Ericsson joined with mobile operator AT&T and chipset provider Altair to demonstrate a new LTE Power Saving Mode on a commercial LTE Internet of Things (IoT) chipset platform at the GSMA Mobile 360 Series - North America event in Atlanta, Georgia this week (27-29 October).
The demonstration was held in the AT&T booth running on Ericsson networks and using Altair's FourGee-1160 Cat 1 chipset featuring ultra-low power consumption.
Long-term battery life is major prerequisite for a vast number of IoT applications, as many IoT devices out in the field will not located near a power source and therefore depend on battery power for long-duration operation.
With the sheer number of connected IoT devices, the cost of going out into the field to replace batteries isn't viable. Many modules need to be "fit and forget," without any need for maintenance or replacement over the lifetime of the device or application.
Cameron Coursey, VP, Product Development, AT&T's IoT organisation, said: "IoT connectivity is essential to helping businesses stay tethered to their assets around the world. Whether a trucking company hauls expensive cargo across the country or a restaurant transports fresh food overseas, a long battery life on their connected devices can help them provide continuous service.
“Businesses can save money and become more efficient with battery replacements every few years rather than very few months. We are excited to explore these enhanced LTE MTC (machine type communications) technologies and push for alternative chipsets that can increase the lifespan of connected devices."
Ericsson has introduced Power Saving Mode as an Evolved Packet Core feature based on 3GPP (Release 12) for both GSM and LTE networks. The feature is able to dramatically extend IoT device battery life up to 10 years or more for common use cases and traffic profiles. This capability is defined for both LTE and GSM technologies and lets devices enter a new deep sleep mode - for hours or even days at a time - and only wake up when needed.
For devices that need only intermittent network contact, this is a very effective energy- saving feature, according to Ericsson. This Power Saving Mode feature is available in Ericsson SGSN-MME Release 16A.
Thomas Norén, Vice President and Head of Radio Product Management, Ericsson, commented: "Ericsson is effectively addressing the challenge of battery life with a software-only upgrade to existing LTE networks. Ongoing standardisation of low-power, low-cost LT E modules and devices specifically targeted at IoT applications will fuel stronger growth in the LTE segment.
“AT&T and Ericsson are committed to LTE for IoT and jointly supported a recent 3GPP work-item for NB-IoT targeted for inclusion in 3GPP Release 13 in 2016 for ultra-low cost applications."
Eran Eshed, Co-Founder and VP of Marketing and Business Development, Altair said: "Power Saving Mode running on a Cat 1 device enables new use cases and services so far impractical for LTE based IoT networks. We are very pleased to cooperate with ecosystem partners such as Ericsson and AT&T to demonstrate how these use cases are made possible today, based on existing and commercial device and infrastructure technology."
In search of the low-power wide area network standard for IoT