A new by 5G Americas whitepaper, titled “LTE Progress Leading to the 5G Massive Internet of Things”is an overview of the technological advancements that will support the expanding IoT vertical markets, including connected cars and wearables. The term Massive IoT (MIoT) has been recently created by the telecom industry to refer to the connection for potentially large number of devices and machines that will call for further definition in the standards for LTE and later for 5G.
The generic requirements for IoT are low cost, energy efficiency, ubiquitous coverage, and scalability (ability to support a large number of connected machines in a network). To legacy operators, IoT services should ideally be able to leverage their existing infrastructure and co-exist with other services. In the 3GPP Release
13 standard, eMTC and NB-IoT were introduced. These technologies met the above generic IoT requirements. They support in-band or guard band operations. Device cost and complexity are reduced. A large quantity of IoT devices can be supported in a network while battery life is extended. Many of the related features were covered in the 5G Americas whitepaper, LTE and 5G Technologies Enabling the Internet of Things.
Jean Au, staff manager, technical marketing, Qualcomm Technologies, and co-leader of the whitepaper said: “Some cellular service providers in the U.S. are already adding more IoT connections than mobile phone connections, and the efforts at 3GPP in defining standards for the successful deployment of a wide variety of services across multiple industries will contribute to the growing success for consumers and the enterprise.”
At present, low-power wide area networks (LPWANs) are already gaining popularity and it is expected that cellular-based technologies including LTE-M (Machine) and Narrowband-IoT (NB-IoT) will emerge as the foremost standards for LPWA by 2020.
Wireless network operators will have the option to choose from several Cellular IoT (CIoT) technologies depending on their spectrum portfolio, legacy networks and requirements of the services they offer.
Vicki Livingston, head of communications, 5G Americas, said:
“There will be a wide range of IoT use cases in the future, and the market is now expanding toward both Massive IoT deployment as well as more advanced solutions that may be categorized as Critical IoT.”
According to Research and Markets, the global IoT platform market will grow at a CAGR of 31.79 percent from 2017 to 2021. The large number of active IoT devices collect data through sensors and actuators and transmit the back to a centralized location. The IoT platform empowers the end-user to make informed decisions using the data. Together with design innovations in 5G architectures, cloud-native edge computing platforms ensure Industrial IoT (IIoT) applications can be run in a cost-effective manner.
Addendum: IDC’s IoT Forecast
Worldwide spending on the Internet of Things (IoT) is forecast to reach $772.5 billion in 2018, an increase of 14.6% over the $674 billion that will be spent in 2017. A new update to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Semiannual Internet of Things Spending Guide forecasts worldwide IoT spending to sustain a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.4% through the 2017-2021 forecast period surpassing the $1 trillion mark in 2020 and reaching $1.1 trillion in 2021.
IoT hardware will be the largest technology category in 2018 with $239 billion going largely toward modules and sensors along with some spending on infrastructure and security. Services will be the second largest technology category, followed by software and connectivity. Software spending will be led by application software along with analytics software, IoT platforms, and security software. Software will also be the fastest growing technology segment with a five-year CAGR of 16.1%. Services spending will also grow at a faster rate than overall spending with a CAGR of 15.1% and will nearly equal hardware spending by the end of the forecast.
“By 2021, more than 55% of spending on IoT projects will be for software and services. This is directly in line with results from IDC’s 2017 Global IoT Decision Maker Survey where organizations indicate that software and services are the key areas of focused investment for their IoT projects,” said Carrie MacGillivray, vice president, Internet of Things and Mobility at IDC. “Software creates the foundation upon which IoT applications and use cases can be realized. However, it is the services that help bring all the technology elements together to create a comprehensive solution that will benefit organizations and help them achieve a quicker time to value.”
The industries that are expected to spend the most on IoT solutions in 2018 are manufacturing ($189 billion), transportation ($85 billion), and utilities ($73 billion). IoT spending among manufacturers will be largely focused on solutions that support manufacturing operations and production asset management. In transportation, two thirds of IoT spending will go toward freight monitoring, followed by fleet management. IoT spending in the utilities industry will be dominated by smart grids for electricity, gas, and water. Cross-Industry IoT spending, which represent use cases common to all industries, such as connected vehicles and smart buildings, will be nearly $92 billion in 2018 and rank among the top areas of spending throughout the five-year forecast.
“Consumer IoT spending will reach $62 billion in 2018, making it the fourth largest industry segment. The leading consumer use cases will be related to the smart home, including home automation, security, and smart appliances,” said Marcus Torchia, research director, Customer Insights & Analysis. “Smart appliances will experience strong spending growth over the five-year forecast period and will help to make consumer the fastest growing industry segment with an overall CAGR of 21.0%.”
Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) (APeJ) will be the geographic region with the most IoT spending in 2018 – $312 billion – followed by North America (the United States and Canada) at $203 billion and Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) at $171 billion. China will be the country with the largest IoT spending total in 2018 ($209 billion), driven by investments from manufacturing, utilities, and government. IoT spending in the United States will total $194 billion in 2018, led by manufacturing, transportation, and the consumer segment. Japan ($68 billion) and Korea ($29 billion) will be the third and fourth largest countries in 2018, with IoT spending largely driven by the manufacturing industry. Latin America will deliver the fastest overall growth in IoT spending with a five-year CAGR of 28.3%.
The Worldwide Semiannual Internet of Things Spending Guide forecasts IoT spending for 14technologies and 54 use cases across 20 vertical industries in eight regions and 53 countries. Unlike any other research in the industry, the comprehensive spending guide was designed to help vendors clearly understand the industry-specific opportunity for IoT technologies today.
IoT Tech Expo Takeaways:
This was one of the most chaotic, disorganized, frustrating trade shows I’ve attended in many decades. [Please contact me if you’re interested in why that was the case]. However, there were several interesting booths I visited on the show floor, a few enlightening panel sessions and one novel presentation proposing a completely different approach to IoT wireless connectivity (see Wirepas discussion below).
Caroline Wong’s talk on cyber security for IoT was very illuminating and pointed out the huge dangers of exposed IoT devices/things which might be hacked.
Here are a few quick takes from a couple of IoT panels:
- Despite several standards available, strong cyber-security has not been embedded in IoT devices or gateways because it’s seen as too expensive by the hardware vendors.
- Industrial IoT demands massive connectivity, but the ability to scale to manage thousands of devices is questionable.
- A mutual understanding between IoT hardware vendors and cloud software providers is urgently needed. Business models for each seem to be at odds.
- Key questions:
-What will be the ROI for a company that deploys IoT for its business?
-What’s the IoT customer willing to pay for WAN connectivity, activation, services, management, etc. Suggested that recurring fees should be avoided. Sprint offers a pre-paid billing model without recurring fees for IoT connectivity.
- Metering for home automation offers the possibility of disaggregation of electrical signals for improved data collection and integration.
- In most IoT applications, sampled data should be analyzed and/or processed at the network edge rather than in a cloud resident data center.
- In some IoT applications, the IoT controller only needs to be informed of a status change.
- Sprint is offering a private LTE network where data and commands/status are routed off to an on site data center or to a remote host via Sprint’s wireless network. It offers secure, wireless WAN connections.
Massive IoT – Building shared success in IoT, by Youssef Kamel, GM Wirepas:
Youssef began by providing his company’s vision and requirements for IoT connectivity:
- Everything that can be connected will be connected.
- Need a fully decentralized operations to manage large scale infrastructure.
- Long life: IoT devices are expected to last up to 15 or 20 years vs 2 to 3 years for an iPhone.
- IoT devices generally require latency of a few msecs and micro amps of power.
- Currently, there’s a huge fragmentation of the IoT market with tremendous diversity of use cases (see illustration below). What’s common among them is requirement to manage on a large scale and density of devices.
- The IoT connectivity network needs to have very low cost (ideally free), use a small amount of energy per device, self configure network nodes according to the use cases (NOTE that is generally not the case in any existing large scale network we know of).
- Wirepas commissioned Northstream to do a whitepaper on IoT requirements for massive connectivity. It’s titled: “Massive IoT- different technologies for different needs” and available for free download (see Reference and chart below).
Evolution of IoT connectivity – from millions to billions:
- Local area and small installations – Zigbee, Thread, BLE Mesh, Z-wave,etc.
- Wide area and sparse installations with limited bandwidth – SigFox, LoRA, Ingenu, NB-IoT, LTE-M, etc.
- Massive IoT: Any scale, any density, any location installations, Over the Air (OTA), open platform with a Wide Area Mesh Network.
Following that backgrounder, Mr. Kamel’s presentation focused on massive IoT based on a decentralized, wireless mesh network, where all the interconnected network nodes locally decide actions to take by themselves via Wirepas’ Connectivity software. The local decision-making ensures that the devices always operate the similar way, independent of the network size or the devices’ locations within the network. No central network management is needed in this approach.
The multi-hop topology is optimized continuously and adapts to changes in the environment and the network. For each node, there are multiple routing options (next hops), and multiple Gateways (back haul connections) that may be used in the same network.
Different operational parameters can be changed to provide trade-offs between bandwidth, latency, range and power consumption. The network can be chosen according to the requirements.
The wireless connectivity protocol stack is described on Wirepas’ website as follows:
“Wirepas Connectivity is a de-centralized radio communications protocol for large-scale IoT applications. What we offer is the protocol software that can be used in any device, with any radio chip and on any radio band.”
Wirepas Connectivity (WPC) white paper may be downloaded here. From that paper:
“Device-to-device range can be adjusted with the used Physical layer. The selection of different Physical layers is enabled by the Physical layer independent architecture and operation of WPC. Different frequency bands and radio data rate vs. range options can be used depending on application needs. E.g. 2.4 GHz can be used for dense indoor installations and sub-GHz if longer device-to-device range is needed for inter-building communication.”
In answer to this author’s question, Youssef said that BlueTooth Low Energy (BLE) was one of several wireless LAN technologies being used with the Wirepas Connectivity software which contains the network intelligence.
Wirepas provides the software protocol stack (starting at Data Link layer) that runs on their partner company’s radio and baseband (Physical layer and MAC sub-layer) hardware. Then OEMs deploy the smart devices (with embedded connectivity hardware from partner companies and Wirepas’ software) to complete the network infrastructure. That approach is shown in this illustration, courtesy of Wirepas:
Real World Example – Smart Metering with a Wide Area Mesh:
This real world deployment was done by Hafslund Nett – an electric utility company in greater Oslo, Norway that serving approximately 1.5 million people in a 100 x 200 km area. Highlights:
•> 700k electricity meters in a single Wide Area Mesh network.
• No infrastructure for connectivity – just the smart meters.
• Benefits of Wireless Area Mesh for utility: 100% network coverage, SLA >99.9%, Future proof, Free wireless connectivity.
A whitepaper on this deployment may be downloaded here.
Market Segments Wirepas is Pursuing:
- Smart metering for electricity, gas and water
- Asset tracking, e.g. within a post office
- Lighting systems within a building
- Street lights and smart cities
Wirepas claims 3 world records:
- Largest scale – 700 000+ devices in a single mesh network
- Highest density – 1000+ devices inside m3 without a single packet collision
- Smallest power IPv6 router – 25 μA stand by, continuously connected
Next Up: Wirepas is partnering with K.Hartwall to deploy connected roller cages (AKA load carriers). The initiative is called Visimore.
Downloadable white papers: https://wirepas.com/download/
1. NEC has launched a new network server that complies with LoRaWAN (MAC and PHY specifications from the LoRa Alliance) to help telecoms carriers accelerate the creation of new IoT services. The new server implements device identification, data rate control and channel allocation for sensor devices complying with LoRaWAN through the LoRaWAN gateway. It also mediates data processing from each sensor device to the application server. As the LoRaWAN network server features a function for conducting flexible multi-tenant and multi-device control assuming a variety of service provision formats of communication carriers, it is capable of providing LoRaWAN network services to numerous companies and service providers.
LoRaWAN Network Server Connection–Image by NEC Corp.
In addition, its WebAPI capability makes it interoperable with a wide range of service applications using LoRa. This facilitates the utilization of data collected from sensor devices.
“This new server enables new IoT services to be flexibly provided to telecommunications carriers in combination with gateways and end-devices,” said Shigeru Okuya, senior vice president of NEC.
“NEC aims to provide LoRaWAN compliant solutions to companies around the world in the coming years as part of accelerating the creation of new IoT services and improving user convenience,” he added.
“NEC’s network server integrated with Semtech’s LoRa (PHY) Technology will give operators a competitive advantage that will contribute to society,” said Marc Pegulu, General Manager and Vice President of Semtech’s Wireless and Sensing Products Group.
“LoRa Technology offers long-range, low-power capabilities for next-generation IoT applications in vertical markets, including smart cities, smart building, smart agriculture, smart metering, and smart supply chain and logistics.”
The new NEC LoRaWAN servers will start shipping to IoT WAN connectivity providers in December.
2. New Zealand Nationwide LoRaWAN by Spark
New Zealand’s Spark has contracted French IoT network solutions specialist Kerlink to support a nationwide LoRaWAN rollout in the twin island nation.
Spark, the leading digital services provider in New Zealand, has already deployed the low power wide area (LPWA) network in parts of the country, and has signed on initial customers including farmer co-operatives Farmlands and Ballance Agri-Nutrients.
These companies are using the network to provide farmers with real-time information about their operations through an array of sensors.
“Spark already has created use cases that will demonstrate the LoRaWAN network’s energy-efficient, geolocation connectivity that is well suited for both the wide-open spaces and urban centers of New Zealand,” Kerlink Asia Pacific sales director Arnaud Boulay said.
The vendor is providing IoT stations that support bidirectional data exchange and geolocation capability and operate on the 923-MHz industrial, scientific, and medical (ISM) radio band.
Other early adopters include the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), and Spark is targeting customers in key sectors such as health, safety, transportation, asset tracking and smart cities.
Spark already has created use cases that will demonstrate the LoRaWAN networks energy-efficient, geolocation connectivity that is well suited for both the wide-open spaces and urban centers of New Zealand.
The Internet of Things (IoT) will connect existing systems and then augment those by connecting more things, thanks to wireless sensor networks and other technologies. Things on the ‘edge’ form mesh networks and can make their own automated decisions. This article reviews key messages from conference technical sessions on IoT connectivity and describes a new Wireless Mesh Sensor network which is an extension of IEEE 802.15.4.
NOTE: This post will be updated with illustrations and comments once I can get files converted to jpeg or jpg
1. Overcoming Adoption Barriers To Achieve Mass IIoT Deployment, Iotium
Early adopters are realizing the complexities involved in scalable mass deployment of Industrial IoT. These includes deployment complexities, security issues starting from hardware root of trust to OS, network, cloud security and application vulnerabilities, and extensibility. This session will focus on these 3 areas in-depth to help you successfully deploy your own IIoT strategy.
2. Overcoming The Connectivity Challenge Limiting IoT Innovation, Helium
The hardware and application layers of IoT systems are supported by robust, mature markets, with devices tailored for any use case and pre-built infrastructure platforms from Microsoft, Google and AWS. But the connectivity layer, without which the entire system is useless, still has numerous challenges. It takes too much knowledge and time to get data from sensors to apps that most staffs don’t have. The speaker discussed a streamlined, secure approach to connectivity that will make building a wireless IoT network as easy as designing a mobile app, thereby removing the greatest barrier to mass IoT adoption.
3. Whitelabel The Future: How White Label Platforms Will Streamline The IoT Revolution, Pod Group
As expectations tend towards personalized, data-driven services, responding immediately to market changes is becoming a key differentiator, creating the need for mutual insight on both sides of the market. Whitelabelled platforms are an effective intermediary, allowing unprecedented levels of customer interaction and paving the way for truly end-to-end IoT systems.
Barriers to achieving a sustainable IoT business model:
-Businesses must have flexible resources and structures:
a] lacking tools to implement (new technology/billing)
b] organizational changes (retraining staff/expertise at top level)
-55% of large enterprises are not pursuing IoT (Analysys Mason)
-Digital proficiency lacking in 50% of companies (Price Waterhouse Cooper)
-IoT platforms can introduce users to systems as a whole & streamline management
There are several different types of IoT platforms:
-IoT Application Enablement Platform – in-field application (eg. device) management
-Connectivity Management Platform (CMP) – management of network connections
-Back-end Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) – hosting space and processing power
-Hardware-specific Platform – only works with one type of hardware
Many platforms tied to specific provider/device:
– ‘Agnostic’ platforms ideal to integrate different types & retain adaptability (eg. connectivity management integrating device mgmt. & billing capabilities).
-CMPs offer a range of services: managing global connections, introducing providers to clients, integration with hardware vendors, etc.
-CMPs focus on centralized network management- not on building new services.
-Application Enablement Platforms focus on device management/insight–billing hierarchy enables new business services with additional layers, e.g. analytics.
What will the IoT landscape look like in the near future?
-Various connectivity technologies competing, platform technology and open-source driving software/service innovation.
-Hybrid platform offers ease of management, solid foundation for building recurring revenue from value-added services – ensures business is scalable and able to roll-out services quickly.
-Capable platform shifts focus from day-to-day management to building new bus. models and recurring rev. streams..
-Whitelabel platforms help to implement new business models throughout business, consolidate management of legacy and future systems, and build recurring revenue from end-to-end value-added services.
Choose right platform for your business – ease-of-use, billing hierarchies, multi-tech integration key to generating recurring revenue.
With a strong platform in place to future-proof devices and manage customer accounts and business, enterprise can be part of full IoT ecosystem, gaining value from every stage.
4. From Disappointing To Delightful: How To build With IoT, Orange IoT Studio
Many engineers, designers and business folks want to work with IoT devices, but don’t know where to begin. Come learn which mistakes to avoid and which best practices to copy as you integrate with IoT or build your own IoT products. This presentation examines the consistent, systematic ways that IoT tends to fail and delight. The talk explained what makes IoT unique, and examined why it’s not at all easy to classify IoT platforms and devices.
5. Many Faces Of LPWAN (emphasizing LoRaWAN), Multi-Tech Systems
Until recently, most M2M and Internet of Things (IoT) applications have relied on high-speed cellular and wired networks for their wide area connectivity. Today, there are a number of IoT applications that will continue to require higher-bandwidth, however others may be better suited for low-power wide-area network options that not only compliment traditional cellular networks, but also unlock new market potential by reducing costs and increasing the flexibility of solution deployments.
Low-Power Wide-Area Networks (LPWAN)s are designed to allow long range communications at low bit rates. LPWANs are ideally suited to connected objects such as sensors and “things” operating on battery power and communicating at low bit rates, which distinguishes them from the wireless WANs used for IT functions (such as Internet access).
Many LPWAN alternative specifications/standards have emerged – some use licensed spectrum such as ITU-R LTE Cat-M1 and 3GPP NB-IoT, while other alternatives such as LoRaWAN™ are based on as specification from the LoRA Alliance and uses unlicensed industrial, scientific, and medical (ISM) radio band/spectrum.
IoT has many challenges – from choosing the right device, to adding connectivity and then managing those devices and the data they generate. Here are just a few IoT connectivity challenges:
- Long battery life (5+ yrs) requires low power WAN interface
- Low cost communications (much lower than cellular data plans)
- Range and in-building penetration
- Operation in outdoor and harsh environments
- Low cost infrastructure
- Robust communications
- Permits mobility
- Scalable to thousands of nodes/devices
- Low touch management and provisioning – Easy to attach assets
- Highly fragmented connectivity due to a proliferation of choices
The following charts, presented by Mike Finegan are courtesy of Multi-Tech:
Mike presented several LPWAN use case studies, including: tank monitoring in Mt. Oso, CA; point of sales terminals, kiosks, vending machines; oil and gas; distributed energy resources; agriculture; and a real time control school traffic sign (T-Mobile using NB-IoT equipment from MultiTech (the first public NB-IoT demo in North America).
Mr. Finegan concluded by emphasizing the importance of security functions needed in an IoT Connectivity Platform. A “trusted IoT platform” should reduce attack vectors, provide secure and reliable end to end communications, and device to headquarters management services.
6. What Makes a City Smart? Totem Power
The framework necessary to build holistic infrastructure that leverages capabilities essential to realizing the full potential of smart cities – concepts including curbside computing power, advanced energy resiliency and ubiquitous connectivity.
An interesting observation was that fiber trenches being dug to facilitate 5G backhaul for small cells and macro cells could accommodate electrical wiring for power distribution and charging of electronic vehicles within the city limits.
At it’s booth, Analog Devices/ Linear Technology displayed an exhibit of SmartMesh® – a Wireless Mesh Sensor Network that was based on a now proprietary extension of IEEE 802.15.4 . SmartMesh® wireless sensor networking products are chips and pre-certified PCB modules complete with mesh networking software; enabling sensors to communicate in tough Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) environments.
Note 1. IEEE 802.15.4 is a standard which defines the operation of low-rate wireless personal area networks (LR-WPANs) via PHY and MAC layers. It focuses on low-cost, low-speed ubiquitous communication between devices.
The Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) wireless sensor networks (WSNs) must support a large number of nodes while meeting stringent communications requirements in rugged industrial environments. Such networks must operate reliably more than ten years without intervention and be scalable to enable business growth and increasing data traffic over the lifetime of the network.
More information on SmartMesh® is here.
Introduction to Fog Computing, Architecture and Networks:
Fog computing is an extension of cloud computing which deploys data storage, computing and communications resources, control and management data analytics closer to the endpoints. It is especially important for the Internet of Things (IoT) continuum, where low latency and low cost are needed.
Fog computing architecture is the arrangement of physical and logical network elements, hardware, and software to implement a useful IoT network. Key architectural decisions involve the physical and geographical positioning of fog nodes, their arrangement in a hierarchy, the numbers, types, topology, protocols, and data bandwidth capacities of the links between fog nodes, things, and the cloud, the hartware and software design of individual fog nodes, and how a complete IoT network is orchestrated and managed. In order to optimize the architecture of a fog network, one must first understand the critical requirements of the general use cases that will take advantage of fog and specific software application(s) that will run on them. Then these requirements must be mapped onto a partitioned network of appropriately designed fog nodes. Certain clusters of requirements are difficult to implement on networks built with heavy reliance on the cloud (intelligence at the top) or intelligent things (intelligence at the bottom), and are particularly influential in the decision to move to fog-based architectures.
From a systematic perspective, fog networks provide a distributed computing system with a hierarchical topology. Fog networks aim at meeting stringent latency requirements, reducing power consumption of end devices, providing real-time data processing and control with localized computing resources, and decreasing the burden of backhaul traffic to centralized data centers. And of course, excellent network security, reliability and availability must be inherent in fog networks.
Fog computing network architecture
Illustration courtesy of August 2017 IEEE Communications Magazine article: “Architectural Imperatives for Fog Computing: Use Cases, Requirements, and Architectural Techniques for Fog-Enabled IoT Networks” (IEEE Xplore or IEEE Communications magazine subscription required to view on line)
Fog Computing Market:
The fog computing market opportunity will exceed $18 billion worldwide by the year 2022, according to a new report by 451 Research. Commissioned by the OpenFog Consortium, the Size and Impact of Fog Computing Market projects that the largest markets for fog computing will be, in order, energy/utilities, transportation, healthcare and the industrial sectors.
“Through our extensive research, it’s clear that fog computing is on a growth trajectory to play a crucial role in IoT, 5G and other advanced distributed and connected systems,” said Christian Renaud, research director, Internet of Things, 451 Research, and lead author of the report. “It’s not only a technology path to ensure the optimal performance of the cloud-to-things continuum, but it’s also the fuel that will drive new business value.”
Key findings from the report were presented during an opening keynote on October 30th at the Fog World Congress conference. In addition to projecting an $18 billion fog market and identifying the top industry-specific market opportunities, the report also identified:
- Key market transitions fueling the growth include investments in energy infrastructure modernization, demographic shifts and regulatory mandates in transportation and healthcare.
- Hardware will have the largest percentage of overall fog revenue (51.6%), followed by fog applications (19.9%) and then services (15.7%). By 2022, spend will shift to apps and services, as fog functionality is incorporated into existing hardware.
- Cloud spend is expected to increase 147% to $6.4 billion by 2022.
“This is a seminal moment that not only validates the magnitude of fog, but also provides us with a first-row seat to the opportunities ahead,” said Helder Antunes, chairman of the OpenFog Consortium and Senior Director, Cisco. “Within the OpenFog community, we’ve understood the significance of fog—but with its growth rate of nearly 500 percent over the next five years—consider it a secret no more.”
The fog market report includes the sizing and impact of fog in the following verticals: agriculture, datacenters, energy and utilities, health, industrial, military, retail, smart buildings, smart cities, smart homes, transportation, and wearables.
Fog computing is the system-level architecture that brings computing, storage, control, and networking functions closer to the data-producing sources along the cloud-to-thing continuum. Applicable across industry sectors, fog computing effectively addresses issues related to security, cognition, agility, latency and efficiency.
Download the full report at www.openfogconsortium.org/growth.
Fog Use Cases:
According to the Open Fog Consortium, fog architectures offer several unique advantages over other approaches, which include, but are not limited to:
Security: Additional security to ensure safe, trusted transactions
Cognition: awareness of client-centric objectives to enable autonomy
Agility: rapid innovation and affordable scaling under a common infrastructure
Latency: real-time processing and cyber-physical system control
Efficiency: dynamic pooling of local unused resources from participating end-user devices
New use cases created by the OpenFog Consortium were also released that showcase how fog works in industry. These use cases provide fog technologists with detailed views of how fog is deployed in autonomous driving, energy, healthcare and smart buildings.
The August 2017 IEEE Communications magazine article lists various IoT vertical markets and example fog use cases for each one:
It also delineates several application examples and allowable latency for each one:
The Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) market is focused on IoT WAN connectivity for devices (endpoints) that consume low power, send/receive short messages at low speeds, and have low duty cycles. There are two categories of LPWANs:
1] Cellular (e.g. NB-IoT and LTE Category M1) WANs using licensed spectrum.
2] Wireless WANs operating in unlicensed frequency bands.
While cellular may be the ultimate winner, Sigfox and LoRAWAN currently have a lot more market traction and are growing very fast. Other non-cellular LPWANs (Ingenu, Weightless SIG, etc.) are also getting some attention, but if there are too many commercially available LPWANs the market will be segmented and fractured.
Overview of LoRaWAN and Sigfox network:
Let’s look at the two most popular unlicensed band LPWANs:
- LoRaWAN is specified by the LoRa Alliance which includes 47 network operators.
- The LoRa Alliance states on its website: “LoRaWAN™ is the open global standard for secure, carrier-grade IoT LPWA connectivity. With a certification program to guarantee interoperability and the technical flexibility to address the multiple IoT applications be they static or mobile we believe that LoRaWAN can give all THINGS a global voice.”
- For the Physical layer (PHY), LoRa uses a modulation scheme called chirp spread spectrum (CSS) and a radio both developed and sold or licensed by Semtech Corporation.
- About two years ago, Semtech licensed its technology to Microchip and NXP (like ARM, Semtech now licenses to other semiconductor companies). As a result, the core LoRa hardware (PHY layer) is no longer provided by a single global chip manufacturer.
- LoRaWAN defines the media access control (MAC) sublayer of the Data Link layer, which is maintained by the LoRa Alliance. This distinction between LoRa and LoRaWAN is important because other companies (such as Link Labs) use a proprietary MAC sublayer on top of a LoRa chip to create a better performing, hybrid design (called Symphony Link by Link Labs).
- Many of the LoRa Alliance companies building products are focusing on software defined enhancement and use the LoRaWAN defined MAC.
- LoRaWAN will most likely be best used for “discrete” applications like smart buildings or campuses, where mobile network connectivity is not needed.
- Sigfox has designed its technology and network to meet the requirements of mass IoT applications; long device battery life-cycle, low device cost, low connectivity fee, high network capacity, and long range.
- Sigfox has the lowest cost radio modules(<$3, compared to ~$10 for LoRa, and $12 for NB-IoT).
- A recent announcement from Sigfox noted the addition of a new service called “Admiral Ivory,” that makes possible to connect devices with hardware components costing as little as $0.20.
- An overview of Sigfox’s network technology is described here. It consists of: Ultra Narrow Band radio modulation, a light weight protocol, small frame size/payload, and a star network architecture.
- The Sigfox network is currently deployed in 36 countries, 17 of which already have national coverage.
- In February, Sigfox reached an agreement with mobile network operator Telefonica to integrate Sigfox’s low-powered connectivity into the Telefonica’s managed connectivity platform. By complementing Telefónica’s cellular connectivity offerings, with Sigfox’s LPWAN connectivity solution, customers can choose the most appropriate type of connectivity or combine them, implementing use cases and creating new service opportunities that otherwise may not have been possible.
- Additionally, Telefónica´s managed connectivity platform will integrate Sigfox’s cloud, which gives the company the ability to develop its own end-to-end IoT solutions, based on Sigfox’s connectivity solution and including device integration, as well as data collection and management.
- While Sigfox is a proprietary IoT network architecture, the company has provided their intellectual property library free of charge and royalty-free to semiconductor companies which have implemented chipsets with dedicated Sigfox interfaces or multi-mode capabilities. The list of chipsets/modules supporting Sigfox (+ multimode) includes: Pycom (+ WiFi, BLE=BlueTooth Low Energy), Texas Instruments (+ BLE), STMicroelectronics (+ BLE), Microchip/Atmel, Analog Devices (+ BLE), NXP, OnSemiconductor (SiP), SiLabs, M2Com, GCT Semiconductor (+ BLE, CatM1, NB-IoT, EC-GSM, GPS), Innocom, and Wisol.
- The current Sigfox ecosystem is composed of several chipset vendors, device makers, platform providers and solution providers.
- Here’s a graphic from the Sigfox website on their expanding network footprint:
Sigfox’s LPWAN Interoperability using Internet Compression Technology:
In a phone conversation with Sigfox standardization expert Juan Carlos Zuniga last week, I learned that Sigfox plans to achieve LPWAN interoperability at the Application layer, rather than building multi-mode base stations with different radio access networks. Here’s a glimpse on how that might happen:
At the IETF 98 Bits-n-Bites event, March 30th in Chicago, Sigfox demonstrated IoT interoperability with internet compression technology. which enables LPWAN applications to run transparently over different IoT radio access network (RAN) technologies.
To achieve this milestone and enable IP applications to communicate over its network, Sigfox and Acklio implemented Static Context Header Compression (SCHC) -a compression scheme being standardized by the IETF IPv6 over LPWAN working group*, which Juan Carlos participates in. SCHC allows reducing IPv6/UDP/CoAP headers to just a few bytes, which can then be transported over LPWAN network small frame size for low-power, low-cost IoT applications.
* The focus of the IPv6 over LPWAN working group is on enabling IPv6 connectivity over four different Low-Power Wide-Area (LPWA) technologies: Sigfox, LoRa WAN, WI-SUN and NB-IOT (from 3GPP).
The demonstration platform was based on an Acklio compression protocol stack running on Sigfox-enabled devices and cloud-based applications over the live Sigfox network in Chicago. Two scenarios were demonstrated: 1] CoAP requests to legacy IP LPWAN devices, and 2] CoAP interoperability over the live Sigfox and cellular networks in Chicago with IP enabled endpoint devices.
“We are thrilled with this latest milestone in our quest to support and promote interoperability in the IoT,” said Juan-Carlos Zúñiga, senior standardization expert at Sigfox and co-chair of the IETF IntArea working group. “It is critical that the industry rallies together to adopt open internet standards to unlock the true potential of the IoT.”
Compression based technology for LPWAN application interoperability builds on Sigfox’s commitment to supporting the development of IoT interoperability as an active member of standards development organizations including the IETF, ETSI and IEEE 802. And the number of chip companies providing Sigfox network interfaces (see above list) is equally impressive.
Juan Carlos will be following up with a blog post on LPWAN application layer interoperability as well as a more detailed description of the IETF work on LPWANs.
The Fog World Congress (FWC), to be held October 30th to November 1st in Santa Clara, CA, provides an innovative forum for industry and academia in the field of fog computing and networking to define terms, discuss critical issues, formulate strategies and organize collaborative efforts to address the challenges. Also, to share and showcase research results and industry developments.
FWC is co-sponsored by IEEE ComSoc and the OpenFog Consortium. It is is the first conference that brings industry and research together to explore the technologies, challenges, industry deployments and opportunities in fog computing and networking.
Don’t miss the fog tutorial sessions which aim to clarify misconceptions and bring the communities up to speed on the latest research, technical developments and industry implementations of fog. FWC Research sessions will cover a comprehensive range of topics. There will also be sessions designed to debate controversial issues such as why and where fog will be necessary, what will happen in a future world without fog, how could fog disrupt the industry.
Here are a few features sessions:
- Fog Computing & Networking: The Multi-Billion Dollar opportunity before us
- Driving through the Fog: Transforming Transportation through Autonomous vehicles
- From vision to practice: Implementing Fog in Real World environments
- Fog & Edge: A panel discussion
- Fog over Denver: Building fog-centricity in a Smart City from the ground up
- Fog Tank: Venture Capitalists take on the Fog startups
- 50 Fog Design & Implementation Tips in 50 Minutes
- Fog at Sea: Marine Use Cases For Fog Technology
- NFV and 5G in a Fog computing environment
- Security Issues, Approaches and Practices in the IoT-Fog Computing Era: A panel discussion
View the 5 track conference program here.
Finally, register here.
For general information about the conference, including registration, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Open Fog Consortium:
The OpenFog Consortium bridges the continuum between Cloud and Things in order to solve the bandwidth, latency and communications challenges associated with IoT, 5G and artificial intelligence. Its work is centered around creating an open fog computing architecture for efficient and reliable networks and intelligent endpoints combined with identifiable, secure, and privacy-friendly information flows between clouds, endpoints, and services based on open standard technologies. While not a standards organization, OpenFog drives requirements for fog computing and networking to IEEE. The global nonprofit was founded in November 2015 and today represents the leading researchers and innovators in fog computing.
For more information, visit www.openfogconsortium.org; Twitter @openfog; and LinkedIn /company/openfog-consortium.
Most network operators say they’re ready for “5G” even if they don’t know what it will actually deliver (the RAN and other key functions haven’t even been discussed by ITU-R WP5D for IMT 2020, let alone agreed upon), Ericsson found in a survey of wireless network operators around the world (see References and hyper-links below). Many expect the enterprise market and Internet of Things (IoT) applications to drive revenue growth from 5G technology.
More than three-quarters of the respondents said they were in the midst of 5G trials. That corresponds with research from the Global Mobile Suppliers Association research which found 81 5G trials underway in 42 countries.
23% of survey respondents plan to migrate 4G subscribers to 5G with enhanced services and revenues (but when?). Yet nearly two thirds (64%) of operators said they can’t pay for 5G by simply raising rates on consumers, because consumers are “tapped out.” Eighteen percent of respondents said they expect to monetize 5G by “expanding to new markets—enterprise/ industry segments.”
“In 2016, 90% pointed to consumers as the central segment in their planning and only 34% focused on specialized industries,” the Ericsson researchers wrote in this year’s report. An increased emphasis on the enterprise market is a key shift since a previous Ericsson 5G operator survey was conducted in 2016.
“This year, operators are seeing that the consumer market is saturated, so planning for 5G is more evenly split across specialized industry segments (58%), business users (56%) and consumers (52%),” the Ericsson researchers added.
Specific industry segments on which operators expect to focus 5G monetization efforts include media/entertainment (cited by 69% of respondents), automotive (59%), public transport (31%), healthcare (29%) and energy/ utilities (29%).
Providing industry-specific services to these industry segments will be important in 5G monetization, according to 68% of respondents. The single most important use case in the media/entertainment segment is high-quality streaming, respondents said. Other top use cases by segment included:
- Automotive: autonomous vehicle control
- Public transport: Smart GPS
- Healthcare: Remote robotic surgery
- Energy & utilities: Control of edge-of-grid generation
More than three quarters (77%) of respondents said third-party collaboration is an essential element in 5G monetization and 68% said they need to find new revenue-sharing models.
Chart courtesy of Ericsson’s 5G Readiness Survey
Survey Questions and Methodology:
Some of the questions asked in the survey:
-Exactly how have preparations for 5G evolved over the past year?
-Where do telcos stand now in their 5G activities and developments?
-What actions are service providers taking now in anticipation of 5G?
-What priorities drive their initiative?
-How ready are they to take leadership positions in the 5G future?
The survey’s objective was to obtain a snapshot of the state of the industry in relation to next-generation mobile technology. Last year, we struggled to find 50 executives globally who were far enough along in 5G to answer the survey questions.
This year, Ericsson says they “easily identified 50 executives, both business and technical leaders, from 37 operators around the world. As leaders of their organizations’ 5G efforts, they are at the center of the 5G evolution. That increase clearly signifies the growing recognition among industry leaders of 5G’s importance.”s
Telit, an Israeli based semiconductor company specializing in Internet of Things (IoT) silicon, today announced that its LE910B1-NA, LE910B1-SA, LTE Category 1 (Cat 1) and LE910B4-NA, LTE Category 4 (Cat 4) received certification for operation on AT&T’s LTE nationwide network. The aforementioned modules also support Voice over LTE (VoLTE).
Telit also received certification for its 600 Mbps, LTE Category 11 (Cat 11) LM940 global (single SKU) PCI Express Mini (mPCIe) data card targeted at segments including network routers and gateways, and the mobile computing industry.
Certification enables IoT integrators and providers to immediately integrate and test their devices with the certified modules and data card and start leveraging the reliability and coverage of AT&T’s LTE Cat 1, Cat 4-VoLTE and Cat 11 services for the IoT.
For more information on the LE910B1/4-xA:
For more information on the LM940 Cat 11 data card:
“Voice over LTE is an absolute necessity for the IoT particularly for the American market where operators need to turn off spectrum-inefficient circuit switch voice technology. Our existing customers using 2G, 3G, and non-VoLTE LTE modules from the xE910 family can now simply drop in the VoLTE variants, go through required testing with our help and start deploying voice capable products endowed with a very long life,” said Yosi Fait, Interim CEO, Telit.
“The LM940, now certified for immediate activation, remains the only global product for the router and gateway segment to allow OEMs to leverage 3x carrier aggregation capabilities currently available from AT&T,” he added.
The LE910B1/4-xA module is a member of Telit’s best-selling xE910 family and can easily be applied as a pin-to-pin replacement for existing devices based on the family’s modules for 2G, 3G, LTE Categories 1, 3 and 4. With the company’s design-once-use-anywhere philosophy, developers can cut costs and development time by simply designing to the xE910 LGA common form factor, giving them the freedom to deploy technologies best suited for the application’s environment.
The LM940 boasts an exceptionally power efficient platform and is the ideal solution for commercial and enterprise applications in the network appliance and router industry, such as branch office connectivity, LTE failover, digital signage, kiosks, pop-up stores, vehicle routers, construction sites and more. The data card includes Linux and Windows driver support.
Telit also features the broadest portfolio of certified LTE IoT Category modules in the industry.
For more information about the Telit portfolio of LTE modules: https://www.telit.com/products/cellular-modules/
Last week, GCT Semiconductor  announced an LTE device which will also support the (proprietary) Sigfox wireless IoT interface. The GDM7243I chip features low power consumption, which will allow it to be used for tracking devices to connect using the Sigfox wireless IoT network for several years without the need for frequent battery re-charging.
Note 1. GCT Semiconductor’s engineering development team is in South Korea. Marketing and sales are in San Jose, CA.
“We’re pleased to be working closely with Sigfox to bring this capability to market and support ultra-long battery life and global coverage for our IoT customers,” said John Schlaefer, CEO of GCT Semiconductor, speaking at Sigfox World IoT Expo 2017 in Prague, Czech Republic.
GDM7243I based tracking devices operate on the Sigfox network for location tracking but will switch to the cellular network as required.
Hybrid IoT devices can connect to the Sigfox wireless IoT network and operate in low-power mode to send and receive notifications only. The Sigfox network can also provide backup connectivity to IoT hybrid devices in case of cellular network coverage limitations, congestion, breakdown, or jamming of security/alarm systems.
The Calliope LTE Platform for IoT is a member of Sequans’ StreamliteLTE™family of LTE chipset products. Calliope is designed specifically for wearables and other Category 1 M2M and IoT devices. Calliope comprises baseband and RF chips, an integrated IoT applications processor running Sequans’ carrier-proven LTE protocol stack, an IMS client, and a comprehensive software package for over-the-air device management and packet routing. It includes Sequans’ powerful interference rejection technology, Sequans AIR™.
Calliope can add Cat 1 LTE connectivity to M2M and IoT modules and is also suitable for wearables and M2M devices for metering, home automation, and automotive applications.
- Certified by Verizon Wireless, AT&T Wireless, NTT Docomo and T-Mobile
- Throughput: up to Category 1 – 10 Mbps DL/ 5 Mbps UL
- Ultra low power consumption
- 3GPP Release 10; software-upgradable to Release 11
- FDD and TDD, up to 20 MHz LTE channels
- Embedded application CPU
- Wafer-level packaging
- Supports VoLTE and location based services
- Host environments: Android, Android Wear, Linux, Windows, Real Time OS
- Versatile interfaces to host system: UART, USB, HSIC
- Includes Sequans AIR™ interference cancelation technology
- Certified for VoLTE by Verizon Wireless
For more info:
The Next Generation Mobile Networks Alliance (NGMN), an industry association of mobile carriers, has defined requirements for 5G including data rates, transmission speeds, spectral efficiency and latency.
So has ITU-R WP 5D- the only real standards body for 5G (AKA IMT 2020). However, the wireless networking industry has yet to agree on the Radio Access Network (RAN) and related 5G standards, despite 3GPP release 15 on “New Radio.” 5G standards won’t be completed until very late in 2020.
As we’ve reported in several IEEE techblog posts, AT&T and Verizon are conducting 5G trials in the US while other trials are proceeding in Europe and Asia.
Bullish Opinions on 5G:
Broad deployment of 5G networks is not expected until the 2020 timeframe, according to Sam Lucero, a senior principal analyst for M2M at IoT at IHS Markit. Yet despite the lack of standards, a number of speakers at last month’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) Americas in San Francisco were more bullish on 5G and expectations for its rollout.
“We expect 5G to come faster and be broader than originally thought,” said Rajeev Suri, president and CEO of Nokia. Suri said Nokia expects 5G networks to be deployed in 2019, with widespread trials next year.
“4G is like a really good rock band,” said Andre Feutsch, CTO at AT&T. “5G is like a finely tuned orchestra.” He added that he sees n 5G a tremendous opportunity for advancing and “frankly making the network more relevant.”
“From a network perspective, [5G] is an evolution,” said Gordon Mansfield, vice president of RAN and device design at AT&T. “However, from a capability perspective it will be a revolution as it unfolds.”
“The 4G network is foundational to 5G,” said Nicki Palmer, chief network officer at Verizon. She added, “It’s hard to really peel 4G and 5G apart in some ways. The good news is that the investments we make today [in 4G] lead us down the 5G path.”
“We’ve been trying to define what 5G is for the past five years,” said Ron Marquardt, vice president of technology at Sprint. “We are getting close to being able to define that. We need to educate industries on how 5G can and will disrupt them.”
Feutsch said 5G technology will enable carriers to provide solutions to a greater number of use cases. He said a lot of the work that has been done to date with pre-standards trials of 5G “were really to gain a lot of insights that helped us feed right back into the standards work.”
He added that standardization and openness would be critical to creating the healthy ecosystem that is required to enable 5G to flourish.
“We’ve got to standardize on this and avoid proprietariness as much as possible” to build a healthy 5G ecosystem Feutsch said. He said a lot of innovation for 5G would come from smaller companies — “disruptors” that need to rely on standards to make the technology they are developing fit into the 5G landscape.
Derek Peterson, chief technology officer at Boingo Wireless, a provider of mobile Internet access, also emphasized the importance of standards and urged audience members to participate in standards efforts. “Participating in standards is very important because it is going to take a collaborative effort to make all of these things work together,” he said.
The densification required for 5G transmission speeds will rely on a far greater number of smaller cell sites than previous generations of wireless technology. The process of getting the cell sites approved can vary widely from place to place, and often be one of the biggest roadblocks to 5G.
“It can take a year to get a permit for something that it takes an hour to hang on a pole,” Mansfield said.
“The biggest barrier is going to be the density that you need for 5G is something that we have never seen before,” said John Saw, Sprint’s CTO. “It’s going to be more than putting 5G on the towers that we know and love today. We need to change how we get permits for this.” Saw added.
With the wireless industry prepared to spend an estimated $275 billion to deploy 5G, governments need to streamline permitting processes.
“I think public policy makers get to have a say in how fast we spend it and where we spend it. They need to get used to the fact that there may be hundreds and perhaps thousands of permits being requested to get this density that is required,” Saw concluded.
Panelists in an IoT session said that the primary barriers to enterprise IoT adoption include limited battery capacities and insufficient interoperability between connected devices, including VPN support, cloud service compatibility and other technologies. No mention was made of 5G for low latency IoT applications.