China’s ZTE joins Avanci Alliance to accelerate IoT connectivity and industry growth

Spencer Shen, CIPO, ZTE

ZTE Corporation, an international provider of telecommunications, enterprise and consumer technology solutions for the Mobile Internet, announced that the company has joined Avanci.

Avanci is the industry’s first platform for licensing patented wireless technology to the Internet of Things (IoT). The Avanci marketplace reportedly allows faster time-to-market for IoT companies and will drive the adoption of connectivity around the globe. (Also see: Interdigital joins Avanci IoT licensing platform).

Avanci offers IoT companies “one-stop” licensing: a single license to standard-essential patents from the joining patent holders on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms. By using the Avanci marketplace, IoT companies don’t have to sign a licensing agreement with each patent holder, which reduces their internal cost and avoids potential overlap of licenses. Avanci will focus its initial licensing efforts on 2G, 3G and 4G cellular technologies for connected cars and smart meters with plans to quickly expand to other IoT product areas.

“The one-stop licensing model of this platform will significantly increase the cost predictability and transparency of IPR licensing to meet the rapidly growing demand of connection service providers,” said Spencer Shen, CIPO, ZTE. He added that “Avanci will enable IoT manufacturers to conveniently get the world’s most advanced wireless technologies, so they can scale quickly, shift more focus on the marketing of new IoT products, and finally accelerate the development of IoT globally.”

Kasim Alfalahi, founder and chief executive officer of Avanci
Kasim Alfalahi, founder and chief executive officer of Avanci

“Since we began in April, we have received an overwhelmingly positive response from both IoT device manufacturers and patent owners to our streamlined licensing solution, and Avanci will quickly add more of these companies to our marketplace in the months ahead,” said Kasim Alfalahi, founder and chief executive officer of Avanci.

ZTE, the only Avanci member from China to date, is known for its future-oriented development efforts. In 4G/5G and IoT patents, ZTE is now one of the industry’s leaders. ZTE owns more than 815 standard-essential 4G long-term evolution (LTE) patents, accounting for more than 13% of the total globally, as well as nearly one thousand patent applications involving key 5G technologies. An IoT patent report released by consulting firm LexInnova shows that in 2016, ZTE was one of the top three companies. A report from the Intellectual Property Office of the UK shows that ZTE topped the list of IoT patent holders from 2004-2013.

ZTE believes that IoT, with diverse and extensive applications, will trigger the fourth Industrial Revolution, and outlined its predictions more broadly in its recent M-ICT 2.0 whitepaper. Today, ZTE is providing and developing sophisticated solutions and applications in four vertical areas: industrial Internet, connected vehicles, smart home, and smart city.

In the next few years, the number of sensors, appliances and machines connected to the IoT will exceed that of phones to become the biggest category of connected devices. By 2021, nearly 16 billion devices among the 28 billion connected devices globally will be IoT devices, including smart-city devices, smart cars, smart home devices, as well as mobile devices for healthcare and diagnosis.

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