Ericsson and Orange are working together to test out Internet of Things technologies over LTE and GSM networks, the companies have announced. Their aim is to trial technologies for extending cellular coverage, lowering IoT costs, and improving devices’ battery life.
The EC-GSM (Extended Coverage-GSM) test will be conducted in France, where the companies will aim for a seven-fold increase in the range of a 900 MHz band. The overall aim here will be to develop cellular connectivity for IoT devices in previously problematic environments, such as deep underground.
Meanwhile, the companies’ LTE IoT test will attempt to connect simple, low-cost devices using one antenna and two-way communication. The companies will work in partnership with Sequans, a 4G chip maker, with the goal of reducing costs by 60 percent, compared against LTE Cat 4 devices. Ericsson will also work with Sequans to test out its Power Saving Mode (PSM) technology over GSM and LTE networks, which could help to extend some devices’ battery life by up to 10 years.
The trials indicate the potential in – and growing excitement about – the Internet of Things, and could help to improve technological standards in the field. Cellular connectivity and coverage, as well as power efficiency, will be important to a range of OEMs working on IoT devices, and as such the technology in development here could prove useful to a wide range of companies and in a variety of applications.