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Orange urges operators not to wait for 5G to embrace IoT

Orange LTE Keynote 2

Orange SVP of network architecture and design, Alain Maloberti, used his keynote address at the LTE World Summit to highlight how the French telco plans on embracing IoT, while looking towards the arrival of 5G.

In his speech, he stressed existing LTE networks are more than capable of managing additional traffic loads being generated by IoT objects.

“We’ve got a lot more smaller objects, like sensors and chips [in the IoT]; so we’re looking at how to address those, with cost analysis and lower power consumption with batteries that can last 10-15 years,” he said. “We’re not yet there, and there are some proprietary systems we’re looking at which can use unlicensed bands, however in the long run what we need is to have more intelligent networks to appropriately utilise spectrum and power.”

Mentioning emerging networking technologies, such as NFV and SON, as means of improving efficiency, Maloberti acknowledged that simplification is essential.

“We know that we’ve also got to improve our network equipment,” he said. “Technology is moving so fast that we need to keep up, and we can do this by having simpler equipment, probably also to have a standard interface between the radio network and base station for better utilisation of spectrum and frequencies. We need a simple radio, we need simple features, and we need features which can make the network more efficient.”

And while he’s looking forward to 5G, Maloberti concluded by emphasising that today’s infrastructure will be able to handle most IoT traffic just fine, and that operators need to maximise the potential of LTE today.

5G should be able to manage the massive number of connections for IoT, but we’re not going to wait until arrives to do so, we’ll be rolling out IoT on 2G and 4G in the meantime,” he said. “To answer user needs, we cannot stand still for another four or five years waiting for 5G, we should be looking at 4G evolution, and a lot of our current customer requirements are comfortably managed by LTE at the moment.”

So for the meantime, Maloberti said, let’s allow 4G to progress.

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  • Self-Organising Networks World

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  • NFV and Carrier SDN

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  • 5G North America

  • Mobile Networks / IoT and M2M

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  • Internet of Things World Europe

  • 5G World


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