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Mobile Location Fundamentally Changes the IoT Landscape

By: JC Elliott, Director of Marketing, Polte Corporation

Knowing the “where” of an IoT device can mean the difference between success and failure.

Location is the Prime Analytic

IoT has been around for a few decades in various forms, though with increased mobility and innovation in the market, the IoT ecosystem from developers to device manufacturers to enterprises is embracing  new use cases and leveraging location awareness as a key part of their solutions. Various sensor data provides the “what”, which is important; however, knowing the “where” provides a foundational context for use cases.  

With IoT providing the cornerstone of digital transformation for many companies, new use cases that were at one time cost prohibitive can now be easily deployed. Real time data and cloud computing enable actionable intelligence to optimize operations and usher in new business methodology.

Location Capabilities are a Foundational Layer for IoT

Many wireless technologies can provide connectivity for the billions of IoT devices that are forecast over the next several years, but 4G & 5G cellular networks, including Mobile IoT variants NB-IoT and Cat-M, are proving to be the most reliable, cost-effective solution. Due to their existing and planned coverage, cellular networks enable seamless indoor and outdoor coverage for location-enabled IoT devices. According to Ericsson’s November 2018 Mobility Report, cellular IoT connections will number more than 4 billion by 2024. 

Polte Corporation is leading the IoT location market through leveraging 4G & 5G networks to provide positioning for mobile use cases. Through patented algorithms, Polte’s positioning technologies acquire readily available cell tower data and via their software only solution, which is embedded into LTE/ 4G & 5G modems, transmit raw data to the Polte Cloud where device location is determined.

Removing complex compute requirements from the IoT device enables considerably less power usage as well as shrinking device cost. And because the Polte Cloud is where the location of the IoT device is calculated, this solution is secure from chip to cloud.

Polte’s software-only location technologies enable rapidly scalable IoT solutions, which can be updated quickly via firmware OTA updates. No extra hardware is required, unlike dedicated hardware solution such as GPS and Wi-Fi location solutions. This allows very small form factors at extremely low prices that move the market closer to a disposable tracker solution.

Polte’s Location Considerations

A variety of location solutions are utilized in today’s marketplace; however, with so many combinations, choices and varying degrees of success, it’s frequently difficult to compare one with another. Polte’s positioning technologies address the major concerns of the IoT market:  

Power/ Battery Life – for use cases that require a long life, very low power technologies are ideal. Polte’s solution transmits very small packets of data and only at preconfigured intervals based on the customer’s use case.

Security –  because Polte’s location solution transmits only broadly available, raw tower data, the device location is secure from chip to cloud. The location capabilities are designed to enable enhanced security for IoT use cases. 

Accuracy – the Polte platform uses patented algorithms and employs machine learning to self-heal , which allows continuously increasing accuracy with each lookup.

Coverage – leveraging mobile networks, Polte’s solution works seamlessly from outdoor to indoor environments, including the case when the tracker is in a container, package or inside a moving vehicle. 

Size – using only the cellular radio to determine location, Polte enables manufacturers to produce the smallest form factor possible to provide accurate location.  

Cost – with the small device size and low power requirements, Polte’s solution enables the lowest cost IoT devices available on the market. And since Polte is a software-only platform, no hardware changes are required for existing device designs which enables an entirely new   category of devices in the near future.

Polte in Action

For more information and to see Polte in action, visit Polte in booth 943 at IoT World 2019, May 14-16 in Santa Clara. 

Take a deeper dive into the future of IoT on a Polte sponsored webinar with moderator Daniel Collins, IoT Visionary and co-founder of Jasper titled Enabling the Next Billion Things: IoT Innovation Pillars that Drive Success

Collins will lead a panel of IoT Thought Leaders from location software, module and device manufacturers delving into: 

•    What we’ve learned from past IoT deployments

•    How current technology trends are shaping the mobile IoT market

•    What industry leaders need to embrace now for future IoT success

Please join our webinar on Thursday, June 13th, 11am CST https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_dZumECW2TeykcedorjU1CA 

This article was created in collaboration with the sponsoring company and our sales and marketing team. The editorial team does not contribute.