HomeCarriersCisco debuts global NB-IoT control platform; Ericsson nabs NB-IoT deal in Taiwan

Cisco debuts global NB-IoT control platform; Ericsson nabs NB-IoT deal in Taiwan

Cisco has launched the first commercially available global narrow-band IoT (NB-IoT) platform, it said at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Tuesday (February 27th).

Its Cisco Jasper Control Center for NB-IoT enables operators to manage their IoT networks and devices. China Unicom said early trials of the platform have seen increased adoption of enterprise IoT services from businesses across industries, including smart metering, parking, fire control and street lighting.

Cisco said the NB-IoT control platform allows customers to manage multiple connections, including both NB-IoT and traditional cellular devices, in a single control plane, and combines automation and real-time data insights for large numbers of devices.

It also allows IoT service providers to choose the features they need for their applications, with the “flexibility of an online self-serve catalog”, said Cisco.

Daniel Collins, vice president of IoT products at Cisco, said: “NB-IoT dramatically reduces the power and cost of connectivity, so now even the most simple things will be capable of delivering valuable IoT services. This is going to drive exponential growth in the IoT industry, and one size will not fit all.”

Cisco said NB-IoT will spur massive growth of IoT solutions, contributing around three billion IoT devices by 2023. China Unicom said high demand for low-power wide-area connectivity in China will see 100 million NB-IoT connections on its own network by 2020.

“By embracing multiple technologies for both traditional and low power devices, we give our customers the flexibility to choose what fits their business needs,” said Xiaotian Chen, general manager for China Unicom’s IoT business unit.

Meanwhile, Taiwan-based operator Far EasTone (FET) said at MWC it has taken Ericsson’s global IoT connectivity management solution, part of its cloud-based IoT Accelerator platform, to offer IoT services to enterprises globally.

FET launched a commercial NB-IoT network in its home market in November 2017. It forecasts three million NB-IoT devices by the end of 2019. Access to Ericsson’s global cloud service will open up domestic and international IoT business opportunities for FET’s enterprise IoT customers.

Ericsson’s IoT Accelerator handles connectivity management, subscription management and OSS/BSS, and enables automation of business processes between operators and enterprises. Ericsson claims 60 partners have so far signed up to the platform, which launches fully next quarter.

Philip Tseng, executive vice president of FET’s enterprise and carrier business unit, said:  “Being the first service provider to market with NB-IoT services in Taiwan demonstrates our commitment to unlocking Taiwan’s great domestic and international potential in IoT enterprise.

“The quick launch, easy maintenance and management, and cost-effective benefits that come with Ericsson’s global IoT connectivity management offering, combined with the speed and agility of an NB-IoT network, will make our enterprise IoT customers competitive on a global scale.”

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