Huawei partners with Gemalto for NB-IoT modules
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.”