Ericsson claims first complete low-power wide-area solution with AT&T

Networks giant Ericsson has launched what it says is the industry’s first complete cellular low-power wide-area (LPWA) offering in partnership with US operator AT&T.

This specific breakthrough is enabled by Ericsson Networks Software 17A for Massive IoT, which is designed to enable each cell site to support millions of IoT connections by introducing NB-IoT capability.

Ericsson sees a clear fork in wireless technology development, with one fork in the road to 5G focused primarily on performance while the main requirement for IoT is low power. NB-IoT is one of the latest developments in the latter fork, following things like EC-GSM and LTE-M.

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“A few months ago Ericsson announced innovations to accelerate uptake of the IoT, including our EC-GSM offering,” said Arun Bansal, Head of Business Unit Radio at Ericsson. “Now we are expanding on our promise to remove barriers to the IoT with the industry’s first complete cellular LPWA offering, enabling operators to address the full diversity of IoT use cases across their networks. With support for massive numbers of connections, 2016 will be the year of the IoT.”

“Unlocking the power to wirelessly enable enterprise processes is one of the largest opportunities facing the business world today,” said Chris Penrose, SVP of IoT Solutions at AT&T Mobility. “IoT is a great opportunity because it’s being implemented in every industry vertical and it touches every product that people use daily. And we’ve started to see a trend toward cellular LPWA-first in our IoT business given its advantage of security, reliability and ubiquitous coverage.”

Ericsson likes to launch a bunch of products around big tech shows and this year’s CES was no exception. IoT was the general theme and on top of the LPWA announcement and some further collaboration with AT&T over connected cars, there was yet more IoT fun.

Smart Metering as a Service (inevitably, SMaaS) is an outsourced business process covering all aspects of metering. As with all ‘aaS’ models the appeal lies in speed, efficiency and flexibility and it will be available to customers in Q2 2016.

User and IoT Data Analytics pretty much does what it says on the tin and is part of Ericsson’s user data management solution. Ericsson is hoping to differentiate this from the flood of IoT big data solutions hitting the market by embedding a real-time analytics engine in the subscriber database and it will also be available in Q2.

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