Xura, a digital communications company, is buying Mitel Mobility and its 5G development assets for $385 million, according to TechCrunch.
The development of the finalized 5G standard in the coming years and the expanded opportunities it will offer are clearly evident to companies, prompting major spending and potentially altering long-term strategic plans across sectors.
Mitel Mobility was the mobile operations arm of Mitel Networks, and with it Xura is acquiring a number of tools it can use to build up virtualized network solutions for 5G networks and IoT applications. The way networks handle traffic from IoT devices and solutions is different from that used for traditional computer or cellular traffic, in that IoT devices transmit massive quantities of data throughout operation. These applications also often require extensive back-and-forth communications while needing network-based security protocols and other particular and specific measures.
The advent of 5G networks has the potential to upend the communications sector. Xura is making major investments to prepare for wider IoT adoption that will only grow as 5G networks enable more data to be transmitted and more devices to be used. Companies offering alternative standards to the new cellular technology, such as Sigfox and its low-power wide-area network, are taking steps to secure additional funding to build out greater infrastructure. The development of the IoT and the growing number of devices represent a clear opportunity, and companies are racing to provide the sorts of services needed to support these devices.
Although Wi-Fi and cellular networks can connect IoT devices to the internet, they have inherent characteristics that make them ill-suited to do so for small, low-power components like sensors, smart locks, and smart lights.
BI Intelligence expects that more than 24 billion IoT devices will be installed globally in 2020, and the vast majority of these will fall into the small, low-power category.
So networks that are better suited to connect these low-power IoT devices — notably,Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWANs) — are being developed. These networks can connect devices over large geographic areas because of their long range, but use less battery power on the devices they connect and offer cheaper data subscriptions than traditional cellular networks. Interest in LPWANs among IoT providers and end users is growing in response to the opportunities these benefits present. For example, a municipality deploying parking sensors for a smart transportation project could lower its costs by using a LPWAN instead of a cellular network. It would also then be able to replace the batteries on the sensors far less frequently.
BI Intelligence has compiled a detailed report on LPWANs that explains the impact they will have on the growth of the IoT and the benefits of using LPWANs for IoT connections. It also forecasts the internet connections and subscription revenues associated with these networks and explains in detail the many standards for LPWANs that exist today. Finally, it lays out the current market landscape going forward as different network providers launch LPWANs.
Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:
- Low Power Wide Area Networks are specifically designed for connecting low-power devices like sensors over a very long range. This makes them well suited to a wide range of IoT use cases like smart agriculture and smart cities.
- Low Power Wide Area Networks can connect these low-power devices at a cheaper cost than existing cellular networks. LPWANs have cheaper hardware costs and data subscription costs because they don’t need to provide the high data rates that cellular networks do.
- BI Intelligence estimates that the total number of IoT devices connected over LPWANs will reach 700 million by 2021. This represents remarkable growth for such a new technology that has little present adoption.
- A number of startups and new networking providers are launching LPWANs using standards that leverage unlicensed spectrum. These providers are trying to secure networking revenues from the billions of low-power IoT devices that will go online over the next few years.
- Cellular network carriers are responding to this trend by developing their own standards for LPWANs that leverage their existing infrastructure that supports their 4G networks. This means they will be competing directly with some of the new providers mentioned above.
- Different LPWAN standards are best suited for specific use cases, and business and government organizations will need to understand the benefits of the various standards to find the solution that fits their needs.
In full, the report:
- Details the broad need for low-cost, low-power internet connectivity for IoT devices that LPWANs will help meet.
- Forecasts the growth of the LPWAN market including new networking providers and traditional mobile carriers that are launching their own LPWANs.
- Examines how LPWANs will be adopted by different industries that are launching IoT projects.
- Compares the distinct characteristics and advantages of different standards for LPWANs.
- Explains how the LPWAN market will develop over the coming years in regards to different standards and competitors.
- Examines what the future of internet network connectivity for IoT devices will look like, including LPWANs and the coming of 5G mobile networks.
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The choice is yours. But however you decide to acquire this report, you’ve given yourself a powerful advantage in your understanding of LPWANs.
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