MulteFire Release 1.1, optimized for IoT, now complete; Commercial launch in Japan anticipated for 2H 2019

By Outi Niemi

Yes, the title of this blog is inspired by the fun movie that I watched on my flight from Helsinki to San Francisco for the last MulteFire Alliance Members Meeting and Open Day of 2018. This December meeting was hosted by Intel, and I’d like to give a big thanks to the Intel team, and especially to Intel’s board member for the Alliance, Geng Wu.

Mazen Chmaytelli, MulteFire Alliance President, myself, and Geng Wu, Intel Fellow and Chief Technologist for Wireless Standards, Platform Engineering Group

In the spirit of “here we go again,” our global MulteFire Open Day series continue to attract high interest from the industry, and our Bay Area event attracted 50 attendees. The highlight of the event was the formal announcement by MulteFire Alliance President, Mazen Chmaytelli, that the MulteFire Release 1.1 specification, optimized for IoT, has been completed.

This specification could not have been completed without the energy and dedication of our Technical Specification Group (TSG), so a big thanks to all of our TSG members!

Mazen also pointed out that our membership continues to grow as we near 50 members. The most recent additions to the Alliance roster include Askey Computer Corporation, Caltta Technologies, China Electric Power Research Institute, and Qucell.

Now it was time to take a deeper dive into Release 1.1.

Asimakis (Makis) Kokkos, chair of the TSG, shared more details on the benefits of MulteFire 1.0 and 1.1 technology as well as the key features of Release 1.1. These features included important enhancements to Release 1.0, the addition of new spectrum bands including 1.9 GHz (also known as sXGP in Japan), 2.4 GHz and sub 1-GHz bands, and expanded IoT services with eMTC-U and NB-IoT-U. You can download Makis’s presentation here.

Our last presentation of the day was by Monica Paolini, principal analyst with Senza Fili Consulting. Monica shared her research on the value of MulteFire from the end customer vantage point, and how enterprises can benefit from the flexibility of MulteFire’s deployment models, including private networks, neutral host, and hybrid. She concluded with how MulteFire is a key pillar in the Industry 4.0 revolution. I encourage you to download her presentation here. A follow-on white paper will be published in Q1 2019.

The Open Day presentations concluded with a panel moderated by Monica with panelists from Huawei, Intel and Nokia.

Yi Shi, Huawei, Makis Kokkos, Nokia, and Geng Wu, Intel

The panelists talked about the use cases where MulteFire will be deployed, such as shipping ports and mines, as well as when private networks make sense. For neutral host network models, they addressed how MulteFire benefits mobile operators as they can leverage roaming agreements. They also answered attendee questions about timing for MulteFire solutions and first deployments. The first anticipated commercial launch for MulteFire is in the second half of 2019 in Japan, with solutions leveraging the 1.9 GHz band and devices. The Alliance is planning a public technology demonstration of MulteFire in 1.9 GHz in February in Tokyo – stay tuned for more details!

Our next Members Meeting will take place January 29-February 1 in Louisville, Colorado, hosted by CableLabs, so all members please note that registration is now open. For those of you who are not yet members, there is still time to join. You can download the membership application package here. Once new membership applications are submitted, our Executive Committee is pretty fast in processing the applications, giving plenty of time to confirm your travel plans for Colorado.

I wish you Happy Holidays and hope to see you soon!

Outi
MulteFire Alliance Secretary and an ABBA music fan