Ericsson launches network services for Cat-M1/NB-IoT apps

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Ericsson announced it is complementing its cellular IoT software and IoT Accelerator offerings with a complete set of network services for massive IoT applications.

Applicable for Cat-M1 (a.k.a. LTE-M) and narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) technologies, the services suite includes IoT network design and optimization, deployment, operation and management, all of which is supported by Ericsson’s recently expanded Support Services offering.

Ericsson is also introducing new IoT software features, such as VoLTE support for Cat-M1. This will enable operators to explore new use cases for IoT devices, 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.

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% of all incidents were identified by machine learning only with no human intervention – and the root cause was identified correctly in 77% 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.”

“Operators need partners that can help them to introduce new technologies smoothly and quickly. This is especially true in the case of LTE-M and NB-IoT,” added Jamie Moss, Principal Analyst, Consumer Technology and IoT at Ovum. “As enhancements to LTE, they appear to represent the operators’ core competency. But LTE-M and NB-IoT will be used, and will be required to perform, in ways that are completely new. Their rollout, the handling of the traffic they generate and the management of the services they exist to enable require network services that offer a comprehensive portfolio of abilities. Machine learning and artificial intelligence are not just buzzwords, but are vital and exciting tools being employed by Ericsson for use within a network to help operators manage the many new devices they will need to serve in the future.”

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