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GSMA Mobile IoT Initiative Takes Off

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chike onwuegbuchi

The GSMA has announced that its Mobile IoT Initiative1 has taken off with the launch of multiple commercial rollouts of Low Power, Wide Area (LPWA) solutions by several of the world’s leading mobile operators including AT&T, China Mobile, China Unicom, China Telecom, Deutsche Telekom (DT), Verizon and Vodafone. China Mobile and China Unicom have launched NB-IoT across several key cities with China Telecom launching NB-IoT networks across the country.

Vodafone has also launched NB-IoT in Spain and the Netherlands. DT 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. In addition to these deployments, the GSMA also announced that its Mobile IoT Innovators programme, which is designed to encourage the development of new LPWA solutions, has reached over 500 members, underscoring the growth of the wider IoT ecosystem. 

“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,” commented Alex Sinclair, Chief Technology Officer, 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.”

Mobile operators are enhancing their licensed cellular networks with NB-IoT and LTE-M technologies, which utilise globally agreed 3GPP standards to scale the Internet of Things. These new Mobile IoT networks are designed to support mass-market IoT applications such as smart meters, environmental sensors and consumer electronics, that are low cost, use low data rates, require long battery lives and often operate in remote locations. Both technologies will be further evolved in 3GPP’s Release 15.

Mobile IoT for Social Good
At the GSMA Innovation City, located in the Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC) in Hall W3 at Mobile World Congress Shanghai, the GSMA will demonstrate how Mobile IoT technologies are supporting the mobile industry’s leadership role in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. China Telecom will demonstrate how its environmental monitoring service is helping to keep air quality high and water supplies pure with big data analysis as well as emergency response services (SDG 13: Climate Action). The GSMA will also showcase how Mobile IoT networks are helping the St Andrew’s University Sea Mammal Research Unit to monitor harbour seals and preserve life underwater (SDG 14: Life Below Water). Other demos will include a connected bike, which utilises an NB-IoT network to improve the operation of bike hire schemes, as well as a connected smart waste bin for improved refuse collection from China Unicom. China Mobile will also demonstrate its OneNET platform that can be used for different IoT services such as smart homes, wearable devices or connected cars.

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