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Journey to 5G: Singtel partners with Ericsson to ready LTE network for IoT

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Singtel and Ericsson have announced their partnership to ready Singtel's 4G LTE network to support the expected rapid growth of connected devices. The collaboration will start with a trial of Narrow Band Internet of Things (NB IoT) technology beginning in the second half of 2016.

NB-IoT, a solution which will enable extended coverage and much less complex devices, will enable Singtel to support new IoT use cases in areas such as smart cities, utilities and the environment. Singtel's 4G LTE network already supports low-cost Category 1 (Cat-1) devices, which are built for IoT applications.

Tay Soo Meng, Group Chief Technology Officer, Singtel, says: "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. With the early introduction of low-powered IoT devices, this brings us a step closer to 5G goals, where new device and sensor technologies can leverage network connectivity to power a variety of use cases, such as lighting and vehicle-to-infrastructure connectivity.

IoT is a rapidly growing segment and, according to the Ericsson Mobility Report, 28 billion connected devices are expected by 2021, of which more than 15 billion will be connected M2M and consumer electronics devices. Support for massive Machine Type Communications is also one of the key aspects enabled by the fifth generation network eco-system.

Long-term battery life has become a prerequisite for a vast number of IoT devices, supporting field deployments with minimal power requirements and maintenance. It is possible to enable over 10 years of battery life on existing LTE networks. Power saving capabilities allow devices to enter a new deep sleep mode and are ideal for devices that only need to contact the network once per hour or even less frequently.

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Tags: singtel  ericsson  Singapore