The work item titled NB-IoT (Narrow Band Internet of Things) was approved by 3GPP, representing a major milestone for the Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) market. The new technology will provide extended indoor coverage, support of a massive number of low throughput devices, and ultra-low device cost.
Huawei and partners have been working together with other players on Narrow Band Cellular IoT technology for several years. With visionary insight in the Low Power Wide Area market, Huawei and one top operator proposed a study item of NB M2M to 3GPP in May 2014 which quickly garnered strong support and increased attention from other leading operators. In May 2015, Huawei and one of the partners announced the joint proposal called NB CIoT based on NB M2M and NB OFDMA, with both companies swiftly completing the study item soon afterwards.
Timing to market and a win-win proposition are always considered as the two most critical components for enlarging the Cellular IoT market at the earliest. In July 2015, GSMA together with Huawei invited key operators worldwide and organized a meeting to reach a consensus on the necessity for Cellular IoT technology, removing market fragmentation and accelerating adoption.
At the same time, more and more operators raised requirements to expand the scope of NB CIoT work item description. As a result, the LPWA market is widely acknowledged by the industry, and this has finally led to the approval of the work item from NB CIoT to NB-IoT.
So far, Huawei has played the most important role during the standardization of NB-IoT. Huawei has made significant investments in the design of the NB-IoT system prototype, with hundreds of R&D employees currently researching this technology. Moreover, most research results have been shared with proposals contributed to 3GPP, giving more confidence to the industry.
In addition to Cellular IoT technology research, Huawei conducted several trials with top operators. Meanwhile, Huawei collaborated to explore new business opportunities with key application providers including Veolia, Kamstrup, and Fiorentini on smart metering, Smart parking and other related applications.
At this year’s MWC in Barcelona this past March, Huawei and Vodafone successfully completed the world’s first demo of Smart metering application using CIoT technology.
Furthermore, Huawei and China Unicom performed trials as well as a live demo of the Smart Parking application in Shanghai. This application stimulated much interest from global operators and increased confidence in selecting this technology.
As top industry players, Huawei and partners will continue to make a substantial contribution towards final standards confirmation of NB-IoT technology which will undoubtedly accelerate development and commercialization of the LPWA market.
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