Ericsson continues to bang the IoT drum

Ericsson looked to capture the headlines over MWC with a big focus on IoT, and the trends have continued with two new announcements in Saudi Arabia and Greece.

Starting in the Middle East, Ericsson has bagged a new customer in STC as part of a nationwide expansion of its 4G network in Saudi Arabia, including the deployment of LTE Advanced and Narrow Band-Internet of Things (NB-IoT) in Radio Access Network.

“At STC, our main goal is to ensure that the country’s Saudi Vision 2030 ambitions are met,” said Nasser Al Nasser, Group CEO at STC. “We do that by always making sure we offer our subscribers the latest innovative technologies. LTE Advanced and NB-IoT are exactly what we need to pave the way to 5G.”

On the LTE-A side of things, the pair will deploy new 5G-ready hardware into the network to make use of STC’s newly acquired spectrum in the 700 MHz band. The claim here is that the project will increase STC network throughput in 4G by up to 50% for smartphones, though that crafty ‘up to’ metric is still there. Seems like advertisers aren’t the only one making use of the grey areas. Over for IoT, STC will be deploying NB-IoT tech in RAN across its expanded network to support smart city ambitions.

NB-IoT is also the focus of the announcement with Greek telco Cosmote. Here the pair have completed the deployment of the first cellular NB-IoT clusters in Cosmote’s network across eleven cities in Greece. The aim here is to support and develop massive Machine Type Communications (mMTC) usecases.

“Cosmote, fully recognizing the potential of massive IoT technology, is the first in Greece and one of the firsts in Europe, to trial NB-IoT and evolve its network,” said George Tsonis, OTE Group Executive Director of Network Planning & Development. “We’re poised to evolve beyond merely providing mobile broadband connectivity, to play a leading role in the rapidly developing IoT market and create through technology and innovation a better world for all.”

The IoT stance does seem to be working for Ericsson, so why change it. We noticed that the Ericsson stand was certainly very busy, perhaps even busier than its main competitors, across MWC perhaps owing to this IoT messaging. That said, it might be down to stringent access to the Huawei Village and the free lunch the Swedes were offering. Anything to avoid the dreaded and dreary beigeness of the MWC cafes.

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