Ericsson touts new cellular IoT approach

21 Feb 2019

Ericsson has outlined its vision for cellular IoT and introduced new solutions to help service providers address future needs of industry verticals such automotive, manufacturing, and utilities

The Swedish telecoms equipment vendor identified four market segments, as the application of cellular IoT progressing from basic use cases of asset tracking and smart metering to increasingly complex applications like autonomous vehicles and collaborative robotics in manufacturing.

The incremental approach will make it easier for service providers to align cellular IoT capabilities with current applications and those further down the line across various verticals by enhancing LTE networks as they prepare for 5G, the company added.

The four segments include the new additions of broadband IoT and industrial automation IoT, which join a pair of existing segments which Ericsson called massive IoT and critical IoT.

Broadband IoT refers to mobile broadband capabilities of IoT where higher data rates and lower latencies are needed for use cases such as infotainment in cars, drones, and augmented reality/virtual reality. The focus on industrial automation IoT will address areas such as collaborative robotics.

In line with its cellular IoT vision, Ericsson announced the launch of new products for Broadband IoT, including drone detection, link control, RAN slicing, advanced subscriber group handling, and multi-gigabit LTE.

The vendor said it’s also enhancing Massive IoT capabilities, including the NB-IoT Extended Cell Range, which increases the standards-based limit by about 40 km to reach 100 km.

This could be particularly useful in rural and remote areas, and applied to logistics, agriculture and environment monitoring, according to Ericsson.

“Cellular IoT is moving from early adoption with Massive IoT to global rollout,” said Fredrik Jejdling, executive vice president and head of networks at Ericsson.

“We are now describing ‘what’s next?’ for our customers and how they can make the most out of their 4G and 5G investments on the same network and address more advanced IoT use cases across industries.”

Ericsson said that service providers can make use of network slicing techniques to support all four segments in a single network. This allows them to optimize their assets while tapping into revenue opportunities within industries.

The company has said the number of cellular IoT connections cellular IoT connections is expected to grow by 27% annually around the globe, reaching 4.1 billion in 2024.

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