July 11, 2017 —
The number commercial Internet of Things (IoT) devices is expected to pass the number of mobile phones sometime in 2018 and, according to Ericsson’s latest Mobility Report, and there will be 18 billion connected IoT devices in 2022.
“This massive uptake requires a different approach to network planning, design, operations and capabilities than traditional mobile broadband networks,” Peter Laurin, Head of Business Area Managed Services, Ericsson.
To meet the needs of the burgeoning IoT network market, Ericsson has added network services to enable service providers to address the deployment and operation of the massive number of IoT devices being introduced to LTE networks. Applicable for Cat-M1 (also called LTE-M) and Narrow Band IoT (NB-IoT) technologies, these services include IoT network design and optimization, deployment, operation and management.
Ericsson is also introducing new IoT software features, such as Voice over LTE (VoLTE) support for Cat-M1. This will enable operators to explore new use cases in which it can be advantageous for IoT devices to support voice services, opening up opportunities to expand enterprise services to areas such as security alarm panels, remote first-aid kits, wearables, digital locks, disposable security garments, and other types of IoT-enabled applications and services.
Heterogeneous IoT networks and diverse use cases with varying needs will require a different approach to network planning and design, according the Ericsson. To support this, the OEM is introducing scenario assessment, network modeling, design development, and developmental appraisal for massive IoT networks.
July 11, 2017 —
Verizon has successfully transmitted its first live Voice over LTE (VoLTE) call over its commercial Category M1 (Cat-M1) network with the help of Ericsson and Qualcomm Technologies, which is said to be an important moment in the evolution of IoT connectivity. Cat-M1 is a 3GPP-based technology that is designed to allow low-power Internet of Things devices to communicate over licensed spectrum
Cat-M1 can extend the reach of an IoT device across Verizon’s LTE network, whether it is a data-only or voice-enabled product.
In April of this year, Verizon launched the first nationwide commercial 4G LTE Cat-M1 network, which spans 2.4 million square miles, designed to provide scale, coverage and security for customers seeking wireless access solutions for IoT.
Verizon’s Cat-M1 network is built on a virtualized cloud environment, which enables IoT deployment and nationwide scaling. Cat-M1 is a new class of LTE chipset that is designed for sensors, which requires less power and supports an array of use cases ranging from water meters to asset trackers to consumer electronics.
The low bandwidth use cases for Cat-M1 chipsets demand new types of data plans, including low rate, multi-year plans to match the longer useful life of devices.
In 2016, Verizon launched a limited commercial Cat-M1 network.
AT&T Shows VoLTE Call on Cat-M1/LTE-M Network in Demonstration
At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February of this year, AT&T demonstrated a VoLTE call on Cat-M1/LTE-M technology using technology from Qualcomm Technologies and Ericsson’s radio and core network.
AT&T plans to extend the technology into its mobile network to enhance existing and new IoT use cases requiring voice services. The demonstration shows that the technology is mature and ready for commercial deployment in operator networks.
The demonstration used Qualcomm Technologies’ MDM9206 LTE modem, designed to support Cat-M1/LTE-M, as well as Ericsson LTE Radio Access Network, Ericsson IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS), Ericsson Evolved Packet Core (EPC) and Ericsson User Data Management network infrastructure and new software.
July 13, 2017 —
While Verizon was performing its Cat-M1 Voice over LTE (VoLTE) trials, China Unicom, Ericsson and Qualcomm Technologies demonstrated the use cases for the new technology early in July at Mobile World Congress Shanghai 2017.
The demonstrations appear to use much of the same technology as Verizon’s Cat-M1 VoLTE call: Ericsson’s IoT and VoLTE capable network infrastructure and Qualcomm’s MDM9206 global multimode LTE IoT modems.
The Cat-M1 VoLTE use cases demonstrated a fire alarm trigger panel and a GPS emergency tracking device.
Fire alarm trigger panels can be configured so that a single press of a button notifies multiple first responders and stakeholders, such as the fire department, the hospital, and the building’s property management office. Using VoLTE capabilities, the person who triggered the alarm can describe the situation to rescuers and get immediate guidance.
The improved coverage and longer battery life offered by Cat-M1 technology can be used to create more reliable GPS emergency tracking devices. Such devices can use data services to send GPS location data while enabling VoLTE calls for coordinated emergency response.
During MWC Shanghai, China Unicom, Ericsson and Qualcomm engineers established a point-to-point Cat-M1 VoLTE call using Meitrack P99 GPS tracking devices powered by Qualcomm MDM9206 global multimode LTE IoT modems. Ericsson products used in the demonstration included an LTE Radio Access Network, Evolved Packet Core, IP Multimedia Subsystem and Unified Data Management.
July 6, 2017 —
China Telecom and Ericsson have launched the China Telecom IoT Open Platform – a global connection management platform that is designed to accelerate the deployment of internet of things (IoT) solutions and services in China.
The China Telecom IoT Open Platform enables enterprises to deploy, control and scale the management of IoT devices through partnerships. With this platform, enterprise customers can integrate their business processes with the managed connectivity service offered by China Telecom to create IoT solutions. China Telecom and its industry customers will use the platform to drive the digital transformation of industries in China and beyond.
The China Telecom IoT Open Platform uses Ericsson’s Device Connection Platform, which offers enterprise customers reliable connectivity based on service-level agreements and a common, unified overview of devices and access networks. The platform was launched in 2012 and now supports more than 25 operators and more than 2,000 enterprise customers as part of Ericsson’s IoT Accelerator platform.
June 20, 2017
North America will lead the world in the deployment of 5G with the largest share of subscriptions by 2025, according to the Ericsson Mobility Report. The OEM based its prediction on North America’s rapid migration to LTE from CDMA and WCDMA/HSPA-based networks.
“The [rapid deployment] trend is set to continue with 5G, as leading operators in the region have stated their intention to expand into pre-standardized 5G already in 2017,” Ericsson said. “As such, the region will have the highest share of 5G subscriptions in 2022 at 25 percent.”
5G Subs to Exceed 500 Million in 2022
The number of 5G subscriptions will exceed half a billion by the end of 2022, because of the large-scale trials and deployments of 5G scheduled in 2019, according to the June 2017 edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report. Behind all of that movement is the decision to accelerate the 5G New Radio (NR) standardization process by 3GPP.
In March 2017, 3GPP approved acceleration of the 5G NR standardization schedule by introducing an intermediate milestone for an early variant called Non-Standalone 5G NR.1, which enabled early 5G deployments and supported the requirements for enhanced mobile broadband services.
The Ericsson report also forecasts 5 billion LTE subscriptions by the end of 2022. Additionally, 9 billion mobile subscriptions are expected, as well as 8.3 billion mobile broadband subscriptions and 6.2 billion unique mobile subscribers. Ninety percent of smartphone subscriptions will for 3G and 4G.
“GSM/EDGE-only still constitutes the largest category of mobile subscriptions. However, LTE is anticipated to become the dominant mobile access technology in 2018,” according to the report. “By this time, the number of LTE subscriptions will be more than seven times the GSM/EDGE-only subscriptions, while the corresponding number for WCDMA/HSPA subscriptions will be four times.”