Ericsson and Orange have teamed up to test a new network anticipated to deliver a better job of funneling data from Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
These two firms will be launching a series of trials centered on three considerable areas for IoT. Specifically, these tests are hoped to enrich indoor coverage, lower the costs of IoT devices and lengthen battery life. These tests will involve IoT devices over LTE and GSM.
Yasir Hussain, strategic product manager of Ericsson’s radio business unit, said the result by these trials will start showing up in networks as early as 2017.
The initial test is slated to kick off in France, with device reachability as its focus. The test will use the 900 MHz band, which is also used in the U.S. for baby monitors, cordless telephones and microwave ovens. The purpose of the test is to boost the coverage by seven times the existing 2G network, making it possible to reach distant outdoor monitoring locations or basements, for instance.
The second and third tests are in collaboration with LTE modem maker Sequans. The primary goals of these two remaining tests are to increase battery life and minimize costs for IoT devices.
Sequans will supply to Ericsson and Orange its uniquely built modem, which has an antenna and uses much less processing power and memory.
Senior Vice President of Orange Labs Networks Alain Maloberti said that the IoT is a vital area in the Essentials2020 Strategic plan of the company, and France will have to play a substantial part in the takeoff of IoT in Europe.
“In order to extend our connectivity offer, we are currently deploying a LoRa network,” said Maloberti. “We are preparing the future of cellular networks and we are happy to collaborate with Ericsson to be the first operator to demonstrate IoT over GSM and LTE in order to roll it out ahead of 5G availability in the market.”
In the meantime, Sequans is also partnering with Verizon in bringing in a more affordable LTE modem for connected devices. This will lessen the price from $30 to $15.