Ericsson, AT&T trialing cellular LPWA solution for massive IoT

Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) is rolling out a new Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) software solution that it says can run over existing LTE networks and introduces power-saving functionality for NB-IoT and LTE-Machine type communication (LTE-M) that can offer more than 10 years of device battery life.

With backing from AT&T (NYSE: T), Ericsson's new low power wide area (LPWA) solution, Network Software 17A, is promising to enable more flexible deployment, low total cost of ownership and high reliability and security.

Network Software 17A, which is slated for commercial availability in the fourth quarter of 2016, should extend coverage for NB-IoT in order to hit remote and deep indoor areas by adding an up to 20 dB coverage improvement.

Extended Long DRX will offer more than 10 years battery life for LTE-M and NB-IoT but keep the same downlink reachability needed for industrial monitoring and home automation.


"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," Chris Penrose, SVP of IoT Solutions at AT&T Mobility, said in a statement.

This latest push around NB-IoT and LTE-M comes on the heels of Ericsson's recent trials with Orange in France around Extended Coverage GSM (EC-GSM). Ericsson says NB-IoT, LTE-M and EC-GSM are all complementary technologies and serve to address different LPWA IoT use cases.

As Ericsson and carriers like AT&T and Verizon (NYSE: VZ) -- which recently unveiled Thingspace, its bid to make the IoT easier to develop for and use -- work out their LPWA IoT plans, unlicensed spectrum technologies like SigFox and LoRa are working toward the same end. At the same time it is trialing IoT solutions with Ericsson, Orange is also testing with LoRa in its efforts to optimize future networks for IoT.

For more:
- see this Ericsson release

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