HomeNB-IoTHuawei partners with Gemalto for NB-IoT modules

Huawei partners with Gemalto for NB-IoT modules

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Modules could support devices in as many as 20 countries

Huawei said its HiSilicon semiconductor unit will work with Swiss chipmaker Gemalto to develop modules for narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) devices. Meanwhile Huawei’s network infrastructure unit will be building 30 NB-IoT networks in 20 countries by the end of 2017, the company said.

NB-IoT, which was standardized last year by the Third Generation Partnership Project, is an alternative to LTE Category M1 (Cat M1), which also gives operators a low-power, spectrum-efficient way to connect large numbers of IoT nodes. In the United States, AT&T and Verizon Wireless have both launched Cat M1 networks, while T-Mobile US has said it will launch an NB-IoT network as well as a Cat M1 network. Dish Network is also planning an to build an NB-IoT network in the U.S.

Huawei has been a longtime advocate of NB-IoT, and is said to be one of the companies hoping to supply NB-IoT solutions to Dish Network. By partnering with Gemalto, the Chinese equipment maker is aligning itself with a company that has built a business on embedded security. Gemalto is a leading maker of SIM cards and embedded security solutions for the financial services industry.

Gemalto introduced a Cat M1 module early this year, and now is adding NB-IoT to its portfolio. The chipmaker says NB-IoT “is fast emerging as the best in class low-power wide area technology to enable a wide range of new IIoT devices including smart parking, utilities, wearables, and industrial solutions.”

In a blog post on its website, Gemalto touted NB-IoT’s ability to support large numbers of devices while using minimal amounts of spectrum. “This efficiency in turn, minimizes power consumption enabling a battery life of more than 10 years,” said the company. “In addition, NB-IoT penetrates deep underground and into enclosed spaces providing 20+dB coverage indoors.”

“The combination of our expertise in IoT cellular connectivity, and digital security, and Huawei’s high-performance NB-IoT chipsets will help device manufacturers and service providers take the plunge into cellular IoT mass deployment thanks to a standardized solution,” said Suzanne Tong-Li, Gemalto’s IoT and China president. “Our collaboration simplifies the implementation of NB-IoT projects combining solid security and flexibility.”

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