Verizon hits go on guard-band NB-IoT network with 50KB $1 price-plan
Verizon has formally launched its narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) network in the US, offering an initial entry-level price plan of 50KB of data for $1 per month, shareable across NB-IoT devices on the same plan
Verizon said its NB-IoT network, running in the guard band of Verizon’s spectrum, covers 92 per cent of the US population. It said use of the Guard Band brings spectrum efficiency delivers “performance superiority”.
Bill Stone, vice president of technology development and planning at Verizon, said: “By using the more complex guard band solution for our NB-IoT network, we are demonstrating very efficient use of spectrum assets while giving customers the breadth of options they need to best meet their needs.”
He added: “This strategic use of spectrum is one of the many variables that has resulted in Verizon’s continued performance superiority and strong capital management over the years.”
NB-IoT is designed as a complement to cellular LTE-M networks, reckon network operators. These twin low-power wide-area (LPWA) networking technologies offer lower cost chipsets, wider coverage, and better battery life than standard 2G, 3G, and 4G LTE networks.
NB-IoT provides the ability to manage both IP and non-IP data traffic, noted Verizon; its ability to handle non-IP data traffic allows for the creation of simpler, cheaper IoT devices. NB-IoT technology occupies a dedicated frequency of 180 kHz bandwidth designated for IoT applications, which does not share spectrum resources with commercial smartphone traffic.
Where LTE-M brings low-cost cellular mobility, geared towards wearables and tracking solutions, NB-IoT is designed for static ‘fit-and-forget’ IoT solutions, needing data rates below 100 kbps. Verizon highlighted alarm panels, environmental sensors, industrial appliances, factory equipment, and parking meters, as prime candidates for NB-IoT.
Jeffrey Dietel, senior vice president of business marketing and products, said: “There is a whole universe of smart solutions needing scalable and affordable connections. By launching our NB-IoT Network, Verizon is taking yet another step in making that connectivity available and driving innovation in the IoT field.”
Verizon listed a number of NB-IoT use cases in its announcement. These included: parking sensors, waste management ,and smart lighting in smart cities; connected smoke detectors in smart buildings; equipment and environmental monitoring, variously, in smart factories, smart farms, and smart cities. Verizon said it has further expanded its ecosystem of IoT partners to develop and manage IoT solutions. It singled out Telit, SIM-COM, and Quectel as module makers with available test devices, “in final stages of testing”. Customers can manage IoT connections and devices on both Verizon’s NB-IoT and LTE-M networks using its ThingSpace platform.
Verizon said it has further expanded its ecosystem of IoT partners to develop and manage IoT solutions. It singled out Telit, SIM-COM, and Quectel as module makers with available test devices, “in final stages of testing”. Customers can manage IoT connections and devices on both Verizon’s NB-IoT and LTE-M networks using its ThingSpace platform.
Last month, Verizon made the original dual-band LTE-M / NB-IoT Monarch system-in-package (SiP) from French chipmaker Sequans available on ThingSpace for $6.50.
Rival carrier AT&T launched its NB-IoT network in April in the US. Both firms already have LTE-M networks in place.