How does MulteFire fit into industrial and enterprise IoT?
MulteFire is a technology for deploying LTE in unlicensed spectrum that was developed by U.S chipmaker Qualcomm. This new technology allows the standalone use of LTE in unlicensed spectrum.
During a presentation at the Enterprise IoT Summit, which took place in Austin, Texas, earlier this year, Neville Meijers, VP of business development at Qualcomm Technologies, said that MulteFire creates new business opportunities that allow existing and new vertical markets to deploy and benefit from the LTE technology and ecosystem.
This technology can be used to deploy mobile broadband data services and support voice-over-LTE. It can support handovers among cells in a small cell deployment and is capable of interworking with external mobile networks for service continuity, according to a technical paper on the technology.
Qualcomm expects to see MulteFire adoption within industrial verticals such as shipping ports, mines and airports where large enterprises don’t have licensed spectrum and want more mobility than Wi-Fi typically provides, combined with LTE characteristics such as improved security. MulteFire is also anticipated to be a connectivity option for internet of things deployments.
Qualcomm also believes that this new technology could offer a number of connectivity benefits for industrial IoT, mainly in airports, seaports, container ports and transport hubs, factories, warehouses, power plants and refineries.
According to the chipmaker, the industries addressable by private IoT with LTE/MulteFire are hospitals, labs, discrete manufacturing, military, oil and gas upstream, shipping ports, transportation venues, distribution warehouses, oil and gas downstream, mining, power generation and water treatment facilities, among others.
With MulteFire, any organization could create, install and operate its own private or hosted MulteFire network to support data applications of all types, with industry-grade reliability, a high level of coverage and capacity, mobility, and strong LTE security, providing also support for the deployment of IoT technologies, according to Qualcomm.
Private MulteFire networks can be also highly customized for the requirements of a particular vertical. Qualcomm said that examples where the company sees MulteFire enabling new kinds of deployments are Industrial IoT and enterprise services, where companies using this technology can deploy their private high-performance LTE-based network that is fully under their control and tailored for their applications, being it a factory floor, warehouse, container port, remote site, hospital or a smart building.