A whitepaper released by industry trade organisation 5G Americas delves into how the IoT and 5G will ‘create our connected future’.
The whitepaper explains how standards body 3GPP has been helping to future-proof the cellular technology which is expected to underpin massive IoT deployments (defined as at least one million devices per kilometre).
No organisation wants to be responsible for having to replace the batteries of such large deployments on a frequent basis, so the 5G networks are expected to be efficient and support ultra-low-power devices with over ten years’ battery life.
Furthermore, in some verticals more than others – such as smart factories and future roadside infrastructure to support driverless cars – reliability is paramount. Such deployments are defined as ‘Critical IoT’ and the 3GPP has created the Ultra-Reliable Low Latency Communications (URLLC) radio and architecture to support them.
Vicki Livingston, VP of Communications at 5G Americas and an author of the whitepaper, said:
“The future-proofing and delivery of IoT becomes essential as networks transform from 4G to 5G.
In 2019, we are seeing the early deployment of 5G networks. However, LTE IoT will continue to evolve over coming years, leveraging the scale, longevity and global coverage of LTE networks and complement initial 5G New Radio deployments that focus on enhanced mobile broadband and high-performance IoT.
Continued LTE evolution is an integral part of the 5G platform – a unified, more capable connectivity fabric for our future.”
With the upcoming Release 17 of 3GPP’s standards, the whitepaper looks at those relating to Massive IoT and Critical IoT deployments.
For reference, here’s a list of study items for Release 17:
SP-180340: Feasibility Study on Audio-Visual Service Production
SP-180341: Study on Network Controlled Interactive Service in 5G
SP-180666: Study on Typical Traffic Characteristics of Media Services
SP-180667: Study on eXtended Reality (XR) in 5G
SP-180783: Study on Communication Services for Critical Medical Applications
SP-180784: Study on Asset Tracking Use Cases
SP-180785: Study on enhanced Relays for Energy eFficiency and Extensive Coverage
SP-180786: Study on enhancement for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)
SP-180681: Application layer support for V2X services
Chris Pearson, President of 5G Americas, comments:
“The growth path for IoT has been immense and it is easy to recognise it all around – in cities, vehicles, industries, and communities.
In these transformative times, a flexible system of transformational technology such as 5G can provide the infrastructural foundation for the expanding demands coming in the form of not only more devices but also specialised devices with varying performance requirements.”
The whitepaper highlights there are currently 56 LTE NB-IoT networks live around the world. Based on the 3GPP standard, these networks deliver enhanced indoor coverage, ensure minimal power consumption, and have a low delay. 24 networks support LTE-M which offers similar benefits while allowing the reuse of an existing LTE installed base.
Betsy Covell, Distinguished Member of Technical Staff for Nokia and a co-leader of the white paper working group, said:
“Technology solutions such as cloud computing, edge cloud and artificial intelligence are being applied to IoT use cases with much success. In addition, security enhancements to keep all the data generated by these ‘things’ protected from hackers, is addressed by the cellular technologies for IoT.
3GPP is meeting the challenge of the developing IoT market with many enhancements in 5G, building on the solid base provided in 4G that addresses key performance indicators such as low latency, high reliability and positioning accuracy necessary for industrial, enterprise and even consumer use of IoT devices.”
Members of 5G Americas include heavyweights across the telecoms industry such as Nokia, Ericsson, Cisco, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Qualcomm, and Samsung. The influential group aims to foster the advancement and full capabilities of LTE wireless technologies and their evolution to 5G.
You can find 5G Americas’ full whitepaper, 5G: The Future of IoT, here (PDF).
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