Low power, low throughput IoT is focus of industry forum
“Internet of Things” is a red-hot buzzword in the telecom industry. While use cases involving consumer wearables tend to dominate the discourse, there’s another, much less flashy IoT optimized for low power, low throughput applications that is quietly taking shape.
Narrow-band Internet of Things (NB-IoT) – you had to know an initialism was coming – is well-suited for deployment of Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) – not joking – networks. Use of narrow-band spectrum allows for deployment in licensed spectrum including in-band, guard band and standalone deployments. NB-IoT allows for robust coverage even in hard-to-reach spaces and is ideal for supporting lots of low throughput, low power devices.
Industry stakeholders, led by Vodafone, plan on dissecting the when, where, why and how of NB-IoT. Companies included in the NB-IoT Forum are China Mobile, China Unicom, Ericsson, Etisalat, the GSMA, GTI, Huawei, Intel, LG Uplus, Nokia, Qualcomm, Telecom Italia and Telefónica and Vodafone.
While the forum has yet to take clear shape, those stakeholders have had a kickoff meeting and said in a statement: “The forum will be hosted within an existing industry level organization.”
According to the group, goals of the NB-IoT forum include:
- facilitating demonstrations and proof of concept trials;
- leading partners to build a strong end-to-end industry chain for NB-IoT future growth and development;
- driving and proliferating NB-IoT applications in vertical markets for new business opportunities; and
- promoting collaboration among all NB-IoT industry partners to ensure interoperability of solutions.
A subset of forum members – China Mobile, Etisalat, LG Uplus, Shanghai Unicom, Telecom Italia and Vodafone – are also pushing to create six NB-IoT “open labs … which will focus on NB-IoT new service innovation, industry development, interoperability tests and product compliance certification.