‘Mobile IoT: A Network which has been made for Battery, Speed and Cost’ – the sectors on the cusp of transformation at MWC
This year, the Internet of Things will make one of its biggest advances. As the Mobile IoT (licensed LPWA solutions) launches in Korea, Spain, the UK, the US and countless other countries across the globe, the steady flow of relatively low cost, high battery devices into everyday life will begin.
This new family technologies (EC-GSM-IoT, LTE-M & NB-IoT) which according to Analysis Mason, is expected to be have 5 billion of connections by 2022, is enabling mobile network operators to substantially improve the services they can provide businesses. As such, it’s no surprise that it formed the centrepiece of this year’s event, drawing in dozens of sectors all looking to demonstrate or investigate how it can transform their everyday operations.
How will it do this? According to Dr. Alexander Lautz, Senior Vice President for M2M, Deutcshe Telekom, at yesterday’s industry seminar, the key reason is battery life: “if we are able to offer our customers a solution which only requires a battery change once every four years, we enable new business models both through function and cost saving”.
This point was echoed by Christopher Gibbs, Head of Asset Management for supply chain solutions provider, RM2. The company has manufactured an IoT LTE-M module device for integration into their composite pallets, and can do so with the knowledge that battery life can last up to ten years. For Gibbs, the adoption of Mobile IoT technology represent as fundamental leap for the logistics industry: “unlike GPS, LTE-M can operate in a steel container or in hard to reach or concealed locations, which means the industry can now track individual pallets rather than just freight containers.” Importantly, LTE-M, like other Mobile IoT technologies, will allow for RM2 to track pallets directly from the manufacturing process right through their lifecycle, resulting in vastly reduced recall costs and the ability to provide regular information on location and status.
Utilities is another sector that looks to be radically altered by the introduction of Mobile IoT. Itron, one of the market leaders for energy and water management in North America and EMEA, is rolling out open-standards networks and sensing technologies, and expect it to significantly improve the efficiency of everyday operations and safety. According to Itron’s Senior Product Manager, Tom Park, Mobile IoT has the potential to greatly reduce consumption of energy through ‘distributed intelligence’, meaning that this technology enables resources to more easily flow during times of need. For Park, “Gas sensing technologies are very well suited to these new Mobile-based technologies.” The Itron technology is available to all third parties to leverage this innovation to develop new industrial and utility software applications and for embedded sensing.
These are just two of many sectors that stand to make huge gains through Mobile IoT. Dr. Lautz explained that after opening the technology to the developer community, the German operator had at least 15 live use-cases, including smart lighting and waste management, and expected many more tome shortly.
But what gives licensed LPWA an advantage over propriety solutions? According to Verizon’s Executive Director for Device Technology, Christopher Schmidt, the security and reliability afforded by the SIM is unparalleled. On top of this, operators have a long list of trusted industry partners: “chipset and module vendors, already know it (the operator technology) and understand how to fine-tune existing technology… this is a network which has been made for battery, speed and cost.”