Ericsson extends IoT portfolio

Ericsson now has four different Internet of Things segments across Massive IoT, Critical IoT, Broadband IoT, and Industrial Automation IoT.
Written by Corinne Reichert, Contributor

Ericsson has unveiled a series of new solutions in four different Internet of Things (IoT) segments across both 4G and 5G networks, which it said will address use cases from automotive to manufacturing and utilities.

As part of its expanded IoT portfolio, Ericsson has added new services to its Massive IoT and Critical IoT segments, and added two new segments: Broadband IoT and Industrial Automation IoT.

"Broadband IoT adopts mobile broadband capabilities for IoT and supports higher data rates and lower latencies than Massive IoT," Ericsson explained.

"Industrial Automation IoT will enable advanced industrial automation applications with extremely demanding connectivity requirements."

Massive IoT looks to provide products for smart metering and asset tracking, with one new solution in this segment being Ericsson's capability to cover distances of up to 100km with its narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) Extended Cell Range software upgrade, as showcased with Australian carrier Telstra back in September 2018.

"This opens huge opportunities in IoT connectivity in rural and remote areas, particularly for logistics, agriculture, and environment monitoring," Ericsson said.

Across the new Broadband IoT segment, the networking giant is launching products including radio access network (RAN) slicing, 2Gbps LTE with 10ms latency, drone detection and link control, and Advanced Subscriber Group Handling. According to Ericsson, these solutions will address the automotive, drones, AR/VR, wearables, smart utilities, and smart manufacturing industries.

Critical IoT is focused on autonomous vehicles, while Industrial Automation IoT provides solutions for robotics in manufacturing.

In November, Ericsson said it predicts IoT connections to reach 4.1 billion by 2024 across both NB-IoT and Cat-M1 networks.

"Of the 4.1 billion cellular IoT connections forecast for 2024, North East Asia is anticipated to account for 2.7 billion -- a figure reflecting both the ambitions and size of the cellular IoT market in this region," Ericsson said in its most recent Mobility Report.

Around 85 cellular-based IoT networks using Cat-M1 and NB-IoT have been announced across the globe, according to Ericsson.

"Both technologies are being deployed to complement each other across regions worldwide. Large-scale deployments, and the resulting high-volume chipsets, are expected to continue to reduce chipset prices. This is leading to further acceleration of the growth in cellular IoT connections," it said.

Ericsson is also working with US carrier Sprint on IoT, in September announcing that they would build a virtualised core IoT network and operating system in partnership. The network will be 5G-ready, with the network and OS to utilise Ericsson's IoT Accelerator platform.

The IoT OS combines connectivity management, device management, data management, and managed services while "delivering immediate intelligence" on the data being collected.

Earlier this week, Ericsson also announced a new AI-powered managed services offering to help carriers adopt and deploy IoT and 5G networks, which it called the Ericsson Operations Engine.

"Networks are quickly becoming significantly more complex to operate as we introduce IoT and 5G at scale and virtualise core networks," Ericsson SVP and head of Managed Services Peter Laurin said.

"The Ericsson Operations Engine ... changes our way of operating networks from reactive to proactive, leveraging data, automation, and artificial intelligence."

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