LTE-enabled IoT wearables trialled by Ericsson, Sony Mobile, SK Telecom

Ericsson has announced lab trials are underway with SK Telecom and Sony Mobile to run IoT devices and wearable technology over dedicated LTE channels.

The trials involving all three parties are taking place at Ericsson’s labs in Sweden this month, with live networking trials due to be conducted on SK’s cellular network in Korea later this year. Ericsson claims cellular network connectivity already covers 90% of the world’s population; with consumers expectant of constant connectivity for smartphones and tablets, it stands to reason wearable technology will soon succumb to the same expectations. By definition, IoT-enabled devices will be met with the challenge of ensuring continuous connectivity.

To that extent, Ericsson says it is working on lab testing the key functionalities of LTE device Categories 0 and M (Machine Type Communications) – which is standardised by the 3GPP and is the first device band of LTE dedicated to maximising IoT efficiency gains, such as reducing network complexity and improving battery lifetime.

The main devices being subjected to lab trialling relate to healthcare and wellness applications and services, so the three companies will be looking at connecting consumer lifestyle gadgets which rely on multiple sensors to provide accelerometer, identification, pulse meter and GPS functionality. Ericsson reckons that in testing, LTE has proven to support the ubiquitous and secure uplink and downlink connections that wearable lifestyle and wellness applications require. Sony, meanwhile, says this is a fundamental step in enabling an IoT world.

“Sony Mobile regards the push into the realm of IoT and our strategies for diving into this market are critically important,” said Izumi Kawanishi, Sony Mobile’s EVP of product business. “There can be little doubt that the market for network-connected devices – of every shape, size and type – will explode at breakneck pace going forward. We believe that the trials with Ericsson and SK Telecom are important steps towards the IoT world, realizing solutions that will strengthen user experiences.”

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