Ericsson broadens NB-IoT reach with MediaTek, Qualcomm launches new chips

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Ericsson is planning to expand the NB-IoT ecosystem through a new partnership with MediaTek, as Qualcomm announced a new range of chips.

The Swedish vendor and Taiwanese chipset maker have demonstrated use cases for smart lockers, health bands and a child's safety watch at this week's Mobile World Congress Shanghai.

The demonstrations were based on 3GPP’s Release 13 with Ericsson adding it would hold further tests involving the improved data transmission functionality of Release 14.

Luca Orsini, Head of Networks, Ericsson North East Asia, said: “MediaTek and Ericsson have been in close collaboration to drive ecosystem development since the start of 3G, and we are now expanding our collaboration to IoT as we seek to integrate new, low-power NB-IoT functionality into end-devices based on our combined expertise with global brands and device manufacturers.

“As we look for new ways to connect end users and expand the potential of the Internet of Things, collaborations like this confirms our commitment to delivering global Massive IoT solutions for enabling new capabilities and facilitating the support of new IoT use cases and applications.”

Meanwhile, Qualcomm also used MWC Shanghai to launch new Snapdragon platforms for medium and high-tier devices.

The Snapdragon 632, 439 and 429 platforms aim to improve performance, power, design, graphics and AI capabilities.

Qualcomm said the 632 platform amounts to a 40 percent performance improvement on previous iterations, with support for 24MP cameras and LTE-Advanced integration.

Meanwhile, the 439 and 429 feature AI capabilities for voice, camera and security features, as well as sharper graphics and faster browsing speeds.

Devices boasting the new chipsets are expected to hit the market later this year.