Cellcos, vendors to demo mobile IoT technologies at MWC

Staff writer

The first live demonstrations of Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) solutions in licensed spectrum will be on display at this week’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the GSMA announced.

Visitors will experience a diverse range of solutions underpinned by three complementary technology standards known as narrowband IoT (NB-IoT), extended coverage EGPRS (EC-EGPRS) and LTE machine type communication (Cat-M).

The GSMA’s Mobile IoT Initiative has aligned the mobile industry behind these standards, which have been accepted by 3GPP for Release 13. The availability of commercial solutions in 2016 will remove market fragmentation, provide market reassurance and help to accelerate the IoT through the availability of very low cost, mobile operator-connected devices.

“LPWA is an emerging, high-growth area of the IoT but it requires common, global standards in licensed spectrum in order for it to scale effectively and deliver secure, reliable and robust performance,” GSMA chief technology officer Alex Sinclair said.

“With high-quality managed networks, mobile operators are well placed to deliver these industry standard solutions which offer customers a clear choice and we are excited to see the industry move so quickly to provide commercial solutions.”

LPWA networks are designed for M2M applications that have low data rates, require long battery lives and operate unattended for long periods of time, often in remote locations. They are expected to be used for a wide variety of applications such as industrial asset tracking, safety monitoring, water and gas metering, smart grids, city parking, vending machines and city lighting.

There are already a number of commercial trials and pilots of LPWA solutions underway around the world, but at Mobile World Congress visitors will be among the first to try them out for themselves, including:

  • Smart Agriculture/Connected Vineyard: Ericsson, Intel and Orange will showcase how EC-EGPRS will address the challenge of extending coverage to difficult-to-reach indoor locations such as basements as well as remote rural locations, such as vineyards and farms.
  • Connected eBike: Ericsson, Intel and Nokia will showcase an innovative bike tracking solution that utilizes NB-IoT technology to track the real-time location and status of eBikes through urban underground or even rural environments with lower signal levels.
  • Fleet tracking and Smart Grid monitoring: Ericsson and Intel will demonstrate how Cat-M technology supports extended coverage in underground or rural areas for IoT applications such as fleet management and smart grid management. 
  • Mobile IoT Water Meter: Huawei, Neul, Vodafone and u-blox will demonstrate how NB-IoT technology helps to provide real time usage information and fault management using live results relayed from Vodafone’s proof of concept in Valencia, Spain.
  • Connected Consumer and Industrial Devices: Sierra Wireless will demonstrate how Cat-M will be used for a variety of consumer devices, such as connected shoes, wearables and healthcare devices, as well as industrial devices, such as smart electric meters.
  • Pet Tracking: Huawei and Vodafone will be showing how NB-IoT can be used to make sure your beloved pets are kept safe and sound.

The demos are to be held at the GSMA Innovation City located at Stands 3A11 and 3A31 in Hall 3, Fira Gran Via.

The Mobile IoT Initiative is backed by 30 of the world’s leading mobile operators, OEMs, chipset, module and infrastructure companies, including AT&T, China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, Ericsson, Etisalat, Huawei, Gemalto, Intel, KDDI, KT, LG Uplus, Nokia, and NTT DoCoMo.

It is designed to accelerate the commercial availability of LPWA solutions in licensed spectrum.


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