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Sample Articles from Bob Wallace.

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"TBT" (Throwback Tuesday) - This article was originally published July 6, 2017

It's a good thing for athletes from youth sports to the college level game that Jesse Harper decided against becoming a nutritionist at an elderly care facility after graduating from the University of Connecticut with a degree in nutritional biochemistry.

The football player opted instead to take on health in sports and now directs as CEO a fast-emerging sports tech company - aptly named Athlete Intelligence - which helps coaches and others measure understand impacts and player performance on a per-team or- player basis.

The data its platform collects in real-time can be used by coaches to correct potentially harmful blocking and tackling that youthful players are executing incorrectly. Biometrics from its advanced player mouth guard, "shockbox" and a special headband help coaches spot situations such as fatigue and take corrective action with the player, drills, practices and much more.

The former player and past football coach (who has also trained Olympic athletes) is beyond concerned about the future of contact football given the talk of parents keeping their kids away from football for fear of head injuries.

"It's truly heartbreaking to see and hear of kids be redirected away football at low levels," admitted Harper, whose Seattle-based sports tech firm is roughly five years old. "People are scared. But we are addressing player safety and concussions with our system to identify coachable moments and address fears."

For example, the AI platform could show that offensive linemen are taking hits high on their helmets, explains Harper. "This indicates they are not getting their heads up when the ball is snapped. That tells me that we need to work on neck strength and that raising their heads needs to be incorporated into practices and game planning by coaches who can use game video to address and educate players on the situation and provide corrective action."

It may be surprising that the NFL has not yet embraced the company's products. But that's no worry to Harper, whose firm is faring well selling at the larger college and high school levels with continued success. For now, it's a numbers game with the NFL comprised of 32 teams, while college football has some 700 teams, high school has 16,000 teams and youth football has over 30,000 teams.

Creating Coachable Moments

The sports tech pioneer uses the phrase "coachable moments" in part to describe the analytics driven opportunities to coach up players. This is how the company president and CEO describes them:

"Coachable moments are the actionable insights that we capture from the data and video collected. We can identify trends and improper technique and bring it to the coach's attention so that they can work with the players during practice to modify their behavior," Harper explained.

Drawing from the example above he added: "We can identify things such as offensive linemen that are deconditioned and dropping their head during the 4th quarter and exposing themselves to greater head as well as injury running backs that are hitting the hole improperly and leading with their head, etc."

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Image by Pixabay

Source: Pixabay

Entertainment, retail, and hospitality are among verticals embracing analytics to optimize their wireless networks.

Wi-Fi without analytics is like a fall Sunday without NFL football.

In sports, venue owners are among the most aggressive implementors of Wi-Fi. Stadium Wi-Fi data analytics are in use to identify, understand, and market to fans in the stands.

The need to leverage Wi-Fi networks to help supercharge sales and marketing efforts by forging closer ties between enterprises and their customers is building. Analytics already help firms in the entertainment, retail, and hospitality industries achieve this goal.

Better still, the Wi-Fi infrastructure, combined with analytics, also provides IT managers the information they need to enhance, expand, and upgrade their Wi-Fi networks.

Analytics packages are available from Wi-Fi networking vendors, analytics-only companies, and firms that specialize in software for specific vertical industries. There are several steps to making the most of analytics.

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Source: Pixabay

Low-cost, long-range, and long-lasting, LPWANs expand their enterprise following.

Enterprises looking to launch and expand IoT applications need not wait on superfast high-speed wireless. The broadening availability and allure of low power wide-area networks (LPWAN) is drawing increased interest - and use.

LPWAN is an umbrella term that covers a variety of established technologies that can be used to support long haul IoT applications comprised of devices such as sensors. Units (costing roughly $5 to $10 apiece) use batteries to transmit small amounts of crucial data to a central location, and can last 10 years.

Enabling technologies for these core functions include Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT), LoRa, SigFox, Ingenu’s Random Phase Multiple Access (RPMA), LTE-M and Weightless.

LPWANs are becoming a global phenomenon for supporting IoT applications. IHS Markit estimated that just 150 million LPWAN links were deployed in 2018, a figure that it expects to expand at a 63% compound annual growth rate to hit 1.7 billion links by 2023.

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Image: Pixabay

Non-technical issues threaten to slow and limit the deployment of 5G rollouts

Enterprises anxious to explore the promises of 5G could be in for a longer than anticipated wait for the deployment of the high-speed services.

In what’s shaping up as a battle between tech and tact, some municipalities are objecting to the deployment of 5G equipment on aesthetics and safety grounds, claiming it’s unattractive and doesn’t meet local standards. Further, an FCC order designed to help carriers streamline the deployment of 5G gear in localities has been challenged in a U.S court of appeals by dozens of municipalities.

August actions

Earlier this month, Verizon took the city of Rochester, NY, to court over charges associated with deploying 5G equipment, claiming that city’s fees were above those allowed by federal law. The Rochester City Council reportedly passed laws limiting the number of cell towers and fiber nodes that carriers could install.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit vacated some aspects of the FCC order, calling the “deregulation of small cells…arbitrary and capricious.” A group of tribal nations petitioners were against the FCC order, because it had removed review processes outlined by the National Historic Preservation Act and the National Environmental Policy Act. The FCC was sent back to the drawing board. See one municipality’s case below.

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GSTV is about halfway through its transition to an enterprise cloud network, a move that will help reduce infrastructure costs.

The classic network challenge when trying to support bandwidth-intensive applications, video distribution, and data delivery is finding an economically priced service that provides the required performance and geographical coverage.

That’s been the case for GSTV, the nationwide media network based in fuel stations, since it started in 2006. The GSTV network serves over 21,000 locations, delivers 3 billion impressions per year, and ads to one of every three adults, generates 93 million unique users, and helps influence spending from a high-resolution screen. Additionally, it sends content with targeted ads to small pump-top screens reaching those gassing up their rides – a true captive audience.

“We try to be good listeners to our retailers, program providers, ad agencies and consumers,” said GSTV Chief Executive Officer Sean McCaffrey. “We’re programming a PG show that’s entertaining, informative and inspirational.” The desired result is a purchase beyond gas at advertiser locations.

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DSS enables faster 4G to 5G transition by maximizing resources

The days of network operators having to dedicate specific spectrum to different technology generations could be numbered, thanks to an emerging technology called Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS). By enabling operators to make more efficient use of current – and expensive – spectrum assets, service providers could deploy 5G services faster and more cost-effectively.

With DSS, network operators can dynamically share spectrum among two different technologies, such as 4G and 5G. Today, these operators have to split spectrum and dedicate separate chunks to different cellular technologies.

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