Telecom Industry News - April 2017

The Broadband Forum believes industry stakeholders need to understand the capabilities of the technology and how it could improve broadband roll-out

The Broadband Forum announced it is creating a new NG-PON2 Council after integrating the Fiber Access Networks Working Group into the Forum to work on management and testing standards in support of ultra-fast broadband roll-out. Over the last 12 months, the Broadband Forum has been increasingly focused on NG-PON2 through its Fiber Access Networks Working Group. That work is a solid basis to take NG-PON2 to the next level with the founding of the NG-PON2 Council. The Broadband Forum believes industry stakeholders need to understand the capabilities of the technology and how it could improve broadband roll-out, in addition to working on management and testing standards. 

The Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) continues to grow roots. On March 31, as Verizon launched the first nationwide commercial 4G LTE Category M1 network to provide wireless IoT access. The 4G LTE Category M1 (or Cat M1) network, which spans 2.4 million square miles, is the first and only Cat M1 network providing scale, coverage, and security for customers seeking wireless access solutions for IoT.

Last month, connectivity solutions provider Laird announced the launch of its new low-power, long-range multi-interface platform that enables enterprise IoT network deployment even where there is no traditional communications infrastructure. Its new Enterprise Internet of Things (EIoT) Low-Power, Long-Range LoRa gateway can be deployed in practically any geographic location.

FreeWave Technologies, Inc., announced in March the industry's first IIoT Programmable Radio (IPR), which supports third party software applications for Edge and Fog Computing in IIoT communication networks. FreeWave's IPR can support JAVA, Python, C, and C+ and connects to any IP device or sensor. The platform can host third party and proprietary IIoT applications for energy, utility, municipal, smart city, government, military use cases and more.

“Our IIoT Programmable Radio is a key component in driving high-speed data transmission and connectivity from the Edge to the end-user – it serves as the '2' in Sensor-2-Server," said Scott Allen, FreeWave Technologies’ CMO.

AT&T and IBM launched a new collaborative IoT data analytics initiative that combines their strengths in IoT, cognitive computing, global connectivity, and the cloud. The goal is to help clients drive actionable insights and unlock more value from their data in a simpler way, using AT&T's IoT solutions and IBM Cloud. The new AT&T IoT analytics capability, a pilot collaboration between the two companies, aims to help AT&T's enterprise customers transform their industrial IoT data into analytic insights so they can take immediate action to improve business operations.

According to a new report released last month by Technavio, the global LTE base station market will experience double-digit growth over the next five years driven by rising demand for high-speed broadband services and growing use of IoT applications. The global LTE base station market is expected to grow at a CAGR of more than 17% during the forecast period. 

With expanding network availability and the ability to gather, analyze, and utilize IoT data better, it’s no wonder more machines are getting connected, faster. Juniper Research released a new report in March that predicts retailers will connect over 12 billion assets such as products, digital signs and Bluetooth beacons by 2021 from just under 3 billion last year, a 350 percent increase. Juniper also predicted that RFID (radio-frequency identification), will re-emerge as the industry’s "killer app" becoming the key factor in the IoT retail ecosystem.

Indoor mobile improvements

Communications service providers are still struggling to deliver reliable wireless signals in congested urban settings. As increasing numbers of businesses and organizations come to rely on mobility for their workforces, frustration levels are rising. According to a new study released in March by Zinwave, almost three-quarters of office workers complain about in-building cellular coverage and nearly 60 percent are likely to blame employers.

To help resolve the problem, last month Whoop Wireless launched its new Small Cell Interface Head-End designed to cost-efficiently improve service for wireless carriers inside mid-sized commercial buildings. The company claims its amplifier array provides reliable mobile reception to mid-sized buildings at a fraction of the cost of traditional systems.


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