Swedish telecommunications gear maker Ericsson and the biggest provider of telecommunication services in Sri Lanka, Dialog Axiata, have launched the first Internet of Things network in South Asia. The IoT network supports both the NB-IoT and Cat-M1 technologies. Deployed across the entire Sri Lankan network of Dialog Axiata, the technology is expected to speed up the proliferation and adoption of Internet of Things devices. The IoT ecosystem in the South Asia country will consequently develop owing to the cost-effective solutions, long-battery life and superior coverage the IoT network will offer.
“The Cat-M1/NB-IoT network will amplify opportunity for solutions such as Smart Metering for utilities, Smart Parking, Smart Bins, smart environmental sensors for smart cities, logistic solutions as well as other applications in agriculture and farming,” said Pradeep De Almeida, Dialog Axiata PLC’s Chief Technology Officer.
Massive IoT solutions
Some of the advantages of the Massive IoT solutions that Ericsson has developed for NB-IoT and Cat-M1 devices include reliable and secure transmission, massive connections, deep coverage, low power consumption as well as cost-effectiveness.
This comes in the wake of a report indicating that struggling makers of mobile network equipment are expecting to see an upside in the business with the planned rollout of 5G wireless networks. The European Union for instance wants firms in Europe to begin providing 5G services in 2020. 5G will be instrumental in next-generation services that include autonomous driving, telemedicine and Internet of Things. Commercial rollout of 5G is expected to start this year with Japan, Korea and the United States slated to be among the first countries to launch the network standard.
In recent years telecom operators have reduced spend on their networks and this has negatively impacted network equipment makers such as Ericsson. However in coming years these network operators will have to invest billions in developing 5G networks. In Europe Deutsche Telekom has estimated that the cost of rolling out 5G networks will range between 300 and 500 billion euros.
According to the chief technology officer of Ericsson, Erik Ekudden, 5G technology will lead to additional growth of up to 35% for service providers. Ekudden however estimates that the growth of telecommunication gear providers will be modest by comparison.
So far the biggest winner has been Huawei Technologies, a low-cost Chinese player. The Chinese firm has invested in research and development heavily and managed to outcompete rivals with products that are less expensive. According to the chief executive officer of Huawei, Ken Hu, so far the company has signed 5G equipment MoUs with about 45 operators spread across three continents.