Qualcomm (News - Alert), Nokia, and GE have worked together to create an industry first Internet of Things network that is facilitated entirely over LTE cellular service. IoT networks are becoming more and more prevalent in the industrial world, allowing various appliances to communicate with each other and create a more smoothly run workforce. However, up until now, these networks have required a wireless Internet network in order to work. The effort of these tech companies to create a network that needs only LTE (News - Alert) service is a big step in the right direction for the versatility of the technology.
The use of LTE rather than Wi-Fi means that IoT networks can be applied in much more locations. “Industries such as factories, warehouses, container ports and airports are increasingly dependent on wireless connectivity to efficiently operate as they continue to utilize more wireless data and connect countless IoT devices to their networks,” said Michael Wallace, SVP and GM for Emerging Business at Qualcomm. “With this collaboration, we are providing companies in the Industrial IoT space the ability to leverage the core advantages of LTE including full mobility, high data rates and coverage, predictable latency, quality of service and ease of deployment.”
There are still serious hurdles that companies will need to clear in order to enable widespread use of LTE IoT networks. All of the concerns that already exist about the security of IoT systems that are configured over Wi-Fi are even more amplified when discussing the use of LTE. In addition, existing IoT network hardware will need to be modified in order to accommodate the use of both Wi-FI and LTE systems.
Despite all the work that still needs to be done, the fact that these three companies were able to test run an IoT LTE network successfully is absolutely a positive sign. It will likely be at least several more years until this technology is implemented at any sort of large spread. Still, the progress made in this area is definitely comforting.
Edited by Alicia Young