Ericsson has introduced a package of network services for cellular IoT connectivity alongside new software and automation features, as operators prepare for the large-scale roll-out of new devices on their networks.
It is designed to provide a complete set of services to support Massive IoT on LTE networks and provides MNOs with operations, management and optimisation capabilities.
Also included are services for designing and deploying IoT networks, including scenario assessment, network modelling, design development and developmental appraisal.
The package supports both NB-IoT, designed for broad coverage and low data rate applications, and LTE-M, which offers a higher data rate and greater mobility.
Ericsson’s recently expanded Support Services package for operator networks will support the portfolio with additional capabilities to customers, offering predictive analytics and deep learning, systematic control of software changes and network fault isolation and recovery.
Alongside the new network services, Ericsson has added software features including VoLTE support for LTE-M, allowing IoT devices to support voice services in addition to data.
Ericsson and Qualcomm demonstrated some use-cases for VoLTE-M at Mobile World Congress Shanghai last month, such as equipping fire panels with voice capabilities.
The vendor has also introduced automated machine learning to its Network Operations Centres, which will reduce the need for human intervention when addressing events and incidents within the network.
Peter Laurin, Head of Business Area Managed Services, Ericsson, cited figures from the Ericsson Mobility Report stating there will be 18 billion connected IoT devices in 2022.
“This massive uptake requires a different approach to network planning, design, operations and capabilities than traditional mobile broadband networks.”
Jamie Moss, Principal Analyst, Consumer Technology and IoT at Ovum, said: “As enhancements to LTE, [LTE-M and NB-IoT] 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.”