News

Magnet offers free office space to Irish companies in London

TechCentral.ie • March 6, 2017

Ten Irish businesses looking to expand to Britain are being offered free office space in the heart of London as part of Magnet Networks’ Launchpad for London initiative.

“With Brexit dominating the news, it is easy to forget that Britain is our largest trading partner and offers better access to funders, a better attitude to risk and a massive market for many Irish firms,” said Magnet Networks CEO Mark Kellett.

Brentry

“We believe that 2017 should be the year of Brentry, giving Irish businesses a launchpad into the city that hosts many of the world’s top companies and offers the best place to test your fundraising model, product or service offering.

“Most importantly, Irish companies who are also operating within Britain will be in a stronger position post-Brexit.

“The 10 Irish companies who base themselves at Magnet’s headquarters at York House in the smart city will pay no rent for four months. They will have the fastest connection available, direct fibre optic connections from Ireland to their London desks and access to one of the largest Internet of Things and Smart City test beds in the world.”

Enterprise Ireland regional director for the UK & Northern Europe Marina Donohue said: “The UK is the largest export market for Enterprise Ireland client companies, and will continue to be for the foreseeable future,” she said. “Having a presence on the ground in the market has always been important, and even more so since the decision was taken by Britain to leave the EU.

“Every year we help hundreds of Irish companies develop and grow their exports in to Britain, many of whom will establish a base here. The head start provided by Launchpad for London has the potential to be of huge value to help companies become established in the UK, as well as being well connected.”

Betcade returns to business having secured critical funding

SBCNews • March 6, 2017

Betcade the ‘real-money’ dedicated gaming/gambling app store has returned to business having gained critical investment from Vancouver-based private equity firm Columbia Ventures Corporations (CVC).

At the start of the year, Batcade management had issued a corporate statement informing industry stakeholders that the company had ceased its operations. At the time Betcade management did not disclose any specific reason as to why the company had shut down its enterprise.

The Pasadena-based (California) start-up returns to business, seeking to become the ‘go-to mobile app store’ for betting and gaming consumers. Betcade operations will continue to be led by CEO & Founder David Chang who commented on his firm’s return to business
“Every start-up has a near-death experience, and in those trying times you learn a lot about the company and those that you work with. Throughout the process, we have done our utmost to treat all stakeholders with respect and sincerity.”

Chang backs his firm’s revival with CVC as its new main backer. The CEO stated that Betcade would continue in its initial start-up strategy, focusing on facilitating ‘restricted’ Android app gambling/betting downloads, as well as delivering the industry’s best-in-class tailor-made mobile payment solution.

“In the near term, we will be working with our current partners with apps on the Betcade store. We realise our recent close call may have left our current partners with many questions and we will work hard to answer them while continuing to make a positive contribution to the gambling industry,” Chang further commented on Betcade’s return.

Pivotel invests in groundbreaking IoT deployment solutions

VIW Magazine • March 6, 2017

Leading telecommunications provider Pivotel Group, has partnered with Canada’s revolutionary LTE (4G) private network solutions company Expeto, to deliver an Australian first partnership allowing Pivotel to manage EPC core network elements in remote virtual environments.

Pivotel this month launched its remote 4G LTE solution ecoSphereTM, demonstrating its intention to build an ecosystem of leading sensor, device, modem, network technology and application providers to deliver state-of-the-art solutions enabled by remote 4G coverage in the mining, resources and agricultural sectors.

Unlike the big three Australian telecommunications companies who spend large on buying bulky centralized core network appliances located in substantial data centres, Pivotel Group has ensured its services remain competitive by partnering with Expeto to deliver its all software 4G LTE core network solution.

pivo

Pivotel Executive Director Robert Sakker said with Expeto as its core network technology partner, customers will benefit from security, agility and flexibility in its network deployments.

“As Australia’s fourth mobile network operator in Australia alongside Telstra, Optus and Vodafone, Pivotel is a nimble network innovator, enabling us to push the boundaries and deliver global best practice,” Mr Sakker said.

“There is considerable value in partnering with Expeto. Firstly, it allows us to deploy targeted industrial and IoT solutions under our ecoSphereTM brand, which can be optimized for an end customer’s requirements, and secondly, customers maintain network access control at a granular level, with security forming a significant part of our service offering.

“Instead of the legacy solutions typically found only in large telco data centres, Expeto has developed an agile way for us to flexibly deploy our core network elements under a Platform as a Service model. Instead of a large upfront capex commitment, we are able to align our cost base with our revenue on an opex basis which will help us grow our 4G LTE footprint quickly,” Mr Sakker added.

The Expeto partnership will enable Pivotel to deploy the EPC core network elements in its remote virtual environments in seconds, without the need for a black box or multi-million dollar system integration. Critical customer data is kept secure, and most of the data can be processed locally, minimising expensive transfers over remote backhaul solutions.

Expeto CEO Ryley MacKenzie, said the foray into Australia helps expand the company’s global footprint.

“IoT service and solution providers such as Pivotel, are creating extremely innovative solutions. The Expeto platform ultimately enables enterprises to deploy wireless IoT and smartphone devices with more agility and configurability than ever before – all accomplished through IT methodologies, not telco complexity. We’ve built our service and reputation around the customers’ needs,” Mr MacKenzie said.

“It’s satisfying to see our developments rolled out by Pivotel in Australia. Expeto is cheaper, faster, easier and provides more control than legacy solutions. No boxes. No capex. With Expeto, Pivotel’s customers get their own network with their devices secured behind their firewall.”

The announcement comes in the lead up to Mobile World Congress, the world’s largest gathering for the mobile industry, held in the Barcelona, 27 February – 2 March 2017.

Firms here offered free London office

Irish Independent • March 6, 2017

Irish businesses looking to expand to Britain are being offered free office space in the heart of London with the launch of telecoms company Magnet Networks’ BrEntry initiative.

Launchpad For London will see 10 Irish companies establish themselves rent-free in London’s new smart city at Wembley Park.

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CEO of Magnet Networks Mark Kellett and Louise McKeown
launch the BrEntry initiative. Picture: Conor McCabe

“With Brexit dominating the news, it is easy to forget that Britain is our largest trading partner and offers better access to funders, a better attitude to risk and a massive market for many Irish firms,” Magnet Networks chief executive Mark Kellett said.

“The 10 Irish companies who base themselves at Magnet’s headquarters at York House in the smart city will pay no rent for four months…they will have the fastest connection available, direct fibre optic connections from Ireland to their London desks and access to one of the largest internet of things and smart city test beds in the world,” he added, inviting interested companies to apply.

Enterprise Ireland’s regional director for the UK and northern Europe, Marina Donohoe, praised the initiative for focusing on the importance of having a UK presence in a post-Brexit Europe. She said the UK would continue to be the largest export market for Enterprise Ireland client companies for the foreseeable future.

Off the canvas, Betcade is primed for action again

Online Casino Reports • March 2, 2017

Android gaming and payment solutions provider Betcade is back, and fast.

Betcade’s Back, Alright

The solutions provider was working on an Android gambling store last January when it closed. Now they are back, with a new backer.

Mobile First’s Time

After closing to some confusion, a new deal enables Betcade to continue to pursue a better mobile user experience for the gambling industry with the expectation that the iGaming sector could formally adopt a “mobile-first” focus by the end of 2017.

Making a Mark

In its first 18-month go-round of start-up, Betcade established itself as the first provider of real money gambling products on Google’s Android mobile platform. The company further gained approval from the UK Financial Conduct Authority in October 2016 to launch Betcade Pay in December as iGaming’s first general purpose payment method, so the brand had certainly established a niche.

New Owner

Now, mere weeks the fold, the Android-focused mobile gambling app re-launches after being acquired by Vancouver private equity firm Columbia Ventures.

Restart

The first step back is bringing the customer acquisition business back online. The first round of outreach consists of alerts from Chang and his team to current and former partners of new users to prepare for the imminent arrival of new users.

Betcade Leader Reacts

Betcade founder and CEO and David Chang had this to say of the move:
“In the near term, we will be working with our current partners with apps on the Betcade store. We realise our recent close call may have left our current partners with many questions and we will work hard to answer them while continuing to make a positive contribution to the gambling industry,”

Trial by Fire

Of the company’s comeback, Chang acknowledged that “Every start-up has a near-death experience and in those trying times you really learn a lot about the company and those that you work with. Throughout the process we have done our utmost to treat all stakeholders with respect and sincerity.”

Outlook

With specialised Android mobile technology and the first tailor-made iGaming payment solution, the value remains. Hopefully, the capital investment of Columbia is all that was necessary to bring these innovations to market in sustainable fashion: iGaming certainly appears ready.

Betcade to re-launch following acquisition by Columbia Ventures

iGamingBusiness • February 28, 2017

Android-focused mobile gambling app store Betcade is re-launching just a few weeks after it announced it was closing all business operations.

Betcade told iGaming Business it had been acquired by Columbia Ventures Corporation, a private equity business located in Vancouver, in the US state of Washington, which plans to restart the business.

Initial steps will see the start-up bring the customer acquisition business back online and David Chang, Betcade found and chief executive, told iGaming Business that once the company felt it was ready to support more operators it “will open the Betcade store to new apps again – hopefully that won’t take us too long”.

Chang and his team are currently reaching out to current and former partners to make them aware that it will start sending users their way shortly.

“In the near term, we will be working with our current partners with apps on the Betcade store. We realise our recent close call may have left our current partners with many questions and we will work hard to answer them while continuing to make a positive contribution to the gambling industry,” Chang told iGaming Business.

He added: “Our near-death experience was a consequence of the acquisition of our investor and as a consequence not reflective of our business operations, metrics or promise. I really believe that our value proposition is stronger than ever and is a needed part of the mobile ecosystem if mobile gaming is to continue to grow.

“Every start-up has a near-death experience and in those trying times you really learn a lot about the company and those that you work with. Throughout the process we have done our upmost to treat all stakeholders with respect and sincerity.”

In the coming months Betcade will be engaging with partners, vendors and customers. Chang added: “It looks like we will be able to contribute to the industry after all, and we are grateful for the opportunity.”

Company merges 4G and satellites to bring reliable communications to the outback

ABC • February 16, 2017

Mobile service provider Pivotel Group is building custom-designed mobile network bases using 4G and satellite connectivity for use on pastoral stations, mine sites and oil and gas projects.

Called the ecoSphere, it offers secure point-to-point voice, video, tracking and monitoring connections.

Key points:

  • Pivotel Group builds custom-designed mobile network bases using 4G and satellite connectivity
  • System could provide an alternative to landline phones
    Provides complete communications for pastoral stations, mine sites, and oil and gas projects
  • Remote communications have been a bugbear for rural communities and industries that often struggle just to get enough connection to send or receive a mobile phone call.

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Six antennae satellite dishes are part of a ground station at Dubbo
that communicates with Globalstar satellites.

Despite the launch of the Federal Government’s Sky Muster satellite, communities also suffer from download speeds so slow they make normal business operations almost impossible.

Now they face the possibility of losing the only reliable communications systems many of them have, the landline phone.

The Productivity Commission has recommended the Federal Government save money by removing the current requirement to provide basic telephones, a move angrily received in the bush.

Pivotel chief executive Peter Bolger said providing a better alternative to landlines was one of the opportunities ecoSphere could provide.

Voice services part of new network

Typically, the Universal Service Obligation (the legislation on landlines) was for voice services only.

“But voice services absolutely run over the network we’ve developed, which incorporates 4G networks,” Mr Bolger said.

“4G networks are designed for much higher speed anyway, so it’s a very simple service to run voice with that.”

Many rural and remote areas are the home of farms, pastoral stations and mining companies that have become so frustrated with the communications systems on offer they have been jerry-rigging their own systems.

The vexed issue of internet speed, mobile phones and loss of landlines may be addressed with new trial.

Making remote communications work

Mr Bolger said marrying the 4G network with custom-built base stations meant high-speed ability for a large number of applications.

“It provides complete communications, particularly around machine to machine, such as on mine sites and other remote industrial sites, but there is also a lot of voice and video applications that will be picked up as well,” he said.

“Prior to launch of 4G, the mobile phone networks were built up around voice services first.

“With the emergence of 4G, it’s built around data first, so voice goes over the top of the data network very easily.

“And in development is another standard piece that supports very, very low power and also have very long life batteries.

“That’s best for sensors, so the machine to machine [data] business that’s coming about.”

Role for NBN

Another service that has yet to live up to its promise, particularly for the rural sector, is the National Broadband Network (NBN).

However, Mr Bolger said the NBN was also an enabler of the system, as much as a dedicated satellite.

“The NBN entitles all farm owners, all properties, who have NBN connection to the home,” he said

“But that doesn’t provide mobile phone coverage on their properties; their workplace is out on the farm, not necessarily in their homes.

“So we use that NBN to connect to the mobile base stations [purpose-built on properties], which will provide complete coverage at high speed.

“But it’s also for low speed, low power if for example you want to carry out simple tasks like monitoring water levels or soil quality.”

Communications systems in modern agriculture

Farmers and pastoralists have been using telemetry for some time, being able to open and close gates, measure water and other comparatively simple tasks.

“A lot of it has been happening around UHF [shortwave radios] and it’s very specific,” Mr Bolger said.

“We’re talking about bringing high speed voice, video, data, onto a single terminal where your iPad and mobile phone will work.”

Mr Bolger said asset optimisation was a big aim.

“I see in the future every single piece of livestock — cattle or sheep or goats — could potentially be tracked, and their own biometric conditions monitored so that you can say, maximise growth rate, minimise animal loss through theft, death and poor feed.

“Cattle farmers spend a very large amount of time simply going around making sure they’ve got decent water, decent food supply and they need to do it regularly.

“That is incredibly time consuming and it could be done via this system with simple monitoring and video cameras.”