Telework

With the new Internet era, people can distribue high quantities of information by the network. It has developed a new economical and business organization and we are entering into a new model of education and work thanks to the ICT.

TeleworkTelework consists off doing your work in a different place to the office using informatic and telecommunications networks. With this new model is possible to reduce travel time of the employees, increase the effectivity of hours dedicated to work and provide to the workpeople time to spend with family. But not all is good: with teleworking we are loosing groups of teamworks, loosing the corporation hierarchies (the teleworker many times only have to communicate with one boss), causing sedentay lifestyle to the employees, loosing the relationship with other employees, and a long etcetera.

Estimates suggest that over fifty million U.S. workers could work from home at least part of time. The call center industry and IT sector employ thousands of home-based workers but these are notables exceptions because very few companies employ large number of home-based full-time staff. However, the development of new video conferencing systems and technologies increase the number of teleworker day by day. Many public and private companies are now starting to use polycom systems and teleworking in order to avoid costs and becase they started to appreciate multiple benefits of teleworking. 

Statics

Technologies

Long distance telework is facilitated by tools such as groupware, virtual private networks, conference calling, videoconferencing and voice over ip. Telework technology requirements will vary by agency but many teleworkers requires:

  • Internet Service Provider (ISPs) to connect remote employees to the Internet, e-mail, and agency network.
  • Internet Access to allow teleworkers to use Internet for their voice, video, fax, and unified communications needs. Some examples are:
    • dial up telephone networks or PSTN for voice and data communications in narrow-band.
    • Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) standards.
    • DSL standards to provide broad-band Internet connection.
    • Cable broadband access.
  • Network infrastructure comprised of the equipment and connections that make up a network:
    • VPNs as a remote access solution to access the network securely (firewalls, encryption…).
    • Remote Access Servers (RASs) and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) to provide the computer and associated software for teleworkers to access the network remotely.

technologies_telework

  • Laptop as a main teleworker’s tool.
  • Mobile Phone / Smartphone / PDA for data applications and instant communication anytime, anywhere.
  • Peripherals such as printers, scanners, fax or multi-functional devices.
  • Security policies for automatic backups and restore, biometric devices, data encryption, configuration management, software updates, virus and spyware protection software…
  • Collaboration tools to facilitate information-sharing for individuals in remote locations through an interactive forum. Examples include data conferencing, e-mail, phone and fax, instant messaging, presence technology, software collaboration, telepresence and web collaboration.
  • Software as a service (SaaS) providers to manage data storage, for example.
  • Video conferencing systems to allow remote users to connect using real time, interactive voice, video and data collaboration technologies. Some examples of video conferencing systems are: Polycom, Avaya Solutions or Verizon Communications Systems.

Currently, telework yields multiple benefits to government, public sector organizations, private sector, individual employee and the community. It is becoming increasingly prevalent in the modern workforce because its proven results and reliability are shown to significantly improve life holistically.

Both public and private sector organizations are reaping the benefits: boosting morale, enhancing continuity of operations (COOP) plans, saving real estate space and dollars, as well as enabling efforts to recruit and retain the best and brightest.

RPL protocol

Low power and Lossy Networks (LLNs) are a class of network in which both the routers and their interconnect are constrained. RPL routing protocol, which provides a mechanism whereby multipoint-to-point traffic from devices inside the LLN towards a central control point, as well as point-to-multipoint traffic from the central control point to the devices inside the LLN, is supported. Support for point-to-point traffic is also available.

RPL protocol is easy to adopt to network changes and allows to have multiple logical topologies over a single physical topology. Moreover, it provides a loop avoidance and detection mechanism, and it takes into account both link and node properties when choosing paths. However, it assumes other mechanism can be used to provide security.

Nowadays, RPL routing protocol is used in 6LoWPAN and generic LLN networks. There were some successful implementations in TinyOS, and with the deployment of IPv6 it is expected to have more implementations and successful results.

ISA SP100

The ISA SP100.11a standard centers around the process and factory automation and is being developed by the Systems and Automation Society (ISA). It is used in devices and systems that sense meansure and control industrial processes and manufacturing operation.

ISA 100.11a is a robust, scalable and flexible standard. It provides a low-bitrate and very low power consumption communication with a transparent network management to the user. It allows adaptive routing, multiple network topoligies, addressing system and redundancy levels. Moreover, it uses some mechanisms for granting a sustainable amount of devices in the network, a good spectrum management, coexistence with other networks and reliability in the communications.

GPON

A Passive Optical Network (PON) is a point-to-multipoint, fiber to the premises network architecture in which unpowered optical splitters are used to enable a single optical fiber to serve multiple premises, typically 16-128.

A PON consists of an Optical Line Terminal (OLT) at the service provider’s central office and a number of Optical Network Units (ONUs) near end users. It reduces the amount of fiber and central office equipment required compared to point to point architectures. A passive optical network is a form of fiber-optic access network. GPON (Gigabit Passive Optical Network) deals with optical communications a Gigabit level providing more symetric traffic and efficient resources utilization.

Smart cities

A smart grid is a form of electricity network using digital technology. The idea of two-way communications from suppliers to consumers to control appliances is not new, and systems have been implemented using analog technology for many years. The growth of an extensive digital communication network for the internet has made it practical to consider a more sophisticated type of smart grid: smart cities.

What are smart cities?

A smart city is a city that uses data and information technologies to provide better services to citizens, track progress toward policy goals, optimise existing infrastructure. A smart city enables new business models for public and private sector service provision.

In a smart city, all man-made systems come together and interact with one another: healthcare, public safety, transportation and mobility, energy, education and government services (public safety, street lighting, efficient waste collection or public infrastructures).

Smart Infrastructure and technology

There are a few key technology enablers for a city to become smart: pervasive sensor networks throughout city, node connections through standardized low-cost communications, real-time analysis and control of city systems, and integration of isolated systems across cities (IPv6 like Internet of Things). Nowadays several companies are working in order to provide and enhance this infrastructure.

Smart cities use four different technologies in order to collect, transmit, storage and process the data. Moreover, a service delivery platform is needed.

Example: Smart Santander

Smart Santander is an European research facility for Internet of Things architectures, services and applications in the context of the smart city. It combines three projects WISEBED (tools and mechanisms for wireless sensor networks), SENSEI (interconnection of sensors) and Telefonica’s Ubiquitous Sensor Network service platform (storage and interfaces).

The first pilot experience was on June 2011 with 300 Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Phase 1 started on December in order to expand infrastructure with 2000 IoT devices. Next phase will be on December 2012 with 5000 IoT devices and last phase is expected to be on August 2013 where all the advanced features will be prepared for exploitation.

EPS=LTE+SAE

The 3GPP Release 8 standard specifies the 4G Evolved Packet System (EPS), which includes the E-UTRAN (access network also known as LTE) and EPC (core network also known as SAE).

SAE

System Architecture Evolution (SAE) is the evolution of the GPRS Core Network. It is a simplified architecture where the intelligence is in the access network instead of the core network. It is an all-IP Network and supports higher throughput and lower latency radio access networks, including E-UTRA (LTE and LTE-Advanced air interface), 3GPP legacy systems (GERAN or UTRAN) and non-3GPP systems (WiMAX or cdma2000).

LTE

The EPS, also known as LTE, is designed to provide high data rates and low latency using a flat, all-IP network architecture. The EPS is standardized to provide all services including mobile broadband data, high-quality voice, and multimedia services.

Downlink peak data rates provided by LTE up to 100Mb/s and 50Mb/s in the uplink. It operates in both TDD and FDD modes and it has a scalable bandwidth up to 20MHz, covering 1.4, 3, 5, 10, 15 and 20MHz. The usage of OFDMA (SC-FDMA in the uplink) and MIMO technic increase spectral efficiency over 3 times.

HSPA+

HSPA+, or Evolved High-Speed Packet Access, is a technical standard for wireless, broadband telecommunication. HSPA+ enhances the widely used UMTS based 3G networks with higher speeds for the end user, which is comparable to the newer LTE networks.

HSPA+ was first defined in the technical standard 3GPP release 7 and expanded further in later releases. HSPA consist on HSDPA (Downlink) and HUSPA (Uplink) which are completely different systems (the only thing they have in common is the HARQ mechanism).

The usage of MIMO technics and 16/64QAM modulation in HSDPA provide higher data rates (14.4Mbps). HSPA+ increases the network capacity and the user data rates because of the better spectral efficiency. Moreover, it reuses UMTS architecture in order to minimize the capital expenditure of the operator, but base stations (NodeB) have more intelligence with RNC functions. The flattened all-IP architecture, where the stations connect to the network via IP, allows a faster and cheaper network.

In Spain, Movistar, Vodafone and Yoigo has commercially launched HSPA+ with speeds up to 42Mb/s in major cities.