Nokia Networks has appealed to the industry to come up with a comprehensive framework of agreed standards for the Internet of Things (IoT). It argues that the industry needs to move away from proprietary IoT solutions and instead develop a ‘system-of-systems’ that enables ‘interoperability based on common standards and open interfaces’.
Nokia is calling for operators, research organisations, communications vendors and other key industry players to explore business models, identify technology requirements and recommend a framework for standards for the end-to-end deployment of IoT in areas like connected mobility, smart city or public safety.
The company also believes that while the 3GPP is working on standardising cellular-based solutions for wide area IoT connectivity (LTE-O and LTE-M) and that several technologies exist for standardised short-range communications (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Low Energy, ZigBee, Z-Wave, etc), these will not be enough to cover all the use cases required for IoT; it says that ‘a raft of other technologies needed for IoT are missing’.
Areas such as applications enablement, analytics, security, location mapping, indoor positioning and smart sensors are all highly proprietary, which does not support interoperability.
Nokia argues that this standardisation work needs to be extended to create open interfaces that will help all stakeholders to realize the full business potential of the IoT opportunity. Common standards and open interfaces will also help avoid potential market fragmentation caused by the deployment of individual proprietary solutions.
Nokia, along with Ericsson and Intel Corporation has already pushed the case for supporting Narrow-Band Long-Term Evolution (NB-LTE) as a low power wide area network wireless connectivity solution for IoT, as opposed to the LTE-MTC (machine type communications) solutions (LTE-O and LTE-M) being worked on by 3GPP.
Nokia pointed to a number of developments it has made, which it says will aid IoT development including the new Nokia AirFrame Data Center Solution, which provides an open platform for merging telco, IT and IoT applications.
It also claims to have spearheaded Mobile Edge Computing** with its Liquid Applications solution, which is currently being standardized within ETSI ISG MEC.
Brian Partridge, Vice President 451 Research Mobility team, said: "In mobile communications the use of standards ensures we enjoy seamless interworking between multivendor network components and different operator networks. For future IoT systems, multiple applications from various vendors must work in concert, connected and integrated in the Cloud and at the network edge.
“Breaking the cycle of building proprietary IoT application silos in market after market will require more adoption of common standards and frameworks with open interfaces to achieve seamless interoperability. In helping to drive the transition from IoT silos to IoT systems we applaud the efforts of Nokia to bring together the relevant ecosystems in key IoT markets."