July 11, 2017 —
The number commercial Internet of Things (IoT) devices is expected to pass the number of mobile phones sometime in 2018 and, according to Ericsson’s latest Mobility Report, and there will be 18 billion connected IoT devices in 2022.
“This massive uptake requires a different approach to network planning, design, operations and capabilities than traditional mobile broadband networks,” Peter Laurin, Head of Business Area Managed Services, Ericsson.
To meet the needs of the burgeoning IoT network market, Ericsson has added network services to enable service providers to address the deployment and operation of the massive number of IoT devices being introduced to LTE networks. Applicable for Cat-M1 (also called LTE-M) and Narrow Band IoT (NB-IoT) technologies, these services include IoT network design and optimization, deployment, operation and management.
Ericsson is also introducing new IoT software features, such as Voice over LTE (VoLTE) support for Cat-M1. This will enable operators to explore new use cases in which it can be advantageous for IoT devices to support voice services, opening up opportunities to expand enterprise services to areas such as security alarm panels, remote first-aid kits, wearables, digital locks, disposable security garments, and other types of IoT-enabled applications and services.
Heterogeneous IoT networks and diverse use cases with varying needs will require a different approach to network planning and design, according the Ericsson. To support this, the OEM is introducing scenario assessment, network modeling, design development, and developmental appraisal for massive IoT networks.
July 13, 2017 —
While Verizon was performing its Cat-M1 Voice over LTE (VoLTE) trials, China Unicom, Ericsson and Qualcomm Technologies demonstrated the use cases for the new technology early in July at Mobile World Congress Shanghai 2017.
The demonstrations appear to use much of the same technology as Verizon’s Cat-M1 VoLTE call: Ericsson’s IoT and VoLTE capable network infrastructure and Qualcomm’s MDM9206 global multimode LTE IoT modems.
The Cat-M1 VoLTE use cases demonstrated a fire alarm trigger panel and a GPS emergency tracking device.
Fire alarm trigger panels can be configured so that a single press of a button notifies multiple first responders and stakeholders, such as the fire department, the hospital, and the building’s property management office. Using VoLTE capabilities, the person who triggered the alarm can describe the situation to rescuers and get immediate guidance.
The improved coverage and longer battery life offered by Cat-M1 technology can be used to create more reliable GPS emergency tracking devices. Such devices can use data services to send GPS location data while enabling VoLTE calls for coordinated emergency response.
During MWC Shanghai, China Unicom, Ericsson and Qualcomm engineers established a point-to-point Cat-M1 VoLTE call using Meitrack P99 GPS tracking devices powered by Qualcomm MDM9206 global multimode LTE IoT modems. Ericsson products used in the demonstration included an LTE Radio Access Network, Evolved Packet Core, IP Multimedia Subsystem and Unified Data Management.