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LTE , IoT as next battle field for innovation

By Chris Uwaje   |   19 October 2016   |   2:48 am
Picture source: Broadcom

Picture source: Broadcom

The next battle field on innovative digital space market-share will be determined by Long Term Evolution (LTE) on 4G, Internet protocol version six (IPv6) and Internet of Things (IoT). Our world today has become smarter and mobile. With LTE, the new life is here with virtual reality (VR) potential.

4G-LTE: Get ready – the killer digital applications are here to completely change our lives. It’s a whole new dawn of digital possibilities for the ultimate experience in data-intensive applications, gaming, video and VR. With the global population growth inching to the edge of 8billion (now 7.5billion), the next generation leadership in the digital network service arena will be defined by the innovative capability of the service providers and by extension, device manufacturers, to take advantage and control of the immense opportunities provided by LTE on 4G.

The bottom line to the enrichment of our lives is: ‘who will provide us with the most satisfactory digital service’? Who indeed! Available information reveals that Globacom Nigeria has effectively deployed 4G-LTE as a leading pioneer. This represents the next frontier for a total transformation of quality digital network service delivery in Africa. LTE 4G is viewed as the generation-next accelerator to 5G networks and holds the digital promise to deliver enormous customer experience, monumental pleasure and ultimate satisfaction to customers at ultra-high speed like never before.

Out of the current population of 188,386.191, NCC’s August 2016 Data informs that there are 94million Internet users in Nigeria. It means that a new dawn has arrived for knowledge-centric network service providers and a new life experience for users. The explosive adoption of smart phones now rolled out at the speed of light in hundreds of millions, fuelled by the Internet-centric users demand has unleashed a ferocious market competition. These demands for smart-way-of-life are currently propelled by two critical factors: namely IPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6) and the IoT (Internet of Things and everything). The ultimate goal is the attainment of high quality of new services at the speed of thought!

Also, IPv6 meets several fundamental criteria for driving IoT development. It has an open and scalable architecture. It exists today and is being adopted for mobile networks and applications at an accelerating rate. It provides the means to deploy both centralised networks (intranets) and distributed networks (internet). It can handle all types of traffic. Its inter-operability nature conforms to most if not all available industry standard network links. Open standardisation processes exist at established standards bodies.

This subject’s potential has been researched by exploring innovative forms of interactions such as: information and intelligence distribution; multi-protocol interoperability with and among heterogeneous devices; use of identifiers in conjunction with IoT devices and IPv6. Also included are device mobility and mobile phone networks integration to provide ubiquitous access and seamless communication; cloud computing integration with Software as a Service (SaaS); IPv6 – Smart Things Information Services (STIS) innovative interactions. (Sébastien Ziegler, Peter Kirstein, Latif Ladid, Antonio Skarmeta and Antonio Jara).

In my capacity as the Africa Chair, IEEE World Forum on IoT, the challenges facing the world in the Internet centric digital space are monumental. They range from: 5G networks and IoT Software Defined Network (SDN). Others are Sensor and Actuator Networks, Ultra-low power IoT Technologies and Embedded Systems Architectures, Wearables, Body Sensor Networks, Smart Portable Devices, Design Space Exploration Techniques for IoT Devices and Systems. There are also Heterogeneous Networks, Web of Things, Web of Everything, IoT Protocols (IPv6, 6LoWPAN, RPL, 6TiSCH, W3C), Named Data Networking for IoT , Internet of Nano Things, Sensors Data Management, IoT Mining and Analytics, Adaptive Systems and Models at Runtime, Distributed Storage, Data Fusion.

Also included are Routing and Control Protocols, Resource Management, Access Control, Mobility, Localisation and Management Aspects, Identity Management and Object Recognition, Localisation Technologies, Edge Computing, Fog Computing and IoT , Machine to Machine (M2M)/Devices-to-Devices communications and IoT, Industrial IoT and Factory of Things and Internet of Things. Analysis from the above reveals that Globacom Nigeria has durable technology foresight and master strategy of ‘keeping customers4life’. Today, almost everyone agrees that we live in a software-first world and that data is not only king but indeed the ultimate life experience in the digital space. Our lives are Data-Driven (DD)! In my professional estimation, Globacom has been consistent with its numerous pioneering roles in Nigeria’s telecommunication industry. This followed a successful multi-dimensional test-run of the advanced 4G LTE network.

Now to the SMEs and Layman customer: What is the opportunity and benefit proposition of LTE to your needs? Available studies show that 4G wireless communications standard developed by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) is designed to provide multiple times the speed of 3G networks for mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, netbooks, notebooks and wireless hotspots. LTE is about data and indeed higher data speeds, which allow HD quality content to be experienced by the customer on their devices.

To have LTE.-service, a new customer will require and ensure the following: be in a 4G LTE location, get a LTE enabled handset/mifi router, buy a 4G LTE sim card at sales outlet (Gloworld, Glozones, Retail Sales), register the LTE sim and buy a 4G LTE plan. Similar processes apply to existing GLO customers. But in addition, they will need to swap the existing 2G/3G to 4G LTE sim card. Finally, GLO- MNP customer requirement for LTE will also include completing the port in process in addition to pre-existing processes.

Emerging facts reveal that today available LTE chipsets and modules are designed with features and functionalities for ultimate and sustainable customer experience. They are strategically developed for Machine-to-Machine (M2M) and Internet of things (IoT) enabled devices.

Future Costs – LTE provides economy of scale and opportunity to customers and service providers, since according to Kimberly Tassin, of Sequans Communications, LTE in this regard is two or three times more efficient than 3G; and 20 times more efficient than 2G. One analyst has estimated that data costing a dollar to send over a 2G network can be sent over an LTE network for a mere five cents. This cost advantage is bound to benefit new and existing customers of LTE enabled Networks on the long run. The flat all-inclusive nature of LTE’s all-IP architecture makes it ideal for IoT applications. Also, LTE provides built-in security along with robust and scalable traffic management capabilities, but the main driver for LTE in the IoT is economic. Since LTE is significantly more spectrally-efficient than 2G or 3G, transporting data over a 4G LTE network can be done at a much lower cost per bit.

Going forward, it makes economic sense to port into the 4G-LTE technology domains and mine the awaiting benefits to business, education, government, entertainment, security, research, health and healthcare delivery, finance, manufacturing, marketing, innovation and many more. 4G-LTE is it.

Uwaje is the Director General of Delta State Innovation HUB and Africa Chair for IEEE World Forum of IoT/Past President of Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON).

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