Nearly a year after it bought Jasper for $1.4 billion, Cisco this week strengthened the company’s Internet of Things reach by adding support for an emerging low-power WAN technology and expanding its partner programs further into automotive and healthcare.
Cisco bought Jasper and its Control Center platform to firmly establish a hold in the IoT world. And indeed, it has. CEO Chuck Robbins noted in Cisco’s recent earnings call that “Jasper connects more than 40 million devices including over 12 million connected vehicles, and we're adding more than 1.5 million new devices per month. The number of enterprise customers utilizing data from the Jasper platform has grown from 4,000 a year ago to more than 9,000 this quarter,” Robbins said.
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Control Center is at the heart of Jasper which lets users automate connectivity, control and manage all aspects of IoT services.
In an effort to add even more devices, Cisco Jasper said it now supports Narrow Band-IoT -- a 3GPP-standard for Low Power Wide Area Networking (LPWAN) that Cisco says is expected to drive growth of IoT devices at a massive scale, increasing the number of connected devices more than 3 billion by 2023.
Cisco says NB-IoT uses existing LTE infrastructure to enable lower power consumption while maintaining excellent coverage. Examples of industries where NB-IoT is expected to take hold include smart meters, smart cities, smart parking, building automation, asset tracking, and remote agriculture.
Gartner wrote last year that traditional cellular networks don't deliver a good combination of technical features and operational cost for those IoT applications that need wide-area coverage combined with relatively low bandwidth, good battery life, low hardware and operating cost and high connection density.
“The long-term goal of a wide-area IoT network is to deliver data rates from hundreds of bits per second (bps) to tens of kilobits per second (kbps) with nationwide coverage, a battery life of up to 10 years, an endpoint hardware cost of around $5, and support for hundreds of thousands of devices connected to a base station or its equivalent. The first low-power wide-area networks (LPWANs) were based on proprietary technologies, but in the long term emerging standards such as Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) will likely dominate this space,” Gartner stated.
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“Customers will need a smarter and better way to manage IoT devices and with NB-IoT for example, a smart meter which takes up Kbytes of data will no longer have to compete with a cell phone which uses Mbytes,” said Theresa Bui, director of IoT strategy for Cisco Jasper.
Bui noted that Cisco Jasper has already completed live trials, including initial core network trials with Optus in Australia, which has completed integration of the Cisco Jasper platform to support NB-IoT.
Bui said Cisco Jasper partners with more than 50 service providers, managing IoT devices across more than 550 mobile operator networks and that many of these service providers have committed to supporting NB- IoT.
In the auto realm, where Jasper says Control Center already supports over 50 car brands are already using the Control Center today including Toyota, Ford and GM, Cisco Jasper said it is now helping Honda deliver driver services through Honda’s MyHonda Connected Car platform.
Cisco said MyHonda uses telematics solutions from Bright Box, powered by the Cisco Jasper Control Center automated IoT connectivity management platform, to help deliver vehicle diagnostic information; automated maintenance alerts and GPS services.
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Another hot IoT area is the connected healthcare device world. Cisco Jasper said it teamed with healthcare provider Jupl to support a Samsung Gear S3 wearable mobile Personal Emergency Response System (mPERS).
The smartwatch devices with Jupl’s connected health software utilize embedded SIM technology that enables a smaller form factor packed with features such as GPS monitoring, activity tracking, biometrics and telephonic capabilities all managed via the Cisco Jasper Control Center IoT platform, Cisco Jasper stated.