Ericsson and Orange team up to make IoT devices cheaper

Ericsson and Orange have joined forces to test new technology which might see the cost of IoT devices drop, and its adaptation grow.

The duo will be testing of “optimized, low-cost, low-complexity devices and enhanced network capabilities for Cellular IoT over GSM and LTE.”

Ericsson thinks cellular is a great start for IoT uptake, as it’s globally available, reliable and secure. According to the press release, a key enabler in Orange’s strategy to become a major player in the IoT game is the standardization process at 3GPP of cellular networks and device capability enhancements.

The world’s first EC-GSM (extended coverage) test will take place in France using the 900 MHz band, aiming to enhance device reachability by up to 20dB. In parallel, the world's first LTE IoT trial in partnership with Sequans will take place using low-cost, low-complexity devices with one receive antenna (instead of two), and half-duplex FDD. This simplifies the device hardware architecture and reduces expensive duplex filters, allowing for 60 percent cost reduction in comparison with existing LTE Cat 4.

Ericsson will also look to demonstrate its Power Saving Mode (PSM) technology, which should extend battery life of communication modules such as sensors by up to 10 years.

"IoT is a key area in Orange's Essentials2020 strategic plan, and France should play a key role in IoT takeoff in Europe. In order to extend our connectivity offer, we are currently deploying a LoRa network,” said Alain Maloberti, SVP of Orange Labs Networks. “At the same time, we are preparing the future of cellular networks and we are happy to collaborate with Ericsson to be the first operator to demonstrate IoT over GSM and LTE in order to roll it out ahead of 5G availability in the market."

Cellular networks optimized for IoT will be operational in 2017.