At M2M World Congress in London, Huawei shared its Narrow-Band Internet of Things (NB-IoT) strategy and innovations to advance IoT applications and smart cities that deliver social and economical benefits. Huawei also demonstrated how it is building an ecosystem that works together to realize the full potential of NB-IoT, including its collaboration with Vodafone to launch the Vodafone NB-IoT Open Lab in Newbury, U.K.
On the ecosystem development front, on April 25, 2016, Huawei and Vodafone announced the launch of the Vodafone NB-IoT Open Lab, which aims to help third parties conduct services including network solution verification, new application innovation, device integration, business model research and product compliance certification etc., to accelerate the application advancement within the vertical industries and promote the development of the industry chain.
NB-IoT technology has emerged as the Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) standardized by 3GPP, which provides a wide array of significant advantages including supporting more than 100,000 connections per cell, a long battery life of 10 year, deep coverage with a 20db gain over GSM networks, enhanced security supported by two-way authentication and strong interface encryption, as well as providing carrier stability to enable IoT applications and smart cities.
Currently, Huawei offers a comprehensive portfolio of IoT solutions. In addition to traditional network equipment, Huawei also offers a unified business management platform and communication chipsets to provide carriers with effective support for their commercial deployment of NB-IoT solutions.
“IoT applications represent powerful opportunities to transform the way businesses and cities connect to create vast social and economic benefits. However capturing the full potential of NB-IoT applications such as smart metering and smart parking requires innovation and collaboration around NB-IoT to ensure secure, stable and robust connectivity,” said Paul Scanlan, President of Business & Network Consulting, Huawei. “Together with our partners, Huawei is applying groundbreaking NB-IoT innovation to solve core challenges around IoT applications and smart cities. As a platinum sponsor of M2M Congress, we believe this is an important forum bringing together industry experts to discuss innovation and best practices for sustainable development of NB-IoT technology to enable IoT applications and smart cities and ultimately to build a better connected world.”
To date, Vodafone, Huawei and u-blox have already completed the successful commercial trial of the pre-standard NB-IoT technology. By successfully integrating the technology into the operator’s existing mobile network in Spain, the carrier will be able to offer long-distance remote metering services to its users in the future. Huawei’s chipset and software supported this successful trial of the pre-NB IoT technology which realized narrowband communications in carrier frequency. The deployment of NB-IoT in licensed cellular spectrum means it is secure and less susceptible to interference and can provide a better guarantee of service. Further trials and large-scale commercial deployments are planned by the companies.
Moving forward, Huawei will continue to invest in innovation and is committed to building a robust, open ecosystem to drive NB-IoT technology innovation and commercialization. Together with its strategic partners such as Vodafone, Huawei will lead the development of NB-IoT connectivity across a number of different verticals including utilities, agriculture, manufacturing, wearables and transport to create a better connected world.
The NB-IoT forum will bring together all of the industry and ecosystem partners in a way which helps deliver NB-IoT to the market as quickly as possible. The forum will be hosted within an existing industry level organisation.
NB-IoT is the emerging industry solution for deployment of Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) networks using licenced operator spectrum, in-band, guard band and stand-alone deployments, and is expected to have global scale. The new technology is designed to provide deep coverage of hard to reach places, supporting a massive number of low throughput, ultra-low cost devices, with low device power consumption and optimised network architecture.
The NB-IoT forum aims to:
- facilitate demonstrations and proof of concept trials which strengthen the NB-IoT solution to meet LPWA requirements;
- lead partners to build a strong end-to-end industry chain for NB-IoT future growth and development;
- drive and proliferate NB-IoT applications in vertical markets for new business opportunities;
- promote collaboration between all NB-IoT industry partners to ensure interoperability of solutions.
China Mobile, Etisalat, LG Uplus, Shanghai Unicom, Telecom Italia and Vodafone also announce their support for the creation of six new NB-IoT open labs worldwide, which will focus on NB-IoT new service innovation, industry development, interoperability tests and product compliance certification.
It is expected that these labs and others will form a key part of the NB-IoT forum initiative. New use cases and business models will be explored in these open labs, and results will be shared with the whole industry.
Customer pilots using pre-NB-IoT technology are already underway. Pre-commercial deployment is expected during the second half of 2016, with commercial roll-out from early in 2017. The NB-IoT forum and the open labs will help to drive the development of the NB-IoT industry to the next stage.
The detailed scope, format and objectives of the forum will now be worked on, with membership extended to further companies in future.
LIVE FROM GSMA MOBILE 360 MIDDLE EAST: Chinese vendor giant Huawei fired a warning shot on the potential of the Internet of Things (IoT) market, claiming that the numerous different technologies capable of supporting Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) services are hindering overall market growth.
LPWA networks are designed for IoT applications with low data rates, long battery lives and that operate unattended for long periods of time. According to analyst firms Analysys Mason, Machina Research and Strategy Analytics, LPWA connections will reach 2.7 billion by 2022.
European operators such as Orange, KPN and Proximus are in the process of using LoRa (Long Range) technology for LPWA services. Meanwhile the GSMA recently launched its own Mobile IoT project, designed to address the use of low-power solutions in licensed spectrum. And other solutions include Sigfox, Telensa and Weightless.
“If I’m a sensor manufacturer, what standards do I use?” mused Safder Nazir, Regional VP Smart Cities & IoT, Huawei. “There’s a role for regulators in this space to decide, and then we can accelerate the development of sensors.”
Session moderator Matt Hatton, CEO of Machina Research, asked Nazir if there was a concern that mobile operators could end up deploying “the IoT equivalent of WiMAX”, a technology marketed as ‘4G’ but eventually trumped by the more successful global technology LTE.
Indeed, technologies such as Wi-Fi and LPWA are battling with cellular to connect the IoT world.
“Yes that is an issue and should be settled 5 years from now when we have 5G, but we’re in a period of turbulence. It requires close collaboration between operators and regulators to drive standardisation forward and settle on the rules of the game. The more specific it becomes the easier it becomes for people to understand.”
Nazir also urged the industry not to get carried away by IoT hype. “Just because we can connect everything doesn’t mean we should. It should be about the internet of value.”
“For operators, be careful you don’t become Uberised,” he added.
Source: Justin Springham Mobile World Live
AUDI AG concluding extensive cooperation agreements with Baidu and Huawei
- Audi is enabling seamless and fast automotive smartphone use for its customers in China
- Brand with the four rings is integrating Baidu CarLife in its cars
- Ricky Hudi, Head of Development Electrics/Electronics at AUDI AG: “We are working with strong partners and are driving progress in networking the car with the Internet and its surroundings.”
Audi is intensifying the expansion of connectivity of its cars in China, according to an announcement by the premium carmaker in advance of the first CES Asia taking place in Shanghai. With Baidu CarLife, Audi will also be offering uncompromising integration of smartphones in its cars in China. A China-specific LTE module, which Audi is developing in a joint venture with Huawei, will deliver fast data transmission.
“The aim of our partnership with Baidu – a company that is number one on the Chinese search engine market – is to drive advances in the online networking of our cars in China,” says Ricky Hudi, Head of Development Electrics/Electronics at AUDI AG. Baidu CarLife is a smartphone integration for use in the automobile, similar to Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
As soon as customers connect their smartphone to the car, the Audi smartphone interface starts up. On the MMI display, an environment opens with customized Baidu apps that are very popular in China, especially among young people. CarLife will operate with both iOS and Android, which will allow Audi reach the vast majority of customers.
Audi and Baidu already agreed to form a partnership at the end of January. Along with integration of Baidu CarLife, other components of the partnership include joint development of map data, positioning algorithms and point-of-interest functions. For example, they enable the transfer of destination data into the car from a Baidu Map on a computer or smartphone. In addition to Baidu CarLife, another cooperative effort being shown by Audi at CES Asia is the Audi tablet, which already includes the integrated Baidu web browser and Baidu app store.
To assure its Chinese customers of unlimited use of their online services in the automobile, quick and seamless data transmission must be guaranteed. Audi is adapting to market-specific requirements in Asia. Audi has signed an agreement with Huawei Technologies Co., one of the world’s largest network providers, for the development and utilization of an Asia-specific LTE module. Audi will use the module in China, Japan and Korea. It supports the TDD-LTE (Time Division Duplexing) wireless standard by China Mobile, which was redefined in 2013, and the FDD-LTE (Frequency Division Duplexing) standard. This makes Audi the first premium automaker to offer a fully integrated LTE solution in China.
Chinese vendor giant Huawei today claimed the world is just at the first stage of the journey to smart cities, with a lot of information being gathered but not used very effectively because we haven’t yet connected vertical markets.
John Frieslaar, Huawei’s director of strategy and innovation, said he thinks smart cities is a journey that goes from connected cities, to smart cities to intelligent cities, which ultimately will be more sustainable.
“The journey is all about how you use the data, moving from using data to understanding what happened, to using it to change the future,” he said.
Delivering a keynote at the event, Frieslaar noted that it’s not about connectivity or broadband anymore. “It’s about digital transformation – how do we get the information and what do we do with it.”
In terms of smart services, he said many city councils are doing interesting and innovative things that are forcing the telecoms community to sit up and take note and figure out the new types of services that are required from the networks.
Trends like autonomous vehicles, the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing and 3D printing are impacting the way networks are developed and deployed.
Frieslaar said the broadband architecture for 2020 will be built on a number of major components such as 5G radio access, software defined networks that allow the granular switching of traffic flows, network function virtualisation and storing things in the cloud.
The main reason behind all this, he explained, is the demand to accelerate business through faster network innovation cycles and more rapid development of new services.
Smart cities are becoming a major driver of Huawei’s growth around the world, he said. “Cities like London are gong to the likes of BT and saying ‘can you provide me with these services, because right now your portfolio is not what I really want’.”
City councils agree that free WiFi access is important to engage with citizens and to spur economic growth. “Clearly from a telecommunications perspective, their needs are changing and a traditional telecoms portfolio of services is probably not what they want in the future. It’s the Internet of Things and the cloud of things that they’ll want over the next five years,” he said.
The IoT market is predicted to have 50 billion devices by 2025. He noted that the world manufactures more than one trillion industrial devices each year, so the potential of IoT could be far in excess of 50 billion.
He added that as we move into the IoT world with autonomous vehicles, processing needs to be more local. Networks will have to have at least two macro base stations in the area to provide redundancy. “The whole dynamic of how we build networks has to change.”
Source: Mobile World Live Joseph Waring
One such band is 450MHz, which, nevertheless, is being used by a number of operators globally – albeit with significant gaps including much of Western Europe and the US. The technology of choice for these operators is CDMA 450MHz, with figures from Mobility Development Group (formerly CDMA Development Group) indicating it is used by 115 operators in 60 countries, in all regions except North America.
But, with CDMA having had its time in the sun, the industry is looking to LTE to provide a path forward for 450MHz. Touted benefits include improved speeds, increased capacity and reduced latency.
So why 450MHz? The inherent advantage of the spectrum band is coverage. Compared with higher bands, it requires a smaller number of base stations to give a broad reach, meaning there are economic benefits when it comes to covering large areas with a dispersed population. And while providing mobile broadband connectivity in remote areas is one key application for the technology, there is another area where it can shine: M2M.
Applications such as smart meters don’t require much in terms of bandwidth, but do need connectivity even in remote areas. And some industries, such as logistics, agriculture, forestry and mining, frequently focus on areas with small populations, where “traditional” mobile coverage does not make sense.
With mainstream consumer devices not including LTE 450MHz support (and unlikely to do so at any point soon), this band is also largely free of congestion, while having the potential to offload M2M traffic away from the premium frequency bands – leaving capacity for more lucrative services.
The trailblazer for LTE 450MHz is Ukko Mobile, which launched its network in Finland late in 2014. Using infrastructure from Huawei, it launched with 99.9 per cent coverage – putting it in top spot in the market using that metric.
The operator is focusing on enterprise, government and transport sectors, while also “targeting more remote areas and locations with sporadic peaks in demand, such as the 700,000 summer cottages in Finland”.
Alcatel-Lucent has also announced a deal with AINMT Holdings to deploy LTE 450MHz technology for its ice.net business in Norway.
At Huawei’s Global Analyst Summit in Shenzhen last week, I was able to catch up with the company about its efforts in this space – along with Alcatel-Lucent, it is one of the most active vendors both in CDMA 450MHz and LTE 450MHz.
According to the Chinese company, this year could see more players in the 450MHz camp making decisions with regard to their upgrade paths. Markets in Eastern and Northern Europe are likely to lead the way, with likely candidates including Poland, Denmark and Sweden.
And there are some other big markets in the pipeline, including Brazil and Russia. China may also be a possibility in the future, although at least for the time being the focus is on the more popular bands being used by operators to support their “mainstream” 4G rollouts.
Of course, there are always downsides, and in the case of 450MHz, frequency allocations are small – presenting a challenge for vendors and operators alike. With many operators already having a sizable installed CDMA 450MHz customer base, including lucrative enterprise customers, continued support for these deployments is a must.
Despite the limited spectrum available for 450MHz operators (sub 5MHz), Huawei said it is possible to migrate to a split arrangement, with two carriers assigned to LTE and one to CDMA. Then, with time, customers can be migrated to the newer network.
Even with the limited resource assigned to LTE under this arrangement, there is the scope for performance benefits in the early days.
In addition, legacy network resources can be used while rolling out LTE 450MHz, to preserve existing investments and reduce additional costs. Reuse of remote radio units and antennas also significantly simplifies deployment.
Of course, for any technology away from the mainstream, there is the issue of building ecosystem momentum. This is especially true of the current situation, where the lack of firm operator rollout plans means there is little in the way of a market for device makers.
But Eran Eshed, co-founder and VP of marketing and business development at Altair Semiconductor, has a positive view of the market.
“The size of the opportunity, in my opinion, is just large enough to attract a number of key players that will sustain a good business and keep economies under control. There are already two tier-one infrastructure vendors with LTE 450MHz products, as well as two chipset companies. We have more than a handful of customers already building products, so this is really not an issue,” he told Mobile World Live.
“The technology works – this is proven and not debatable at this point in time. Ecosystem is the next challenge, and I’m glad to say that from a chipset perspective, only Altair and Qualcomm are in the game – and our (Altair’s) products, being LTE-only, are much more attractive to customers,” Eshed continued.
With future development in the LTE 450MHz market set to include support for Category 0 terminals, enabling the delivery of low-cost devices for M2M applications, handsets supporting push to talk, and carrier aggregation with 800MHz and 1800MHz LTE networks, there is certainly plenty to appeal to operators as they make their decisions for 450MHz spectrum.
The editorial views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and will not necessarily reflect the views of the GSMA, its Members or Associate Members.
Source: Mobile Word Live Steve Costello
Globalisation of industry “essential” to economic growth, Huawei report finds.
The globalisation of the IT industry is central to ensuring economic growth around the world.
European nations are amongst the most developed, in part down to their embracing of new technologies, whereas developing countries (including the BRIC collective) fared poorly, according to the first edition of The ICT Globalisation Index, an Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) report commissioned by Huawei.
The report examined a range of indicators across 20 countries spread across five continents, including openness to information and communication technologies (ICT) trade, openness to foreign investment in the ICT sector, research and development (R&D) globalisation, and strength of the ICT environment.
Of the countries surveyed, the UK came out on top, recording an overall score of 69.6 (out of a maximum of 100), followed by the Netherlands (60.3) and Germany (56.0), mainly due to its openness to trade, where it ranked third, and the strength of its ICT environment,
What set the UK apart was its openness to foreign investment, where it scored 91.7, far ahead of any other nation. The report theorised that this high score may be due to the UK’s lack of domestic innovation, which was shown by the relatively low proportion of ICT patents registered in the country.
Despite European countries largely scoring highly in the report, the continent did present a significant North-South divide, Christopher Clague, Senior Analyst at the EIU, said whilst presenting the results.
Northern European economies tended to be export-focused, leading them to push in order to be more competitive and commit more to R&D in particular, whereas Southern European economies often imported new products or services, improving relations between countries but stalling domestic development.
Overall, a lack of transparency and poor knowledge of foreign markets were the main factors in hindering future growth, the report found, with Clague stating that many of the agreements than cover global trade are more than 20 years old.
“The ICT sector could be more globalised than at present,” he stated during his presentation, adding that issues such as the Edward Snowden revelations had stalled some aspects of international co-operation.
The findings ring especially close to home for Huawei, the report’s sponsors, given their past attempts to establish themselves in the West, with the US market in particular proving extremely difficult following allegations of covert government spying.
Overall, developing nations fared poorly in the report, with Clague theorising that a lack of available funds for R&D spending and generally poorer IT infrastructure could be key factors in holding back major potential.
This should improve over time, though, he said, adding that future versions of the report may look extremely different as spending patterns change. Disruptive emerging technologies such as 3D printing could also play their part, Clague said, saying that new innovation in such areas could potentially come from any nation.
Source: CBR/The Economist
EE SWITCHES ON WORLD’S FASTEST 4G NETWORK OFFERING UP TO 300Mbps SPEEDS
LTE-Advanced network designed to meet expected demands of future consumers and companies
- London’s Tech City area is first to be covered by world’s fastest mobile network
- 300Mbps mobile network set for further expansion and commercial availability in 2014
- EE predicts data usage will rise by 750% over next three years
EE, the UK’s most advanced digital communications company, is today switching on the fastest 4G mobile network in the world.
The network – running LTE-Advanced technology and which is capable of reaching 300Mbps speeds – will initially cover London’s Tech City, with companies in the area being selected to access it first.
This latest EE network innovation follows the company’s internal analysis of consumer and business trends, which forecasts a data-usage rise of 750% over the next three years. Such an unprecedented rise in usage means that a broad portfolio of mobile spectrum is essential for operators wanting to deliver a great customer experience for consumers and businesses in the near future.
The network is being unveiled today by EE CEO Olaf Swantee at the Huawei Global Mobile Broadband Forum in London. Huawei is EE’s 4G technology partner for this world-leading mobile innovation.
EE CEO Olaf Swantee said: “Today we are introducing the next age of 4G mobile technology to the UK. Our existing 4G network delivers incredible mobile data speeds and covers millions of people across the country, but we never stand still. We know that mobile data usage is going to keep increasing, and rapidly so.
“Our analysts predict that data usage will grow significantly over the next three years. In fact, our trend-mapping shows that data usage is set to rise by 750% in that period, as consumers and companies conduct more of their business and lives on-line.
“The network we’re switching on today in Tech City uses the spectrum that we acquired in the Ofcom spectrum auction earlier this year, and is the first part of an infrastructure that can meet the future demands of an increasingly data-hungry nation, enabling us to stay one-step ahead of the demand.”
The EE 300Mbps 4G network covers Tech City from launch, and will be rolled out across London throughout 2014. In December, local companies from the Tech City area will be selected to become exclusive EE partners, enabling them to experience the service before it becomes commercially available when compatible devices launch from mid-2014.
The speed and capacity of the EE 300Mbps network will create new business opportunities, more efficient and flexible ways of wireless working, and changes in the way in which content is consumed and created on the go.
The amount of capacity within the 4G network enables the extension of vital, high-data business applications, such as ERP and SAP, to become cloud-based, offering enterprises increased efficiency and flexibility. Financial institutions in particular – often reliant upon transferring large volumes of data – can benefit enormously from this flexibility. Increased bandwidth across the network also enables a new approach to outside broadcast for media companies, as a small number of 4G SIMs can replace an entire satellite truck and the rental of a satellite connection.
For consumers, the future of mobile is about connecting more devices, accessing more real-time information, and sharing higher definition images and videos. The emergence of wearable technology, for example, will continue to increase consumer usage of data across multiple connected products. In consumer entertainment, ultra high definition 4K TV is the future, and LTE-A makes it possible to support that on a mobile network. BBC iPlayer streams at 5Mbps, whereas 4K TV will stream at 20Mbps, so a consistently high average speed, enabled by sufficient capacity on the network, is essential.
The new network innovation, which has a theoretical maximum speed of 300Mbps, is enabled by carrier aggregation – bringing together 20MHz of 1800MHz spectrum and 20MHz of 2.6GHz spectrum. This is a fundamental feature of LTE-Advanced, and more features will be trialled throughout 2014 to extend EE’s global network leadership.
The LTE-Advanced device ecosystem is developing quickly to ensure that there are mobile broadband units and handsets capable of utlising this network capability. The EE selected user programme will launch using a CAT6 Huawei router – the first device of its kind in the world. The device can provide a high speed mobile Wi-Fi connection to up to twenty devices, and devices enabled with 802.11ac can access speeds as high as 200Mbps.
It is expected that the first commercially available Mobile Wi-Fi units will be introduced by summer 2014, also by Huawei, with handsets to follow in the second half of the year.
EE has just passed its first birthday, and already has over 1.2million 4G customers, and a 4G network that covers 131 towns and cities – approximately 60% of the population. New price plans that went live last week made 4G available from £18.99 per month, offer consumer and small business data bundles up to 50Gb, and introduced the first pay as you go 4G to the market.
Rohill, specialized in the development, production and sales of professional mobile communication infrastructures today announced two pilot installations of its LTEtraNode system (a LTE/TETRA solution). To demonstrate their innovative communications solutions to international users Rohill has teamed up with two telecommunication operator companies. The pilots will be based upon public LTE to be integrated with TETRA networks and serve the mutual needs of mission critical and broadband of the blue light user groups. One pilot will be hosted in Europe where the other one will be located outside. Further details will be communicated in separate announcements.
As one of the leading providers of critical communication Rohill has successfully integrated TETRA with LTE from Huawei and Alcatel-Lucent and is working on integration with two further LTE platform suppliers. Besides integration with public LTE, Rohill is also working on private LTE solutions subject to availability of frequency spectrum and commits itself to support all leading LTE equipment providers.
“After the Critical Communication World exhibition in Paris this year we have received a very positive feedback and many inquiries for our innovative LTEtraNode solution. Rohill has been leading this industry and two years ago on Budapest Critical Communication World we have introduced LTE integration and have maintained our technology leading position in the mission critical wireless industry since then. Rohill sees heterogeneous network solutions as the future for country wide mission critical communication networks. For this Rohill fully supports open network and modern IP switching technology on carrier grade platforms. The strong advantage for the user is an integrated solution for voice and data according the TETRA feature set with support of broadband data applications. We are excited to make the next step now and work on two pilot installations in 2013 to integrate our solutions with private and public operator-based LTE networks” says Bert Bouwers, CTO of Rohill.
The LTE/TETRA solution enables the mission critical end user to access the same data capacity and capabilities that already have been successfully introduced for public networks. This together with equipment that meets the mission critical requirements in relation to the availability, reliability and encryption makes it an interesting solution for customers. The LTEtraNode solution and future developments will not only aim for the public safety market but for the whole enterprise market like transportation, utilities, oil & gas and industry.
TETRA (Terrestrial Trunked Radio) communication standard is widely used and deployed for mission and business critical voice communications. TETRA provides significant advantages compared to other radio systems, such as the voice quality, the communication features (trunking, priority/preemption, encryption, recording, etc.) and its interoperability capabilities. Private Mobile Radio (PMR) network users increasingly would like to utilize critical communications-specific broadband applications to improve quality of response and to improve efficiency.
LTE (Long Term Evolution), also known as 4G offers much higher uplink and downlink data rates lower latency (allowing a call setup time which is better than what can be achieved by the TETRA standard) and high-speed mobility compared to other access technologies. These features make the technology suitable for building the next-generation mission critical communications networks and applications. The networks are capable of delivering high-bandwidth and demanding applications such as video-based situational awareness, monitoring and interventional applications.