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Ericsson claims first standardised NB-IoT application demo

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Ericsson has announced a collaborative effort with Intel and China Mobile will see the world’s first demonstration of IoT applications running over cellular IoT infrastructure.

Following the 3GPP standardisation process for narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) completion last week, in which eMTC and the 2G-based protocol EC-GSM-IoT were frozen for development, Ericsson has wasted little time in putting the standard to practise. It claims that its network, combined with Intel modem solutions as well as China Mobile’s environment monitoring application, will be able to achieve end-to-end interconnectivity and use of the newly-standardised IoT technology.

The 3GPP says it took only nine months to fully develop the standard architecture, and Ericsson claims its forthcoming demonstration at MWC Shanghai in China this week marks the rapid evolution of cellular IoT from standards to the real-world application of products.

It says the real enabling factor here is the use of low bandwidth licensed spectrum in an open environment, as opposed to proprietary platforms such as Sigfox and LoRa. As a result, Ericsson believes it will meet the demands of LPWAN IoT applications with the added advantages of being low cost, low power, broad coverage and a high reliability of transmission handling a massive number of connections.

China Mobile’s 5G Innovation Centre plays home to a dedicated Cellular IoT Open Lab to allow the testing of IoT hardware and systems for the entire industry. It says equipment, chip, module and device providers, as well as operators, will be able to develop products in the lab capable of ensuring interoperability as well as achieving conformance certification within the required standards.

While Sigfox and LoRa have continued to grow as viable IoT platforms in recent weeks, with a variety of client win announcements coming from the two; it would seem that following 3GPP ratification, NB-IoT has begun a shift in momentum and could feasibly progress quickly as industry heavyweights begin lending it their backing.

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