The Internet of Things (IoT) builds on the traditional Internet’s ability to connect people and enables connections among people, devices and everyday objects. The essence of the IoT is data perception, acquisition, and transmission. Data can be perceived and acquired through intelligent devices, monitoring devices, and sensor-embedded terminals. Connecting devices greatly improves working efficiency and will create tremendous social value.
Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) provides wide coverage; many connections; low data rates, costs and power consumption; and optimized architecture. It perfectly satisfies the need for IoT deployment in numerous industries.
In the future, there will be a large number of IoT applications based on terminals used in both daily life (such as pet tracing) and in vertical industries (such as manufacturing and asset tracking). All these applications require Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWANs) that have the following characteristics:
- Licensed spectrum use for high reliability and safety
- Wide coverage, which is available even in basements, remote suburban areas, and other locations where signals are unusual
- Low power consumption and a long battery life
- A large number of connections per cell
- Low cost
- Low transmission latency
- Extensible capabilities, such as mobility, roaming, and locating
While existing cellular network technologies fail to meet the LPWAN requirements for coverage, power consumption, and cost, NB-IoT has become a major development direction. NB-IoT features wide coverage, a large number of connections, low data rates, low costs, low power consumption, and optimized architecture. NB-IoT is well-suited to meet the LPWAN market requirements.
In 2013, Huawei and Vodafone pioneered the research on low-bandwidth network connection technologies.
The LPWAN market has been rising. To adapt to market requirements, Huawei has been performing pre-R&D on an E2E NB-IoT solution and launched the pre-standardization solution for the test purpose. Based on this pre-standardization solution, Huawei successfully constructed the world's first showcase site with China Unicom in Shanghai in June 2015. In December of the same year, Huawei and Vodafone completed joint tests on the commercial network in Spain.
Providing IoT communications services for vertical industries is one of the most important application directions of NB-IoT. Its innovation requires close cooperation with industry partners. To this end, Huawei and partners will establish eight open labs to serve as innovation platforms around the globe. Currently, substantial progress has been made in smart parking, remote meter reading, and applications. Huawei welcomes more partners to join in the work of building a fully connected world.