GE, Nokia, Qualcomm bet on private LTE networks for IIoT deployments

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A demonstration from GE, Nokia and Qualcomm highlight how a private LTE network built on unlicensed and shared spectrum can bolster industrial Internet of Things deployments.

Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) deployments may rely on private LTE networks for connectivity as enterprises layer in analytics and sensors into infrastructure.

GE, Nokia, and Qualcomm said they have completed a private-LTE network trial for IoT. A standalone LTE network would be use to connect users, analytics, and devices in a local area. Private LTE networks use LTE technologies in shared, unlicensed, and dedicated licensed spectrum.

At Mobile World Congress, the trio of companies will outline the private-LTE-meets-IoT demo.

The demo from GE, Nokia and Qualcomm uses LTE-TDD in the US 3.5 GHZ shared spectrum band. Unlicensed spectrum bands can be used to create LTE networks that are private.

What’s interesting is that such private LTE build outs could cut out wireless companies in some cases. Wireless carriers see IoT as a big growth opportunity either through connectivity or services attached to them.

Qualcomm, GE, and Nokia said they will conduct live field trials throughout 2017. With these trials, Qualcomm will provide the chipsets, Nokia adds the base station and network management and GE is integrating the connections into its Predix IoT operating system.

In addition, GE Digital will build a private LTE network in its San Ramon, Calif., headquarters.

The idea behind a private LTE network revolves around dedicated connectivity for a company’s applications and quality of service and latency guarantees.

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