Sprint and Ericsson partner on intelligence at the network edge
IoT network

Sprint and Ericsson partner on intelligence at the network edge

Wireless services company Sprint has teamed up with networking and telecoms provider Ericsson on a new Internet of Things (IoT) initiative.

The partnership aims to bring to market a dedicated, distributed, and virtualised IoT core network and operating system that are designed to turn sensor data into immediate intelligence at the network edge.

The companies claim their new IoT ecosystem will be 5G-ready, and primed for the latest advancements in AI and robotics.

“Sprint is a pioneer in IoT and we are excited to work together to create a truly disruptive IoT business,” said Asa Tamsons, Ericsson’s senior VP and head of business area technology & emerging business.

“Sprint will be one of the first to market with a distributed core network and operating system built especially for the IoT, and powered by Ericsson’s IoT Accelerator platform.

“Our goal is to make it easy for Sprint and its customers to access and use connected intelligence, enabling instant and actionable insights for a better customer experience and maximum value.”

The Core Network & IoT OS

The Core Network is designed to provide low latency and high availability. Its distributed and virtualised infrastructure reduces the distance between the device generating the data and the IoT application processing it – with nodes that are distributed right to the enterprise premises, if necessary, to support local security, privacy, and latency requirements.

The IoT OS, meanwhile, will enable connectivity and device management, ingesting enormous amounts of data while delivering “immediate intelligence”, according to the two companies’ announcement today. The OS will also handle firmware and software updates and configuration for each device.

Sprint and Ericsson stress that all data is secured at chip level.

The announcement says that the new system will be backed up by service assurance for all IoT elements and enterprise locations, including network operations centre monitoring, service resource fulfilment, cloud orchestration management, and application management.

The OS also takes care of full subscription lifecycle management, along with the monitoring of billing and usage data.

“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.

This is a network built for software and it’s ready for 5G. Our IoT platform is for those companies, large and small, that are creating the immediate economy.

Internet of Business says

Back in April, Sprint and T-Mobile announced they were to merge in an all-stock deal, which valued the combined company at $146 billion, including debt.

That deal will take the fight to the US’ largest wireless carriers, Verizon and AT&T, from a consolidated position at number three in the market, with a promise to establish a large-scale 5G network and compete on quality and depth.

This latest agreement with Ericsson builds on that promise, and reveals Sprint’s determination to stake a claim on the growing edge computing market.

Ericsson has the necessary IoT technology expertise to compliment Sprint’s strategy in this area, and enable the two companies to offer a well-rounded platform.

Meanwhile, Ericsson has positioned itself as a leader in cellular IoT. With 5G’s arrival imminent, the company is eager to capitalise on the connectivity benefits and opportunities the technology will bring.

With the help of Telstra and Intel, Ericsson made the first end-to-end 5G data call over a commercial network earlier this year.

Ultra-low-latency networking is the unglamorous, but vital, technology that will support future innovations in robotics, autonomous vehicles, and real-time analytics.

Plus: Juniper Networks expands Ericsson 5G partnership

In related news, Ericsson has expanded its 5G partnership with Juniper Networks. The deal makes use of both companies’ full portfolios to deliver “a complete 5G transport network solution with single pane of glass visibility to manage the new requirements of next-generation mobile service delivery”, the companies said in a joint announcement this week.