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The 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics Showcases the Power of 5G

The Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in South Korea is going to be a milestone in telecommunications as it marks the first widespread use of 5G wireless technology. It is a bold move that is significant in a lot of ways, primarily because the next major event where 5G will be used will be in 2020 during the Tokyo Summer Olympics. In between 2018 and 2020, there will be a slow rollout of the new technology to test the waters and create demand.

Speed

5G has been seen as an evolutionary and not a revolutionary technology. In terms of implementation, it will be the same technology, only very much faster. It is so much faster, that there are no metrics at the moment to show how fast it can go. As usual, the speeds that consumers will enjoy will depend on the country and the telecommunications company.

This is much like the speed disparity in current 4G technology. It is not uncommon for US users to experience only 1.5mbps or 6mbps download test speeds, whereas countries like South Korea, Japan, Latvia and Finland get much higher user test speeds. Finland can have test speeds of 118mbps download, and 48mbps upload speeds. Latvia can have up to 900mbps download speeds. When 5G is finally implemented there will be huge differences in speeds between providers, and between countries.

The listed theoretical speeds for 5G network is 1-10 gigabit per second (Gbps). Current 4G theoretical speeds are up to 100 megabit per second (Mbps), while 3G data is about 384 kilobit per second (Kbps). However, some sources say that 5G can go as fast as 20 Gbps or even faster. The theoretical speeds are dependent on other factors besides marketing and server throttling. It has been theorized that it is possible to get up to 300 Mbps on the LTE-A (4G) network, but real world speeds above 42 Mbps is hard to come by, and 14 Mbps is closer to reality. This would also be most probably true of 5G networks.

5G trials are ongoing with telecommunications companies in different parts of the world. Verizon in the US has achieved download speeds which are 30 to 50 times faster than 4G. At those speeds, the user can download a full-length movie in less than 15 seconds. It takes more than six minutes to download the same file on 4G.

In the UK, the 5G Innovation Centre (5GIC) has achieved one terabit per second (Tbps) speeds in test environments. At that speed, it is possible to download 100 full-length movies in less than three seconds. Real world environments would not be as fast, of course. DOCOMO of Japan has recorded speeds of 2 Gbps in a specially built test site which simulates an actual use in an environment. In the UK, EE has begun 5G trials at speeds of 1 Gbps. Ofcom, the UK telecommunications regulator, is optimistic that real world 5G speeds when it finally gets implemented will be between 10 to 50 Gbps.

It should be noted that the test results from the 5GIC was achieved with laboratory equipment testing for the fastest speeds achievable. The test was done over a distance of only 100 km. Current 5G on real-world environments cannot achieve 1 Tbps. However, in time, it is expected to reach those speeds in real-world situations. The only way that would happen is when 5G is already in use and optimized along the way. This may take some time before it happens.

Like the current situation, 5G upload speed will depend on the download speed. It will remain as a fraction of the download speed, but possibly as fast as 10 Gbps on a 50 Gbps download stream.

Latency

Another factor to consider is latency. Latency is another aspect with improved performance.   This is the length of time for the server to respond to a request. There are several factors affecting latency, however, in general, the faster the network hardware, the shorter the latency.

Actual 3G network latency was around 120 milliseconds (ms). The actual 4G network latency has been timed at 45 ms. The theoretical 5G network latency is 1 ms. Shorter latency means faster response from the server. It is the lag time until a response is returned and the data begins streaming.

For regular browsing and video on demand, latency is of little concern. Shorter latency becomes important in real-life transfer of information between automated agents. These include self-driving cars, as well as vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) interaction, and vehicle-to-infrastructure (also called vehicle-to-everything or V2X) interaction. When a car is running on the road, there is a steady flow of information from other vehicles and from the roads and other roadside sensors. Shorter latency helps the car to immediately “see” its environment, and to navigate on its own. Drone clouds with autonomous controls can also make use of shorter latency. With a latency of less than 1ms, drones can be programmed to communicate with others in its group and avoid collision.

What can 5G do?

Communication for Internet-of-Things (IoT) uses massive amounts of data. These in turn are used in smart devices and smart homes. AI is dependent on these amounts of data and machine learning to sift through them. When using AI in the home, there is a lot of data flowing from one smart appliance to another, where these are processed as needed. Otherwise, the data is sent to a server on the cloud somewhere where it can be studied accordingly. This information is bounced from one place to another, and it comes in raw form. The raw data is in massive amounts which is also a requirement for information extraction.

Getting these large amounts of data from one house, along with other houses and devices, back to a server requires a lot of bandwidth. A case in point is a self-driving car. It needs to be aware of its environment, where it is receiving information from other cars, understanding how these are moving.

Data also comes from the road, road sensors and other road monitoring equipment. If there is a video feed, this will be read and then analyzed while the car is moving forward. The car creates its own map and read of the road situation. It will know that vehicles are slowing down because there is an accident a mile away. Cars have passed this information along to others on the same road. Sensors and video will show that vehicles are slowing down. The video is sent to the car and analyzed as needed. At the same time, the car consults an online map checking for alternate routes. Data is passed from one agent and user, but these are all sent to others along the same road. The large amount of data being sent and received on any stretch of road is crucial, and has to reach other cars along the same stretch of road.

It does not matter if the data is being passed from one car to another, or from one drone to another. IoT will share information and it is up to the agent or unit to read and put value into it. Getting the data immediately is the function of 5G. Experts have given the opinion that V2V and autonomous driving will depend a lot on the availability of 5G.

For regular users, they would be happy to know that more virtual reality and augmented reality games and apps will benefit from 5G. This is especially true for interactive team games. For Olympics fans, they would be able to watch a sporting event in 3D and see the game from different angles. It is also possible for an individual to have his own instant replay from any other angle. Video on demand as we know it will have a boost. Current HD 1080p video will get boosted to 8k video in 3D. This technology requires a lot of data flowing one way to the user, and 5G is capable of delivering that amount of data.

The 5G technology is coming and 2018 is the year when it starts to happen. The full promise will not be realized until a few years down the road. In the US, 3G technology was introduced in 2000 but was only realized in 2007 with the introduction of the iPhone, which opened the floodgates of apps which allowed for uploading and downloading to the internet.

5G’s full capability can only be achieved when a killer app appears on the horizon. With all the data and bandwith it requires, 5G will be tested and modified to deliver what the audience wants.  The Pyeongchang Winter Olympics may be a small window to test this technology, but it will give people a taste of good things to come.

 

Self-Awareness Lessons from PagerDuty Leads to Award Winning 5-Year Revenue Growth

For a lot of entrepreneurs and startups, the question of growth is not about a sustainable revenue stream, but about an exit strategy. Most startup founders nowadays are advised to come up with an exit strategy before their company even gets off the ground. This is a sane and logical advice which helps circumvent possible problems later on about company directions versus founder ambitions. Alex Solomon, founder of San Francisco-based PagerDuty, a digital operations management and support app, stepped down as CEO in 2016 because he knew he was not the best person to lead the company to the next level.


Founder and Developer

Alex Solomon has been described as a humble, introverted person and a curious observer. He gave the opinion that most startup founders are natural extroverts, have a healthy ego, and feel that they have to prove something. These people are driven to succeed. It is not necessarily a need to show that they are better, but that they can.

Startups have come and gone, and there are leaders who mold the company to their will, while others know when to step back. Examples of these are Apple and Microsoft. Steve Jobs rode the company along on his vision, in contrast, his co-founder Steve Wozniak left operations and development almost as soon as he was able to. For Microsoft, Bill Gates headed the company for more than 30 years, while his co-founder Paul Allen had to leave day-to-day operations for medical reasons. Another example is Sun Microsystems, which posted one of the highest year-on-year growth rates during its first ten years of operation. Founded by Vinod Khosla, Andy Bechtolsheim, Scott McNealy and Bill Joy, its lasting legacy is the java platform and programming language. Vinod Khosla left Sun’s operations to the other founders almost as soon as the company took off, in order to concentrate on venture capital.

PagerDuty was founded in 2009 by Solomon, Andrew Miklas and Baskar Puvanathasan as a company which provided IT support on the cloud. It raised $10.7 million in its Series A funding round in January 2013. The funding round was led by noted venture capital group Andreessen Horowitz with participation from Webb Investment Network, Jesse Robbins, Harrison Metal, Baseline Ventures and Ignition Partners. The Series B funding followed in July of the same year. It was led by Bessemer Venture Partners, with other Series A funders also participating. The funding was used to acquire more personnel.

It had its Series C funding in 2017, after Solomon transferred the reins of the company to Jennifer Tejada. The funding was led by Accel, as well as participation from already existing investors notably Andreessen Horowitz, Bessemer Venture Partners, Baseline Ventures and Harrison Metal. The Series C funding raised $43.8 million and was used to expand company operations abroad, notably to Australia. It now has more than 380 employees worldwide.

Calls and Alerts for Support

Solomon got the name PagerDuty from the time that he was working at Amazon, where the engineers took ownership of the code they built. While in production, a person on the team is given a pager, and is responsible for responding to any problems which occur while on his watch. PagerDuty is an apt name for a digital operations management and support app. It connotes the idea of help and on call duty for all sorts of alerts.

It has grown beyond the management capabilities of Solomon and has transferred executive management duties to the very capable hands of  Tejada, who has had extensive experience in the SaaS industry space, which is a good fit for her post as CEO of PagerDuty. This has allowed Solomon to giving the app his full attention.

 

According to Solomon (qtd. in Startup Daily), “The company had gotten to a pretty big scale. We were sitting at the 200 person mark at the time, and still growing very quickly. We were becoming quite a big company and even considering a possible IPO at some point. I have not done that level of scale before and thought, wow, I might need some help with this.”

Besides the thousands of client companies on its database, PagerDuty has also been noticed by industry analysts. It has been included in Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500 for the past two years. The Technology Fast 500 is a list of the 500 fastest growing tech companies in North America. The list includes those in the media tech, telecommunications, energy tech and life sciences and medicine. The data is based on revenue growth percentage, over the past three years prior to the ranking.

PagerDuty was recognized in 2016 for growth from 2012 to 2015, and again included in the list for revenue growth percentage from 2013 to 2016. In terms of revenue growth, there have only been a few companies which were able to sustain growth over more than five years of existence. The companies in the Deloitte list reached a three year revenue growth ranging from 135% to 59,093% with a median of 380%. In 2017, PagerDuty was ranked 142 on the list.

PagerDuty was also acknowledged in the Forbes 2017 Cloud 100 list for SaaS companies. It also won TechTarget’s Modern Infrastructure Awards, several Stevie Awards, as well as being a finalist for Best Tech Workplace for Diversity in the TIMMY Awards. Under Tejada’s management, PagerDuty launched PagerDuty Summit, the first digital operations management industry conference.

Achievements and Acknowledgments

The significance of the Deloitte list inclusion is a testament to the choices of management. The most crucial one is that Solomon chose a great successor. According to Tejada (qtd. in Business Strategy), “The truth is CEOs cannot simply “lead” if they want to do a good job. We have to run, swim, shoot, hide, and exercise a variety of physical and intellectual muscles. The best CEOs have a combination of leadership skills, operational acuity, executional ability, and empathy for the customers, employees, and investors they serve. If that’s what it takes, then I’m more than ready.”

The move led Solomon to continue his vision for the software. In terms of industry impact, the North America Technology Fast 500 list underlines their position as a rapidly growing company with big goals and the smarts to do it.

In turn, the Fast 500 list highlights companies which have grown beyond the norm, with a three year history of growth, further indicating that these companies have not yet peaked and will continue to rapidly grow in the coming years. Investors and venture capital firms can see where these Fast 500 companies are going, and they can put in more money knowing that they are in good investments with more and rapid growth in the near future. Ranking 142 in the 2017 list is not a small achievement. Putting money into PagerDuty has been validated, and it has become a no-brainer. The decision to invest in the company makes and supports itself.

The company has made good use of the funds it has raised, earmarking global growth as a target and use for the latest round of funding. The Australia office makes sense as a global reach and allows for faster alert and resolution, especially for countries in Australia and New Zealand.

What sets PagerDuty apart is that it does not need to replace existing support alert software. Instead it uses these different software and integrates them into the PagerDuty app. This is an acknowledgement of the cost and training in the existing software. Building upon and extending  capabilities is what PagerDuty does best. This is particularly useful in a varied server environment, where different software for different uses exist. Nowadays, a multivendor customer support software has more chances of getting the large clients.

With PagerDuty, the only configuration that needs to be done is within the app, and not within the other software’s APIs.

PagerDuty provides digital operations management and incident resolution software which alerts engineers of problems ranging from minor disruptions to major outages. With these tools, engineers and data center operations can prevent service downtimes, maintain SLAs and continuous operations. It is capable of aggregating error reports and alerts from different monitoring systems including Splunk, AWS Cloudwatch, Zenoss, Nagios, New Relic, Pingdom and other alert systems. It also has a mobile alert system which gives engineers the capability to act on alerts using their smartphones. The customer base of more than 10,000 big names in the industry worldwide include 50 from the Fortune 100 companies and 200,000 users in its database. It counts among its customers Microsoft, IBM, Panasonic, Adobe, Electronic Arts, Square, Github, Rackspace, eHarmony, Comcast, and Slack.

 

StratIS Leads Us to the Future of Energy Efficient Smart Home

The film industry has helped turn creative thoughts into reality for years. Movies like the Back to the Future trilogy, Gattaca, the James Bond series, and even Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind have all featured fictional technologies that were astounding at the time, but have become a reality over the past few years thanks to brave and bold minds. Only recently, a company called BuLogics realized smart home through their StratIS Energy Management System (EMS), and it is bound to create bold impacts in the housing industry.

Millennial Homeowners and the Power of IoT


Contrary to popular belief, millennials make up 66% of homebuyers (the total homebuyers across all generations make up 34% of the population). However, even with this positive shift in real estate, most of the American people still rent their homes due to necessity or budget constraints. Certain students, professionals, and families find it more practical to lease an apartment, but it does not take away the luxury of finding an ideal home that suits their needs. This is where StratIS and the smart home comes in.

The rental market is booming, but still, have quite some catching up to do. With a majority of the United States population even taking out leases, it should not come as a surprise that the tech-savvy people of Generations X and Y want to have a taste of the future in their homes – something the Internet of Things (IoT) can surely resolve. Thanks to the power of IoT, you can now put lights, door locks, home appliances, and thermostat into one home network – you can control all of these with just one click!

IoT is generally a new term that refers to the network of physical devices including home appliances, cars, and anything else embedded with sensors, connected electronics, software, and the like. When applied to the concept of home automation (also called domotics), a dwelling then becomes a smart home. Entryways, lights, heating, security systems, home media, and others are interconnected, and people can use a central controller or even voice commands to operate the gadgets, much like some of the tech featured in Marty McFly’s 2015 home in Back to the Future II.

StratIS turns such imaginative sci-fi ideas into reality. Bold Business recently sat down with StratIS Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Felicite Moorman to talk more about their groundbreaking app-based system. “StratIS evolved from the idea that we could save people money in a smart apartment on their energy spent,” she said. “That isn’t fiscally viable before our creating the technology and the software platform to do that.”

 

Moorman, an attorney, turned award-winning tech entrepreneur, is one of the IoT industry’s leading experts today. Her company StratIS is listed as one of the Best Entrepreneurial Companies in America by Entrepreneur Magazine, while her other company BuLogics, of which she is also CEO, is a recent recipient of the Technological Excellence Award. The StratIS and BuLogics head has been leading the IoT business for years, with no signs of slowing down or stopping anytime soon.

“They’re taking a platform – a technology platform – and delivering a turnkey, usable solution that’s going to take the promise of these Internet of Things devices and turn it into a reality that both the multifamily owners, as well as the residents can use easily in a manner that fits within their needs,” said Karen Griffith Gryga, the Chief Investment Officer (CIO) of DreamIt Ventures.

The Energy-Efficient Smart Home

In the Bold Business interview, Moorman mentioned that StratIS focuses on a smart home or building’s energy savings. However, they are so much more than that. Their Software as a Service (SaaS) was created for multifamily and student housing, currently installed in about 200,000 units across the country. At present, this technology is the only access, energy, and automation platform explicitly created for such, with a focus on its fantastic two-year return on investment (ROI) for property owners, with residents as people who directly benefit as well.

“Our focus remains on energy savings, but we certainly speak to whatever the private sector is demanding,” Moorman explained. “So it could be door locks, thermostats, light switches,” much like the futuristic McFly household in the movies.

The company explains that they are on a mission to create and maintain a standard of living, which they refer to as “technology as an amenity.” And it’s not just for homes – StratIS wants to help businesses too. For property owners, this technology helps decrease net operating costs, while increasing the value of their property.

“If your actual property is multi-family property, apartments, or even student housing, that ROI comes when those units are vacant. When you turn those units over to new residents. And that happens very rapidly. Some of our fastest returns on investments are in as little as two weeks. That’s never been done before in this industry,” explained Moorman. The tech entrepreneur featured as a thought leader in publications like the Huffington Post, and the Philadelphia Business Journal has seen much growth and has established herself and her company in the industry as the leading names when it comes to smart homes.

Convenient yet Secure

Many technological advancements emphasize convenience but often neglect security. That’s not what StratIS is about. Their app-based platform gives building owners and managers high-quality tech and apps, providing state of the art control over smart devices throughout the homes and buildings. Such quality helps strike a balance between convenience and security, giving tenants genuine peace of mind.

In addition to managing these smart home across the property, the StratIS app also allows the creation of credentials for mobile entryways. This seemingly simple tech doesn’t just allow for secure entry into a smart home or building – it helps residents securely schedule maintenance, allows for proper auditing, and so much more.

Their unique system even works with practically any door lock mechanism and can use any wireless network, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Z-Wave, and Zigbee. With 250 authorized dealers installing StratIS with door locks and thermostats in various multi-dwelling smart homes and properties all over the US, it is still impressive they have collaborated with many industry giants including Samsung, Best Buy, and Honeywell.

StratIS is on the verge of making the smart home the best choice for home renters and owners. “Today, our goal is ubiquitous installation,” Moorman affirmed. “Global, ubiquitous installation of energy-saving devices.” Analysts forecast that the global smart home market will reach an industry high of $40 billion by the year 2020, and the US the highest penetration rate according to a study by Statista.

The bold idea of having a smart home has transformed from the big screen to real life, and StratIS wants it to be a safe and convenient standard of living that everybody can have. It is the future of urban living, available today.

Drone Racing League’s Meteoric Rise

Some of the world’s biggest sports leagues – the NBA, Australian Football League, Major League Baseball and Premier League –  have been around for many years.   Yet one new sport has done something these well-loved leagues never accomplished.  Drone Racing League (DRL) has gone from 0 to 100 million views in only two years!  Amazing as that feat is, it is also available for broadcast view in 87 countries.  DRL has done this by introducing a new combination of real world racing with virtual piloting that creates an experience unmatched by other sport’s leagues.  The rise has been meteoric and is catching millennials in droves.  Every generation has a special connection to sports so what is it about drone racing that gets people from around the world so excited?


The race is a combination of high speed, high technology and requires flawless precision. The first-person-view (FPV) technology helps the pilot maneuver just like he or she is actually inside the drone. So unlike older remote controlled planes and cars (RCs), what DRL offers is the excitement of being a virtual pilot; the feeling of being inside the drone.

According to Nicholas Horbaczewski, the CEO and Founder of Drone League Racing, “There’s people all over the world who build drones, meet up in parking lots, and race them competitively. And the idea behind the drone racing league is to take that to professionalized sport and to bring it to a mainstream audience.”

 

Horbaczewski, who founded DRL in 2015, received an AB from Oxford University, and has an AB and MBA from Harvard Business School. He was also SVP for Revenue Business Development at Tough Mudder (toughmudder.com), and the Founder of Leeden Media.

The continuous innovation of drones has piqued the interest of a new breed of gamers, youth and innovators as well as spectators who are drawn to the thrilling game.  People simply find drones cool and instinctively know they will have a big role in the future.

Some may have speculated in the past that drones would eventually invade the sports scene, but the establishment of DRL as the first professional sports league for drone racing in the world tells us that it already has made a significant mark in the sports arena.

The next Drone Racing League Championship is set to take place in Saudi Arabia in September this year, which could be viewed through their top broadcast partners such as Fox Sports, Sky Sports, ESPN, OSN, Disney XD, and ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE.

How Does DRL Work?

Drones that are used in the league can fly at a maximum speed of over 80 miles per hour. The league is the first professional race series that uses First-Person-View drone racing. Players control the drone by looking at a video feed that goes through different neon-lit race courses.

The speed, the rush, the popularity has gained DRL the reputation of being the next Formula 1. Its similarities with the popular single-seat car-racing event are simply astounding. The big difference is that DRL takes place in the physical and virtual realms. Real drones can crash and be destroyed yet the pilots are uninjured and operate their drones from a VR headset.

Drone racing is deemed as one of the most exhilarating sports with the combination of the physical aspects of the real world and the virtual dimensions of the game. The DRL reminds all participants though that drone races come with risks that need to be managed. Just like any other sport, drone racing also follow safety protocols (The DRL Safety Protocols) and the three key principles include planning – how spectators, the staff and pilots interact with each other; procedure – ensuring the right processes are in place; and production – managing the crowd.

Preparations and Tryouts for the DRL

Players who want to enter the competition will have to join the tryouts using the DRL Simulator, a top of the line drone flying simulator. It gives aspiring pilots the chance to know and get the feel of what it’s like playing and flying a real UAV.

Ryan Gury, the Director of Product at the Drone Racing League, explains, “If you play Grand Theft Auto or Forza, you can’t really get from that game into a Formula One car and drive it proficiently. DRL Simulator is actually the thing where, because it uses two sticks, you can come from this and fly an actual racing drone.”

The tryouts are open to different countries. This means that drone pilots around the world have the chance to enter the league once they pass the preparations stage.

The DRL is shaping the society in such a way that enthusiasts and spectators from different parts of the world—across age and gender–come together, and share a whole new experience. It is after all a combination of sports, entertainment and technology.

The professional drone racing league was established in 2015. Its first season was launched in January 2016, where the races took place at five venues across the United States. Bud Light and Toy State are two companies from different industries that made the first investments to DRL.

Season Two of the Drone Racing League was presented in June 2017, where the competition was broadcasted in 80 countries, making a social and cultural impact for a lot of sports fans.

Just like in all sports, drone racing also has its list of superstars. Jordan JET Temkin, popularly known as just JET in the drone racing world, is the defending world champion. He is described as “someone who possesses a unique blend of highly consistent flying and careful racing strategy.”  Other star pilots in the league are Wild Willy and Gab 707.

Because of its continuous success, DRL recently received additional $20-million investments from companies like Allianz, WWE, Liberty Media, and Formula One.

Other sponsors of the DRL are ESPN, Sky Sports, Disney XD, The Grand Tour, Nikko Air, RSE Ventures, Forto, U.S. Air Force, Drone Racing MultiGP, LUX, Fat Shark, CRCM, Sky, Courtside Ventures, and HEARST.

While only 2 years old, DRL is destined to have new breakthroughs and growth.  A growth that many other professional sports leagues will be watching closely.

In Bold Business’ next drone story, find out how the drone technology positively affects the next generation of pilots. 

 

Ed Kopko, CEO and Publisher of Bold Business

      
Edward Kopko
CEO & Publisher
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Ed Kopko is BoldBusiness.com’s CEO and Publisher. He has a passion for business, economics and media. A serial entrepreneur, Ed has launched Bold Business to help broadcast the great accomplishments that come from business and entrepreneurial activity. He believes the very real and amazing Bold Impacts that these activities have created also make a micro economic case for trade and commerce. Ed’s previous media experience was as CEO, Publisher and Owner of Chief Executive Magazine and its related media activities. He has been published in many media venues including the Wall St. Journal, Detroit Free Press and Forbes.com. He has also been a sought after commentator and appeared numerous times on CNBC, MSNBC, Fox News and other media outlets.