Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Cisco adds AI to boost 5G readiness to IoT suite

William Payne
February 27, 2020

Cisco has introduce new machine learning capablities to its IoT Control Center suite. The new capabilities are aimed at improving cellular IoT connection management, control, and increased security. The new features include anomaly detection and smart billing. Cisco expects new wireless technologies such as 5G and Wi-Fi 6 to lead to advanced Industrial IoT use cases, and the new capabilities are designed to allow service providers to create competitive cellular IoT offerings for their customers.

Cisco expects machine-to-machine connections to rise 19% and account for 50% of all connections by 2023, according to the company's 2020 Annual Internet Report.

"Cellular IoT deployments are accelerating across connected cars, utilities and transportation industries and with 5G and Wi-Fi 6 on the horizon IoT adoption will grow even faster. Cisco is investing in connectivity management, IoT networking, IoT security, and edge computing to accelerate the adoption of IoT use-cases," said Vikas Butaney, vice president product management IoT, Cisco. "With today's advancements, Cisco is further enabling our service provider partners with machine learning to simplify and accelerate cellular IoT services while creating new bundled services to grow their revenues."

New capabilities of the Cisco IoT Control Center (formerly Jasper Control Center), include using machine learning (ML) to improve management: With visibility into 3 billion events every day, Cisco IoT Control Center uses machine learning models to quickly identify anomalies and address issues before they impact a customer. Service providers can also identify and alert customers of errant devices, allowing for greater endpoint security and control.

The new capabilities include smart billing to optimise rate plans: service providers can improve customer satisfaction by enabling Smart billing to automatically optimise rate plans.  Policies can also be created to proactively send customer notifications should usage changes or rate plans need to be updated to help save enterprises money.  

The new capabilities include support for global supply chains: SIM portability is an enterprise requirement to support complex supply chains spanning multiple service providers and geographies. It is time-consuming and requires integrations between many different service providers and vendors, driving up costs for both. Cisco IoT Control Center now provides eSIM as a service, enabling turnkey SIM portability solution for faster, more reliable and cost-effective SIM hand-offs between service providers.

In a statement, Cisco highlighted how the company's IoT Control Center is designed to enable industrial environments to benefit from the advanced IoT capabilities presented by 5G. The company is working on use cases such as flexible manufacturing, higher throughput, and autonomous vehicles, with service providers and industrial companies that include KPN, ExRobotics, Astus, and Spark New Zealand.

A spokesman from KPN commented: "We recognise that the diversity and complexity of 5G use cases can overwhelm organisations already competing in rapidly evolving and increasingly digitised industries. That is why KPN and Cisco support customers like ExRobotics to launch on 4G today and at the same time prepare for 5G tomorrow. With our 5G Field labs we help incubate clear use cases that demonstrate how to unleash the potential of 5G and create meaningful business outcomes. KPN and Cisco are committed to providing strategic thought leadership to help customers leverage cellular IoT and drive their digital transformation forward."

"Robots often do jobs that are too dangerous for humans. 5G and its promise of low latency will allow robots to react faster and better to the operator's commands. They will be capable of dealing with complex unscripted problems and making decisions in real time in the field. We are committed in this partnership with KPN to helping our customers turn the technical advancement of 5G into real value in the area of human safety, reliability and cost savings," ExRobotics said in a statement.