In a press release, Swedish vendor Ericsson says it is working with Singtel to ready the carrier’s 4G LTE network to support an anticipated surge in connected devices, and ultimately 5G, via a joint trial of so-called Narrow Band Internet of Things (NB-IoT) technology, starting from H2 2016. Ericsson says the NB-IoT solution will enable ‘extended coverage and much less complex devices’, and will allow the group’s mobile division to support new IoT uses in areas such as ‘smart cities, utilities and the environment’. It notes that Singtel’s 4G LTE network already supports low-cost Category 1 (Cat-1) devices, which are built for IoT applications.
Commenting on the development, Singtel Group Chief Technology Officer, Tay Soo Meng, said: ‘IoT connectivity is an important part of Singapore’s enterprises and supports the Singapore Government’s Smart Nation initiative. We anticipate a growing demand to connect a multitude of sensors and devices in a cost-effective manner. Focusing on power saving capabilities in our networks enables energy efficiency benefits for the IoT eco-system; we expect at least ten years’ battery life. With the early introduction of low-powered IoT devices, this brings us a step closer to 5G goals, where new device and sensor technologies can leverage network connectivity to power a variety of use cases, such as lighting and vehicle-to-infrastructure connectivity.’