by Mark Harms, Senior Consultant, Award Solutions

Is the Internet of Things (IoT) complicated or relatively simple? Well, perhaps both.  

In describing IoT, I like to paint a picture using an acronym coined by Numerex many years ago – DNA. An IoT solution has three main components – Devices, Networks, and Applications.   

Each IoT device will have: 

  1. Sensor(s) – to monitor temperature, humidity, flow, pressure, etc.  
  2. Compute – to collect information, send information to a central application, and perhaps take immediate action  
  3. Network components – to connect to wireless networks (LTE), Wi-Fi, and/or wireline networks 

IoT devices of all sorts are available on the market. The Arduino Portenta H7, recently made available for beta test, is a modular platform designed to help kickstart new IoT development efforts.  

Many IoT solutions span multiple networks. They may connect via LTE, Wi-Fi, or other networks. Two new LTE categories of devices that have serious momentum today are LTE-M and NB-IoT.  Check out this Mobile IoT Deployment Map from GSMA that showcases national and regional deployments of LTE-M and NB-IoT networks.  

The application is the brains. The application collects data, is programmed to take action on that data, and provides a user-interface, plus much more. Amazon is just one of the new players in the application space, looking to become a catalyst for IoT industrial, consumer, and commercial solutions. 

Herein lies the simplified view of IoT:  Devices are connected through networks to applications that collect data and control devices. The complexity is that there are hundreds of devices, dozens of networks, and dozens or hundreds of applications from which to choose. These complex decisions can slow down the deployment of IoT solutions. 

You can learn more about the inner workings of technologies like NB-IoT Performance Analysis on Award Solutions’ YouTube Channel.  You can also get a guided tour of the IoT space by attending the IoT Tour at MWC. You will hear from companies making waves in IoT: those focused on the device side, the network side, and the application side. More importantly, you will see real solutions that are available today.  

Don’t allow the complexity of IoT to slow you down and overshadow its simplicity. Choose some solid partners, begin deploying solutions, and learn and grow them as you move forward.

Learn more about Mark Harms and join the IoT Tour at MWC to learn more about this topic. See you there soon!

By Bejoy Pankajakshan, EVP & CSO, Mavenir

As the Barcelona panel on next generation networks rightly says, our future networks won’t simply work on the 2G or 3G ‘build it and they will come’ principle. But if a 5G network isn’t built the right way, users may not come to the telco, and the OTTs could win again.

A 5G network is envisaged as the most open, powerful, flexible, and advanced network the telecoms world has ever seen. Capable of being different things to different users within a different slice of the same space at the same time, a 5G network is the first one to be specifically designed with all these multiple different use cases in mind.

Next generation mobile networks will be unrecognizable from those of the 3G and 4G eras. At its heart, a 5G network is a software network and its development and deployment requires a new approach and a new way of thinking. Operators are recognising the need to move away from a proprietary, hardware-led, environment towards automated, cloud-native, programmable networks.

There are powerful economic, as well as technical, forces driving this change. Operators are seeing the demand for data usage rise without a parallel rise in fees – and the power and scope of 5G technology will only serve to further escalate that situation. The flexibility of a software-led 5G network means that the network slices can adapt to the various demands of both consumers and business both operationally and economically.

A Rethink Research survey of 80 mobile operators highlighted two critical factors dominating the return on investment business case for migrating towards next generation open, automated, cloud-based architecture.  The first was the need for a radical reduction in the total cost of network ownership (TCO) – with the operators surveyed looking, on average, for a TCO reduction in the order of 35% over the next 6-7 years.   

But almost equal importance was given to the adaptability of the network – it is vital that the next generation network can be dynamically adjusted to address new services, unlock revenue opportunities within enterprise and IoT markets, and cope with peak traffic demands.

The goals of reducing TCO and increasing network adaptability will rely not only on cloud-native architecture and greater use of end-to-end automation in operational (OSS) terms; but also on the service provider’s ability to properly monetize those news services and dynamically automate business processes and tariffing (BSS). 

In addition, it is becoming widely recognised that the economic impact of cloud-based automated networks will be magnified by the adoption of fully open network platforms. 

What’s more, the success of the ORAN Alliance has thrown the mobile network supply chain wide open and lies at the heart of initiatives such as Facebook’s Telecom Infrastructure Project (TIP) which looks to radically reduce mobile network deployment costs in order to breach the digital divide.  

OpenRAN interfaces enable operators to orchestrate and automate various elements of their infrastructure from multiple vendors across an interoperable cloud-based network to lower both capital and operating costs and give a greater, and faster, return on the investment.

OpenRAN and automation lie at the heart of what a next generation network has to look like if it is to economically enable the full potential of 5G. Traditional network thinking, and planning is no longer fit for purpose. Next generation networks demand next generation thinking to unlock next generation revenues.  Services across fields as diverse as Industry 4.0, mobile gaming, private enterprise networks, consumer IoT, smart cities, and 4K broadcasting can only be carried and economically delivered on cloud-based, open 5G networks with end-to-end automation.

Vendor selection becomes crucial in this new 5G world – especially when it comes to optimizing TCO.  Coupling the right, fit for purpose, technology, with the flexibility and commitment to ongoing product evolution are obvious key factors. However, those 5G vendors that can build products on platforms that also simplify and streamline service provider network operations and management will make the biggest contribution to lowering TCO.

Mavenir is committed to bringing down the TCO for operators looking to invest in 5G through the innovation. That innovation is centered around a new webscale platform combining best in class open source technologies with specific value adds and enhancements targeted towards carrier deployments. While open source has provided flexibility in integrating different technologies and reducing overall time to market, addressing real life telco use cases requires the experience of deploying next generation networks and managing huge traffic workloads.

Mavenir’s webscale platform is the foundation for all its 5G product solutions and is designed to allow rapid micro services based, cloud native, application development and deployment to fulfil the goal of complete network automation with 5G.

The 5G Network Field of Dreams is appropriately based in the clouds. And to deliver on the dream, successfully monetize the network, and generate the right return on service provider investment – it needs to be open, automated, and webscale next generation network.

Learn more about this topic by joining Mavenir’s Bejoy Pankajakshan in the conference session “Discussion: A Next-Gen Network Demands a Next-Gen Organisation” on Tuesday 25 at MWC 2020.

Continuing on the back of a successful deployment at MWC 2019, GSMA Ltd. are again partnering with ScanViS by Comba to deliver our BREEZ facial recognition access technology.

Over 50% of our attendees enrolled into BREEZ in 2019 and we anticipate over 70% enrolment for 2020.  In line with that, we have increased our capacity across all of our MWC entrances.

We have made developments to our registration system to improve the efficiency of the enrolment process as well as enhancements to the onsite experience.  Attendees who decide to enrol once they are at the venue can see our enrolment teams in badge collection and access for support… just look out for the purple jackets!

For 4YFN, we have gone a step further and have launched our first ‘badgeless’ event.  Attendees at 4YFN will be able to access the venue using only facial recognition and will not be required to collect a badge.

In partnership with ScanViS Limited, a company wholly owned by Comba Telecom

As you begin planning your trip to Barcelona for MWC 2020, there are a few things to consider such as registration, airline tickets, local transport and the right hotel.

There are many hotels to choose from in the city of Barcelona, but only some will offer our unique Ambassadors service. GSMA is providing specially trained Ambassadors in 50 hotels across Barcelona during MWC event days to provide attendees with assistance as well as a plethora of information surrounding the event. These ambassadors can answer transport and MWC-specific questions about event programmes, but can also give you information about services around each hotel and Barcelona sights. Having access to an Ambassador at your hotel is a great convenience, when the city can be quite busy and you just need an answer on timing of a programme or the simplest route to MWC.

Below you will find the full list of hotels where the Ambassadors will be present at MWC 2020:

MWC Ambassadors will be on hand to provide assistance for any questions you may have during the following hours:

This programme is offered in conjunction with our city partners: Barcelona TurismeBarcelona Hotel Association, and B-network.

Register early to plan your trip to the beautiful city of Barcelona. And keep in mind, the fine hotels listed above as you begin the planning process. We hope to see you in Barcelona for MWC 2020!

By Dr. Jyrki Penttinen, Senior Technology Manager, GSMA North America

The benefits of 5G include faster data speed, lower latency, and the support of massive IoT traffic. Nevertheless, in order to take full advantage of its capacity, the mobile network operators need more bandwidth.The ITU’s World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC) is in a key role to make this happen in the global scale. The recently held WRC-19 discussed and updated the radio frequency allocations. This very event was so far the most relevant in the efforts to pave the way for high-capacity mmWave bands of 5G. The new bands include 26 GHz, 40 GHz, and 66 GHz, and regulators can allocate national bands based on those. This activity is of utmost importance to ensure a fair balance between the commercial operations and other entities needing the spectrum.

While the low-bands, referring to frequencies below 1 GHz, are capable to cover largest areas, their available bandwidth is rather limited so they are suitable for relatively low bitrate services. Their large coverage makes them an excellent base for the users on rural areas and for the remotely located IoT devices.

The mid-band, referring to the frequency range of 1-6 GHz, supports wider bands, which translates to higher data speeds and greater capacity for simultaneously connected consumer and other 5G devices. The mid-band coverage is smaller than that of low-band but it offers a good compromise between the coverage and capacity. Mid-band is thus especially useful in sub-urban and urban environments.

The high-band is less congested and has large blocks of capacity. Nevertheless, its coverage is very limited, making the high-band most useful in the densest city centers. As a rule of thumb, the high-band small-cells offer the most performant 5G services in focused areas while the overlapping lower bands take care of the more basic services.

Thanks to the new bands of WRC-19, the operators will have now more options for their 5G deployment strategies.

Please find more information on the 5G frequencies here:

Dr. Jyrki Penttinen has worked in mobile telecommunications in Finland, Spain, Mexico, and the USA. At present, he assists operator members with the adoption, design, development, and deployment of GSMA specifications and programmes. Dr. Penttinen has also authored 5G and other telecommunication books. You can find more of his articles on LinkedIn.

By Pere Duran, Event Series Director, 4YFN

We are looking at some awesome changes in the startup ecosystem. Although some technologies and segments have slowed in recent years, we are seeing vertical growth curves in others. The pace of change is speeding up and our ability to make sense of it all diminishes if we don’t organize ourselves accordingly. The verticals behind the vertical growth yields deserve our increased attention – and that’s exactly what they are getting at 4YFN 2020.

Each year 4YFN is growing dramatically. 4YFN 2019 hosted 760 exhibitors and sponsors. In 2020, we want to go far beyond that. To give a sense of scale, we started in 2014 with 2,000 attendees. Skip forward to 2019 and that number was 23,000.

That presents significant challenges in terms of organizing the exhibition, presenting the right startups to the thousands of investors and corporate innovation executives that attend, putting the right stage content together that is powerful without being generic, that’s specific and useful but without being too niche. How can we connect communities from around the world on the issues that matter to them and make sure startups get the right pitching opportunities and coaching?

To try and be all things to everybody at this scale, there is a real danger of disappointing some of the people that we care most about. And it is our mission to support the whole ecosystem and help to develop it – it is why we are not only about mobile technologies, despite being the startup platform of the world’s biggest event for the mobile industry.

The world of tech is big and beautiful and we want to support it in all of its diversity and quirkiness, to help rapidly growing fields of innovation to develop and push forward the areas we believe are ripe for change.

The establishment of the Health & Wellness Hub with ECHAlliance is a step in that direction. It is part of a strategic move to present 4YFN more in the form of verticals, to help attendees navigate more easily and create more meaningful connections between stakeholders in specific interest areas.

4YFN Barcelona 2020 is also home to xside, the ground-breaking gathering of creative communities powered by 4YFN, Sonar and GSMA MWC that is the creative hub of 4YFN Barcelona 2020. Digital art, gastronomic delights, cutting-edge music and keynotes from leaders from the creative industries promise to bring the future of culture into the world of technology.

And there is much more to come. There are more verticals to be announced, as well as initiatives that cut across them. It is part of the process of growing and evolving as an event, but also a reflection of how the ecosystem is maturing and our renewed ambition keep innovating to lead the charge.

Please do get in touch if you want to find out more. We always want to hear from you and welcome all your thoughts.

Enjoy an exclusive VIP experience during MWC Barcelona 2020 with the Platinum Pass. Registration is now open! The Platinum Pass is the pass of choice for those looking to build better business relationships while experiencing unparalleled networking opportunities.  

Your VIP Onsite Experience includes exclusive access to the exclusive VIP Networking Lounge, the Platinum Executive Meeting Room, VVIP seating at Keynotes and Conferences, a dedicated Platinum Concierge Helpdesk, unique MWC Tours, and much more.

Your premium VIP service begins upon arrival with your VIP Airport Experience:  a personal Platinum Airport Meet and Greet Welcome at the jet bridge; Fast Track escort through passport control, luggage retrieval, and Platinum Pass Badge Collection; a complimentary VIP airport transfer directly to your hotel.

Maximise your time at MWC Barcelona, and enjoy a truly VIP Experience at the world’s largest global industry event.

Learn more about the exclusive VIP benefits of the Platinum Pass here. To upgrade to the unique VIP Platinum Pass use your existing credentials to sign in here.

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