Samsung Demos World’s First Public Safety LTE Net
PS-LTE (Public Safety LTE) may become the next solution for first responders and public safety applications. Samsung has introduced push to talk technology that allows team captains to rapidly call many people at once and also employs eMBMS technology that transfers HD images to many terminals, even when crowds are in disaster areas. In addition, the company introduced device-to-device technology that supports communication between units even when base stations are destroyed by a disaster. Currently, only Korean partners are participating, but if it lives up to its promise, global implementation could follow.
DoCoMo first to open VoLTE net for Global Certification trials
Japan's NTT DoCoMo has become the first member of the Global Certification Forum (GCF) to open up a VoLTE network for field trials. The forum is considered the de facto standard for device certification for 3GPP/2 technologies – GSM, 3G/UMTS, LTE and CDMA2000.
The move aligns with the forum's goal of encouraging mobile device manufacturers to verify the interoperability of their devices with VoLTE commercial networks. Although there are already several VoLTE network rollouts, interoperability with other networks will likely require GCF certification.
SIGFOX: M2M/IoT Shadow Cellular Network
France-based SIGFOX has ambitious plans to eventually rollout a global cellular network that occupies local ISM bands (868 MHz in Europe and 902 MHz in the US) for Ultra Narrow Band operation for low-throughput devices (up to 140 messages per day, each with up to 12 bytes of payload data). They plan for their own towers and base stations and have pilot networks deployed in a few European locations.
The first M2M networks that I encountered many years ago employed the GSM signaling channel for low-bit-rate transmission. At the time, occasionally monitoring the liquid level in port-city petroleum tanks was the main application. SIGFOX envisions many more applications, including agriculture, healthcare, intelligent buildings, automotive and home meter monitoring (watch out ZigBee).
The company claims to have raised €100 million and is now looking for solutions enablers, who can use SIGFOX either to replace existing connectivity such as Mesh networks or GSM, or to create entirely new and innovative applications. Samsung is an investor and is said to be incorporating SIGFOX’s network technology into Artik, its platform of integrated hardware, software and tools for developing on IoT objects. SIGFOX is solely dedicated to the transport of messages and is therefore completely independent of application-specific hardware and software solutions.
Naturally, this aborning network could fill a market need as GSM networks are retired. Singapore operators plans to retire their GSM networks in 2017 to enable more spectrum for 4G operation. Others, including AT&T, may also retire their GSM networks beginning in 2017 for the same reason. However, most European operators have no plans to make the change before 2020 and some have indicated 2025 as their goal. Low-bit-rate fallback could be 2G EDGE networks and even upcoming LTE category 0 or future LTE-M (LTE for M2M) operation.
Check out Forward Concepts’ market predictions for cellular-based M2M/IoT in our recent EETimes article here.
Nokia’s LTE “Network in a Box”
Cellular operators have long used COWs (Cell on Wheels) as temporary base stations to augment existing cellular networks for major sporting events, conventions and disaster areas or where permanent cellular base stations are not practical for economic or political reasons. But COWs tend to consist of very heavy enclosed trailers towed to the site.
Nokia Networks has unveiled an ultra-compact LTE “,” said to be small enough to be carried and installed by one person in a matter of minutes and designed for rapid deployment in disaster areas or in support of temporary communications.. Based on Nokia’s Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Station, the LTE (FDD or TDD) network in a box supports thousands of users, weighs only about 40 kg and requires a power supply of less than 1 kW. It can be easily powered by a car-based inverter or a small portable generator. Of course antennas are an additional consideration.
Nokia is working with multiple partners to build applications and network functions based on the new product.
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President & Principal Analyst Forward Concepts