By Emeka Aginam
Ericsson as part of it resolve to equip communication service providers and utility companies to address services and requirements in the fast-growing Internet of Things (IoT) market. The new solutions including smart metering as a service, user & IoT data analytics and networks software 17A diversifying cellular for massive IoT are expected to strengthen Ericssonâ€™s unique positon with end-to-end capability.
IoT is quickly emerging as a very significant agent of transformation as it blends the physical and digital worlds.Â It would be recalled that in the latest Ericsson Mobility Report, 28 billion connected devices are forecasted by the year 2021, more than half of which are M2M and IoT connections.Â Meanwhile, numerous studies have identified the potential and value of IoT to society, with smart cities and connected homes, including consumer devices, making up as much that value.
Driving industry innovations in smart cities and connected homes, Ericsson is launching three IoT solutions:Â ICT is becoming increasingly critical for utility providers as they look to improve operational efficiency and find ways to innovate and improve customer experience.Â Smart metering as a serviceÂ Smart Metering as a Service enables end-to-end business process outsourcing drawing on Ericssonâ€™s experience of enabling more than 42 million smart meters worldwide. The benefits of Smart Metering as a Service include reduced time-to-market, superior meter management and operations, as well as maximum cost savings.Smart Metering as a Service will be commercially available in Q2 2016.
User & IoT Data Analytics
Exponential growth in the number of connected devices, both from consumers and industries, presents telecom operators with an opportunity to unlock the value of user and IoT data in their network databases.Â Ericssonâ€™s User & IoT Data Analytics allows operators to do that by providing a real-time analytics engine embedded in the subscriber database.
This solution extends Ericssonâ€™s User Data Consolidation (UDC) offering, and works for both cellular- and non-cellular devices. It can also fetch data from other vendorsâ€™ network data bases and aggregate them in the analysis. Additional data from external sources can be included and, with the use of secure exposure, cross-industry IoT insights and applications also become a possibility.Â Ericsson User & IoT Data Analytics will be commercially available from end Q2 2016.
In September 2015, Ericsson announced a suite of software upgrades to accelerate the uptake of IoT, removing roadblocks to mass-market adoption.Â To meet the new challenges of supporting the coming massive numbers of IoT devices with a wide range of use cases and requirements, Ericsson is launching Networks Software 17A for Massive IoT that supports millions of IoT device connections per cell site. The software-only upgrades introduce newest device category for LTE connections, Narrowband-IoT (NB-IoT), to existing network infrastructure, for fast rollout of reliable, secure mobile connectivity at the lowest total cost of ownership.
NB-IoT is well suited to IoT applications such as metering and sensor monitoring and flexibly scales to support millions of connections per cell site. It also reduces module costs by 90 percent and provides seven times better coverage.Â Combined with power-saving improvements, it delivers more than 10-year device battery life while maintaining downlink reachability.
These enhancements complement features available in the previous software release to address the diversity of IoT requirements while making best use of the extensive global footprint of existing networks.Â The upgrades to LTE and GSM networks provide an ideal platform for IoT growth.Â Ericsson Networks Software 17A for Massive IoT will become commercially available in Q4 2016. This means Ericsson will deliver the industryâ€™s first complete cellular low-power, wide-area (LPWA) offering to market this year.