ZTE South Africa outlines IoT blueprint

ZTE South Africa says it is preparing the groundwork for the development of the Internet of Things (IoT) as it moves out of the hype cycle.

Julian Ramnarain, a vice managing director at ZTE South Africa, said that as the IoT becomes a commercial reality, it will only develop its potential if the company begins putting the right technology, platforms and processes in place now.

He noted that ZTE and Intel recently signed a strategic cooperation agreement to establish an innovation lab for research and development of future key IoT technologies including experimental verification, evaluation and development of related technologies.

“Both companies have previously collaborated in other fields such as IoT access technologies, open-source collaboration and solution integration.”

IDC forecasts that global spend on IoT will reach $1.29 trillion by 2020, the same time frame in which 5G networks are expected to be commercially deployed.

“5G will be the key enabling technology platform in mainstreaming IoT because it will be what facilitates communication between smart devices, and it will also enable the future development of IoT,” said Ramnarain.

“It is no coincidence that ZTE is already working hard on developing IoT solutions that will leverage tomorrow’s 5G networks. To this end, ZTE has developed a smart IoT operating system that provides intelligent capabilities for IoT terminals and acts as an IoT management platform.”

In the medium term, ZTE said it is building solutions that use narrow band IoT (NB-IoT), LTE and various modules for smart devices and software to accelerate the development of sensor technologies.

Ramnarain said that moving forward, ZTE’s IoT strategy will focus on four key areas: smart cities, smart homes, the industrial IoT and connected vehicles.

ZTE said it has already deployed IoT solutions in 40 countries to manage traffic, conserve energy and monitor the environment. Examples include 20,000 smart street lamps in Paris, smart solutions to help motorists find parking quickly, and better management of power distribution within city buildings.

The technology group has already worked with Chinese car maker, Geely, to make safer and better-maintained vehicles for both private and commercial use.

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ZTE South Africa outlines IoT blueprint