InterDigital and Sony to expand IoT research into 5G

A joint venture set up by Sony and InterDigital to research IoT communications will expand its scope to include 5G technologies. Convida Wireless, the name given to the JV, will also license a patent from Interdigital as part of the new deal.

Convida Wireless was launched in 2013 as a joint venture to combine Sony’s consumer electronics nous with InterDigital’s Internet of Things (IoT) comms IP to drive new research in IoT communications and other connectivity areas. With this newer agreement, Convida Wireless’ focus will also extend to 5G technologies. Joining Sony and InterDigital as partners in Convida Wireless is Stephens Capital Partners, an investment banking firm.

As a consumer electronics company involved in both the input and output of high definition digital content via its cameras, TV and gaming properties, Sony is interested in the potential of 5G to enhance user experiences and add further dimensions to its business models.

For example, the company has been active within the Mobile Edge Computing community – an architecture initiative designed to provide a structure for highly distributed cloud services, reducing latency for certain services and applications. Sony’s input into 5G R&D provides an example of the vertical industry-led requirements for 5G that many see as marking 5G out as different to other network generations.

“The Convida Wireless joint venture has been a success for both Sony and InterDigital, and we’re very pleased to expand its focus to include technologies that will form the backbone of future technologies,” said Toshimoto Mitomo, Executive Vice President, Intellectual Property, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Sony Corporation of America.

“5G and IoT are the twin thrusts of InterDigital’s research focus, and we’re pleased to contribute this capability to Convida Wireless through the expansion of its scope,” said William J. Merritt, President and CEO of InterDigital.

InterDigital Europe is involved in European Commission-backed on 5G rollout including XHAUL, POINT (iP Over IcN the betTer IP) and RIFE (aRchitecture for an Internet For Everybody) projects. The company’s InterDigital Asia unit in Seoul, South Korea recently joined the Korea-based 5G Forum.