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Ericsson, AT&T, Qualcomm demo VoLTE call for IoT

February 28, 2017  

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Ericsson, AT&T and Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., say they are the first to announce the performance of a successful Voice over LTE (VoLTE) call for Internet of Things (IoT) on existing mobile network infrastructure with new software activation and new modem device that supports CAT-M1/LTE-M technology.

The demonstration used Qualcomm Technologies’ MDM9206 LTE modem, designed to support Cat-M1/ LTE-M, as well as Ericsson LTE Radio Access Network, Ericsson IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS), Ericsson Evolved Packet Core (EPC) and Ericsson User Data Management network infrastructure and new software.

“The ability to support voice services is an important feature to many verticals within our IoT portfolio, including our customers in the alarm and security industry, automotive, wearables and connected health markets,”  said Chris Penrose, president, IoT solutions at AT&T.

Extending mobile voice service capabilities to IoT devices opens up opportunities to expand enterprise services to areas such as security alarm panels, remote first aid kits, wearables, digital locks, disposable security garments, and other types of IoT-enabled applications and services, the three said in a release that was issued at Mobile World Congress.

“This means that IoT devices using VoLTE on Cat-M1/LTE-M will allow enterprises to make voice calls, extending the capabilities of operators’ mobile networks by tapping into the extensive and innovative IoT device ecosystem.

“Cat-M1/LTE-M -enabled IoT devices have advantages including low cost, low power consumption, deep coverage, massive connections and high reliability of transmission. Combined with existing leading LTE coverage and voice communication capabilities, operators can deploy a range of applications in smart cities, logistics, utilities, medicine, transport, mining, agriculture, manufacturing and many more.”

Anders Olin, head of network applications, business unit IT and cloud products at Ericsson, said the benefit of basic human communication blends perfectly into the IoT environment. “Supported by our radio and core portfolios, it will now be feasible to globally deploy voice services for IoT cost-effectively for all kinds of industries and different use cases.”

VoLTE uptake is projected to accelerate and reach 3.3 billion by the end of 2022, making up more than 60% of all LTE subscriptions.