The GSMA announced that its Mobile IoT Initiative has taken off with the launch of multiple commercial rollouts of Low Power, Wide Area (LPWA) solutions by several of the world’s leading mobile operators including AT&T, China Mobile, China Unicom, China Telecom, Deutsche Telekom (DT), Verizon and Vodafone. China Mobile and China Unicom have launched NB-IoT across several key cities with China Telecom launching NB-IoT networks across the country. Vodafone has also launched NB-IoT in Spain and the Netherlands. DT has launched in several cities in Germany and nationwide in the Netherlands. AT&T and Verizon have previously announced nationwide launches of LTE-M technology. In addition to these deployments, the GSMA also announced that its Mobile IoT Innovators programme, which is designed to encourage the development of new LPWA solutions, has reached over 500 members, underscoring the growth of the wider IoT ecosystem.
“The Mobile IoT initiative encouraged the market to adopt licensed LPWA networks and we are now seeing this work come to fruition with multiple commercial deployments around the world, as well as the availability of hundreds of different applications and solutions,” commented Alex Sinclair, Chief Technology Officer, GSMA. “It is clear that the market sees the benefit of adopting solutions that offer flexibility, security, lower costs, and cover all use cases, and we look forward to seeing other operators follow in the near future.”
Mobile operators are enhancing their licensed cellular networks with NB-IoT and LTE-M technologies, which utilise globally agreed 3GPP standards to scale the Internet of Things. These new Mobile IoT networks are designed to support mass-market IoT applications such as smart meters, environmental sensors and consumer electronics, that are low cost, use low data rates, require long battery lives and often operate in remote locations. Both technologies will be further evolved in 3GPP’s Release 15.
China at Forefront in Development of LPWA Market
According to analyst house Gartner, China is set to be one of the leading LPWA markets, accounting for 486 million of the estimated 3.1 billion connections globally by 2025. It is also at the forefront in the global development of Mobile IoT in terms of both network launches and a record number of ecosystem developer partners. China Mobile has launched NB-IoT networks in several key cities including Yingtan and China Unicom has rolled-out NB-IoT networks in Shanghai, as well as the main urban areas in Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Fuzhou, for a number of different solutions across smart parking, smart fire sensors and smart meters. China Telecom has announced the roll-out of nationwide NB-IoT networks.
China is also leading in the development of new innovative solutions based on Mobile IoT technology as a part of the GSMA’s Mobile IoT Innovator community. Of the 546 global companies currently developing new solutions based on Mobile IoT technology, over 215 are from China. Solutions include smart parking, pet tracking, asset tracking and smart agriculture amongst many others.
Mobile IoT for Social Good
At the GSMA Innovation City, located in the Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC) in Hall W3 at Mobile World Congress Shanghai, the GSMA will demonstrate how Mobile IoT technologies are supporting the mobile industry’s leadership role in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. China Telecom will demonstrate how its environmental monitoring service is helping to keep air quality high and water supplies pure with big data analysis as well as emergency response services (SDG 13: Climate Action). The GSMA will also showcase how Mobile IoT networks are helping the St Andrew’s University Sea Mammal Research Unit to monitor harbour seals and preserve life underwater (SDG 14: Life Below Water). Other demos will include a connected bike, which utilises an NB-IoT network to improve the operation of bike hire schemes, as well as a connected smart waste bin for improved refuse collection from China Unicom. China Mobile will also demonstrate its OneNET platform that can be used for different IoT services such as smart homes, wearable devices or connected cars.
Mobile IoT at Mobile World Congress Shanghai 2017
At Mobile World Congress Shanghai, the GSMA’s Internet of Things programme will host the ‘4th GSMA Global Mobile IoT Summit’ with leading industry experts on Tuesday, 27 June from 13:30 – 18:00. The programme will explore how mobile operators, Mobile IoT customers and the wider ecosystem have successfully deployed Mobile IoT solutions. There will also be a separate session, ‘IoT Summit at MWC Shanghai 2017’, on Thursday, June 29 at 11:30that brings industry experts together to discuss the IoT opportunity and the many ways in which it will transform everyday life, including subjects such as Low Power Wide Area, IoT security and IoT big data. To register for any of these events, please go to: www.gsma.com/iot/event/mobile-world-congress-shanghai-2017/.
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