On Thursday, Ericsson launched an accelator marketplace for the Internet of Things (IoT) to give developers and service providers a way to collaborate within the digital ecosystem.

Osvaldo Aldao, head of IoT solutions for Ericsson, talked to TechRepublic Senior Writer Teena Maddox about the new accelerator from his home base of Stockholm, Sweden. This announcement was made in advance of next week’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

SEE: Hiring kit: IoT developer (Tech Pro Research)

Teena Maddox: What is the IoT Accelerator Marketplace?

Osvaldo Aldao: The IOT Accelerator is our platform for acceleration of creation of applications and connection of devices to our service providers. And Ericsson have decided that 3GPP is an extremely competitive technology for IOT. If you think about how in the new tech standards of technology is evolving from narrow band IoT to all the way to 5G, I think what we want is to work with service providers to bring value to enterprises in removing some of the hurdles that we have seen in the market for IoT. And that’s why we have created this IoT Accelerator which is our IoT platform.

And as part of that platform we have now launched the IoT Marketplace and that is the place for being able to connect the application developers with device vendors, with service providers as well, and to enable the collaboration across these different players in the ecosystem.

TM: How Ericsson is using the IoT Accelerator Marketplace to unlock the IOT ecosystem?

OA: What we work on in this marketplace is to connect application developers and one of the things that we will demonstrate in Barcelona [at Mobile World Congress] is we have two levels of applications developers. We will help the application developers that will have access to certain capabilities connected to this mobile technology, and also we will work with them to develop applications, that those applications can become something that can be taken at some point and offered to enterprise. We have a partnership program in place as well for bringing those applications into the marketplace where in a global scale we will enable that service providers to have access to this kind of global pool of application developers. And the role that Ericsson is doing here is more in the kind of matchmaking between opportunities in local market with service providers and enterprise and how to support or how to deliver value into those opportunities with the ecosystem of application developers.

One of the things that it’s we think very passionate for doing this is the opportunity for being able to remove some of this fragmentation in the market and friction that we see. I think there is a lot of fragmentations around different type of access and service providers and I think what we are doing with this is to have a global ecosystems scale where we could work with those, build applications and build concrete solutions for IoT and then we bring those into somebody else or clients or service providers, but also with a purpose of bringing that kind of innovation closer from service provider to enterprises.

TM: Is massive adoption of IoT a stepping stone toward making 5G a reality?

OA: Correct. What we see is that there is a lot of concurrent opportunities here now with IoT and those are based on narrow band IoT as we could have a much better penetration coverage in indoor areas and also we could have a use case where we could have ten years of battery lifetime. That kind of technology will evolve. We are looking at that evolution as we speak now and so we have steps like Cat-M where we could have mobility and more data functionality. And also there’s a lot of work ongoing for bringing that technology to the next step, is what we see with the 5G.

And I think this activity we are doing here now with narrow band IoT and Cat-M is a extremely important starting point for service providers to build solutions and business in the IoT space, which is really closely connected to what we are doing in the 5G.

TM: Can you tell me a little bit more about how application developers can join the ecosystem?

OA: Yes, so there is a program in place, that we will launch, that this is where we will enable with these applications developers community the access to tools. So during the event we will open up the platform and then we will start to register application developers to be part of our developer community. And this is something that we will support them for a number of months to build applications and then we will have a process for how we will move from this incubation into production.

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