Go­ing ahead – IoT and 5G

Voice&Data - - TRENDS 2017 -

G is all about se­curely con­nect­ing bil­lions of de­vices faster, with a solid con­nec­tion, al­most any­where. It will go well be­yond the cur­rent mo­bile ex­pe­ri­ence, im­prov­ing over­all ser­vice to help usher in the era of In­ter­net of Things, with 1000X net­work ca­pac­ity for 100X the num­ber of con­nected de­vices and ma­chines.

Over 50 bil­lion con­nected de­vices are ex­pected by 2020. As a re­sult, 5G net­works must be more scal­able, in­tel­li­gent, and het­ero­ge­neous. Tech­nolo­gies such as dis­trib­uted small cells, mas­sive-MIMO with hun­dreds of an­ten­nas, and cen­tral­ized base-band pro­cess­ing via CloudRAN, will dra­mat­i­cally in­crease cov­er­age and data through­put. Net­works will need to con­nect se­curely through back­haul and op­ti­cal front haul for pro­cess­ing.

Ways to re­alise the prom­ise of IoT

The es­sen­tial steps to jump start de­vel­op­ment and de­ploy­ment of new IoT-based ser­vices in­clude stan­dard­i­s­a­tion, stim­u­lat­ing an open source in­dus­try stan­dard ap­pli­ca­tion de­vel­op­ment frame­work and run­ning pilot case stud­ies. The con­tin­u­ous evo­lu­tion of mo­bile broad­band net­works and re­lated tech­nolo­gies is also crit­i­cal to ad­dress the grow­ing de­mand for con­nec­tiv­ity and band­width. And it is equally im­por­tant to in­cor­po­rate ca­pa­bil­i­ties and mech­a­nisms to mon­e­tise the net­work to sus­tain con­tin­ued in­vest­ments.

Look­ing at ser­vices al­ready de­ployed, the LTE-based mo­bile broad­band con­sumer mar­ket is ap­proach­ing ma­tu­rity and sat­u­ra­tion from a rev­enue stand­point. There­fore, it is im­por­tant to tar­get new ap­pli­ca­tions, use cases and mar­kets as the in­dus­try pre­pares it­self for 5G de­ploy­ment in 2020. In this, the IoT is emerg­ing as a ma­jor growth area that could hold the an­swer to this quest.

This is not just for the fu­ture; the IoT is hap­pen­ing today with lead­ing op­er­a­tors re­port­ing mil­lions of con­nected de­vices in their net­works. Pro­pri­etary low power wide area (LPWA) pro­to­cols are lead­ing the mar­ket for pro­vid­ing IoT con­nec­tiv­ity while 3GPP wres­tles with di­verse pro­pos­als to ar­rive at an in­dus­try stan­dard for IoT in Re­lease 13. The fast emerg­ing ecosys­tem for IoT has prod­ucts in sight for build­ing low-cost IoT end nodes that can have a bat­tery life of more than 10 years.

Monetis­ing net­works

Many IoT net­works and ser­vices will be de­ployed in the next three to five years. To mon­e­tise th­ese IoT net­works, op­er­a­tors, ex­ist­ing or new, need to grap­ple suc­cess­fully with three key is­sues. First, op­er­a­tors need to ac­cept the ex­is­tence of both pro­pri­etary and stan­dards-based IoT con­nec­tiv­ity and pre­pare for hy­brid IoT net­works. Sec­ond, a fo­cus on con­nec­tiv­ity alone will not be suf­fi­cient to mon­e­tise IoT net­works. Com­pre­hen­sive data an­a­lyt­ics will be needed to process data gath­ered from mil­lions of con­nected de­vices to drive new ap­pli­ca­tions and use cases.

IoT net­work se­cu­rity and re­li­a­bil­ity form the third is­sue that is crit­i­cal for com­mer­cial­i­sa­tion and broader adop­tion.

Pro­gram­mable and flex­i­ble IoT gate­ways or hubs sup­port­ing mul­ti­ple ra­dio pro­to­cols, in­tel­li­gent data gath­er­ing and dis­sem­i­na­tion be­tween the cloud and con­nected de­vices, and en­sur­ing up-to­date se­cure links will play a piv­otal role in solv­ing th­ese prob­lems.

Re­quire­ments

The IoT re­quires low-power long-range com­mu­ni­ca­tions, asym­met­ric asyn­chro­nous low data rate con­nec­tiv­ity, and low-

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