01.09.2021 - Smart city, Technology

5G test environment for connected and driverless cars

LMT, an innovation technology company, in cooperation with the Road Traffic Safety Directorate (CSDD), has set up the first 5G test environment at the Biķernieki track in Riga. From now on, it will be used to research, develop, and test a range of innovative solutions, including autonomous and connected cars, traffic management, safety and other digital solutions.

LMT develops a variety of innovative digital solutions in the areas of drones, smart cities and smart sensors, mobility, and defence. The new test track is an important step towards making smart mobility solutions a part of everyday life. The first 5G test track in Latvia is also expected to host international European research projects.

By serving as a platform for the rapid development of digital technologies such as the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, and robotics, 5G will open up unprecedented opportunities in almost every aspect of life. It is estimated that transport and logistics will be one of the first sectors to benefit from 5G relatively soon. Industry experts around the world predict that driverless cars will enter everyday traffic in the coming years, and that drone deliveries in logistics will become part of our everyday lives.

“Research is currently being carried out at international level on the positive contribution of autonomous cars to national economies, as well as on potential changes in passenger transport industries. Looking at what is happening around us, it is clear that Latvia, as a technologically developed country, needs to take an active stance and invest the resources available to us in exploring future opportunities, as this can have a significant impact on the long-term prosperity of our country,” says Juris Binde, President of LMT.

In the 5G test track, LMT will develop and demonstrate various applications of connected and driverless cars in the European Union’s 5G Routes research project on autonomous mobility solutions. As part of this, work has started in Riga on Europe’s first cross-border 5G simulation test environment.

5G Roll-Out Continues in Latvia

In the first six months of 2021, LMT has continued its targeted roll-out of 5G, the next generation of data communications, in Latvia. In May, 5G internet routers developed in cooperation between LMT and MikroTik have reached their first customers, wrote Labs of Latvia.

“LMT’s purposeful investment in the development of the 5G network and the creation of solutions continues with a new technology product: 5G routers manufactured in Latvia launch a new era in the Latvian technology innovation sector and once again confirm that the Latvian ICT industry is capable of creating innovative products that do not need to be purchased from abroad, but on the contrary, can be exported,” Binde emphasised.

Automating Processes at the Bus Station

An innovative route management system developed by LMT has been installed at Riga International Bus Station, wrote Labs of Latvia. It will now allow most of the information related to passenger transport to be processed digitally. Until now, the bus station’s route management was handled by a dispatching service, with much of the work being done manually.

The new system is able to automate and modernise several operational processes at the bus station, significantly simplifying the daily work of the bus station staff. The system now processes all up-to-date information from the Road Transport Directorate and carriers automatically, identifying and recording all buses in the territory of the bus station with the help of artificial intelligence and computer vision.

Santa Monica Networks to Be Acquired

LMT and Santa Monica Networks management have signed a share purchase agreement that will see LMT become a 100% owner of Santa Monica Networks, Labs of Latvia reported. The deal, which is still being assessed by Latvian and Lithuanian competition regulators, will allow both companies to deploy fifth-generation network solutions faster and more efficiently.

“LMT has long ceased to be just a communications operator, we are developing complex business transformation tasks with the help of IT solutions. With Santa Monica Networks, we share the DNA of innovators. By combining LMT’s expertise in mobile solutions with the power of an experienced developer of data networking and IT security solutions, we will become a leader in digital transformation and the best partner for digitalization processes in any public administration institution or private company,” said Binde.

The companies plan to continue as separate legal entities.

Turnover up by 10.3%

LMT has increased its turnover to 119.5 million euros in the first half of 2021, up 10.3% compared to the first six months of 2020, Labs of Latvia wrote. The company’s profitability (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation or EBITDA) increased by 9.3% to 38.7 million euros. The number of LMT customer connections increased to 1.34 million. The internet consumption of LMT customers has grown rapidly, therefore the company continued to invest in network development in the first half of the year, with 11.8 million euros.

In the first quarter of 2021, LMT’s turnover increased to 59.7 million euros, wrote Labs of Latvia. This is 5.6% more than in the first quarter of 2020. Growth has been ensured by the growth of Internet consumption, the development of smart TV and the active interest of enterprises in business solutions.

Profitability increased by 3.6% to 19.7 million euros. The number of customers increased by 1% to 1.33 million.

Turnover of 230 Million Euros in 2020

In 2020, the consolidated turnover of LMT was 230 million euros, Labs of Latvia wrote. According to unaudited data, the EBITDA of LMT in 2020 reached 73.5 million euros, and its profit was 27 million euros. “The COVID-19 crisis has triggered a shift in people’s habits, accelerating the world’s move towards the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution and a digital society. As data consumption soars, network quality will increasingly affect the provision of public functions and the viability of entire sectors of the economy. That is why this year we plan to continue investing even more actively in network development to ensure a high quality of services,” said Binde earlier.

The number of LMT customer connections rose to 1.32 million last year.

In 2020, data consumption increased significantly. Each LMT customer consumed 26.6 gigabytes per month on average in 2020. LMT continued to develop its network last year, installing, expanding, and upgrading 392 base stations, bringing the total number of base stations to more than 1,450. In 2020, LMT invested 25 million euros in network and technology development, including the roll-out of the 5G network.

Beyond Mobile Communications

For several years, LMT has been not merely a mobile operator, but also an IT and innovation company. LMT also develops various digital solutions in the fields of drones, smart cities and smart sensors, mobility, and defence. Using big data, machine learning, artificial intelligence and the latest mobile capabilities, the company develops innovative services for both Latvian and export customers.

Together with partners from other countries, LMT participates in several European research projects such as Comp4drones, Sparta, iMUGS and 5G Routes to develop opportunities for high added value products in Latvia.

Source: labsoflatvia.com

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