Welcome to the 5G IoT Lab of the Future: Syniverse Taps Pepper to Help


When the built and virtual, physical and digital worlds come together, the level of complexity rises – a lesson those passionate about and actively working in the IoT and Industrial IoT worlds have learned the hard way.

Located at Syniverse’s global headquarters in Tampa, Florida, the Innovation Lab is launching with a variety of demonstrations.

Humans entering the facility will be met by Pepper®, the humanoid robot designed by SoftBank Robotics, which will greet visitors to kick off their tours.

Syniverse’s team has joined together the big buzz categories of IoT, 5G, blockchain and artificial intelligence and for good reason: that blended concoction has the potential to make the connected world not only possible, but faster, smarter and more secure when they are applied together.

“Syniverse is committed to leading the industry into a new age of innovation, driven by technologies like IoT and 5G that will create new business value,” said Dean Douglas, President and CEO, Syniverse. “To seize these new opportunities, the Syniverse Innovation Lab is a first-of-its-kind development and testing center where we can collaborate with our customers, partners and other industry players to develop, explore and make the most of the latest innovations.”

According to the company’s announcement, trials in the Syniverse Innovation Lab will focus on the areas of IoT and 5G and will then expand this to other important emerging areas, such as blockchain.

Today, most IoT communications occur over the internet and although much of it is encrypted, IoT end-devices and their supporting back-end applications are still vulnerable to crippling and devastating cyberattacks such as DDoS, man-in-the-middle and brute force attacks.  Smart electric grids, industrial, utilities, infrastructure and enterprise IoT all need to protect their IoT data.

 “The ideal solution is to have not only IoT data encrypted, but have it traverse a private, secure network; a network that is not publicly addressable,” said Richard Hodges, Senior Program Manager for Product Innovation, Syniverse. “Syniverse Secure Global Access provides exactly this solution, similar to today’s largest, private IP backbone that connects mobile network operator’s globally, also provided by Syniverse.”

One of the first real world demonstrations by Syniverse is their smart parking lot at their Tampa headquarters.  LoRa IoT parking sensors have been installed in the visitor’s parking lot and communicate with a LoRaWAN gateway in the Syniverse Innovation Lab.  This gateway, in turn, connects directly to Secure Global Access and to the back-end application that supports the parking sensors.  The back-end application is securely hosted in one of their data centers, so no IoT data between the sensors, gateway and the back-end application is going over the public Internet.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg that Secure Global Access offers to billions of IoT devices and applications,” Hodges said. “This demonstration mandates a members-only, private and secure network.  Not only have we demonstrated LoRaWAN connectivity, but cellular IoT devices, such as connected vehicle, smart electric grid inverters, and drone communications’ systems can also leverage the power of Secure Global Access.  In the future we will demonstrate additional IoT access support.”

The recently launched Syniverse Secure Global Access is a critical network underpinning the Lab providing private, secure global connectivity that enables businesses to protect their mission-critical data in an age when emerging technologies like the IoT are exposed to greater levels of risk from the public internet.

The markets for the IoT and 5G are predicted to skyrocket in the next few years. According to GSMA Intelligence, revenue from the IoT will reach $1.1 trillion globally in 2025, up from $166 billion in 2016, and applications, platforms, and services will account for the lion’s share of the growth, such as connectivity management, device management, and application enablement platforms. At the same time, the number of 5G connections globally will grow to 1.2 billion by 2025, according to GSMA Intelligence, accounting for around 14 percent of total connections.

“Businesses must transform to capitalize on digital transformation and need to unlock new business value by collaborating with other industry players to develop and test new technologies in a secure environment with global reach,” said Mike O’Brien, Group Vice President, Corporate Development and Strategy. “The Syniverse Innovation Lab has been purpose built with the support of key partners to provide a real-life environment for everything from securing drone control systems to enabling seamless interworking between 5G and legacy technologies.”

Edited by Ken Briodagh
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Contributing Writer

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