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Ultra Low Energy and the ULE Alliance

A new generation wireless communication technology for the IoT has applicability in cases ranging from energy savings to emergency response to the smart home.

The ULE Alliance is an organization that works to expedite the worldwide deployment and market adoption of Ultra Low Energy (ULE) products. The ULE Alliance works with its members to quickly develop new products and services in the areas of Home Automation, Security and Climate control by certifying standards conformance and ensuring interoperability between IoT products of the different vendors, thereby improving service provider selection, delivering true customer satisfaction and increasing the overall size of the market for all participants. Our goal is to ensure that the proven and superior ULE technology will be a leading infrastructure and standard for home wireless networks, enabling a more safe and convenient life for all people.

Our organization is made up of global service providers, vendors and chipset developers dedicated to developing energy-efficient and powerful solutions for the Smart Home and Office.

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Comparison to Other Wireless Options on the Market

ULE is a new generation wireless communication technology for the IoT, based on DECT, an established technology with 20+ years of deployment. Since this is an established technology, the chipsets are reliable and costs are extremely competitive. ULE operates in dedicated, licensed, royalty free spectrum, giving the service provider the longest wireless range of 75-100 meters in building, and up to 300 meters in open range, compared to competitors that range from 10-30 meters from the gateway. This greatly reduces the need for expensive repeaters throughout the home, greatly simplifies the layout and installation, and reduces energy consumption and overall cost; many providers are looking at self-installation as another cost saving option for their intelligent home solutions.

This unique band has no interference from Wi-Fi, ZigBee, Bluetooth, Z-wave, etc. and has the ability to carry two-way voice and video with great stability. This makes possible applications such as fire systems that tell you exactly where the fire rather than just sounding an alarm. Such systems can also open a northbound call to 911 to provide an open channel of communication. Critical information, e.g., “my children are trapped in the back of the house” can be conveyed in a situation where seconds matter.

The ultra-low power asset also makes great use of the battery, so much so that tests have shown some of the batteries can last seven years without changing. Imagine not having to tell customers to change the alarm batteries every six months, or worrying that the system will fail due to a dead battery. Most batteries will die of corrosion before losing power. Tens of millions of home gateways use DECT; these gateways can be easily upgraded to ULE by a software upgrade, something that the service providers perform routinely. This creates a new business opportunity for the service providers to expand the communication services to their customers’ homes by providing smart home services, re-using installed home gateways.

Liasons

ULE Alliance has established active work liaisons with ETSI, Home Gateway Initiative (HGI), AllSeen Alliance and Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF – former OIC) to help foster better interoperability, management and bridging between all sensors and devices in
the home. The DECT Forum is an active member of the ULE Alliance as well.

At CES 2016 the ULE Alliance and its partners, All-Seen and OCF, made joint demonstrations, and close cooperation is expected to continue and strengthen all the parties.

Milestones

Since launching the Ultra-Low Energy Certification in mid-2015, 30+ products have successfully achieved certification. We expect the number to top 100 by 2017.
• ULE Alliance demonstrated at CES 2016 ULE working over IPv6 (6LoWPAN).
• Members Turkcell and DSP Group announced in January the commercial IoT deployment based completely on ULE, which will serve a 25 million household base.
• Deutsche Telecom announced that all the next generation home gateways will be equipped with ULE.
• Panasonic introduced the Home Automation kit, based on the ULE technology, in USA and Europe.

What’s Next

• With the introduction of 6LoWPAN, the IPv6 connectivity will play an increasing role in extending the IP communication protocol use in the IoT, replacing the proprietary technologies and enabling better interoperability More companies will adopt the use of the wireless technology agnostic application layers, such as AllJoyn and IoTivity.
• The consolidation and cooperation between different technologies should happen in order to achieve the goal of seamless integration of new devices into the existing networks, regardless of the wireless technology in use. Interoperability across various wireless technologies is imperative in order to support widespread adoption for IoT.

Ahead for the ULE Alliance

• ULE Alliance will release the 6LoWPAN support for ULE in Q2’2016
• ULE Alliance will continue to cooperation with AllSeen and OCF, introducing two projects with each partner:
• A bridging gateway between existing ULE and AllJoin/IoTivity networks
• Sensors running AllJoin / IoTivity application layers over ULE protocol
• New ULE based service deployments by major European service providers
• Increasing number of device manufacturers worldwide using ULE
• Number of ULE based sensors/actuators surpassing 250 by end of 2017


Avi Barel is Director of Business Development, ULE Alliance. He has over 30 years of broad high tech experience, ranging from software development, semiconductor, engineering and business management. Barel joined the ULE Alliance in April 2013 as the Director of Business Development and is actively leading the promotion of the ULE technology worldwide. Prior to ULE Alliance, at DSP Group, he served as the Corporate Vice President of sales for 8 years. Before joining DSP Group Barel established and managed Winbond subsidiary in Israel for 5 years, developing semiconductor products for speech processing and communication, managing team of 50+ engineers. At National Semiconductor he held variety of engineering, engineering management and business management positions; involved in development and management of award winning, innovative projects.

Barel holds M.Sc. degree in Computer Science and B.Sc. degree in Mathematics and Physics from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

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