Singtel has partnered with Ericsson to ready Singtel's 4G LTE network to support the rapid growth of connected devices.
The partnership will start with a trial of Narrow Band Internet of Things (NB-IoT) technology in the second half of 2016.
According to a media statement, NB-IoT is a solution that enables extended coverage and much less complex devices; and it will enable Singtel to support new IoT use cases in areas such as smart cities, utilities and the environment.
Singtel's 4G LTE network already supports low-cost Category 1 (Cat-1) devices, which are built for IoT applications.
"IoT connectivity is an important part of Singapore's enterprises and supports the Singapore Government's Smart Nation initiative. We anticipate a growing demand to connect a multitude of sensors and devices in a cost-effective manner," said Tay Soo Meng, Group Chief Technology Officer, Singtel.
"Focusing on power saving capabilities in our networks enables energy efficiency benefits for the IoT ecosystem - we expect at least 10 years battery life. With the early introduction of low-powered IoT devices, this brings us a step closer to 5G goals, where new device and sensor technologies can leverage network connectivity to power a variety of use cases, such as lighting and vehicle-to-infrastructure connectivity," he added.
Long-term battery life has become a prerequisite for a vast number of IoT devices, supporting field deployments with minimal power requirements and maintenance. It is possible to enable over 10 years of battery life on existing LTE networks. Power saving capabilities allow devices to enter a new deep sleep mode and are ideal for devices that only need to contact the network once per hour or even less frequently.
"IoT is an emerging market and we are pleased to work with Singtel to enhance their network to support the adoption of IoT. Together, we will continue to explore future IoT technologies such as Cat-M and NB-IoT, which promises to reduce device costs and improve coverage and battery life even further. Examples of applications that can leverage on these technologies are temperature, air quality and flood water sensors," Sam Saba, Region Head, Ericsson South East Asia & Oceania.
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