Meanwhile, Ericsson’s Erik Ekudden suggests a national chief technology officer could help to realise the benefits of 5G for a brighter future
Ericsson has unveiled the next steps in the evolution of cellular Internet of Things (IoT) with the launch of a suite of new solutions that will enable a wide range of use cases across different sectors.
Ericsson’s evolution concept describes how cellular IoT can move from the more basic use cases of massive IoT, such as asset tracking and smart metering, to increasingly sophisticated use cases enabled by Broadband IoT (such as infotainment in cars, AR/VR, drones and advanced wearables), and then by critical IoT (such as autonomous vehicles), and industrial automation IoT (such as collaborative robotics in manufacturing).
The company has outlined cellular IoT’s evolution in four market segments: massive IoT; broadband IoT; critical IoT and industrial automation IoT.
Broadband IoT and industrial automation IoT are new. The former adopts mobile broadband capabilities for IoT and supports higher data rates and lower latencies than massive IoT. Industrial automation IoT will enable advanced industrial automation applications with extremely demanding connectivity requirements.
“Cellular IoT is moving from early adoption with massive IoT to global roll-out,” said Fredrik Jejdling, executive vice president and head of networks, Ericsson “We are now describing ‘what’s next?’ for our customers and how they can make the most out of their 4G and 5G investments on the same network and address more advanced IoT use cases across industries.”
“Cellular IoT is moving from early adoption with massive IoT to global roll-out”
In line with its cellular IoT vision, Ericsson is launching enhanced functionalities for massive IoT, which includes the NB-IoT Extended Cell Range 100km. This stretches the standards-based limit from around 40km to 100km through software updates without changes to existing NB-IoT devices.
This opens huge opportunities in IoT connectivity in rural and remote areas, particularly for logistics, agriculture and environment monitoring. Ericsson has deployed NB-IoT data connections up to 100km with Telstra and DISH.
The broadband IoT solutions being launched include drone detection and link control, radio access network (RAN) slicing, advanced subscriber group handling, and multi-gigabit LTE for 2Gbps data throughput and around 10 millisecond latency. The new solutions will enable a wide range of use cases in automotive, drones, AR/VR, advanced wearables, smart manufacturing, and smart utilities.
"These choices – embraced by a nation’s CTO – would have a positive influence on a nation’s competitiveness, boost its society and public sector, and support digital inclusion”
According to the Ericsson Mobility Report, the number of cellular IoT connections is expected to reach 4.1 billion in 2024, increasing with an annual growth rate of 27 per cent.
Patrick Filkins, senior research analyst, IoT and mobile network infrastructure at IDC, said: “Ericsson has come up with a uniquely clear vision for cellular IoT with well-defined segments for service providers to address new business growth opportunities from industry digitalisation. Ericsson’s cellular IoT evolution concept will support service providers to incrementally allow add-on use cases even within a single vertical.”
Meanwhile, in a blog post on Agenda from the World Economic Forum at Davos last week, Ericsson group chief technology officer, Erik Ekudden, put forward the case for national CTOs in the 5G era who would help governments and public sector decision-makers ensure 5G fulfils its potential of establishing and fostering a cleaner, safer and more sustainable society.
He wrote: “With 5G we have the opportunity to provide a leading platform for digitalisation that can drastically increase efficiency and enable enterprises to reshape their business processes as data-driven and fully connected with the latest mobile technology.
“We are now describing ‘what’s next?’ for our customers and how they can make the most out of their 4G and 5G investment"
“With the dawn of 5G just around the corner, I believe these choices – embraced by a nation’s CTO – would have a positive influence on a nation’s competitiveness, boost its society and public sector, and support digital inclusion.”
He added that a national CTO is far more likely to be effective if they understood how the communications and Internet industry works, as well as the underlying technology trends. Such an individual could be tasked with creating a blueprint for digital inclusion and in doing so try to ensure that the government and all its agencies have the right infrastructure, policies, strategies and services to keep the country and its people competitive now and in the future.
He also called for the information and communications technology industry and governments to work together to improve the deployment of new technology and increase productivity as well as create new jobs and reskill old ones.
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