Nokia Corporation partners with Oi to focus on developing LTE-M Technology

Tuesday, Nov 24, 2015

Nokia Corporation is partnering with carrier Oi to work on technology for the Internet of Things. The partnership will focus especially in the areas of 4G machine connectivity and LTE-M. The companies have agreed to set up their joint IoT research center in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Focus on IoT is another effort by Nokia to grow beyond its traditional businesses of telecommunications equipment.

Ahead of its union with Alcatel Lucent SA, Nokia Corporation can be seen preparing to hit the ground running once the transaction is completed. In the latest case, the company has announced collaboration with Portugal Telecom-owned Oi to create technologies for the Internet of Things. Specifically, Nokia and Oi will focus their attention on developing solutions for 4G machine connectivity, which is fondly referred to as LTE-M.

Although Nokia and Oi have an idea about what they intend to achieve through the joint venture, they have not formed a working team to pursue the opportunities in IoT. However, they have already identified the location of their joint research center to be in Rio de Janeiro. The LTE-M research center is expected to launch in 1Q2016.

Areas of focus

In the LTE-M research work, Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) and Oi will mainly focus on areas such as connected cars, agribusiness and e-health. Smart housing and smart cities are also part of the opportunities the joint IoT research team is expected to pursue.

Both Nokia and Oi will pool together resources for their LTE-M research project, although details remain scant as to the percentage of ownership of the joint venture for each party.

Interest in Brazil’s IoT market

Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) and Oi are not the only ones looking to unlock new opportunities in IoT in Brazilian market. Nokia’s rival Ericsson (ADR)(NASDAQ:ERIC) had also earlier announced IoT-focused partnership with America Movil SAB de CV (ADR)(NYSE:AMX). The Ericsson-America Movil deal centers on IoT and 5G solutions.

Interest in Brazil’s IoT market appears to be growing at time when the government there is working to update the policies around IoT and machine-to-machine (M2M) technologies. Such policy updates are expected to foster rapid growth of IoT sector in the country and the region.

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