Ericsson makes widespread IoT adoption possible

(Image Credit: iStockPhoto/KrulUA)

Gartner predicts 4.9 billion connected devices will be in-use by the end of this year, a number which is set to grow to over 25 billion by 2020. Existing networks are struggling to cope with the demand placed on them by the IoT – and whilst the development of new technologies has picked-up to solve this dilemma – until then software needs to step-in and optimise what’s available.

Ericsson announced this morning the debut of new software which helps to knock-down a number of barriers preventing widespread IoT adoption. The network behemoth lists three key benefits of their latest release: 

Reduced IoT device cost- The new software supports LTE Category 0 with half-duplex operation in FDD, which effectively limits functionality and capability to those specifically required for IoT applications, such as large-scale sensor and smart meter deployments. This reduced complexity cuts device cost by 60 percent compared to Category 4. 

Extended battery life - 10-year battery life is one of the goals for 5G and Ericsson is introducing two new software upgrades for energy efficiency that achieve that goal on today's IoT devices. 
Device Power-saving Mode for LTE & GSM is a new device power-saving capability that introduces a deep sleep state, while Extended Discontinuous Reception (DRX) for GSM extends the sleep cycles in inactive mode. 

Improved indoor coverage - Extended coverage software for GSM delivers a 20 dB improvement leading to a seven-fold extension in the range of low-rate applications. This enables the usage of IoT applications in remote locations and deep within buildings underground. 

One indispensable feature of Ericsson's new software is 'IoT QoS Admission Control for GSM' which allows for the prioritisation of network resources – useful for the increasing amount of IoT devices with their diverse use cases. During times of heavy traffic, certain devices such as those for ensuring public safety can take priority over more leisure-based deployments.

Arun Bansal, Senior Vice President and Head of Business Unit Radio at Ericsson, says: "We are accelerating IoT growth on existing LTE and GSM networks to ensure a global foundation for a vast range of new consumer, industry and government applications, from Smart Cities to connected farms.”

He continues: "With our leading national and multi-national operator customers, like SK Telecom and Orange, and ecosystem partners like Intel, we are co-creating end-to-end IoT network and device solutions that harness the power of reliable, globally scalable, standards-based systems and services. These innovations put our mobile operator customers solidly on the road to 5G."

Cellular networks cover 90 percent of the world's population, but networks aren't optimised and interoperability remains an issue. Ericsson is working alongside large partners such as Intel and IoT ecosystem players like Altair, Sequans, and Telit, in order to ensure networks are performing efficiently with IoT deployments. 

Alain Maloberti, Senior Vice President Orange Labs Networks at Orange, comments: "We are really pleased to see Ericsson working with leading ecosystem players to address the cost, coverage and battery life issues that have hindered broader mass uptake of IoT applications. We see that the best is yet to come." 

Do you think Ericsson's software will help manage IoT devices? Let us know in the comments.

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