GSMA launches Mobile IoT Initiative – yay!

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The GSMA has announced its Mobile IoT Initiative is now officially up and running, with the the world’s operators grateful to finally have someone telling them how to do IoT.

Next year you can expect Christmas to come early with IoTvent Calendars to be doing the rounds, connected stockings to hang above your router and a fibre wreath to pin to your front door. Can you wait? The excitement is practically oozing out onto the floor over here. We’ve always said that there isn’t enough to celebrate in the middle of the year, but the GSMA have only gone and done it.

Alongside the bombshell dropped by the GSMA, a number of other operators have also launched their own commercial services in line with standards define by 3GPP. Some of the names used by the GSMA to beef up SEO include AT&T, China Mobile, China Unicom, China Telecom, Deutsche Telekom, Verizon and Vodafone.

“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,” said Alex Sinclair, CTO at the 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.”

The Mobile IoT Initiative is essentially the GSMA’s go at supporting the delivery of commercial LPWA solutions in licensed spectrum. It is currently backed by 74 mobile operators, device manufacturers and chipset, module and infrastructure companies.

While there are many countries around the world who are vying for the title of leader in the IoT world, China has jumped to perhaps an unsurprising lead. China is set to be one of the leading LPWAN markets, accounting for a significant proportion of the total connections. China Mobile has launched NB-IoT networks in several key cities including Yingtan, while China Unicom has rolled-out NB-IoT networks in Shanghai. China Telecom has decided to go all-in with the launch of a nationwide NB-IoT network.

Interestingly enough, it’s not just taking advantage of a monumental population either. Of the 546 global companies currently developing new solutions as a part of the GSMA’s Mobile IoT Innovator community, 215 are Chinese. Although most people would deny believing it, there does still seem to be a stigma associated with Chinese technology (i.e. mass produced/cheaper/of lower quality), though should statistics like this continue to appear, it might not be long before this perception is made redundant.

Elsewhere in the world, Vodafone has launched NB-IoT in Spain and the Netherlands. Deutsche Telekom 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, Orange continues to put a lot of support behind LoRa, and Sigfox still seems to be going strong.

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