IoT: Collaborating on Connections

The Internet of Things (IoT) is destined to change life and revolutionize  every industry.The integration of IoT into vertical industries is creating a new commercial landscape. Germany’s Industry 4.0, China’s Industrialization and Informatization Program, and America’s Industrial Internet all focus on using ICT technologies to reconstruct traditional industries. They are integrating the physical and digital worlds to simplify business processes, boost productivity, improve products and services, and cultivate innovation. 

Imagine a world like this: You’re on the move, and you don’t remember locking your front door. So, you whip out your smartphone to check if you have. You’re not back yet, and your pet will be hungry - you activate video monitoring and start feeding time. A bit of gardening? You remotely control robots to do some weeding and mow your lawn. At dinner time, you decide you want to know where the beef you’re eating came from…IoT will make this kind of life possible.

How will the new industrial revolution achieve such things? By connecting the components of the production system and supply chain system with the IoT. IoT will give easy access to information and maximize productivity and business value. 

Key Requirements of IoT

Huawei believes that the key five requirements of IoT are intelligent sensors, ubiquitous networks, massive data storage, sharing, and value creation. 

Sensors are the basic devices that enable things to be connected and communicate with one another, while ubiquitous networks are the architecture that connects things. According to Huawei's 2015 Global Connectivity Index, much of the world is not covered by networks, and the vast majority of things remain unconnected. 

In the next decade or so, there will be around 100 billion connections worldwide. However, different industries have different sensor interfaces and incompatible sensors, making interconnections and interoperations impossible. Our goal is to standardize sensor platforms and make them intelligent, so things can connect and communicate to, ultimately, create more value. 

Different connection scenarios have different requirements. For example, super-long battery life is crucial for smart meters, whereas ultra-low latency is a precondition for video surveillance and unmanned driving.

The best solution is to build ubiquitous networks that accommodate all IoT scenarios. Huawei offers a diverse range of access technologies for applications like unmanned driving, smart production, and intelligent meter reading. 

The goal of IoT is not to connect things, but to create value. Creating value from data relies on integrating specific industry knowledge, communication languages, and ICT technology. However, partnerships are required: if you want to integrate ICT technologies into the automotive industry, for example, you need to collaborate with automobile manufacturers. 

When leveraging data to create value, we must also solve problems with data ownership, security, privacy, and sharing.

The 1+2+1 Solution

Huawei is a driver of the new industrial revolution, partnering with  industry players to build an IoT ecosystem and cultivate the new industry arena. Focusing on sectors like the Internet of Vehicles (IoV), manufacturing, energy, and smart homes, our 1+2+1 IoT solution integrates ICT into specific industries to stimulate innovation.  

The first "1" refers to LiteOS – a real-time, lightweight, open source IoT operating system with a standard platform for developing smart sensors, ultra-low power consumption, and real-time responsiveness. 

As an open platform for IoT terminals, LiteOS helps partners develop smart hardware quickly and easily, which promotes standardized smart hardware. Huawei offers online and offline support to help its partners easily develop IoT terminals and apps using LiteOS.   

"2" refers to wired and wireless connections. For wired access, we launched an SDN-based agile IoT solution; for wireless access, we offer an innovative eLTE solution oriented towards enterprise applications, and LTE-M for developing cellular IoT. 

5G technology will help us deliver ubiquitous IoT with ultra-low delay and faster speeds, with user rates reaching 10 Gbps and 1-ms latency. With 100 billion connections in the future, 5G will be essential for core IoT scenarios like smart driving, Virtual Reality, and smart manufacturing. 

The final "1" is a unified IoT management platform centering on cloud computing and big data technologies. The platform manages connections, operations and data to perform tasks such as data collection, storage, security, and value creation. The IoT management platform opens up a wide range of capabilities to different industries, regardless of connection complexity, networking, and data collection technologies. 

The platform enables industry partners to quickly develop apps for IoT services, and meets industry customers' personalized service requirements.

Team Innovation

By integrating ICT technologies into various industries, Huawei and its industry partners are leading IoT innovation.

A safe and secure production environment is critical for sustainable development in the petrochemical industry. One of Huawei's partners – an oil company – extended Huawei's agile networks and eLTE to its factories and deployed sensors on its networks. The solution helps the company monitor factory environment indicators, such as temperature, in real time. It also supports HD video backhaul for 24/7 remote video surveillance, analysis, and control. 

Reports show that energy consumption in buildings accounts for 48 percent of the global total. In Australia, Huawei worked with Optus to cut down power consumption for the University of Melbourne, deploying the agile IoT solution in its buildings and connecting smart sensors to the networks. The solution supports remote perception and control on each floor. As a result, lighting and control power consumption have been slashed by 62.5 percent.

Huawei also collaborated with Vodafone on innovative IoT projects such as automated meter reading across wireless connections. We provided the chips while our partner U Block provided built-in modules for smart meters. Compared to 2G, our innovative Cellar IoT technology boosted coverage performance by 100 times to 20 dB, making basement coverage easier. The number of connections increased to 100,000 per square kilometer, 100 times more than that supported by current 4G networks. We successfully realized ultra-low power consumption, with two AA batteries lasting more than 10 years. 

Additionally, Huawei collaborated with SAP to extend network coverage to engineering vehicles. Smart sensors deployed on the vehicles transfer the real-time status of components to SAP's HANA platform via networks deployed by Huawei. The platform analyzes data and detects potential faults with vehicles or components. It sends alerts if necessary, and schedules preventive maintenance in response. 

Huawei also offers IoT management platforms for big carriers. The IoT market is huge and fragmented, existing in an enormous, complex ecosystem. The large-scale commercialization of IoT requires an extensive alliance that includes device manufacturers, carriers, ICT vendors, software/app developers, research institutes, and governments. It also requires joint investment and innovation. 

Huawei holds key positions in many international IoT organizations, including CIIAII, IIC, AIOTI, oneM2M, IEEE, and OMA. We were lead partner in establishing China’s Sensor Industry Working Committee, and in creating the Industry 4.0 Starfire Team with SAO, NXP and CCID; in Germany, we worked with Fraunhofer and SAP to create global Industry 4.0 sample projects. We’ve also signed strategic cooperation agreements with leading automobile companies to implement IoV. 

Huawei believes that collaboration is necessary for IoT to rapidly develop. We will continue to drive the integration of ICT technologies and industry using the 1+2+1 IoV solution. 

Together with industry partners, we will fully integrate industrialization and informatization, and execute Industry 4.0. Open collaboration is the key to unlocking a bright future of successive industry innovations.