Connectivity at the heart of industry transformation fueled by 5G and IoT

With each industrial revolution that has occurred over history, we’ve seen two key things emerge - new technologies, like the steam engine, assembly line and information technology that helped businesses achieve more with less. Stemming from these new developments, we also gained the ability to create new business models and revenue streams as a result of putting emerging technologies to use.

An engineer using a smart phone to interact with a robotic device shows what industry transformation can look like

Head of Excellence and Innovation at Business Area Technologies and New Businesses (BTEB) IoT

Head of Excellence and Innovation at Business Area Technologies and New Businesses (BTEB) IoT

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The Fourth Industrial Revolution, better known as Industry 4.0, is still in its infancy, but has the potential to revolutionize every industry. At the heart of it all, is the industry digitalization promised by IoT & 5G, powered by cellular connectivity and managed by Ericsson.

Connectivity is what will enable the industry’s digital transformation. Until now, this has been handled by physical connectivity infrastructure for long-range, high-bandwidth communications, supplemented by more limited, low-power solutions for local access. These solutions are no longer able to meet the needs for which they were initially deployed. Only cellular can provide the global connectivity, high availability and low latency capabilities required by the vast majority of modern IoT deployments.

We are looking forward to discussing IoT and 5G at the upcoming M2M & IoT Strategies Summit, taking place September 10-12 in Berlin. If you’d like to meet with us while in Berlin, please contact us

At the upcoming M2M & IoT Strategies Summit, Ericsson will be presenting a session on how IoT and 5G are powering digital transformations in different environments, like smart cities, industrial settings within factories, warehouses and mines, and connected vehicles - all of which have different connectivity and performance requirements. We will discuss Ericsson’s key contribution to this ecosystem and our focus on standardization and co-creation with our partners. We will also explain how we can ensure success for enterprises using our IoT Accelerator platform as well as take you through key cases of our customers & partners like KDDI and Grundfos.

Today’s use cases can be divided into four key areas:

  • Massive - enables low-cost, low energy devices like smart meters and asset management sensors. Transmits small data volumes and can be deployed in huge numbers. Most cases can be handled by 2G, 3G or LTE, today.
  • Broadband - supports devices that need high throughput and low latency, like drones and unmanned aerial vehicles, fleet management and virtual and augmented reality.
  • Critical - for cases that require ultra-reliable, low latency, and high availability, like autonomous vehicles, smart grid automation, and traffic safety and control.
  • Industrial automation - allows robots and machinery in factories, warehouses and mines to operate that require precise indoor positioning and extremely high throughput and low latency.
Cellular IoT use case segments for industry transformation: Asset management, drones, automotive, smart grid automation, advanced automation and control, smart metering, fleet management, VR/AR, traffic safety and control, collaborative robotics

Cellular IoT use case segments

To date, cellular IoT applications have been connected primarily by 2G, 3G and LTE. Recently, support for large volumes of devices have been enabled by the massive IoT technologies-- NB-IoT and Cat-M1--deployed on top of LTE networks. The last two categories will all require the ultra-high throughput and low-latency capabilities that 5G will bring.

Factors hindering IoT growth for enterprises

A Cisco survey revealed that three-quarters of IoT projects are not successful. For enterprises to reverse this trend and achieve IoT success, all stakeholders need to be in close collaboration, from the enterprises to the communications service providers (CSPs), technology partners like Ericsson, device/chipset manufacturers and cloud service providers.

From our conversations with partners, we have identified four areas contributing to the slower growth of IoT:

  • Complex and fragmented ecosystem
  • Difficulty with connectivity, coverage and capacity trade-offs
  • Long development cycles and slow time-to-market
  • Lack of standardization

Solutions also often require extensive systems integration to interoperate because of lack of pre-integrations between different solutions which leads to high lead times. Until these obstacles are addressed, IoT adoptions and deployments will remain hampered. This is why events like the M2M & IoT Strategies Summit are so valuable for all ecosystem stakeholders, as they present an opportunity for everyone to learn what hasn’t worked, and more importantly, what has worked and how we can all be better IoT partners.

However, we are certainly seeing successes as well, and that is why we think it is particularly important for the industry to come together to share knowledge, collaborate and to help and be inspired by one another.

Cellular Connectivity and Ericsson in the IoT ecosystem

Cellular connectivity, and 5G in particular, provides the IoT ecosystem with distinct advantages as enterprises plan for their products and services to work globally.

Ericsson is a key driver to world’s largest and arguably, most cost-efficient, global network infrastructure, which reaches ~95% of the population. This infrastructure has become increasingly critical for our digital society and was made possible through global efforts to ensure collaboration and global standards. Such open ecosystems with global standards are also crucial for IoT to scale and reach its full potential. Uniform standards that work the same everywhere will enable enterprises to provide better services locally and globally.

Ericsson Research has extensive collaboration programs across the globe to explore digital transformation in different industries. We are part of extensive standardization work at device / chipset level, but also for cellular capabilities of LTE and 5G. In addition, more than 30 communication service providers and 4,000 enterprises leverage our IoT Accelerator platform to drive IoT solutions globally.

Use case: KDDI

One excellent example is KDDI, a global CSP headquartered in Japan. KDDI, using Ericsson’s IoT Accelerator’s Connectivity Management solution, provides connectivity services to its enterprise customers, supporting their deployments of IoT solutions globally.

KDDI’s key customer is Toyota, the largest automotive manufacturer in the world. KDDI and Toyota have signed a partnership to establish a global communication platform to enable the operation of communication networks to support Toyota connected cars globally. KDDI and Toyota will jointly plan and design the platform which will be developed and operated by KDDI. This will also allow Toyota to enhance its product-related research and development and the quality of its services by using vehicle data collected via this communication platform.

Each one of their new cars and trucks will need to be able to connect, no matter where they end up for sale and operating in the world. Not only that, they also have to be able to stay connected as they travel across borders and into different provider coverage areas. The platform will allow for vehicles to automatically connect with telecom operators in different countries without relying on global roaming services.

KDDI handles all of that with Ericsson's IoT platform at its heart.

See you in Berlin!

If you’re going to be attending the M2M & IoT Strategies Summit in Berlin, please be sure to check out our session, Connectivity at the Heart of Industry Transformation Fueled by 5G & IoT, taking place at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, September 11, 2019, where you can learn the importance of cellular to the IoT ecosystem and how Ericsson’s IoT platform is contributing. You’ll also hear about real IoT use cases and what made them successful. Ericsson will also be participating in an interactive panel discussion where attendees can ask questions and interact with presenters. The panel will take place at 5:25 p.m. on September 11.

While in Berlin, we’d also love to speak with you about where you can fit into the ecosystem and how you can create lucrative new business opportunities and revenue streams with IoT.


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