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27 February, 2019 - 14:19 By Tony Quested

Arm technology will help securely connect 100 million devices across China in IoT gamechanger

Arm CEO Simon Segars

Device management technology from Arm in Cambridge is being used to help securely deploy 100 million devices through China Unicom’s new IoT ecosystem.

The UK-Sino agreement unveiled today is a long-term partnership agreement to deliver IoT scalability, security and simplicity to Chinese enterprises and global companies looking to have a local presence in China. 

The collaboration will provide a flexible, high performance and secure solution by leveraging Arm® Pelion™ Device Management, Arm® Mbed™ OS, China Unicom’s new IoT platform and a rich device and application ecosystem.

Chen Xiaotian, general manager of China Unicom IoT Limited, said: “We are very pleased to have reached the partnership with Arm, together providing the fast-expanding market with a better, safer IoT solution.

“China Unicom IoT has striven to be the driver of the IoT era. Facing the ever-increasing number of devices, we believe that our collaborations with Arm will help our clients to efficiently grow their businesses, provide better service experiences and earn higher investment return. 

“Furthermore, we will build the whole IoT ecosystem together, facilitating IoT upgrades and service transformation.”

The China Unicom IoT Platform brings a robust edge-to-cloud ecosystem, and securely connects 100 million devices across China. 

The solution provides device-to-data security and device management by building on top of Arm's Pelion Device Management service that can manage any device type, and being tightly integrated with Mbed OS. 

Through the Arm and China Unicom partnership, Chinese enterprises and foreign companies operating in China will be able to easily deploy and manage IoT applications at scale across verticals, including smart utility, smart cities, smart logistics and more.

Dipesh Patel, president, IoT Services Group, Arm, said: “IoT presents a significant opportunity for enterprises but requires solutions that are easy to implement, secure and can manage devices over their entire lifecycle. 

“With China Unicom licensing Pelion Device Management and using Mbed OS, we are together bringing tremendous scale and simplicity in enabling the secure development and management of IoT devices so that enterprises can obtain value from their deployments.”

Pelion Device Management allows organisations to securely and efficiently onboard, manage and update various types of IoT devices (from ultra-constrained to large gateways), throughout the device lifecycle. It also provides enterprises with the flexibility to deploy in the public or private cloud, on-prem or in hybrid environments.

Mbed OS integrates all the essential components and mainstream standards necessary in the IoT, providing rich types of connectivity functions. The next release of the technology in March will be one of the first IoT OS’s to have out-of-the-box compliance with PSA Certified™ Level 1 and PSA functional API Certification with support for multiple semiconductor vendor hardware, including Cypress, Nuvoton, NXP® Semiconductors and ST. 

Mbed OS brings security from the edge and protocols to the whole lifecycle. It will help developers enhance development efficiency, shorten development time, as well as focus on innovation and differentiation of their IoT products.

The significance of the alliance was underscored by Sam Lucero, senior principal analyst, IoT, IHS Markit who said: “The IoT market in China continues to grow at a rapid pace with cellular IoT connections growing from 560 million in 2018 to 1.5 billion by 2022.

“This growth presents a tremendous opportunity for partnerships like this one between Arm and China Unicom to bring new solutions to market that attempt to address the need for simple and secure enterprise deployment and management of IoT devices.”

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