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Big Tech Is Developing Standards For Smart Homes – TechDecisions

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Big Tech Is Developing Standards For Smart Homes – TechDecisions


Big Tech is joining together to solve some of the industry’s challenges when it comes to smart homes.

Amazon, Apple, Google and the Zigbee Alliance on Thursday announced a new working group that plans to develop and promote the adoption of a new, royalty-free connectivity standard — centered around security — to increase compatibility among smart home products.

The Zigbee Alliance’s board member companies including the three tech companies and IKEA, Comcast, Legrand, Schneider Electric, Signify, Somfy, Resideo, NXP Semiconductors and others are also on board to join.

The goal of the project, called Connected Home over IP, is to simplify development for manufacturers and increase compatibility for consumers by building around a shared belief that smart home devices should be secure, reliable and seamless to use, the groups said in a press release.

“By building upon Internet Protocol (IP), the project aims to enable communication across smart home devices, mobile apps, and cloud services and to define a specific set of IP-based networking technologies for device certification,” the companies said.

An open-source approach will be taken for the development and implementation of the new unified connectivity protocol with contributions from proven smart home tech from Amazon, Apple, Google Zigbee members and others.

Read Next: NTT Predictions: Look out for Smart Technology, ‘Phygital’ Spaces in 2020

“The planned protocol will complement existing technologies, and working group members encourage device manufacturers to continue innovating using technologies available today,” the group said.

As more devices are being connected to the internet, there is more of a push to make those devices compatible with smart homes and smart assistants like Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant and others.

The press release only mentioned smart homes and didn’t mention smart office buildings, but AV over IP is a popular buzzword in the industry now as wireless connectivity and the IoT permeate the audiovisual and smart building space.

Many smart home technologies are designed to streamline and automate things you do in the home, but many of those same activities are done in an office.

Smart assistants like Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant and even Microsoft’s Cortana are increasingly finding usage in the workplace, so we expect some crossover when these smart home standards are developed.

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Britain in talks with 6 firms about building gigafactories for EV batteries

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Britain in talks with 6 firms about building gigafactories for EV batteries

Britain is in talks with six companies about building gigafactories to produce batteries for electric vehicles (EV), the Financial Times reported on Wednesday, citing people briefed on the discussions.

Car makers Ford Motor Co and Nissan Motor Co Ltd, conglomerates LG Corp and Samsung, and start-ups Britishvolt and InoBat Auto are in talks with the British government or local authorities about locations for potential factories and financial support, the report added .

 

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

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EBay to sell South Korean unit for about $3.6 billion to Shinsegae, Naver

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eBay Sells Classifieds Business For Nearly  Billion – WebProNews

EBay will sell its South Korean business to retailer Shinsegae Group and e-commerce firm Naver for about 4 trillion won ($3.6 billion), local newspapers reported on Wednesday.

EBay Korea is the country’s third-largest e-commerce firm with market share of about 12.8% in 2020, according to Euromonitor. It operates the platforms Gmarket, Auction and G9.

Shinsegae, Naver and eBay Korea declined to comment.

Lotte Shopping had also been in the running, the Korea Economic Daily and other newspapers said, citing unnamed investment banking sources.

South Korea represents the world’s fourth largest e-commerce market. Driven by the coronavirus pandemic, e-commerce has soared to account for 35.8% of the retail market in 2020 compared with 28.6% in 2019, according to Euromonitor data.

Shinsegae and Naver formed a retail and e-commerce partnership in March by taking stakes worth 250 billion won in each other’s affiliates.

($1 = 1,117.7000 won)

 

(Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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Canada launches long-awaited auction of 5G spectrum

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Canada launches long-awaited auction of 5G spectrum

Canada is set to begin a hotly anticipated auction of the mobile telecommunications bandwidth necessary for 5G rollout, one that was delayed more than a year by the pandemic.

The 3,500 MHz is a spectrum companies need to provide 5G, which requires more bandwidth to expand internet capabilities.The auction, initially scheduled for June 2020, is expected to take several weeks with Canadian government selling off 1,504 licenses in 172 service areas.

Smaller operators are going into the auction complaining that recent regulatory rulings have further tilted the scales in the favour of the country’s three biggest telecoms companies – BCE, Telus and Rogers Communications Inc – which together control around 90% of the market as a share of revenue.

Canadian mobile and internet consumers, meanwhile, have complained for years that their bills are among the world’s steepest. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government has threatened to take action if the providers did not cut bills by 25%.

The last auction of the 600 MHz spectrum raised C$3.5 billion ($2.87 billion) for the government.

The companies have defended themselves, saying the prices they charge are falling.

Some 23 bidders including regional players such as Cogeco and Quebec’s Videotron are participating in the process. Shaw Communications did not apply to participate due to a $16 billion takeover bid from Rogers. Lawmakers and analysts have warned that market concentration will intensify if that acquisition proceeds.

In May, after Canada‘s telecoms regulator issued a ruling largely in favour of the big three on pricing for smaller companies’ access to broadband networks, internet service provider TekSavvy Inc withdrew from the auction, citing the decision.

Some experts say the government has been trying to level the playing field with its decision to set aside a proportion of spectrum in certain areas for smaller companies.

Gregory Taylor, a spectrum expert and associate professor at the University of Calgary, said he was pleased the government was auctioning off smaller geographic areas of coverage.

In previous auctions where the license covered whole provinces, “small providers could not participate because they could not hope to cover the range that was required in the license,” Taylor said.

Smaller geographic areas mean they have a better chance of fulfilling the requirements for the license, such as providing service to 90% of the population within five years of the issuance date.

The auction has no scheduled end date, although the federal ministry in charge of the spectrum auction has said winners would be announced within five days of bidding completion.

($1 = 1.2181 Canadian dollars)

 

(Reporting by Moira Warburton in Vancouver; Editing by David Gregorio)

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