Ericsson and Singtel unveil IoT ecosystem for app integration

The new IoT ecosystem, unveiled by Singtel and Ericsson at MWC, integrates stand-alone apps into a single solution.

Singaporean telecommunications provider Singtel in partnership with Ericsson has unveiled its Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem for operators, networks, and devices at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2017.

The IoT ecosystem, dubbed the Assured+ Consumer Connected Device Solution, was developed jointly by Ericsson and Singtel, and integrates stand-alone IoT applications into a single solution. Designed to solve the fragmentation of the IoT market and make it more open, the solution will provide consumers with an overview and control over all of their connected devices, including personal, automotive, and smart home.

"In order to realise the full potential of IoT and offer our customers the best user experience, we need to ensure collaboration between people, devices, and networks," said Yuen Kuan Moon, CEO of Singtel's Consumer Singapore business arm.

"Singtel believes an open ecosystem and the Assured+ solution will enable us to achieve these aims."

Singtel will begin trialling the system across its mobile customers later this year.

According to Ericsson, the solution will also accelerate IoT adoption across networks and enable a faster time to market for app developers.

Ericsson and Singtel in January launched 450Mbps speeds across the latter's entire 4G network in Singapore for customers with compatible Samsung smartphones, with the companies also announcing attaining speeds of up to 1Gbps in a trial of its 4G network.

The network upgrade was achieved by making use of 256 Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM) technology, which increases efficient use of spectrum by increasing the number of unique radio waveform shapes to transport a third more data.

Singtel and Ericsson also announced that a live trial, conducted to the east of Singapore in Pasir Ris, saw them attain speeds of 1Gbps across 4G using 256 QAM downlink combined with 4x4 Multiple Input Multiple Output (4x4 MIMO) and triple carrier aggregation.

Singtel said it plans to roll out 4x4 MIMO technology -- which doubles the data paths between mobile phones and cellular base stations to double download speeds -- to high-traffic locations on its network next year.

Ericsson and Singtel have been working on a "blueprint" for 5G deployment across Singapore since January 2015, signing a memorandum of understanding to "study the future of 5G networks and its applications" for consumers and enterprises.

In July last year, the two companies also completed a live trial of License Assisted Access (LAA) 4G, saying the mobile technology would boost network capacity and speeds indoors and would be rolled out over the next two years, beginning in the first half of 2017.

The trial involved two weeks of testing across several RBS 6402 indoor small cells, Wi-Fi access points, prototype LAA devices, and Wi-Fi devices, using 20MHz of the 1800MHz licensed spectrum band aggregated with 20MHz of the 5GHz unlicensed spectrum band over a live network inside an office premises in Serangoon North.

LAA is a kind of LTE-U -- a mobile technology using unlicensed LTE spectrum to boost data speeds -- which comes with "listen-before-talk" functionality that ensures LAA coexists with other Wi-Fi devices across the same unlicensed spectrum, improving network capacity for multiple devices.

LAA-capable smartphones and devices should be available for consumers in early 2017, Singtel added, allowing for 450Mbps throughput speeds.

In February last year, Singtel and Ericsson also announced their collaboration on enabling Singtel's 4G network for the IoT, including a trial of narrowband IoT technology during the latter half of 2016.

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