T-Mobile US NB-IoT tests in Vegas provide smart city preview
Plans call for NB-IoT to connect lighting systems, environmental sensors and flood monitoring
In the crowded landscape of connectivity protocols for the internet of things, T-Mobile U.S. is betting on narrowband-internet of things (NB-IoT) given a successful test project in Las Vegas, Nev., that will give way to broader smart city initiatives.
From a cost perspective, LTE Cat M1 and NB-IoT are the least expensive LTE-based IoT technologies. In the broader context of low power, wide area connectivity, NB-IoT goes head-to-head with proprietary tech like LoRa and Sigfox.
T-Mobile completed with the testing with Qualcomm and Ericsson and used a 200 kilohertz channel of AWS spectrum. The carrier’s CTO Neville Ray said the trial work will enable customer “to bring their products to market faster with better performance, vastly improved battery life and big cost savings–all on a dedicated highway that’s purpose-built for connected devices.”
In terms of growth trajectory, T-Mobile will work with Las Vegas city leaders on flood abatement based on early warning and fault detection systems; smart, LED lighting, and sensor-based monitoring of temperature, humidity and gases. Side note: T-Mobile, like many other carriers, is using smart lighting deployments to serve as a sensor platform, which has proved a tidy way to deploy quickly and cost-effectively.
NB-IoT has seen good global adoption. Consider, in just the past few weeks, Huawei used the connectivity scheme for smart meters in Portugal; ZTE is using it for power management; Vodafone is deploying a nationwide network in New Zealand; and Deutsche Telekom is doing the same thing in Germany.
“Connecting the IoT — and virtually everything — requires wireless technologies that can scale up to high-performance IoT and also scale down to low complexity IoT application needs. New LTE narrowband technologies support lower power consumption, improved coverage, and increased device density,” Vieri Vanghi, Qualcomm vice president of product management said in a prepared statement. “With these groundbreaking field tests, which utilized our global multimode LTE IoT modems, Qualcomm Technologies and T-Mobile have demonstrated the ability to deploy a next-gen network that’s going to bring LTE IoT technologies to life for businesses and consumers across the U.S.”