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CTIA 2016 -- Focus on 5G and Internet of Things

I recently returned from the CTIA Super Mobility 2016 event in Las Vegas. As always, the event was well attended with wireless innovation on display both in the exhibit area and in the sessions.

CTIA does a great job of recapping each day on their website, http://www.ctiasupermobility2016.com/.

I was excited to see that both 5G technology and the Internet of Things (IoT) were major topics of discussion. Verizon, with recent acquisition Sensity Systems, discussed how 5G and IoT are perfectly suited to the idea of "smart cities":

Mike Lanman, senior vice president - Enterprise Products and IoT at Verizon, said: “Sensity is a leading provider of IoT solutions for smart communities with a strong ecosystem of partners, and this transaction will accelerate the deployment of large-scale implementations that will drive the digital transformation of cities, universities and venues. Verizon is uniquely positioned through its infrastructure investments at the network, platform and application levels to provide holistic solutions that empower communities to address their most pervasive challenges.”

Sensity Chairman and CEO Hugh Martin said: “Rapid urbanization is putting a huge strain on city services globally, coupled with inefficiencies caused by an aging infrastructure that currently supports critical functions, such as fire and emergency services, public transportation, lighting, sewer and sanitation systems. Sensity realized early on that IoT could be the key to breaking out of this dilemma. We have become the leader in the space by creating a visionary smart city IoT platform and forming a powerful ecosystem of technology partners. With Verizon, we look forward to delivering IoT connected systems on a massive scale to change how cities and communities operate around the world.”

This session highlighted the role that IoT can play in transforming cities. It is clear that IoT will be a critical technology moving forward. Other sessions discussed new Standards for IoT, including Cat-NB1 and Cat-M1. Cat-NB1, or NB-IoT, is a technology for low data-rate devices of up to 10 kbps using 200 kHz of spectrum. It leverages existing cellular network infrastructure and is useful for maintaining long battery life. Cat-M1 is a related technology for higher data-rate devices up to 1 mbps, using 1.4 MHz of spectrum.

Overall, the event reinforced the critical importance that secure, reliable network infrastructure will play in smart cities, and how critical testing of the infrastructure using tools is to ensuring high reliability. Companies that use testing solutions like those from Valid8 have been able to verify their conformance to standards and performance under load conditions.

Lastly, I was excited to hear that CTIA will merge with GSMA Mobile world congress next year. This combined event can only help with continued innovation and collaboration in the industry!

ian carpenter

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