Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) and Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) say they are are partnering to develop a "virtualized and distributed" global network core and OS that can "create an optimal flow of device data, enabling immediate, actionable intelligence at the network edge for end users and enterprises."
Internet of Things devices -- sensors and other units using machine-to-machine communications that rarely require human intervention -- are expected to blossom in network usage with the arrival of 5G after 2020. In fact, Ericsson has predicted there will be 3.5 billion cellular IoT connections globally in 2023.
"We are combining our IoT strategy with Ericsson's expertise to build a platform primed for the most demanding applications like artificial intelligence, edge computing, robotics, autonomous vehicles and more with ultra-low-latency, the highest availability and an unmatched level of security at the chip level," said Ivo Rook, senior vice president of IoT for Sprint in a statement.
The partnership will see Sprint supporting IoT deployments that use 2G, 3G and 4G network connectivity, and will include support for CaT M and NB-IoT low-power 4G/LTE variants. Ericsson is currently working on the standardization and deployment of a 5G core, a spokesperson for the company said. (See US Carriers Place Bets on Cat M & NB-IoT.)
The operator has so far announced that it will support Cat M connectivity in 2018.
The partners say the planned network core and operating system, which is designed to "enable simplified inbound and outbound activity for device connectivity, with full on-chip security and management," will be "primed" to support AI, robotics, and autonomous vehicles.
The pair will flesh out details of the planned network at a press conference to be hosted at the Mobile World Congress Americas event in Los Angeles on September 12.
— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading