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Sprint ramps up network for IoT

William Payne
May 18, 2017

Sprint will complete its roll-out of LTE Cat 1 technology across its nationwide network by the end of July 2017, the company announced at IOT World 2017. In addition, Sprint announced plans to begin deploying LTE Cat M in mid-2018 followed by LTE Cat NB1.

LTE Cat 1 is designed to support low-power applications on the Sprint network such as vehicle telematics and industrial IoT applications. LTE Cat M1 and LTE Cat NB1 are designed to support numerous other applications requiring ultra-low throughput and power consumption such as industrial sensors, asset trackers, or wearables.

The company has also announced availability of C3PO, an open source NFV/SDN-based mobile core reference designed to improve performance of the network core by providing a streamlined high performance data plane for the packet core.

The development of NFV (network functions virtualisation) and SDN (software defined networking) technologies are seen as key to optimising and securing future IoT networks. They should make it possible to create future highly optimised IoT applications.

Sprint's Chief Operating Officer Gunther Ottendorfer said that C3PO will allow Sprint to adapt more quickly to market demands and scale new services more efficiently and cost-effectively.

C3PO is designed to be used by global operators and other third-parties as a reference for commercial applications. Intel Labs technologists built the core control plane and data plane virtualised EPC applications and Sprint developed the SDN controller enhancements.

The EPC application code from Intel is available via the CORD project in ON.Lab and the SDN plug-ins from Sprint are available via OpenDaylight.

Sprint is the seventh largest provider of IoT devices in the world.

“We're making great progress on our roadmap in support of the evolution of the IoT standards and Access Technology,” said Mohamad Nasser, General Manager of Sprint's IoT Business Unit. “IoT, along with wireless and wireline, is one of the three critical business lines for the Sprint Business portfolio. We are investing effort and capital to make sure that Sprint is well positioned to capitalise on the incredible growth that IoT will experience globally.”

Glenn Laxdal, Head of Network Products, Ericsson North America, said: “As one of the leading enablers and solution providers of the Internet of Things, Ericsson believes in its power to transform industries and capture new growth. Ericsson looks forward to partnering with Sprint to deploy Cat M1 next year and bring the transformative power of IoT to the Sprint Nationwide network.”