Ericsson, Sony Mobile and SK Telecom trial IoT wearables over LTE

The Internet of Things, or IoT, is driving new use cases for wearables, including lifestyle and wellness apps, requiring more diverse device support on mobile networks. With cellular networks already covering 90 percent of the world's population, consumers expect their wearables to benefit from the same ubiquitous connectivity as their feature phones and smartphones. To address growing consumer demand and the proliferation of such new IoT applications, Ericsson, Sony Mobile and SK Telecom are testing and trialing new device and network innovations to support secure and ubiquitous LTE network connectivity for new lower cost, lower power IoT devices.

Ericsson, Sony Mobile and SK Telecom conducted lab testing of the key functionalities of LTE device Category 0 and Category M (Machine Type Communication) in Ericsson radio labs in Kista, Sweden at the early of September. Field trials are planned in SK Telecom's network in Korea later this year. LTE Cat-0 has been standardized in 3GPP LTE Release 12 and is the first device category specifically targeting reduced complexity and thus reduced cost for IoT. LTE Category M is a key theme in LTE Release 13, representing further cost savings and improving battery lifetime.

Wearable devices and related applications were selected for the user scenarios being tested and trialed. The wearable device test use cases are focused on consumer lifestyle and wellness applications enabled through multiple sensors providing accelerometer, identification, pulse meter and GPS functionality. IoT wearables are miniaturized, low-cost, low-power IoT devices with specific network and device performance criteria. In testing, LTE has proven to support the ubiquitous and secure uplink and downlink connections that wearable lifestyle and wellness applications require.    

Ericsson recently announced new Networks Software 16B features focused on accelerating IoT adoption by leveraging the extensive footprint, high reliability, security and broad eco-system support of LTE and GSM networks to provide a platform for IoT growth.  Features include support for lower cost IoT devices, extending device battery life to more than 10 years and improving coverage for both indoor and remote IoT applications.

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Ericsson and Sony Mobile operating with SK Telecom Kista, laboratory testing of the main functions of the LTEi device category 0 and category M (machine type information) in the Swedish Ericsson radio studio in the beginning of September. Field testing is scheduled for the second half of SK Telecom's network this year in Korea.
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