Ericsson launches network services for massive IoT connectivity

As the initial commercial Internet of Things (IoT) networks are being introduced, Ericsson added on Tuesday its cellular IoT software and IoT Accelerator offerings with a set of network services. These services enable service providers to efficiently address the deployment and operation of the massive number of IoT devices being introduced to LTE networks.

Applicable for Cat-M1 (also called LTE-M) and Narrow Band IoT (NB-IoT) technologies, these services include IoT network design and optimization, deployment, operation and management, and are supported by the recently expanded Support Services offering. With the introduction of commercial IoT networks, Ericsson’s range of offerings for cellular technology is complemented with Network Services for Massive IoT over LTE RAN. The result is a complete set of services and products that makes it possible to create the best solution for Massive IoT.

IoT devices are anticipated to surpass mobile phones as the largest category of connected devices as early as 2018; in 2022 those connections are foreseen to reach 18 billion. This heavy uptake requires a different approach, compared to traditional mobile broadband networks.

Ericsson is also introducing new IoT software features, such as Voice over LTE (VoLTE) support for Cat-M1. This will enable operators to explore new use cases in which it can be advantageous for IoT devices to support voice services, opening up opportunities to expand enterprise services to areas such as security alarm panels, remote first-aid kits, wearables, digital locks, disposable security garments, and other types of IoT-enabled applications and services.

It also delivers heterogeneous IoT networks and diverse use cases with varying needs will require a different approach to network planning and design. To support this, Ericsson is introducing scenario assessment, network modelling, design development, and developmental appraisal for massive IoT networks. To address the need for an adapted approach to management and operation of operators’ networks, Ericsson is introducing automated machine learning to its Network Operations Centers (NOCs). These tools will help operators to manage delivery cost and take a proactive approach to event and incident management. In a trial, 80 percent of all incidents were identified by machine learning only with no human intervention – and the root cause was identified correctly in 77 percent of cases.

“We anticipate IoT devices will surpass mobile phones as the largest category of connected devices as early as 2018 and, according to Ericsson’s latest Mobility Report, there will be 18 billion connected IoT devices in 2022,” said Peter Laurin, Head of Business Area Managed Services, Ericsson. “This massive uptake requires a different approach to network planning, design, operations and capabilities than traditional mobile broadband networks.”

In May, Ericsson introduced a new approach to Support Services. It involves complementing Ericsson’s existing Support Services with predictive analytics and deep learning, introducing more systematic control of software changes, and speeding up network-level fault isolation and recovery. Ericsson will also provide actionable intelligence that enables operators to achieve new levels of network stability.

Ericsson’s new approach to Support Services enables operators to focus on managing network transformation and implementing new technologies such as virtualization, the Internet of Things and 5G. The enhanced Ericsson Support Services offering will consist of three key areas: Predict and Prevent (available at the end of July), Analyze and Change (available now) and Isolate and Recover (available at the end of June). These new Support Services capabilities are part of Ericsson’s recently introduced Engineered Intelligence approach.

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