting everything, everyone and every system and process with a network that will enable us to explore and interact with information in new and useful ways." "Qualcomm Technologies is proud to help lead the world towards rapid development and deployment of 5G NR by working with others in the industry," said Matt Grob, executive vice president and chief technology officer, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. "We continue to utilize our expertise in 3G and 4G to bring 5G to fruition, in turn helping to elevate mobile into a technology that changes the world." As connected-car has become one of the most inspiring area enabled by cellular network, GTI and 5GAA (5G Automotive Association) signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) during GTI Summit, and jointly announced a statement for Cellular-V2X (C-V2X) industry development promoting a unified standard, innovative and converged ecosystem. By this statement, telecom and automotive sectors will work closely on C-V2X use cases and scenarios, solutions and trials, standardization and spectrum, business model and go-to-market strategies to achieve the success of thriving C-V2X market and create a new era of Internet of vehicles. Besides, to promote 4G evolution towards 5G for laying solid foundation of cross-industry innovation, GTI released three major achievements including the white paper of Future Spectrum Initiative to guide efficient spectrum usage, whitepapers on Massive MIMO and Fixed Wireless Broadband to promote improvements in performance and system evolution, and facilitate operators with new business growth, and High Power UE products and solutions on Band 41, to improve cell edge performance and lower down carriers' investment cost. In order to acknowledge significant contribution to the industry and GTI achievements in 2016, GTI Awards were also presented at the summit. Samsung, Qualcomm and R&S won awards on "innovative technical product", while Huawei, ZTE and Keysight won awards on "innovative solution and application", for their outstanding accomplishment on HPUE, Massive MIMO, uplink enhancement solution and etc. Besides, Bharti Airtel, KDDI and RJIO were granted awards of "market development" for their significant achievement in promoting TD-LTE and LTE TDD/FDD global deployment. Honorary awards, newly set up this year, were granted Mr.Prakash Bhart from Vodafone, Dr. Herkole Save from Sprint, Mr. Eric Ekudden from Ericsson, and TDD teams of Nokia and Huawei, for their active contribution to the GTI and TDD industry as a whole. Global TD-LTE Initiative (GTI), founded in 2011, has been dedicated to constructing a robust ecosystem of TD-LTE, speeding up the commercialization of TD-LTE and promoting the convergence of LTE TDD and FDD. As 4G evolves to 5G, GTI 2.0 was officially launched at the GTI Summit 2016 during the Mobile World Congress 2016 in Barcelona, aiming not only to further promote the evolution of TD-LTE and its global deployment, but also fostering a cross-industry innovative and a synergistic 5G ecosystem. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/a-new-journey-of-gti-joint-innovation-towards-5g-300415852.html


News Article | March 1, 2017
Site: www.prnewswire.co.uk

HONGKONG, 1. März 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Am 28. Februar fand in Barcelona auf dem Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2017 der GTI-Gipfel 2017 mit einem verlagerten Schwerpunkt auf gemeinsame Innovation für 5G statt. Er stellt einen entscheidenden Schritt für GTI 2.0 dar, die sich für die Weiterentwicklung von 4G und der Entstehung von 5G einsetzt, um eine komplett vernetzte Welt mithilfe branchenübergreifender Zusammenarbeit zu erschaffen. Der GTI-Gipfel wurde von wichtigen Führungskräften von Betreibern wie Vodafone, Bharti Airtel, China Mobile und Softbank, Anbietern sowie vertikalen Partnern besucht. Sie alle gaben ihre Einblicke und äußerten ihre Ansichten zu angesagten Themen wie 4G und deren Weiterentwicklung, der 5G-Strategie und neuen Möglichkeiten, die über branchenübergreifende 5G-Innovation geschaffen werden. Masayoshi Son, Vorsitzender & Geschäftsführer der SoftBank Group Corp, sagte hierzu: „Wir haben riesige Fortschritte bei der Entwicklung der 5G-Technik erzielt. Letztes Jahr (2016) war sich eine kleine Gruppe von uns innerhalb eines Tages einig, dass wir uns für die Entwicklung von High Power UE (HPUE) einsetzen werden. Dieses Jahr (2017) gibt 2.5 GHz HPUE seinen Einstand bei den besten Sprint-Geräten und kann laut Tests 99 % des 1.9 GHz LTE-Netzes abdecken. Dies hat uns einen Wert von 100 Milliarden USD beschert! In den kommenden 2 Jahren wird HPUE auf allen neuen Mobilteilen verfügbar sein. Im September 2016 verkündete SoftBank die erste weltweite Kommerzialisierung von Massive MIMO. Mit dieser Technik kann die zehnfache Datenkapazität gegenüber normalen Antennen erreicht werden. Ferner gab ARM (ein Unternehmen der SoftBank Group) letzte Woche bekannt, dass sie angesichts der baldigen Ära der 1 Billionen IoT-Anwendungen ab 2018 NB-IoT-Lösungen (Cordio-N) anbieten werden." LI Yue, Geschäftsführer von China Mobile erläuterte: „China Mobile hatte gegen Ende 2016 insgesamt 1,5 Millionen TD-LTE 4G Basisstationen und über 530 Millionen 4G-Netzkunden. 4G hat den Lebensstil verändert und 5G wird die Gesellschaft verändern. China Mobile hat in ihrer Big Connectivity Strategy verkündet, dass sie mit allen Branchenpartnern an neuen Technologien zusammenarbeiten möchten. Hierzu zählen 5G, IoT (Internet of Things) auf Mobilgeräten und die Umsetzung von V2X; eine neue Netzüberarbeitung über eine ICT-Konvergenz mit NFV/SDN; und ein neues System mit Fähigkeiten von offenen Plattformen." Li erwähnte zudem, dass „China Mobile das 5G Innovation Center gegründet hat, in dem gemeinsame Innovation für 5G mit branchenübergreifenden Partnern gefunden werden soll, um die komplett vernetzte Welt voranzutreiben." Johan Wibergh, Chief Technology Officer der Vodafone Group erklärte: „Beim Übergang von 4G zu 5G muss die Branche zusammenarbeiten, damit neue Funktionen und Dienste mit gleichen Standards entwickelt werden. Wir freuen uns auf die Zusammenarbeit mit Unternehmen und Organisationen unserer Branche, um neue Technik zu erforschen, zu entwickeln, zu testen und zu normieren." Xu Zhijun, rotierender Geschäftsführer von Huawei meinte hierzu: „GTI ist eine internationale und offene Branchenplattform, die globale Betreiber, Branchenorganisationen, Ausrüster, Endgeräte-Hersteller und diverse weitere erstklassige Branchenpartner umfasst. Die 5G-Ära bringt einen digitalen Wandel in allen Lebensbereichen mit sich. Mithilfe der GTI-Plattform können wir die Kraft der gesamten Telekommunikationsbranche bündeln, Hilfe für Regierungsbehörden und Branchenorganisationen anbieten, den Wissensaustausch anregen und neue Geschäftsmodelle mit diversen Branchenpartnern ausprobieren. Dies fördert zudem wichtige Forschungen zu 5G, ermöglicht vielfältige Anwendungen und treibt den digitalen Wandel für ein besseres Ökosystem weiter voran." „Indem wir 10 Jahre voraus denken und neue Maßstäbe setzen, erfinden wir ein Future-X-Netz, das zehnfache Verbesserungen in wichtigen Technikbereichen bietet", so Risto Siilasmaa, Vorsitzender von Nokia. „Wir vernetzen alles, alle Menschen, alle Systeme und alle Prozesse über ein Netz, in dem wir auf neue und hilfreiche Weise wertvolle Informationen finden und nutzen können." „Qualcomm Technologies hilft voller Stolz, die Welt auf einen Weg der rasanten Entwicklung und Umsetzung von 5G NR zu bringen, indem wir mit anderen Branchenexperten zusammenarbeiten", teilte Matt Grob mit, Executive Vice President und Chief Technology Officer von Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. „Wir werden weiterhin unser Fachwissen zu 3G und 4G anwenden, damit 5G erfolgreich wird und Mobilgeräte die Welt verändern werden." Da sich Connected Cars zu einem äußerst spannenden Anwendungsbereich von Mobilfunknetzen entwickelt hat, unterzeichneten GTI und 5GAA (5G Automotive Association) während des GTI-Gipfels eine Absichtserklärung. Sie verkündeten eine Erklärung für die Entwicklung der Cellular-V2X-Branche mit einem einheitlichen, innovativen und konvergierten System. Im Rahmen dieser Erklärung werden die Telekommunikations- und Automobilbranche eng zusammenarbeiten, um Anwendungsbeispiele und Nutzungsszenarien, Lösungen und Tests, Standards und Spektren sowie Geschäftsmodelle und Markteinführungsstrategien für Cellular-V2X (C-V2X) zu entwickeln. Dadurch soll ein florierender C-V2X-Markt aufgebaut und eine neue Ära der internetbasierten Fahrzeuge (Internet of Vehicle) eingeläutet werden. Neben der Vorantreibung der Weiterentwicklung von 4G zu 5G, um eine solide Grundlage von branchenübergreifender Innovation zu schaffen, verzeichnete GTI drei größere Erfolge: Zum einen das White Paper zur Future Spectrum Initiative, die als Hilfestellung für eine effiziente Spektrumnutzung dient, und zum anderen White Papers zu Massive MIMO und festen Funkdiensten, die für eine bessere Leistungsfähigkeit und Systementwicklung sorgen sollen. Außerdem macht es GTI Betreibern leichter, neues Geschäftswachstum zu erlangen und HPUE-Produkte und -Lösungen für Band 41 zu nutzen. Dies führt letztlich dazu, dass der Netzempfang in Funkzellenentfernung verbessert und Investitionskosten von Netzbetreibern gesenkt werden. Um bedeutende Branchenbeiträge und die GTI-Erfolge des Jahres 2016 zu würdigen, wurden auf dem Gipfeltreffen die GTI Awards vergeben. Samsung, Qualcomm und R&S wurden für ihr „innovatives technisches Produkt" ausgezeichnet. Huawei, ZTE und Keysight erhielten Auszeichnungen für ihre „innovative Lösung und Anwendung", da sie u. a. herausragende Erfolge bei HPUE, Massive MIMO, Uplink-Verbesserungslösungen erzielen konnten. Ferner wurden Preise an Bharti Airtel, KDDI und RJIO in der Kategorie „Marktentwicklung" verliehen, da sie entscheidende Erfolge bei der Verbreitung von TD-LTE und LTE TDD/FDD auf globaler Ebene verzeichnen konnten. Die in diesem Jahr neu eingeführten Ehrenpreise wurden an Prakash Bhart von Vodafone, Dr. Herkole Save von Sprint, Eric Ekudden von Ericsson und TDD-Teams von Nokia und Huawei vergeben, da diese Personen einen aktiven und umfassenden Beitrag zur GTI- und TDD-Branche leisteten. Die Global TD-LTE Initiative (GTI) wurde 2011 ins Leben gerufen, um an einem stabilen System für TD-LTE, einer beschleunigten Kommerzialisierung von TD-LTE und der Konvergenz von LTE TDD und FDD mitzuwirken. Mit dem Übergang von 4G zu 5G wurde auf dem GTI-Gipfel 2016 während des Mobile World Congress 2016 in Barcelona die GTI 2.0 verkündet. GTI 2.0 soll nicht nur die Weiterentwicklung von TD-LTE und deren weltweiten Umsetzung fördern, sondern auch ein starkes branchenübergreifendes, innovatives und synergetisches 5G-System schaffen.


China Mobile and Ericsson share outcomes of its ongoing Connected Factory trial using Cellular IoT for Industry 4.0 working with Intel. The trial, featuring a connected screwdriver among other tools, took place at Ericsson Panda Communication Company (a radio product manufacturing site and an independent subsidiary of Ericsson) in Nanjing. The outcomes of the trial are highlighted in a demonstration at Mobile World Congress 2017 in Barcelona. Several low power, wide area (LPWA) use cases are currently being implemented in the factory, such as production line monitoring, warehouse monitoring and package and materials tracking. The centerpiece of the demonstration to be shown in Barcelona is the connected high-precision screwdriver, with motion sensors attached to NB-IoT modules that transmit real-time data of the tools to the Cellular IoT network. The demonstration is an end-to-end solution, covering terminals, networks to the platform, and analytics aspects. The setup consists of Ericsson's multi-mode radio equipment with new software supporting NB-IoT, Intel's pre-commercial software supporting NB-IoT, the Intel® XMM(TM) 7115 modem solution embedded in Fibocom's module, as well as China Mobile's OneNet IoT platform with its software development kit (SDK). There are about 1000 high-precision screwdrivers in the factory which require routine calibrations and lubrications based upon the amount of usage, all of which are recorded manually on paper today. With Connected Screwdrivers, the factory will be able to replace manual tracking of the tool usage data with an automated solution. Also, by connecting the tools over the Cellular IoT network, intelligent analysis of the collected data allows for optimized maintenance. The resulting benefits include a longer lifespan of the tools and reduction of human errors during operations. Screwdrivers with motion sensors attached to NB-IoT modules means that the factory will be able to automate the usage tracking of the screwdrivers. Chris Houghton, Head of Region North East Asia, Ericsson, says: "The combination of Cellular IoT and Industry 4.0 has so far been fairly unexplored. Enabling IoT network technology such as Cellular LPWA, together with cloud-based solutions, give manufacturing firms access to more information than ever before. The opportunity to use data to increase productivity is not only beneficial to a firm, but the whole of society as well." Weng Kuan Tan, Vice President and General Manager of Intel's Client Computing Group China, says: "Intel is a leading 3GPP Release 13 standardization contributor, developing a Release 13 NarrowBand IoT (i.g. CAT-NB1) based solution with the Intel® XMM(TM) 7115 modem chipset. Intel will work with China Mobile and infrastructure companies to enable NB-IOT fast commercial deployment as we advance toward a 5G future." China Mobile is committed to accelerating the development of Cellular IoT technology and its ecosystem. On the one hand, China Mobile leads the incorporation and unification of NB-IoT standards by completing world's first lab testing on NB-IoT and making large-scale field trials and application exploration, in order to research Cellular IoT networking schemes and facilitate fast maturation of end-to-end products; on the other hand, it originates the establishment of 5G Joint Innovation Center by uniting cross-industry and cross-region industry partners as well as international organizations, such as GTI and GSMA, builds open labs, makes business and product innovation, promotes 5G networking cost reduction, and build dynamic, innovative, mutually beneficial and value sharing industry ecosystem. Ericsson's Houghton continues: "Ericsson is dedicated to helping operator customers around the world embrace the opportunities of IoT, 5G and Cloud. With our global leadership and experience in IoT standardization and applications, we will work hand in hand with China Mobile to realize the full potential of the Networked Society." Anything can happen on the digital frontier, a promising but undiscovered future. From February 27 to March 2 in Barcelona, Spain, Ericsson is demonstrating a collaborative approach and innovative solutions to succeed in this arena. With our customers and partners, we work across industries, physical boundaries and perceived limitations. Join us in Hall 2 or online during MWC 2017 and engage in conversations and demonstrations about our favorite things: 5G; platforms and services for IT, Cloud, Networks, and TV & Media; connected solutions for industries; the Internet of Things; and partnering for success. See you there! Ericsson is a world leader in communications technology and services with headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden. Our organization consists of more than 111,000 experts who provide customers in 180 countries with innovative solutions and services. Together we are building a more connected future where anyone and any industry is empowered to reach their full potential. Net sales in 2016 were SEK 222.6 billion (USD 24.5 billion). The Ericsson stock is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm and on NASDAQ in New York. Read more on www.ericsson.com.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: co.newswire.com

JR Technologies has entered into an agreement with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to design, develop, host, and operate the IATA Financial Gateway (IFG) payment solution - a turn-key information technology solution by IATA that will simplify the travel services suppliers shopping-to-cash process. IFG introduces a universal payment gateway allowing members to manage and optimize their diverse sales payment processes through a single global platform regardless of their network, business partners and distribution channels. The solution is fully integrated with the Weblink for agency sales reporting to the IATA Billing and Settlement Plan (BSP), further facilitating the early adoption by airlines, GDS, and travel agencies. JR Technologies was selected by IATA for its track record in innovation and continuous delivery of high quality services in a cost-effective manner. Through its strategic partnership with JR Technologies, IATA will have access to intellectual knowledge in line with leading best industry practices and benefit from continuous improvement in services and reduction of IATA's associated costs. JR Technologies specializes in NDC-enabled airline retailing solutions. The transition into a modern airline retailing model requires a solid payment gateway that expands the scope of airline transactions to include products and services from across the value chain. "This is a win-win situation for the entire industry," said George Khairallah, President of JR Technologies. "Our commitment to airlines and all travel suppliers is to continually offer innovative solutions at a speed to match the constantly evolving marketplace. Travel suppliers expect nothing less and that's what IFG and JR Technologies will deliver." "The IATA Financial Gateway will offer an innovative and cost efficient solution to address the airlines' payment challenges through their different distribution channels. It will help them optimize their payment processes and facilitate acceptance of different forms of payments including the BSP agency sales settlement through a single global platform," said Aleks Popovich, IATA Senior Vice President, Financial and Distribution Services. "IATA's objective, with the support of JR Technologies, is to go beyond the scope of airlines. This in turn will trigger cost efficiency, improve risk management and maximize resources to bring cost-saving benefits for the entire industry," added Aleks Popovich. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is the trade association for the world's airlines, representing some 265 airlines or 83% of total air traffic. IATA supports many areas of aviation activity and helps to formulate industry policy on critical aviation issues. JR Technologies is a thought leader in airline retailing and New Distribution Capabilities (NDC). Established in 2015 in Chania, on the Island of Crete, the JR Technologies Innovation Center is dedicated to supporting NDC adoption and boasts rapid prototyping and R&D capabilities unparalleled in the travel industry. With its locations in Athens (Greece), and Dublin (Ireland), JR Technologies offers end-to-end NDC enabled airline retailing solutions that support both direct and indirect distribution. For more information, please contact:


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.greentechmedia.com

The German home battery startup Sonnen is expanding its U.S. footprint with a significant investment in a new North American Innovation Center in Atlanta, Georgia. Sonnen announced today that the InnovationHub will bring all of the company’s U.S. product development and manufacturing capabilities under one roof, allowing for new product innovation and the ability to rapidly scale up production capacity. “Sonnen U.S. has experienced exponential sales growth over the past year, making the Sonnen InnovationHub a smart investment to capitalize upon the immense potential of the North American energy storage market,” said Christoph Ostermann, Sonnen Group CEO, in a statement. Bringing the company’s U.S. manufacturing and R&D teams into one facility will “enable us to better adapt to the future needs of the high-growth U.S. residential energy storage market.” In an interview earlier this month, Ostermann said U.S. monthly sales had recently reached triple digits -- growing threefold in December alone. Those sales lag well behind Sonnen’s home market in Germany, where the company has sold more than 15,000 battery storage systems to date, but they still position Sonnen as a leading residential storage company in the U.S. The InnovationHub is no Tesla Gigafactory -- but that’s by design, said Blake Richetta, vice president of Sonnen’s North American sales, and former sales manager at Tesla. While Sonnen is focused on scalability, the new factory is part of a concerted strategy to “grow smartly,” he said. “We're not going to make [the factory] so that it's able to build thousands and thousands of units right away,” said Richetta. “It’s going to be what it needs to be to foster innovation and for our current level of production needs, and then we're going to have an open-ended footprint to be able to grow.” The mission behind the InnovationHub is to make Sonnen the leader in residential renewable energy storage. “So what does that mean?” said Richetta. “That doesn't mean building a battery, because there are all kinds of major companies that can build batteries. That means putting a system together that operates perfectly with the solar array, with the electricity in your home, with utilities, and that solves all these questions that people don't know how to answer in the United States. It means creating a premium system with software on top that allows you to have smart home energy management.” Being the market leader is not necessarily about “building tons of stuff and trying to get it cheap,” he added. The goal isn’t just to be cheap; it’s to provide the best value. For Sonnen, that means leaving the mass manufacturing to suppliers, while focusing on precision and innovation in-house. “In other words, we don't think you need a massive factory with the cheapest battery to make residential renewable energy storage work right now,” said Richetta. “You actually need a system that does residential renewable energy storage.” Unlike Tesla, which sells solar, makes cars and produces batteries of all sizes, Sonnen is zeroing in on the residential energy storage market and staking its future on having the best dedicated product in the space. The question is whether that business model can scale. Tesla opted to take a risk and start big right out of the gate. CEO Elon Musk launched a mission to build not only the world’s largest battery factory, but the world's largest factory of any kind, and has already spent more than $1 billion to see the Gigafactory come to life. The Nevada facility came on-line in January and already employs more than 1,000 people. By 2018, Tesla plans to achieve 35 gigawatt-hours of cell production for both stationary and electric vehicle use, and 105 gigawatt-hours of cells at peak output. Through scale and a strategic partnership with Panasonic, Tesla has been able to bring battery prices down to record lows. Sonnen, meanwhile, is taking a more specialized and measured approach. The company didn’t release investment or production numbers for the new manufacturing plant, because there are no specific targets. “We're going to be looking at it quarterly; we're going to be modularizing this,” Richetta said. That approach could prove wise, as long as Sonnen can keep pace with competitors on cost. One of the main differences between the Sonnen and Tesla is that the former offers an integrated home battery solution, while the latter requires a separate inverter and is rumored to have a complicated installation process. But that could change when the inverter-integrated Powerwall 2.0 comes to market, sized at 14 kilowatt-hours for $5,500, which compares to Sonnen’s 4-kilowatt-hour battery priced around $10,000. Richetta said that Sonnen’s software performance, the SonnenCommunity program, ease of install, safe battery chemistry and proven track record in Germany still make it a far more compelling purchase overall -- and that the sales numbers prove it. But Sonnen can’t ignore cost. As the company builds out the new InnovationHub, it will need to keep the focus on cost-competitiveness front and center. Some of those cost reductions will need to come from the company’s suppliers. “We’re going to continue to lean on other manufacturers,” said Richetta. Sonnen currently uses lithium-iron phosphate batteries made by Sony, but it is technology agnostic, and is currently in talks with other possible providers, Richetta said. When Sonnen entered the U.S. market a year ago, the company established its headquarters in Los Angeles and contracted with a battery manufacturer in Northern California. It also opened an R&D facility in Atlanta. The company decided to set up an office in Atlanta because of connections between Sonnen’s chief technology officer and the engineering community from Georgia Tech and the industry. Sonnen chose Atlanta for the InnovationHub in order to access the talent pool, and for easier access to attractive the East Coast markets, including New York, Massachusetts and Florida. While California and Hawaii are often considered the most attractive home battery markets because of their high solar penetration levels, a singular focus on the West Coast overlooks the value plays in other states, said Richetta. “The idea that California is king is actually more around king of the current state of the solar industry, not the future of the solar industry,” he said. “We still have full net metering and we're still struggling to get time-of-use rate plans in parts of the state. […] So I would say that when it comes to solar-plus-storage, let’s look at the broader picture around the country.” Florida, for instance, may not have the best policies and rate structures for distributed solar, but it does have a very big need for grid stability when it comes to tropical storms. “We actually do significant business in Florida, because the small solar industry that is emerging in Florida is very excited about the idea of solar-plus-storage and energy security,” said Richetta. “They can sell that a lot easier than can a Californian solar installer.” Another benefit to expanding in Atlanta, is that it will bring new cleantech jobs to the Southeast, at a time of political uncertainty and high demand for manufacturing work. "We're investing in the U.S." said Richetta. "And we're very excited."


News Article | February 21, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

MONROE, Mich., Feb. 21, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- La-Z-Boy Incorporated (NYSE:LZB) today reported its operating results for the fiscal 2017 third quarter ended January 28, 2017. Sales for the fiscal 2017 third quarter were $390.0 million, up 1.6% compared with the prior year’s third quarter.  The company reported net income from continuing operations attributable to La-Z-Boy Incorporated of $23.3 million, or $0.47 per diluted share, versus $21.9 million, or $0.43 per diluted share, in last year’s third quarter. Kurt L. Darrow, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, of La-Z-Boy, said, “The retail environment for home furnishings remains challenging.  Against that backdrop, however, we delivered increases in sales and earnings per share for the quarter.  As we move forward, we are continuing to adjust some of our marketing and merchandising strategies to address the current environment.  And, as we seek to more fully populate the North American landscape with La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries® stores through our 4-4-5 initiative, we expect the volume associated with the store build-out combined with supply chain initiatives will further improve the efficiencies of our operations and drive profitability.  Additionally, our recent acquisitions will allow us to capitalize on our integrated retail strategy which we believe will continue to be a key component in the company’s growth as we work to create and return value to shareholders.” For the fiscal 2017 third quarter, sales in the company’s upholstery segment increased 0.2% versus the prior year’s third quarter to $302.9 million.  In the casegoods segment, sales for the fiscal 2017 third quarter were $23.3 million, down 5.5% from last year’s third quarter. Darrow commented, “We are very pleased with the strong operating margin of 11.5% in the upholstery segment, the highest we have posted in the third quarter in over a decade.  Our supply chain team continues to streamline procurement, logistics and plant productivity to drive performance and, in turn, we are improving our service to customers with quicker delivery.  In particular, the ability to deliver custom furniture to consumers in four weeks or less remains a competitive advantage and differentiator in the marketplace.  We achieve this with unparalleled scale through the combination of approximately 175 frames and almost 1,000 covers between fabrics and leathers in our La-Z-Boy branded product lineup.  Additionally, our sister upholstery company, England, continues to grow and perform well.  It is expanding with existing customers and finding new customers as it enlarges its presence in the Western portion of the U.S.” Darrow added, “Earlier this month we announced we would invest approximately $26 million over a three-year period in our largest U.S. manufacturing facility, located in Dayton, Tennessee, responsible for nearly $400 million of our annual revenue.  The scope of the project, which will run in two distinct phases, includes the construction of a new state-of-the-art Innovation Center, followed by various upgrades and renovations throughout the upholstery plant and supply centers located at the Dayton Campus.  The new Innovation Center will provide our team of engineers and designers an inspiring and collaborative work environment while allowing us to attract the best talent in the business to continue to be the industry’s leader in innovation.  Ongoing investment across our manufacturing operations is imperative to ensure our plants are modern so we continue to drive efficiencies and productivity.” Darrow continued, “During the period, we acquired the distribution rights for the La-Z-Boy brand in the U.K. and Ireland.  Annual sales volume for the business is approximately $42 million, based on current exchange rates.  Prior to the acquisition, we were capturing approximately half the volume with the licensing agreement that was in place and we are now in a position to realize the full value of the business.  With the brand having vast appeal worldwide, we are identifying opportunities to expand our geographic presence while monetizing the value of the brand in various locales and this was one such opportunity.” Darrow stated, “We have made a lot of progress in the casegoods segment and are confident we are well positioned for the long term.  We have streamlined sourcing, are in a 97% in-stock position on our best-selling groups and we are servicing our customers well with an average ship time of six days.  Today, our product line up, pricing structure and service position are in sync and I believe the business is in a solid position to grow and improve its profitability. For the quarter, the casegoods operating margin declined slightly to 6.8%, primarily due to weaker volume.” For the fiscal 2017 third quarter, sales in the company’s retail segment increased 10.9% to $122.1 million versus the prior year’s third quarter, and the operating margin was 5.2%.  For the core 119 stores included in last year’s comparable quarter, delivered sales for the segment declined 8.1% compared with an increase of 6.6% in the prior-year period. Darrow stated, “Increasing the size of our company-owned retail segment is one of our key growth strategies as we benefit from the combined wholesale/retail margin inherent in our integrated retail model.  During the period, we acquired nine stores in the northeastern Pennsylvania market, which are expected to contribute approximately $35 million in annual sales to the company’s retail segment.  And as part of our 4-4-5 store growth strategy, we opened one new store and remodeled two.” Darrow added, “We made targeted marketing investments that helped drive pockets of growth, but our  sales declined for our core stores as we were unable to overcome challenges in the overall retail environment.  This sales decline reduced our ability to absorb the fixed costs associated with the retail business and impacted our operating margin.  For the period, on lower traffic, conversion was flat while the average ticket increased, fueled by higher design sales.” For the third quarter of fiscal 2017, the La-Z-Boy store network, including both company-owned and independent-licensed stores, saw same-store written sales, which the company tracks as an indicator of retail activity, that were flat versus last year’s third quarter. For the third quarter in fiscal 2017, total written sales, which include new and closed stores, were up 2.9% compared with the fiscal 2016 comparable period.  At the end of the third quarter, the La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries® store system was composed of 346 stand-alone stores, with 110 in the new concept design format. Darrow commented, “For fiscal 2017, we are on track for 23 store projects, including eight net new stores, as we work to build out the La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries® store system through our 4-4-5 initiative.  During the third quarter, the network opened three stores, relocated one and remodeled three stores.  Projected fourth quarter activity includes two new stores and two closures.” During the quarter, the company generated $38.9 million in cash from operating activities.  La-Z-Boy ended the fiscal 2017 third quarter with $110.3 million in cash and cash equivalents, $29.9 million in investments to enhance returns on cash, and $9.0 million in restricted cash.  During the quarter, the company had $5.3 million in capital expenditures, paid $5.4 million in dividends, and spent $5.3 million purchasing 0.2 million shares of stock in the open market under its existing authorized share purchase program, with remaining authorization to purchase 3.1 million shares. The board of directors declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.11 per share on the company’s stock.  The dividend will be paid on March 15, 2017, to shareholders of record as of March 6, 2017. Darrow concluded, “While the retail environment for home furnishings remains challenging, our brand strength, relevant product offering, vast proprietary distribution system and extensive base of independent dealers will allow us to navigate through this period as we modify our go-to-market strategies.  At the same time, our operating platform is efficient, fueled by an outstanding supply chain, and we are working to create long-term value for shareholders.  As a reminder, our fiscal 2017 fourth quarter will include a standard 13 weeks versus last year’s fourth quarter which included 14 weeks.” La-Z-Boy will hold a conference call with the investment community on Wednesday, February 22, 2017, at 8:30 a.m. eastern time.  The toll-free dial-in number is 877.407.0778; international callers may use 201.689.8565. The call will be webcast live, with corresponding slides, and archived on the Internet.  It will be available at http://investors.la-z-boy.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=92596&p=irol-calendar. A telephone replay will be available for a week following the call. This replay will be accessible to callers from the U.S. and Canada at 877.481.4010 and to international callers at 919.882.2331. Enter Conference ID #10228. This news release contains, and oral statements made from time to time by representatives of La‑Z‑Boy may contain, forward-looking statements. With respect to all forward-looking statements, we claim the protection of the safe harbor for forward-looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results could differ materially from those we anticipate or project due to a number of factors, including: (a) changes in consumer confidence and demographics; (b) the possibility of a recession; (c) changes in the real estate and credit markets and their effects on our customers, consumers and suppliers; (d) international political unrest, terrorism or war; (e) volatility in energy and other commodities prices; (f) the impact of logistics on imports and exports; (g) tax rate, interest rate, and currency exchange rate changes; (h) operating factors, such as supply, labor or distribution disruptions (e.g. port strikes); (i) changes in legislation or changes in the domestic or international regulatory environment  (including new or increased duties); (j) adoption of new accounting principles; (k) severe weather or other natural events such as hurricanes, earthquakes, flooding, tornadoes and tsunamis; (l) our ability to procure or transport fabric rolls, leather hides or cut-and-sewn fabric and leather sets domestically or abroad; (m) information technology conversions or system failures and our ability to recover from a system failure; (n) effects of our brand awareness and marketing programs; (o) the discovery of defects in our products resulting in delays in manufacturing, recall campaigns, reputational damage, or increased warranty costs; (p) litigation arising out of alleged defects in our products; (q) unusual or significant litigation; (r) our ability to locate new La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries® stores (or store owners) and negotiate favorable lease terms for new or existing locations; (s) the impact of potential goodwill or intangible asset impairments; and (t) those matters discussed in Item 1A of our fiscal 2016 Annual Report on Form 10-K and other factors identified from time-to-time in our reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether to reflect new information or new developments or for any other reason. This news release is just one part of La-Z-Boy’s financial disclosures and should be read in conjunction with other information filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which is available at: http://investors.la-z-boy.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=92596&p=irol-sec.  Investors and others wishing to be notified of future La-Z-Boy news releases, SEC filings and quarterly investor conference calls may sign up at:  http://investors.la-z-boy.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=92596&p=irol-alerts&t=&id=&. La-Z-Boy Incorporated is one of the world’s leading residential furniture producers, marketing furniture for every room of the home. The La-Z-Boy Upholstery segment companies are England and La-Z-Boy. The Casegoods segment consists of three brands: American Drew, Hammary, and Kincaid. The company-owned Retail segment includes 142 of the 346 La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries® stores. The corporation’s branded distribution network is dedicated to selling La-Z-Boy Incorporated products and brands, and includes 346 stand-alone La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries® stores and 551 independent Comfort Studio® locations, in addition to in-store gallery programs for the company’s Kincaid and England operating units. Additional information is available at http://www.la-z-boy.com/.


LOS ANGELES, Feb. 15, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- sonnen, the global market leader in intelligent residential energy storage, today announced a significant investment in a new North American Innovation Center that combines the company's U.S. manufacturing operations and product research and...


News Article | February 21, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

Dialogic, a cloud-optimized applications and infrastructure solutions provider for service providers, enterprises, and developers, announced today that Quobis, a strategic Dialogic partner based in Vigo, Spain, chose Dialogic’s PowerMedia® XMS Media Server as part of Quobis’ WebRTC-based mobile new customer identity verification application deployed by BT at Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, S.A. (BBVA). Due to European regulations on Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT), financial institutions are required to verify the identity of their customers and know their occupation and/or economic activity. Verifying the identity of new customers by remote means is the main challenge to digital onboarding from both the regulatory and the technical perspective. An article by BBVA Innovation Center on Identity Verification spells out challenges and requirements to verify new customer identity through digital and mobile devices. Using two-way live video, the application enables new banking customers to sign up for services and accounts via their mobile device, while allowing the bank to comply with strict identity verification regulations. The application utilizes Dialogic PowerMedia XMS Media Server Software to record and archive entire video interactions between customers and agents. Recordings of customer interactions are archived by the bank for up to five years, as needed for audit or dispute resolution purposes. “A key requirement for the bank was implementation of an easy-to-use mobile application that included video and the ability to record the conversation, capturing the customer’s credentials,” said Elias Pérez Carrera, CEO of Quobis. “Recording and archival of the transaction was a critical requirement to achieve compliance with AML/CFT and Dialogic PowerMedia XMS was an important ingredient.” “Innovative video-enabled customer service applications based on WebRTC are becoming increasingly popular,” said Jim Machi, Senior VP Product Management and Marketing at Dialogic. “To meet regulatory requirements, the majority of customer-care applications require recording of customer interactions, something that PowerMedia XMS is particularly well-suited to accomplish.” Dialogic’s PowerMedia XMS is a highly scalable, software-only media server that enables standards-based, real-time multimedia communications solutions for IMS, MRF, enterprise, and WebRTC applications on premise or in the cloud. Built on 15+ years of software media processing experience, PowerMedia XMS is trusted by world-class service providers and large enterprises to power millions of rich media sessions. For an expanded description of the deployment, download the BBVA Case Study or the BBVA promotional materials. Dialogic and Quobis will be exhibiting and providing demonstrations during Mobile World Congress 2017 held in Barcelona, Spain form February 27th through March 2nd. Dialogic can be found at stand 6B62, while Quobis can be found in the Spanish Pavilion, CS60, booth #3. For more on the event or to book a demonstration, visit: http://web.dialogic.com/mwc-2017-meeting-request About Quobis Quobis is a leading European company in the delivery of carrier-class unified communication solutions with a special focus on security, interoperability and identity management for service providers and enterprises. Quobis is headquartered in Vigo (Spain) with partners throughout the world. Quobis is well-known as one of the leaders in the deployment of WebRTC technology after being involved in the industry-firsts implementations in more than 40 countries, including most of the top 20 telcos worldwide, using Sippo WebRTC Application Controllers and its applications to extend UC services to the web. About Dialogic Dialogic is a leading cloud-optimized solutions provider for real-time communications media, applications, and infrastructure to service providers and developers around the globe. Based in Parsippany, NJ with offices worldwide, Dialogic helps 48 of the world’s top 50 mobile operators, and nearly 1,000 application developers build and deploy on agile networks. Learn more about how Dialogic is enabling agility by following us on Twitter @Dialogic, and visiting http://www.dialogic.com and the Dialogic Blog for the latest industry news, trends and advice. Dialogic and PowerMedia are registered trademarks of Dialogic Corporation or a subsidiary thereof (“Dialogic”). Other trademarks mentioned and/or marked herein belong to their respective owners.


News Article | February 16, 2017
Site: www.gizmag.com

One of the best things about Lego is the world of possibilities it opens. You can follow the instructions and build accurate cars and monuments, or you can let your imagination run wild and turn that average vehicle into something much more exciting. That's exactly what the team at BMW has done with its R1200 GS Adventure motorbike, creating the Hover Ride from tiny bricks before handing it over to the production team to give it life. The R1200 GS has only been available as a Lego kit since the start of January this year, but the creative team at BMW has already completely taken it apart and turned it into a much wilder machine. Whereas the R1200 kit faithfully recreates the real-world bike, right down to its complex suspension and horizontally-opposed engine, the Lego Technic Hover Ride uses the same 603 pieces to envision a future where off-roaders don't need wheels. Although it wears a BMW badge, the Hover Ride wasn't penned through the usual design team in Munich. Instead, it was developed by Junior Company Munich, a unit where members of the company's training program come together to work on smaller projects. Trainees from the second, third and fourth year of their courses used the pieces of a full-size, production R1200 GS Adventure to build a life-sized (but non-functional) model of the Lego Hover Bike. Some of the parts from the bike have been repurposed for life in the air – the front wheel has been turned into a propellor, while the boxer engine remains in place. There's no word on what's actually powering the concept, nor any detail about what would make it float. Like the best Lego creations, we're going to assume there's a gleeful kid holding it in the air making vroom-vroom noises. The full-size model of the Hover Ride Concept will be shown in Copenhagen from the 16th of February. From there it will make its way around Denmark, before touring the BMW Group Research and Innovation Center and other BMW sites in Munich. Those unable to see the model in person can also build it as part of the R1200 GS Adventure Lego kit.

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