Several sources for networking keep me informed about progress and applications of 5G cellular, especially the ability to construct private cellular networks just for your plant. Then came an inquiry for an interview and news around a new IoT standard using noncellular 5G. The teaser, “with the promise to transform the way enterprises can scale, monitor, and track their businesses.” How could I resist?
From the press release, ABI Research, in conjunction with Wirepas, has just announced a new 5G IOT Standard. The first mesh, non cellular technology of its kind, these new standards hold the promise of democratizing the deployment of massive IOT networks across industrial segments like manufacturing, warehousing, energy, and commercial buildings.
I talked with Teppo Hemiä who has been the CEO of Wirepas since the beginning of 2014. Before joining Wirepas, Teppo held positions at Nokia, STMicroelectronics and ST-Ericsson. Wirepas is a Finland-based company that develops networking software that is embedded in radio chips. He was a main contributor to this new DECT-2020 NR Standard and the only manufactures of the mesh connectivity solution. The European standardization organization ETSI released its first set of DECT-2020 standards in June 2020 and updated them including addition of a fifth section published in December 2021.
Wirepas’ mesh connectivity solutions have made this new standard possible.
He told me that there is effectively no limit to the scale of this new network. They have networked a million smart electrical meters in Oslo, Norway with no network planning, no vase station. For every 300 nodes there was a cellular node to connect to the Internet. This network utilizes the 1.9 GHz spectrum that is free everywhere. It is the old standard for wireless phone headsets. It is not a high bandwidth network but perfect for IoT applications such as condition monitoring in factories.
Another key is democratizing access. You don’t have to go through a supplier’s cloud. Any enterprise can set up and manage its own network. He says this is a tenth of the cost of cellular solutions. Companies are enabled to operate without middlemen or subscription fees.
This is from the preamble of the standard, These new standards hold the promise of democratizing the deployment of massive Internet of Technology networks across industrial segments like manufacturing, warehousing, energy, and commercial buildings. DECT-2020 NR has been designed and optimized for low-cost, low-power, and decentralized operation, providing opportunities for new applications across multiple industries.