PARTNER CONTENT: China Mobile International (CMI) is building an ecosystem to help industry partners capitalise on the flourishing market for smart solutions, with an initial focus on elevating the smart home experience for consumers

The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to improve the way we live and work, making exciting new solutions possible – from smart homes and telehealth systems to driverless cars, smart farms and Industry 4.0 factories. But the shift to IoT is about much more than tech platforms and devices; it depends on a range of industry partners collaborating in an IoT ecosystem, with connectivity as the key to delivering the rich, integrated experiences that users will come to expect.

“With massive bandwidth, blazing speed and low latency, 5G is the catalyst that will enable carriers worldwide to deliver on the promise of IoT. CMI is committed to empowering carriers, service providers, device makers and appliance brands to fully leverage the capabilities of IoT, promoting intelligent digital transformation via 5G to benefit society as a whole,” Dr. Lin Erwei, Director and Executive Vice President of CMI, said.

Cloud computing, artificial intelligence and edge computing will all help to handle the data volumes generated by the IoT, as 5G boosts network capacity and ultimately helps build the IoT network and ecosystem as well as support a vast number of connected devices.

The EY Reimagining Industry Futures Study 2021 revealed that Asia-Pacific is ahead of the Americas and Europe in current and future 5G investments, with 27% of Asia-Pacific organisations signaling significantly greater interest in 5G and IoT since the COVID-19 pandemic, compared with 13% and 15% in the Americas and Europe, respectively.

As 5G is a main driver for IoT adoption, CMI is supporting the transition to 5G with global digital infrastructure that encompasses more than 70 international cables, including nine self-built submarine cables and eight invested terrestrial cables, with a total network capacity of over 98 terabits per second. Its growing network also includes over 180 overseas points of presence across key continents, 340 data centers across China and four self-owned data centers in key centers overseas.

CMI develops and delivers international data services and solutions that lay the foundation for the rapid growth of IoT across key markets. To date, CMI has provided IoT solutions to more than 100 enterprises across 20 countries and regions, in particular in Asia Pacific. CMI also collaborates with over 500 global operators to promote IoT connectivity via comprehensive SIM profile, connectivity management platform and eSIM platform integration, enhancing IoT network capabilities around the world.

As a next step to enrich the IoT ecosystem, CMI is creating a way for industry partners to build smart solutions that respond to market needs jointly. It is initially focusing on the home automation market with the introduction of its cloud-based smart home platform RINGA, first in Europe and then in Asia Pacific.

The Asia Pacific smart home market is one of the fastest growing worldwide. The region’s increasing urbanisation and interest in energy saving add impetus to the smart home trend, while high rates of smartphone and internet penetration will further allow automation to flourish.

Data Bridge Market Research revealed that the smart home market is growing at a CAGR of 18.1% from 2020 to 2027 and is expected to reach US$75,930.54 million by 2027. The focus on enhancing lifestyles in the Asia Pacific and popularity of smart devices are major factors driving market growth.

“The key to unlocking this potential is connectivity,” Dr. Lin said. “While today’s smart homeowners know the joy that connected speakers, lights and locks can bring, it’s often difficult — if not impossible — to get these systems to work together in a smart way. Telecom companies are ideally placed to deliver the level of integrated automation that will transform smart living experiences and delight consumers in the future.”

Launched in July 2021, RINGA is a smart home development platform that makes it possible for industry players to build new smart home hardware, software and solutions and package them under their own brands for customers across the region.

“A smart home is fast becoming an essential element of modern digital life around the world. RINGA will help meet this growing demand with end-to-end smart home solutions that empower operators and service providers and connect smart home brands, OEM manufacturers and retailers to elevate the smart home experience. It reflects CMI’s enduring belief in close collaboration with partners to drive integration and innovation,” Dr. Lin continued.

The RINGA solution includes a cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform, a suite of mobile access applications and multiple IoT communications modules, along with smart devices and voice-enabled solutions. It runs on CMI’s open IoT platform, a PaaS solution that allows the smart home ecosystem to come together to provide consumers with one-stop access to intelligent IoT hardware and standardized end-to-end applications with unified connectivity.

With RINGA, it is easy to connect a variety of smart gadgets, smart home appliances and carrier services to create an integrated home automation system which enables multiple connectivity, such as Wi-Fi, Zigbee, BLE, NB-IoT, 2/3/4/5G with CMI eSIM or white label SIM or even carriers’ local SIM as alternatives solutions.  RINGA enables improved security and reliability and substantial pricing advantage.

“As intelligent digitalisation continues to transform industries worldwide, CMI has recognized the demand for integrated IoT solutions that are quick to market, scalable and globally deployable,” Dr. Lin concluded. “With a plan to bring RINGA to Asia Pacific, we expect to see the installed base of smart home solutions increase rapidly across the region as consumers increasingly embrace a digital lifestyle and a future where we can connect everywhere.”

As an open IoT management platform, RINGA has the following key features

  • Multiple Connectivity Options

Having multiple connectivity options on one platform makes the system more flexible. Carriers can offer a wider range of devices, without being limited by their communications protocols, and select technologies based on user requirements and the project environment, making it possible to serve different customer groups.

RINGA supports key wireless connectivity technologies, including LTE Cat 1 and Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT), the KNX-RF system, Bluetooth LoRa, Sigfox, WiFi, Zigbee and more. As one of the leaders in NB-IoT product development. CMI provides a wide range of smart single-product solutions that leverage standalone NB-IoT network access. This avoids reliance on home WiFi to enhance security and reliability.

CMI was first to market with optimised IoT, 5G and NB-IoT roaming. It allows SIM customisation and also supports multi-IMSI solutions to simplify integration for quick deployment; device users or managers enjoy local network services for better coverage.

  • Easy Customisation

To enrich their smart solutions and offerings, carriers  prefer integrating their private-label smart devices and manage multi-brand devices in the same platform—supporting third-party voice platform docking with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and other popular voice assistants.

RINGA can be extensively customised based on target customers, applications requirements and the real-world environment, allowing the smart home ecosystem to come together to provide consumers with one-stop access to intelligent IoT hardware and standardised end-to-end applications with unified connectivity.

A build-to-order platform, RINGA supports open API and OEM/ODM applications, as well as cloud localisation by an individual country or specific carrier.

  • Unique Charging Model

Simple charging and billing model enables carriers to offer services to customers based on long-term operating expense and sales models rather than as a one-time capital expense. This is made possible with RINGA because the CMI IoT platform facilitates customer management of SIM cards and IoT devices, providing a single connectivity management platform (CMP) that supports multiple core-network SIMs and the RINGA smart home management platform.

A key feature of RINGA is the intelligent service platform for online product development and operations management. Developers can create devices and manage products, operations, big data and more via a single web portal. Leveraging this service platform helps developers fast-track product development, run diagnostics and solve potential maintenance problems and operational challenges

  • IoT Marketplace

CMI also offers a range of smart devices that combine artificial intelligence and IoT technologies. The RINGA product portfolio currently includes smart lighting, air purifiers, heating/cooling fans, smoke detectors, security systems, door and window sensors and health devices, as well as smart sockets and switches that can be used to control other lights and appliances.

With our professional team with multiple IoT experts, CMI provides IoT sourcing services on devices and solutions for our carrier partners.

  • Vertical Solutions

IoT solutions have the potential to transform services, applications, and capabilities for different vertical sectors, presenting immense growth prospects for different industry players. RINGA combines connectivity, customidation and fast and economical deployment capabilities to help change the way people manage their homes. Integrating IoT products and resources with data, information and communication technology (DICT) capabilities, CMI is also making it possible to extend these solutions to other scenarios, like hotels, classrooms and factories, and vertical sectors including smart cities and cross-border logistics.