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Enabling the LPWAN transition
15 August 2018, Telecoms, Datacoms, Wireless, IoT

The Internet of Things (IoT) industry in South Africa has matured over the past few years and as a result we have noticed new Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) service providers gaining significant prominence in the telecommunications industry. Over the past 18 months we have seen the global LPWAN provider Sigfox entering our local market through a local service provider, and they have succeeded in deploying their network to over 85% of the population in South Africa. Conversely, a competing service provider has implemented the largest open architecture LPWAN in Africa based off the LoRaWAN networking protocol. The question is, how have the traditional telco operators in South Africa catered for the new generation of IoT applications?

The two common network technologies that telco operators around the world are deploying for IoT applications are LTE CAT M1 and NB-IoT. These two network technologies offer very similar performance with regards to signal range and power consumption but the LTE CAT M1 technology supports higher network speeds in comparison to NB-IoT.

MTN has recently announced that they have conducted tests with Ericsson based on LTE CAT M1, raising speculation that they will implement such a network commercially. They have partnered with Cisco Jasper to offer a control centre for IoT which will enable advanced device management across various cellular and LPWAN technologies, as well as provide the ability for creating custom business rules and automation procedures. One can only conclude that this recent partnership should pave the way for an accelerated IoT network launch by MTN in the near future.

Vodacom has opted to deploy an NB-IoT network which will operate on the 900 MHz frequency band. Vodacom currently has select live NB-IoT cell towers enabled and offers a test facility at Vodaworld to evaluate module compatibility with their network.

Earlier this year SIMCom’s SIM7000E module’s registration and UDP client connection methods were successfully tested at Vodaworld ahead of us promoting the device to the end user market. The module has subsequently received the local regulatory approval by ICASA and is currently being evaluated for metering applications by a prominent supplier to the industry, as well as several design houses in other, unrelated applications.

The increased demand by telco operators on ICASA for spectrum availability has been one of the motivating factors for deploying NB-IoT as a means of upgrading GPRS based systems. There has been no mention of discontinuing the GPRS networks in South Africa at this stage, however one should bear in mind that the GPRS network in the US and Australian regions have been disabled and a rise in NB-IoT usage may result in a similar future for GPRS networks in South Africa.

One of the most critical features of the SIM7000E module is that not only does it support LTE CAT M1 and NB-IoT, but it also supports the traditional GPRS network services which are currently being used in a multitude of industrial communication applications. This functionality allows for traditional GPRS device and application designers to begin their transition towards the new low-power, low-speed LTE CAT M1/ NB-IoT network technologies while maintaining a ‘fall back’ ability to the tried and tested GPRS network which they are familiar with.


Credit(s)
Supplied By: Otto Wireless
Tel: +27 11 791 1033
Fax: +27 11 791 1187
Email: wireless@otto.co.za
www: www.otto.co.za
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Further reading:

  • The ultimate wireless mesh for Industrial IoT in SA?
    29 May 2019, Altron Arrow, This Week's Editor's Pick, Telecoms, Datacoms, Wireless, IoT
    Analog Devices’ SmartMesh could help with predictive maintenance of the largely metal and concrete buildings which include industrial plants, data centres, commercial buildings, bridges and tunnels.
  • Passive RFID using UHF delivers long-range benefits in the IoT
    29 May 2019, Avnet South Africa, This Week's Editor's Pick, Telecoms, Datacoms, Wireless, IoT
    In order to support the use of UHF RFID as an IoT solution, a global alliance was formed in 2014 by Google, Intel, Impinj, Smartrac and AIM.
  • To ICASA or not to ICASA wireless modules?
    29 May 2019, Otto Wireless, This Week's Editor's Pick, Telecoms, Datacoms, Wireless, IoT
    When selecting a wireless module, purchasing an ICASA approved device or module from the approved supplier is critical.
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    29 May 2019, Rugged Interconnect Technologies, This Week's Editor's Pick, Telecoms, Datacoms, Wireless, IoT
    The latest SDR products offer solutions with integrated I/O, ARM processors, and large FPGAs that include intellectual property (IP) for accessing, routing and processing digital data.
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    Telit’s new GE310-GNSS is an IoT (Internet of Things) module with GSM/GPRS, multi-constellation satellite positioning and Bluetooth functionality, packaged in a 270 mm² form factor. The module enables ...
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    29 May 2019, Hi-Q Electronics, Telecoms, Datacoms, Wireless, IoT
    Sky5 LiTE, recently unveiled by Skyworks, is a fully integrated front-end solution for mass tier 5G cellular applications. The baseband agnostic platform supports up to 100 MHz bandwidth for 5G new radio ...
  • GNSS module for lane-accurate positioning
    29 May 2019, RF Design, Telecoms, Datacoms, Wireless, IoT
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  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth module
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    Murata Manufacturing has collaborated with Cypress Semiconductor to develop the Type 1LV (CYW43012) low-power, small form factor Wi-Fi and Bluetooth module. This product is designed to improve battery ...
  • Sigfox-connected remote switch
    29 May 2019, Electrocomp Express, Telecoms, Datacoms, Wireless, IoT
    Telemecanique Sensors offers a wireless solution to collect data from remote equipment and use this data, via the Internet, on a PC or mobile device. The XIOT cloud-connected switch (model XIOT11SE5MRCL) ...
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    29 May 2019, TRX Electronics, Telecoms, Datacoms, Wireless, IoT
    Microwave ovens are much-used appliances in many kitchens today. Used not only for cooking food from frozen but also for reheating last night’s curry or the cup of coffee you left to go cold, they provide ...

 
 
         
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