Huawei has unveiled what it says is the first IoT network planning methodology, designed to “help operators implement rapid network construction an maximise IoT value.”
The methodology was announced by Ryan Ding, executive director and president of products and solutions at Huawei, in an address to Huawei’s Mobile Broadband Forum in Tokyo on 24 November. It is detailed in a Huawei white paper released at the event, Things Coverage. The methodology has five dimensions: availability, bandwidth, coverage, delay sensitivity and energy efficiency.
It is designed specifically to enable telecoms network operators to maximise their role in the burgeoning IoT market, and Huawei claims several major telcos have already embraced it. “In 2017 the Things Coverage solution will be help Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone, China Unicom and China Telecom to implement nation-wide IoT network planning and transform one fifth of global base stations to support IoT.”
Telcos in pole position for IoT
Huawei says telecom operators have a key competitive edge in delivering IoT services because of their extensive wireless networks, skilled workforces and experience in supplying localised services. “Operators are planning to use NB-IoT and other new technologies on their networks to expand network capacity, deliver new experiences, and expand into new markets by collaborating closely with vertical industries,” it says.
According to Huawei, Things Coverage will “enable carriers to develop an accurate wireless performance model for each IoT use case” and incorporate requirements into an allocation map for service provisioning, enabling them to optimise the structure of their mobile broadband networks.
“By offering optimal blends of complementary IoT services, carriers can speed up rollout and reduce total cost of operation,” Huawei says. “They can then monitor traffic levels, energy consumption, and other indices to determine how well their network is performing and ensure steady growth.”
Time is ripe for Things Coverage
It says operators have been looking for a new network planning methodology to help them meet the demands of IoT connections, “Building IoT-ready networks is a challenge for operators because of the vast number of different IoT applications and services,” Huawei says.
Things Coverage, Huawei says, “includes a series of radio models, with different combinations of wireless connection features, for different types of application scenarios.”
These models are then mapped onto network maps showing where the various services are needed, to guide later service provisioning based on key dimensions such as grid-level coverage and battery life.
Huawei says the methodology will enable operators to roll out targeted IoT services efficiently across their existing mobile broadband networks, while maintaining low cost of operations.
Things Coverage also extends beyond network design and implementation with “standards for monitoring data traffic and energy consumption to ensure that service quality remains at the required level, and more services can be deployed as the IoT network grows.”
Going forward, Huawei says it aims to gain further co-operation from more telcos and from industry vertical partners to “formulate a recognised IoT evaluation system and planning standard [because] innovative solutions and open IoT planning ideas can facilitate operators in arriving at rational investment decisions and performing efficient deployments.”
The author travelled to Huawei’s Mobile Broadband Forum as a guest of the company.