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Huawei tells MWC delegates: 2017 is ‘Year of NB-IoT’


February 28, 2017  


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Huawei has predicted that 2017 will be the year of scale commercial rollout for Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) at the annual GSMA Global Mobile IoT Summit, a Mobile World Congress event. With the announcement Huawei also released its NB-IoT Ecosystem Partner List — a document containing information about various industry applications for NB-IoT — and revealed its plans to build 30 commercial NB-IoT networks in 20 countries worldwide by the end of the year.

Huawei says its partner list “compiles a range of market-ready offerings for NB-IoT developed by more than 40 partners spanning 20+ industries. The solutions were developed in collaboration with Huawei as part of its NB-IoT Open Lab initiative, in which Huawei gave support on technical aspects of terminal development, such as antenna selection and battery power saving, conducted performance tests and verifications for wireless terminals, and also provided end-to-end testing.”

Smart water, gas, and electricity meters, streetlights, and parking sensors were some of the solutions to pass these tests which are included in the NB-IoT Ecosystem Partner List

Huawei forecast that it will support the deployment of approximately 30 networks in 20 countries by the end of the year. NB-IoT emerges as the technology of choice for leading operators around the world.

Huawei had performed NB-IoT tests with 18 operators worldwide by the end of 2016, driving NB-IoT maturity in terms of technology, network rollout, and operation and maintenance. 2017 is now in line to be the year of scale commercial NB-IoT. Huawei estimates as many as 50 networks in total around the world by the end of the year including those built by other vendors.

NB-IoT is already used in the water industry in China, Spain, South Africa, Japan, Australia, and elsewhere. The Melbourne-based water utility South East Water plans to modernize its water network using the technology, with applications including smart meters as well as monitoring systems for pipe networks, water sources, and flood drainage.

Philip Johnson, CFO of South East Water, said“” In the world first, South East Water this week deployed fully integrated NB IoT enabled digital meters at customer locations in our region. The ultrasonic meters, which are fitted with pressure, flow and temperature sensors, have been deployed to meet our specific requirements and are connected to our operational and customer system, transmitting data via existing telecommunication towers. The trial includes meters from three vendors, which we are connecting via operator’s networks, working closely with Huawei.”

Quan Yu, chief security officer of Huawei’s wireless product line, said, “After exploring this technology over the last few years, a clear picture has emerged of the place of NB-IoT in the market and the direction in which it is headed,” said Quan Yu, chief security officer of Huawei’s wireless product line.