Ayla Networks, whose Internet of Things (IoT) platform-as-a-service (PaaS) delivers device management and application enablement, has made its first official foray into the low-power cellular IoT market. Sunsea Telecommunications, Ayla’s joint-venture partner, has introduced a new cellular IoT module series that will ship with the Ayla IoT device agent pre-installed. The new Sunsea cellular IoT cloud modules are being manufactured by SIMCom Wireless Solutions and Longsung, subsidiaries of Sunsea that together account for a significant share of the worldwide cellular IoT market.
The Sunsea modules, which support narrow-band IoT (NB-IoT) and 4G and 2G cellular networks, will provide the first out-of-the-box cellular connectivity, device management and application enablement—from the end device at the edge to the cloud—for cellular IoT solutions.
By using these cellular IoT modules running the Ayla agent, telecommunications service providers, mobile network operators (MNOs) and manufacturers of connected products can more quickly and easily develop and deploy IoT solutions that use cellular communications.
“This new module provides a fast and secure path to adopt cellular communication technology, providing a perfect blend of cloud-based device management with the ubiquity and long-range wireless communications of cellular networks,” said David Friedman, CEO of Ayla Networks.
“Through this new Sunsea module, Ayla is extending our existing cellular connectivity solutions to include the latest low-power technology. This will allow us to reach new markets and to expand our offerings within the cellular ecosystem, while providing our customers with yet another important means to launch high-value IoT products.”
“Module manufacturers, device makers and MNOs can all benefit from this new module, which will enable remote monitoring of device status over 4G and NB-IoT networks,” said Jun Zou, chief technology officer (CTO) of Sunsea. “By integrating cloud-based service connectivity into the cellular module, Sunsea is leveraging SIMCom’s and Longsung’s dominant market position in the cellular IoT market to deliver a new offering that provides end-to-end device management and vertical applications at the device, network edge and cloud levels.”
Making cellular communications work for IoT
Currently, IoT solutions generally rely on Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and other short-range wireless communications protocols. These methods present significant challenges for IoT solutions that must communicate across longer distances, such as for agriculture, energy and other outdoor applications.
Cellular network coverage has the advantage of long-range communications, reaching an estimated 90 percent of the world’s population. But cellular networks such as 2G, 3G and LTE consume lots of power and were designed for connecting people, not IoT ‘things.’ Favoring performance for voice and multimedia applications, they are typically not optimised for low-power or battery-powered devices or for IoT applications with small amounts of infrequently transmitted data.
Grand View Research estimated that the value of the cellular IoT market was nearly $1.8 billion in 2016, projecting that it will reach $9.65 billion by 2025. And Ericsson has forecasted that by 2022, 70% of wide-area IoT devices will use cellular technology.
The Sunsea cellular IoT cloud module running the Ayla device agent can help achieve these projections, allowing organisations to connect their IoT solutions via cellular networks as easily as they now connect using Wi-Fi networks. IoT devices built using the Sunsea modules can connect effortlessly to the Ayla IoT cloud, where the virtualised devices have access to the full range of Ayla’s capabilities for device management, data ingestion, and the development and delivery of advanced applications and services.
Another step in Ayla’s continued expansion
From its inception, Ayla has designed its industry-leading IoT platform to be both highly configurable and agnostic with regard to communications protocols and device type. For Ayla’s customers, this approach means faster time to market, lower costs, more choices across a richer ecosystem of services and applications, and the ability to take advantage of Ayla IoT platform enhancements automatically—without assuming the massive development and support costs required to build their own IoT cloud platform.
For Ayla, its approach means easy support for new connectivity and other options. Putting the Ayla device agent onto all the new Sunsea cellular IoT modules allows Ayla to enter new markets, such as agriculture, while leveraging new partners in the cellular space to expand its offerings to both new and existing customers.
“This Sunsea cellular IoT module demonstrates that our goal, as always, is to give our customers the most scalable, secure and reliable ways to connect all their devices to whatever technologies will best help them achieve their desired business outcomes,” said Friedman.