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Ericsson and ecosystem partners to demonstrate IoT software breakthroughs at CTIA Super Mobility

Steve Rogerson
September 3, 2015
Ericsson and device ecosystem partners will show IoT systems enabled by Ericsson's latest software upgrades at next week’s CTIA Super Mobility event in Las Vegas. The demonstrations will include extended coverage for GSM in partnership with Intel, extended battery life with power saving mode on a commercial LTE chipset and module in partnership with Altair and Telit, and LTE Category 0 prototype with half duplex support for low cost devices in partnership with Sequans.
Ericsson has targeted the suite of software upgrades and ecosystem advances that will accelerate the uptake of IoT for the benefit of both industry and consumers.
"The internet of things has so much potential,” said Alain Maloberti, senior vice president of Orange Labs Networks. “We are committed to working with key IoT companies to support innovations that enhance the day-to-day lives of our consumer and business customers. 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."
Park Jin-hyo, senior vice president at SK Telecom, added: "Our ambition is to set the pace for mobile networks, so we are already proactively building towards 5G technology, which will include an evolution of today's LTE and innovations driven by new IoT use cases. Connectivity underlies everything we do and Ericsson's latest innovations enhance both networks and devices so that we can develop new IoT opportunities in Korea. This is sure to accelerate uptake of IoT and allow us to quickly reach our customers with useful IoT services."
There are already more than 230 million cellular M2M subscriptions for IoT devices, but certain problems have limited the potential for large-scale adoption across a variety of use cases, namely the cost of IoT devices, device battery life, and cellular coverage in both remote areas and deep inside buildings.
"For IoT to truly erupt, standardisation is vital and interoperability is key,” said Matt Hatton, founder and CEO of Machina Research. “By working with big names like Intel and other IoT ecosystem players like Altair, Sequans and Telit, Ericsson is ensuring that opportunities for efficiencies are not missed and that the device and network ecosystem develop in synch."
The software release 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 is said to cut device cost by 60 per cent compared with Category 4.
Ten-year battery life is one of the goals for 5G and Ericsson is introducing two software upgrades for energy efficiency that achieve that goal on today's IoT devices. Device power-saving mode for LTE and GSM is a device power-saving capability that introduces a deep sleep state, while extended discontinuous reception (DRX) for GSM extends the sleep cycles in inactive mode.
Extended coverage software for GSM delivers a 20dB improvement leading to a seven-fold extension in the range of low-rate applications. This enables the use of IoT applications in remote locations and deep within buildings underground.
"Connectivity is critical to mass adoption of new IoT applications for smart cities and industries,” said Ken Stewart, chief wireless technologist for Intel. “Intel is helping clear the path for IoT's rapid growth through its research and development of cutting-edge new technologies, and by working closely with ecosystem partners. We are pleased to collaborate with Ericsson to jointly drive standards adoption of solutions that can be used immediately on existing operator networks."
An additional capability included in this software release is the enablement of service prioritisation to optimise network resources while addressing the diversity of IoT use cases.As more IoT devices connect to the network, it is important that they and the services they provide can be prioritised, especially during times of heavy traffic.
IoT QoS admission control for GSM enables the prioritisation of devices trying to access the network, such as giving medical equipment priority over a utility meter, and it can even disconnect low-priority devices temporarily to mitigate any capacity limitations. This functionality is already supported in LTE.
"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,” said Arun Bansal, senior vice president at Ericsson. "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."