Ericsson-enabled 5G robot Fable bridges school distance learning barriers – iTWire

An innovative 5G robot connectivity trial in Denmark has enabled a teenage student to join his classmates in real time, inside and outside the classroom, during the school day despite having a medical condition which prevents him from physically attending school.
Ericsson says that Rasmus Dalsten (13), from Herlev in Denmark, experiences a full day in the presence of his peers via a tablet with a live video connection from a 5G smartphone mounted on a fully mobile robot in the school premises.
The extremely low latency, fast speed and high data-handling capabilities of 5G mean that Rasmus, who is unable to physically attend school because of a lung condition, not only doesn’t miss out on classroom or schoolyard activity, but has the freedom to move and look where he wants, Ericsson says.
Ericsson said that Rasmus had a previous robot that was controlled by teachers and classmates at school. If he wanted to change the view of what he was seeing, someone at school had to physically turn the robot in that direction.

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With 5G, Rasmus has full control of the robot, called Fable, which is about the size of a small teddy bear. Wherever he wants to go, and whoever he wants to make contact with at school, he controls Fable to become his real-time eyes and ears, the company says.
He can react to classroom lessons as they happen by steering Fable himself. If someone behind Fable makes a comment as part of a discussion, Rasmus can manoeuvre Fable to see who is speaking, and even join in.
Rasmus says: “I’ve got a new robot that I can turn around myself and it’s no trouble for the adults or myself. It is very nice.”
Rasmus’s mother, Charlotte Dalsten, is impressed that Fable, which Rasmus has trialed for six months, allows him to make instant eye contact with his classmates.
“Rasmus logs onto the PC and the iPad, which is connected to the robot,” she says. “This way he gets to be with his school class all day, during lunch breaks and in class. It has been important for me to see that Rasmus is happy when he logs on, that the others interact with him and that he is able to look around and make eye contact with them.”
Rasmus’s teacher, Cille, says the 5G-powered robot enables Rasmus to take part in lessons on a par with other classmates who are physically in the room.
“It is not me who decides if he looks at the blackboard or if he looks at those in the classroom who are speaking,” she says. “He decides where to look and where to go. That’s what he would do if he was here physically. So that has clearly been the biggest benefit.”
Ericsson says that the 5G trial emerged from collaboration between Danish communications service provider, TDC Net, Danish robotics company Shape Robotics and Ericsson at the TDC/Ericsson 5G Innovation Hub in Denmark. Ericsson, TDC Net and Shape Robotics say the trial has proved the potential of 5G-enabled mobile robotic connectivity use across a host of use cases spanning domestic, workplace and industrial applications.
Shape Robotics CTO and co-Founder Moises Pacheco says, “Thanks to the collaboration with TDC NET and Ericsson, we have been able to show the potential in combining 5G technology with robots in an educational setting. Although Fable also works with 4G, in practice, it is a different robot when using 5G. With 5G, students experience lightning-fast sound and image, so they can participate on the same terms as other students.”
TDC NET vice president technology strategy and economics Toke Binzer says, “It is roughly a year since we initiated the launch of the first nationwide 5G network in Denmark. Since then, we have seen increased interest in using the technology to deliver value within many different sectors.Robots connected to the 5G-network can, unlike other robots, both send and receive large amounts of data without delays, while at the same time being able to be controlled remotely. And if we take a step back from the educational sector it becomes clear that the learnings from this project can be transferred to other areas such healthcare, social care and working remotely across industries.”
Ericsson head of Denmark Niclas Backlund says, “Denmark was one of the first countries in the world to roll out a nationwide 5G network. I am convinced that the Danish robot example, together with the other initiatives we have implemented with the 5G Innovation Hub, can inspire companies beyond our borders. 5G proves to be a fruitful innovation platform for new use cases. This remote school application really shows the power of digitalisation to address societal needs and is an excellent example of digital inclusion.”
This first appeared in the subscription newsletter CommsWire on 3 November 2021.
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The accelerated roll-out of 5G connectivity across Europe and the UK will have an immediate and catalysing impact in reducing CO2e emissions, according to a new study commissioned by Ericsson.
As European nations ramp up efforts to address climate targets, a new Europe-wide analysis finds that implementing 5G technology across four high-emitting sectors – power, transport, manufacturing, and buildings – could create 55-170MtCO2e of emissions savings per year, the same saving that would be achieved by removing 35 million cars. That’s one in seven cars on Europe’s roads, Ericsson says.
The study reports that at least 40% of the EU’s carbon reduction solutions, up until 2030, will rely on fixed-line and mobile connectivity.
These solutions, such as the development of renewable energy generators, could reduce EU emissions by 550 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (550MtCO2e), which is nearly half of the emissions created by the entire EU energy supply sector in 2017, and 15% of the EU’s total annual emissions in 2017, the year chosen as a benchmark for the analysis.
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Adding in the savings from applying 5G to the four high-emitting sectors would bring the total emissions reduction to nearly 20% of the EU’s total annual emissions in 2017. The equivalent of the total annual emissions of Spain and Italy combined, the report says.
Ericsson says that despite the potential at stake, new forecasting of 5G roll-out from the annual Ericsson Mobility Report paints a concerning picture for Europe.
At the end of 2020, 5G covered around 15% of the world’s population. In 2027, just three years before global emissions will need to have halved to stay on track to limit global warming to 1.5ºC, new forecasts predict that global roll-out will still only be at around 75%.
North America and North East Asia are estimated to enjoy more than 95% population coverage by 2027. In contrast, Europe is estimated to be significantly behind its economic competitors with more than 80% population coverage.
Ericsson says it has invested heavily in energy-efficiency-led R&D – and product and solution development – across all technology portfolios to offer customers the most sustainable alternatives for their network modernisation strategies.
The study is a catalyst to drive more 5G coverage in Europe. However, many of the applications and industry transformations can be supported by fixed networks and even 4G wireless.
Ericsson reported that its 5G Smart Factory manufacturing complex in Lewisville, Texas, USA, was built with end-to-end environmental sustainability best practice as a top priority. Ericsson’s own energy-efficiency 5G solutions are operational at the site. The factory was designed to utilise 24% less energy and 75% less indoor water usage, avoiding 97% operational carbon emission, than comparable buildings.
The 5G Smart Factory has been awarded twice in 2021 by the World Economic Forum (WEF) for its global leadership in next-generation Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) manufacturing and sustainability achievements, Ericsson said.
Ericsson president and CEO Börje Ekholm says: “The EU and UK have set ambitious targets to reduce carbon emissions that will require transformational shifts across society. This new analysis demonstrates that connectivity, and specifically 5G, is vital to achieving these decarbonisation targets. It is difficult to see how these targets will be met unless the roll-out of digital infrastructure across Europe accelerates to match that of other leading countries and regions in the developed world.
“At Ericsson we view sustainability as a vital responsibility, not an optional extra. This is why the role that limitless connectivity has to play in driving a sustainable future is a fundamental part of Ericsson’s company vision. We will continue to invest heavily, not just for our customers through energy-efficiency products and solutions, but in our own operations, just as we have done at our 5G Smart Factory in the US. It is a great example of the emission saving results that can be achieved through implementing 5G manufacturing.”
Ekholm adds: “At present, with 5G roll-out, Europe is strolling towards a more digital, low-carbon future, while other regions are sprinting in the same direction. Policymakers and regulators have a major role to play here by realising the competitive economic, social and sustainable potential of 5G and working speedily together to clear practical, regulatory and financial obstacles so that people, businesses, industries and societies right across Europe can enjoy the benefits.”
Let’s all hope that Australia and our federal leaders can be finally dragged into the 21st century and do more to proactively support CO2 reductions with aggressive plans to transition industry to a greener future. Australia has always led in the release of new communications technologies like 5G and the NBN, these assets now need to be leveraged to create a brighter greener future for our children and their children.
The report can be downloaded here.
This first appeared in the subscription newsletter CommsWire on 1 November 2021.
Network software provider Mavenir announces its cloud-native, modular, and micro-services-based Converged Charging Solution (CCS), which it says enables Communications Service Providers (CSPs) to creatively monetise Network-as-a-Service from 3G, 4G, and 5G networks.
As a component of the Mavenir Digital Enablement (MDE) platform, this MACH-based (100% Micro-services, API first, Cloud-native, and Headless) CCS makes it easy to create and quickly deploy new services in response to market demand, Mavenir says.
Mavenir says its Mavenir Digital Enablement can stand alone or overlay existing BSS and, with this CCS, enables CSPs to introduce disruptive use cases like new digital service brands or new digital MVNO services quickly and cost-effectively while avoiding extensive network-wide impacts. Mavenir’s CCS fully supports 3GPP Release 16 specifications and conforms to TM Forum Open API standards.
Mavenir contend that the extensible data model is vital for innovative CSPs looking to unlock and capitalise on new 5G revenue streams by quickly making changes to and incrementally evolving the system to handle new use-cases without losing time and capital on development. The highly flexible core data model is driven by an intuitive graphical rules engine that simplifies service creation with no-code/low-code design and templates that empower CSPs to create new plans and rules without additional coding.
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“In the new, use-case-driven future, the importance of an agile and robust charging and monetisation platform becomes paramount,” said Mavenir GM digital enablement business unit Sandeep Singh. “Mavenir’s composable architecture makes the transition much easier, allowing CSPs to install this CCS alongside existing charging solutions, starting with a small collection of micro-services, incrementally growing, and eventually migrating to the new solution.”
“The unique stateless architecture allows distribution of various CCS micro-services to either a single centralised data centre, or multiple distributed data centres, including edge data centres. This provides CSPs the advantage of supporting a robust and scalable solution with a small footprint. CSPs can then easily launch new Ultra-Reliable Low Latency Communication (URLLC) and massive Machine Type Communications (mMTC) use cases requiring edge deployment for ultra-low latency needs,” added Singh.
Underpinned by a modular design, Mavenir provides CSPs with a variety of commercial solutions to fit their individual needs. Mavenir’s CCS can be deployed as a lightweight CHF solution for handling 5G Nchf traffic to generate network usage records without the need for any rating. Other packages include online, offline, or converged 5G rating and monetisation handlers and 4G Diameter online traffic handlers for supporting both OCS and CCS use-cases in a unified solution, Mavenir said.
This first appeared in the subscription newsletter CommsWire on 29 October 2021.
It’s not evident on Telstra Exchange blog post or its information pages for the 5G Home Internet and 5G Business Internet pages, but in the Critical Information Summary is the good news that downloads after 1TB continue at a still decent “up to 25mbps”, which is a welcome jump from 1.5Mbps speeds on mobile plans, but is 5G Home or Business Internet available in your area yet?
Great news – Telstra 5G internet service is here at last, for homes and businesses – but it’s not unlimited at whatever the maximum speed achievable is, as is the case with the Optus and Vodafone 5G Home Internet plans, and with Voda and Optus both offering cheaper plans that are still three to four times faster than Telstra’s 25Mbps capped download speeds after 1TB is downloaded (with uploads counting towards the download limit).
iTWire colleague David M Wiliams wrote about yesterday’s announcement here, in an article titled “Telstra unveils $85 1TB 5G home and business Internet service” and which Telstra’s Global Connectivity and Platform Products Lead, Sanjay Nayak, wrote about at the Telstra Exchange blog post titled: “Ridiculously fast 5G Home & Business Internet is here.
Now, Telstra’s 5G network is definitely bigger than that of Optus or Vodafone, but not everywhere that has 5G mobile coverage available is able to get Telstra 5G Home and Business Internet just yet. Even Telstra says its 5G Home and Business rollout is for a “limited number of services avaialble per post code”, so the 5G service isn’t flooded and presambly capacity can be managed and maintained, and presuambly as capacity grows, more people will be able to join the service.
My address in Canberra has great Telstra 5G mobile coverage, but isn’t yet eligible for the Telstra 5G Home and Business Internet service. Meanwhile, my sister’s address in Sydney does say coverage is available. Other addresses I tested in Canberra with great 5G mobile didn’t have service for the 5G Home or Business service.
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Vodafone and Optus don’t have 5G Home Internet coverage in all the addresses I checked just now, although my sister’s place is one dark pixel of 5G coverage away on the map, and comes up on Optus as not being available, but seeing as she lives on the top floor, when I took the Optus 5G Home Internet modem I was testing to her place, downloads of 200 to 300Mbps were the norm, so there is fortuitous coverage out there but Australians await ever more 5G to be rolled out, even as that continues happening, faster with Telstra, and more slowly with Optus and Vodafone.
So, if you ARE in an area with Optus and Vodafone 5G Home Internet coverage, they have unlimited downloads at either around 100Mbps, or also at maximum 5G speeds at $89 with Optus and $85 per month with Vodafone, and represent better value than Telstra.
However, if you have Telstra 5G Home or Business Internet available, you still get 1TB of combined downloads and uploads, and then up to 25Mbps downloads and an as yet indeterminate number of Mbps up-to upload speeds. I have asked the question, so will update here hopefully soon.
The answer has been received – it’s 5Mbps, which is what I expected would be the number. This too will hopefully speed up in the future on Telstra before a presumed inevitable shift to unlimited data in the next couple of years was introducwed for competitive reasons, and because Optus and Vodafone already offer that today, but with smaller and much smaller 5G footprints. 
Telstra will also presumably be forced by competition to increase its downloads speeds after 1TB (or a future higher amount is reached) from the current 25Mbps to double, or quadruple – or simply offer an unlimited service as does Optus and Vodafone.
On Telstra’s Critical Information Summary or CIS, for its Home and Business 5G plans, has a section which states:
“Data Allowance
“Once you exceed your included data allowance, your speed will be capped at 25Mbps download, and slowed further in busy periods. 25Mbps is suitable for small households with 1-3 people using multiple connected devices. It will allow simultaneous streaming of multiple standard Definition (480p) videos, emails, web browsing and social media. Or streaming of a single High Definition (1080p) video, if there are no other online activities. You will not have the option to purchase more data or top up with this plan.”
So, it’s great to see Telstra 5G Home and Internet service arrive, even if in an obviously more limited area than the entire 5G footprint, and even with its limits, because the age of 5G in ever more places has just taken yet another leap forward.
We even have the timeline Telstra has shared on how this service will expand as part of its T25 announcement, presumably to moderate demand and keep people on fixed NBN services which are getting ever faster at 250Mbps, 500Mbps and up to 1Gbps speeds, with Telstra stating:
“We want to make sure our customers have a great experience, so we’ve developed a comprehensive service qualification that checks things like capacity and strength of Telstra 5G signal. Over the next 3-5 years, we will continue rolling out Telstra 5G and the doubling of metro cells to increase density for greater capacity and speed.”
In the meantime, Optus and Vodafone have a lot more 5G rollouts to do, too, so 2025 will really be the year of 2025G, and in the meantime, ever more places are getting 5G cell tower upgrades, ever more 5G phones and tablets are available, ever more mmWave 5G is being rolled out and ever more competition is entering the market, set to also be disrupted by various satellite broadband services going online this decade, with Starlink already here for months in beta form.
The future of connectivity looks bright, at long last, with NBN upgrades aplenty to come, and tons more 5G too, and the age of ubiquitous connectivity will be even more entrenched and intertwined with our lives than it is now, with augemnted reality glasses of the 2nd and even 3rd generations expected by then, too. 
It’s an exciting time to be alive – and by then, let’s hope we really are finally in the post-COVID era!
ADLINK collaborates with ecosystem partners to provide end-to-end C-V2X solutions to accelerate technology innovation and commercialisation for connected cars and autonomous driving. An advanced C-V2X solution combines efforts and expertise to address complex technology challenges from data collection to communication to processing in real time.
Edge computing company ADLINK Technology has joined forces with ecosystem partners Askey Computer, the Institute for Information Industry (III) and Excellence Opto. Inc. (EOI) to develop and deploy an end-to-end C-V2X solution.
The collaboration integrates AI-enabled technologies and applications with 4G LTE/sub-6GHz 5G NR vehicle network connectivity, smart traffic lights and signal controllers. The C-V2X solution will significantly improve road safety and traffic efficiency, establishing a solid foundation to help accelerate technology innovation and commercialisation of intelligent transportation systems (ITS), autonomous driving and connected vehicles, ADLINK says.
V2X technologies are designed to connect vehicles to each other (V2V), to pedestrians (V2P), to roadway infrastructure (V2I), and to the network (V2N). The 802.11p Wi-Fi standard established the foundation for V2X communications to enable drivers to avoid accidents and traffic jams. With a wider range than a dedicated short-range communication (DSRC) and much lower latency, 4G LTE and 5G based C-V2X will communicate real-time data further. And, when used together with onboard intelligence, it will accelerate more intelligent transportation systems (ITS) and Level 3 and above autonomous driving, ADLINK contends.
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“We are excited to work with our partners Askey, III and EOI to build and test the advanced C-V2X solution,” said ADLINK director of global business development for networking communications and public sector Henry Hu. “We are seeing a strong momentum worldwide in developing and implementing C-V2X as the technology can substantially improve road safety, traffic efficiency and revolutionise logistics. And importantly, C-V2X can greatly accelerate technology innovation and commercialisation of autonomous driving. A quick and broad adoption of C-V2X requires extensive collaboration of industry participants, which is why ADLINK is dedicated to building a comprehensive ecosystem. With a strong commitment to leading consortia, such as the Autoware Foundation and Open Source Robotics Foundation, we will continue our contribution to technology advancements of C-V2X, connected cars and autonomous driving.”

ADLINK says the collaboration addresses the complex technology challenges from data collection to communication to processing in real-time by leveraging ADLINK’s deep expertise in developing and deploying rugged AI-enabled in-vehicle computers, private 5G networks, 5G edge servers, and intelligent edge infrastructure.
The company said that the C-V2X solution integrates ADLINK’s AI-enabled in-vehicle computer platform, with Askey’s onboard/roadside unit (RSU/OBU), III’s: AI-enabled applications including image-based AI vehicle identification, tracking and warning technology, and EOI’s smart traffic light and traffic signal controller.

There are already four C-V2X pilot projects underway across Taiwan that implement both direct sidelink and cellular network communications. The projects are designed to test various use cases based on the enhanced 5G quality of service (QoS) for ultra-reliable, low-latency and high bandwidth communications, ADLINK stated.

Besides improving road safety and traffic flow, the C-V2X solution can provide autonomous driving and automotive system integrators with a validated, integrated template to speed time-to-market. It can also help wireless service providers create new business opportunities, ADLINK says.

ADLINK says it is committed to building a comprehensive ecosystem for C-V2X. More information is available here on ADLINK’s connected and autonomous vehicle solutions website here.
This first appeared in the subscription newsletter CommsWire on 28 October 2021.
Optus announced that Optus Flex customers will be able to level up their streaming, scrolling and downloads as its 5G network is now available on its new ‘click and connect’ Flex 5G mobile plan.
Optus says Optus Flex continues to give Australians a simple in-app experience that is fundamentally changing the prepaid mobile category. With Flex, Optus customers with an eSIM capable device can join Optus with a new mobile number in just a few taps all through the My Optus app, which removes the need to go in store, purchase a physical SIM or remember to recharge as customers can set and forget with auto recharge.
And now with access to Australia’s fastest 5G mobile network, as awarded by OoklaTM*, VOLTE and Wifi calling enabled, it opens a world of new possibilities for customers. It’s the perfect combination of great value and our super-fast network – all on our most flexible mobile plan.
Optus Flex plans bring customers more of what they want, when they want and allows them to customise their plan to suit their needs, which includes purchasing add-ons, whether it be an Unlimited Data Day or international talk plan to stay close with family and friends overseas, Optus says.
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Optus advises that customers have the choice to take up a daily, weekly, fortnightly, or monthly plan with access to 5G plans starting at just $2 a day. If a customer does not max out their data, they won’t lose it, as up to 200GB of data will automatically roll over on an active plan.
Optus MD of marketing & revenue Matt Williams said, “At Optus, we are committed to taking our customers’ experience to new levels and creating unique customer connections, which is why we are excited to open up the world of 5G to our Optus Flex customers.
“Optus is focused on becoming Australia’s most loved everyday brand, and our Optus Flex plans truly put our customers in charge of their connectivity with flexibility, choice, and amazing value,” Williams concluded.
More information can be found here.
This first appeared in the subscription newsletter CommsWire on 1 November 2021.
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