By Outi Niemi, Secretary for the MulteFire Alliance, Director Operations Management, Digital Automation, Nokia

I recently returned from a great week in Barcelona where Mobile World Congress was bigger than ever. While it’s been a few years since the last time I attended MWC, this was the MulteFire Alliance’s third year since our formal launch event in 2016. We’ve come a long way since then with the delivery of the Release 1.0 specification in 2017 – and now at our 2018 event – I’m pleased to share that we highlighted the first two MulteFire™ products announced by our members!

MulteFire Open Day at #MWC18

During our MulteFire Open Day held at MWC, MulteFire Alliance Board Chair and GM, Digital Automation at Nokia Stephan Litjens highlighted the new products from Nokia and Baicells in his keynote presentation – which you can watch here. It’s exciting to see these first announced products as the first step in building an interoperable ecosystem of devices.

MulteFire Alliance Board Member, Said Tatesh with Huawei, shared exciting details on the progress of Huawei’s eLTE solution that supports the MulteFire specification. He shared commercial use cases of eLTE being deployed in diverse vertical industries such as a detailed analysis of eLTE deployed in the Yangshan Port of Shanghai. You can watch Said here or download the presentation here.

Our MWC event also featured a panel discussion that focused on how MulteFire will be leveraged by Industrial IoT and Enterprise applications and included panelists from board members Boingo and Nokia, one of our newest members m3connect, and our industry liaison partner – the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC). I encourage you to check out the full panel discussion here for insight into how MulteFire changes the game. You can also read more on Alliance board member Derek Peterson’s thoughts on the vast opportunities for MulteFire in the enterprise space in his blog post, where he highlighted how MulteFire can deliver smart, dense networks for a seamless customer experience. In addition, the Alliance is continuing to release interesting white papers such as the most recent paper “The Business Case for MulteFire technology” by Wireless 20/20. You can find them all here.

One application that will be able to leverage MulteFire technology is Nokia Saving Lives – a corporate non-profit initiative that provides innovative communications technology and technical expert assistance to emergency response teams. I was at MWC to highlight the work that Nokia is doing in this space, and I will be excited to see these come together in the future. Please also check out the cool MulteFire use cases that my colleague Stephane Daeuble demonstrated at MWC in this video.

MulteFire Technology on Display at MWC

Once again, MulteFire Alliance member companies demonstrated MulteFire technology in action in the Alliance booth in Hall 7. Athonet highlighted its vEPC and IMS for MulteFire. Huawei featured its eLTE deployments of MulteFire technology in vertical industries. Nokia showcased the first small cell product built to the MulteFire specification as well as demonstrated MulteFire IoT in 1.9 GHz unlicensed bands and future MulteFire support for network slicing. Sanjole, a test equipment participant member of the Alliance, showed full PHY and upper layer analysis for testing MulteFire.

Beyond MWC – Technical Specification Group Makes Progress

With the focus at MWC on IoT and enterprise, the Alliance is hard at work on our next specification – Release 1.1 – which will add further optimizations for industrial IoT applications. Our Technical Specification Group met just ahead of MWC in beautiful Aalborg, Denmark where we were hosted by member company RTX. I’d like to give a big thanks to RTX for their hospitality and support in enabling our working groups to make great progress toward hitting our targeted spec finalization date in June. We’ll next meet up in Colorado in April where CableLabs will be hosting our Spring meeting to continue progress. MulteFire will continue to make waves in 2018!