I first wrote about LTE Direct Proximity Services back in July 2014. LTE Direct provides mobile devices with a continuous, always-on awareness of their proximal surroundings, enabling users and mobile apps to passively interact with the world around them. This groundbreaking device-to-device discovery technology is part of the upcoming Release 12 of the 3GPP standard.
Back in July, implementation of the ecosystem for LTE Direct was just underway with the first mobile operator trial announced and early mobile app developers beginning to create use cases. Fast forward to last week at Mobile World Congress 2015, where the rapidly developing LTE Direct ecosystem was on full display. The event not only showcased amazing growth and progress of the ecosystem, but also demonstrated many of the innovative use cases enabled by LTE Direct Proximity Services. These use cases, along with the ongoing and planned mobile operator trials, are shining a very bright light on the large opportunity that LTE Direct creates for the entire mobile ecosystem—scaling up proximity services for mass consumer adoption.
LTE Direct proximity services at MWC 2015
At MWC 2015, there were a number of LTE Direct demonstrations over-the-air using OEM devices, which included use cases developed through collaborations with Compass.To, M-87, Deutsche Telekom, KT Corp., and NTT DOCOMO.
Compass.To demonstrated LTE Direct Proximity Services being utilized for social and commercial discovery at a music festival with use cases for discovering nearby people, services, offers, and more. Use cases that could easily be extended to many different experiences such as trade shows like Mobile World Congress, film festivals, theme parks, and sporting events to name a few.
Compass.To mobile app demonstration at MWC 2015
Also, M-87 demonstrated a new use case for LTE Direct beyond social and commercial discovery. The M-87 software empowers mobile devices to seek the fastest path to the network by using LTE Direct to discover nearby devices with better signal quality and throughput to use as a relay. This results in a better, faster mobile broadband user experience, while providing mobile operators a new way to increase the coverage and capacity of their mobile networks.
The demonstrations also showcased the progress of mobile operator technology trials, such as the successful completion of the Deutsche Telekom trial in Germany and the resulting menu of proximate services for commercial and social discovery developed.
Beyond this, NTT DOCOMO demonstrated a sharing economy platform that enables users to offer services, goods, information, and experiences to other nearby users, along with an integrated payment system for purchase. And, KT Corporation showcased the ability for LTE Direct to personalize a user’s surrounding with a Digital-out-of-Home demonstration for personalizing advertisements on a digital sign based on the interests/affinities of nearby people.
And best of all, the demonstrations at MWC 2015 were only a small subset of the thriving LTE Direct ecosystem with:
- Mobile Network Operator (MNO) trials with Deutsche Telekom (Germany) & KT Corp. (Korea), and additional trials planned in the U.S., Europe, and Korea.
- 20+ active developers including Facebook, Yahoo, Control Group, R/GA, Sacramento Kings, M-87, Compass, NTT DOCOMO, and more.
- Trial implementations supported by two device manufacturers and two infrastructure vendors.
- Standardization expected to be complete the 1st half of 2015 as part of Release 12
For more information and to get the latest on LTE Direct, visit us at www.qualcomm.com/lte-direct. Also, checkout how businesses and brands are utilizing LTE Direct to engage consumers in new and meaningful ways at an upcoming event at South by Southwest Interactive 2015 on March 15th.