The Singaporean homegrown telco giant Singtel and Swedish Ericsson that have been in a partnership for about a year now announced that they would be trialing Narrow band IoT tech during the second half of 2016.
The collaboration aims at testing technologies so as to prepare Singtel’s present 4G LTE network to uphold the anticipated increase of connected devices while Singapore eyes availability of 5G by 2020.
Rather than using the cellular network for Internet of Things, a long range, narrowband low-power, wide area network using available and unlicensed radio spectrum can be used to allow lengthy coverage as well as less multifaceted devices with higher battery life, hence more connected devices in general.
Singtel’s Group Chief Technology Officer, Tay Soo Meng said, “IoT connectivity is an important part of Singapore’s enterprises and supports the Singapore Government’s Smart Nation initiative. We anticipate a growing demand to connect a multitude of sensors and devices in a cost-effective manner. Focusing on power saving capabilities in our networks enables energy efficiency benefits for the IoT eco-system; we expect at least 10 years battery life.”
He added that with the earlier outline of low-powered IoT devices, we come a step closer to the goal of 5G, where the new devices and sensors tech can possibly influence network connectivity so as to power a number of use instances, like lighting and connectivity of vehicle-to-infrastructure.
Sam Saba, the regional head of Ericsson South East Asia and Oceania said that by 2021, Ericsson is expecting 28 billion connected devices. Devices that need extensive battery lives and better coverage comprise of air quality, temperature, and flood water sensors.
A debate has been going on about what networks should form the IoT mainstay, with Rob Zagarella, the CEO of Australian startup, National Narrowband Network (NNN) stating in November that the major hurdle to founding the Internet of Things is the integral expense in connecting so many ‘things’.
He added that the current mobile networks in Australia are not essentially best to hostage some of the IoT challenges, since they were set up with high average revenue per user (ARPU) in mind, with resultant substantial cost and venture in spectrum.
Telstra, an Australian telecommunications provider, announced a trial of LoRaWAN tech in Melbourne with unspecified suppliers, which happened between November 28 and December 3, 2015. Speaking to ZDNet, Telstra spokesperson said the trial is meant to help in informing their view on the role of technology.
“The IoT challenge will help Telstra understand applications that operate within the constraints of a low rate, highly efficient wireless data service of which there are several solutions available.“