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Helium - Another IoT Kid on the Block

We looked at the number of IoT devices on The 3G4G Blog post yesterday . As you may have already noticed, the number of unlicensed IoT devices are growing as well. The Helium network is a decentralized wireless network that enables devices anywhere in the world to wirelessly connect to the Internet and geolocate themselves without the need for power-hungry satellite location hardware or expensive cellular plans.  Helium uses an open-source LongFi architecture, which combines the LoRaWAN wireless protocol and the Helium blockchain. Hotspots also acts as miners on the Helium blockchain so owners can earn a new cryptocurrency (HNT), for building the network and transferring IoT device data. The Helium whitepaper says: Powering the Helium network is a blockchain with a native protocol token incentivizing a two sided marketplace between coverage providers and coverage consumers. With the introduction of a blockchain, we inject decentralization into an industry currently controlled by mono
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Cellular Connectivity Technology Landscape and Standards for Industrial IoT

We have covered tutorials on IoT, IIoT and even Industry 4.0 as part of 3G4G. Recently, Cambridge Wireless (CW), the well known international community for companies involved in the research, development and application of wireless and mobile, internet, semiconductor and software technologies relaunched their Industrial IoT SIG. As part of the relaunch, a refresher webinar was held to explain the concept of Industrial IoT. All the sessions as well as the Q&A session were fantastic. You can view the resources here once shared. For this blog post, we are looking at the final talk by Sylvia Lu, FRSA, Head of Technology Strategy, u-blox UK, Member of Advisory Board, UK5G. Let's start with some example use cases on the factory floor that you can see shown in the picture above. Some of the topics that are shown in the picture has been covered as part of other blog posts and are listed at the bottom of this post. This slide nicely summarizes not only the cellular and 5G standards but

Next-generation Wireless LANs in the IEEE 802.11 Working Group

NTT Technical Review Vol. 19, No. 2, Feb. 2021 provided a fantastic summary of Standardization of Next-generation Wireless LANs in the IEEE 802.11 Working Group. Here is an extract from the article : Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 802.11 is a working group (WG) within the IEEE 802 LAN/MAN Standards Committee that helps develop standards related to local area networks (LANs) and metropolitan area networks (MANs). It is responsible for standardization of physical layer and medium access control (MAC) layer technologies of wireless LANs. There are several types of subgroups within the IEEE 802.11 WG. A task group (TG) is a subgroup responsible for developing a technical standard or recommended practice. A study group is a preparatory group to create a TG to discuss use cases, technologies, and feasibilities. As a result of discussion, a study group creates documents called Project Authorization Request and Criteria for Standards Development. There are also a grou

Delivering Next-Generation Connectivity with Evolved Wireless Backhaul

As we have already started talking about the post-5G world, we need to keep in mind that 5G still has a lot of enhancements and new features in pipeline. Many of these new features will require support of an enhanced backhaul, be it terrestrial or in the sky.  Earlier this year, GSMA released a report on backhaul, titled, "Wireless Backhaul Evolution: Delivering next-generation connectivity" that outlines the evolution of this important area. It has been written by ABI Research and details wireless backhaul for 5G era and the role played by new backhaul and existing bands, as well as technologies that improve spectrum efficiency. The summary of the report says: The transition to 5G will need a sizable backhaul evolution to accommodate growing traffic and new network capabilities. Despite the growing importance of fibre, wireless backhaul is set to play a central role in these developments. This means regulators have a vital role as their decisions moving forward will impactfu

GSMA's 'High Altitude Platform Systems: Towers in the Skies' Whitepaper

GSMA together with some mobile network operators recently published a white paper to promote the use of High Altitude Platform Systems (HAPS) technology to meet the need for broadband connectivity worldwide. We have covered HAPS multiple times in our blog posts. They are unmanned aircrafts that fly typically at altitudes of around 20km.  The description of the paper says: Operating in the stratosphere, unmanned high-altitude platforms (HAPS) could bring connectivity to areas that are either not covered, or are only partially covered, by terrestrial cellular networks. This whitepaper highlights the potential of HAPS to meet the need for more broadband connectivity worldwide. HAPS are very versatile: they can be adjusted to prioritise coverage or capacity depending on the use case. Moreover, an aircraft can be deployed to cover a location at short notice. As HAPS can employ LTE and 5G, there are no special requirements on the user equipment: a normal smartphone can be used. As a result,

Super Uplink to improve 5G Coverage and Speeds

One of the challenges with 5G that many people must have noticed are the poor uplink speeds, especially on the cell edge. While using mid/high-band TDD, these poor uplink characteristics result is a smaller cell size as compared to that of low bands or even 3G/4G.  This is where Huawei's innovation comes in play. Huawei White Paper on Innovation and Intellectual Property details this as follows: With the growing adoption of 5G in B2B domains, networks need to offer faster uplink speeds and lower latency without compromising downlink speeds. Huawei has come up with a series of solutions to increase uplink coverage and bandwidth. Our two vital technologies – Uplink & Downlink Decoupling, and Super Uplink – have been accepted by 3GPP as part of the Release 15 and Release 16 specifications for global 5G networks, respectively. Uplink & Downlink Decoupling: Adds low frequency bands for uplink transmission in areas that lack uplink coverage in 3.5 GHz bands. Uses high frequency

Ericsson Explains Internet of Drones and 3GPP UAV Roadmap

The last time we looked at 3GPP's plan for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) was over a year and half back. Since then the standards have made loads of progress, with features for 5G-Advanced, a.k.a. Release-18, just being discussed . In a recent blog post , Xingqin Lin, Master Researcher, radio at Ericsson presented a retrospective of their “Sky is Not the Limit” journey (see IEEE article here ) and an outlook of the next few years about connected drones. Quoting from the blog post: A journey began with 3GPP Rel-15 standardization In early 2016, we identified that one key area to study in the 3GPP Release 15 was to enable mobile network connected drones, based on our research work (some of which was later made public in the "Sky is Not the Limit" seminal paper). In December 2016, we submitted a new study item proposal on Enhanced LTE Support for Aerial Vehicles to the 3GPP RAN plenary meeting #74. The proposal attracted much interest, leading to the approval of the study

5G IoT for Industry 4.0

Manufacturing is undergoing a major generational shift. Industry 4.0, the digitisation and advancement of the manufacturing processes and ecosystem, is set to create far more flexible, efficient and sustainable production lines. 5G for IoT underpins this transformation by enabling manufacturing companies and their supply chain partners the opportunity to utilise emerging technologies such as AI and machine vision to give vastly improved visibility over all aspects of their business. At MWC 2021, GSMA hosted 5G IoT for Industry 4.0 Session that focused on how modern 5G networks are able to provide a tailored, capable and intelligent solutions to enhance the end to end manufacturing process. The video from that sesession is embedded below. You can jump to specific timestamp to watch the relevant part: 00:00 Opening Keynote: 5G IoT for Manufacturing - Aruna Srinivasan, Executive Director, IoT, GSMA ( slides ) 06:41 Panel 1: 5G Networks for Industry 4.0 27:14 Keynote: 5G IoT and Industry 4

Fibre-to-the-room (FTTR / FTTRoom)

Fibre-to-the-room (FTTR) is a new kind of in-premises networking technology which is based on optical fibre communication. With the benefit of optical fibre, FTTR will provide high-bandwidth and reliable transmission. It is envisaged that the topology and functionalities of FTTR technologies may be different from the current fibre-based technologies in transport and access network, and consequently it is necessary to understand the use cases of FTTR and derive the corresponding network requirements for subsequently developing specifications. Earlier this year, I blogged about the ETSI ISG F5G that aims to study the fixed-network evolution required to match and further enhance the benefits that 5G has brought to mobile networks and communications. The intention of F5G is that it will define improvements with respect to previous solutions and the new characteristics of the fifth-generation fixed network. This will open up new opportunities by comprehensively applying fiber technology to

GSMA IoT WebTalk 'Clear Skies Ahead for Mobile-Enabled Drones'

One of the biggest challenges with UAVs and Drones is that there are no harmonized regulations allowing aerial UEs worldwide. While different countries may have different regulations, work like the LTE Aerial Profile is intended to standardize on an approach to remove concerns of interference with ground based users. When it is implemented by the MNOs, the policy will adapt to using LTE for drones.  In Europe there are efforts from European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to enable Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) in a safe and secure manner. The operators can help supporting in this area by, first of all, having a conversation with the national authorities and demonstrate the performances of the network. Also it is highly recommended to participate to the Aerial Connectivity Joint Activity (ACJA) work tasks to help define the right KPIs, the more mobile operators participate the better is the result. In this GSMA IoT WebTalk (embedded below) the theme of partnership is explore