Intel, Nokia and Ericsson collaborate on NB-LTE wireless for IoT

A consortium comprised of network companies Nokia and Ericsson, together with chip giant Intel, have announced their collaboration on narrow band LTE (NB-LTE), an LTE variant designed specifically for IoT.

The technology is an attempt to minimise the bandwidth used by IoT devices which, if forecasts are remotely accurate, will number in their billions before long and could flood the network. NB-LTE also promises to allow smaller, lower-powered modems, which will be vital for the kind of embedded modules needed, and is where Intel comes in.

“We are excited to collaborate with two leading network vendors, Ericsson and Nokia, on the next wave of wireless innovation to connect the growing IoT market segment, and to further grow the momentum for Intel’s LTE portfolio and roadmap with NB-LTE,” said Stefan Wolff, VP of the Platform Engineering Group and GM of the Multi-Comms Business Unit at Intel.

“Cellular networks already cover 90 percent of the world’s population so it makes sense to leverage this global footprint to support and drive IoT adoption through the standardization of Narrow-Band LTE,” said Thomas Norén, Head of Product Management, Business Unit Radio at Ericsson. “Working with Intel and Nokia, Ericsson is driving the ecosystem to accelerate IoT growth and ensuring a global foundation for a vast range of new IoT applications for consumers, industry and government.”

“We believe in building an ecosystem around NB-LTE to speed up the takeup of the Internet of Things,” said Stephan Litjens, VP of Portfolio Strategy & Analytics at Nokia. “This development will bring consumers benefits, such as enhanced and improved connectivity of devices and at lower cost.”

This marks yet another move in the great IoT land grab with providers of wireless technology, platforms, components and devices all jostling to be associated with what they hope will be the default IoT standards when the dust settles. Huawei has already announced its support for ‘cellular IoT’ and moves such as this seem to be as much expressions of strength and influence as simple R&D partnerships.

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One comment

  1. Avatar mectors 14/09/2015 @ 4:28 pm

    It would be great if Nokia, Intel, Ericsson or Huawei could distribute an open source reference implementation of any proposed low power LTE standard. This way others could create applications and devices on top. What the world does not need is another proprietary telecom standard that promises to revolutionize the world and does not find any adoption.

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