NB-IoT tech to go into anything with a battery
NB-IoT Forum members look to revolutionize underserved LPWA market
BARCELONA, Spain – With billions of previously unconnected objects being added to cellular networks as the “Internet of Things” takes shape, what’s the right low-power, wide-area solution?
The NB-IoT Forum thinks narrow-band IoT technology, which set for standardization with 3GPP Release 13, will change the low-power, wide-area network paradigm.
Luke Ibbetson, chair of the NB-IoT Forum and research and development director for Vodafone, said NB-IoT creates a “massive opportunity. Put this technology in everything that’s got a battery. What we want to do now is make sure we have the complete, end-to-end ecosystem; that we have the right model for engagement.”
Graham Trickey, head of the GSMA’s Connected Living Program, said “the industry has moved forward very significantly over the last couple of months in agreeing [on] standards. We’re talking low cost, we’re talking low power. There’s no major barriers to the success of NB-IoT. I think we have everything in place for this to emerge this year as a viable solution.”
Speakers at the NB-IoT Forum, held Feb. 21 in Barcelona, Spain, emphasized the benefits of using cellular networks to meet LPWA needs including reliability, coverage, security, trust, customer service, licensed spectrum and roaming.
Luigi Licciardi, VP and head of standards and technology disclosure for Telecom Italia, said NB-IoT could create 6 billion new projections and a trillion-euro revenue opportunity, noting NB-IoT could support “any part of our life,” including smart homes, connected cars, precision agriculture, health care and industry.
“The technology is mature now,” Licciardi said. “We’re discussing a lot about smart metering in gas, smart metering in electricity. This is a real business opportunity.”
Madam Huang Yuhong, deputy GM of the China Mobile Research Institute, stressed a combination of IoT and cellular can “help the transformation of traditional industry to make it more efficient, more green and more sustainable.” Yuhong pegged the potential in China as 10 billion connections creating a 1 trillion RMB opportunity by 2020.
But, Yuhong said, “there’s a lot of key things we need to think about,” including integrated chipsets and modules, low cost authentication, enabling network functions virtualization-based HSS and open APIs.