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Verizon building nationwide NB-IoT network this year

NB-IoT will complement existing LTE Cat 1 and Cat M1 network support

The internet of things (IoT) consists of a huge variety of use cases that come with a widely varying set of network capacity and coverage needs. To address this large market, operators around the world are providing low-power, wide-area coverage with both LTE-based IoT networks and narrow-band IoT (NB-IoT) networks, which uses a 180 kilohertz channel to provide peak downlink throughput int he 50 Kbps range.

Verizon already offers LTE Cat M and Cat M1 services, and now, according to the company, it will deploy a nationwide NB-IoT guard band network throughout 2018. Narrowband-IoT can be deployed in-band within an LTE carrier, standalone or in the guard-band of an LTE network, which limits impact the LTE and doesn’t require any new spectrum.

Verizon noted LTE Cat M 1 supports applications like “wearables, fleet and asset management, NB-IoT guard-band focuses on applications needing data rates below 100 Kbps.”

VP of Network Planning Bill Stone said the goal is “providing more customer options to the IoT ecosystem by leading with new technologies and capabilities…that efficiently use dedicated spectrum and target different customer requirements for throughput and battery life.” Ericsson is supporting this project with software support.
In October 2017 T-Mobile US launched an NB-IoT network, which was tested in Las Vegas as part of a smart city initiative. It’s planning a nationwide launch by “mid-year” 2018. The “Un-carrier” has emphasized the efficiency of NB-IoT along with the low cost in its announcement. “Because it can operate in guard bands – the network equivalent of driving down the shoulders on the highway — NB-IoT carries data with greater efficiency and performance and doesn’t compete with other data traffic for network resources,” the carrier said.
T-Mobile US charges $6-per-year, per-device to connect to its NB-IoT network. Verizon hasn’t released details of its planned rate structure. Connections to Verizon’s LTE Cat 1 and Cat M1 networks cost $2 a month per-device for 200 KB of data or $3-per-mont, per-device for 500 KB of data.

 

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