China Mobile invests $300m in IoT push
China Mobile invests $300m in IoT push

China Mobile invests $300m in IoT push

The world’s largest telco by subscriber numbers, China Mobile, is set to subsidize IoT equipment manufacturers.

Telecoms operator China Mobile is to plough £300 million into subsidizing IoT makers as part of a push to build one of the largest IoT networks in the world.

According to a report in China Daily, half of the money will finance companies making NB-IoT modules, the rest will go to 4G IoT module makers, said Li Yue, president of China Mobile.

The subsidy should make IoT devices cheaper and increase adoption, said Li at the company’s global partners’ conference in Guangzhou, China.

The plan is to increase the country’s total IoT connections to over 320 million. It also aims to create the world’s largest NB-IoT network, covering 346 cities by the end of 2018.

“Narrowband IoT is the latest IoT battlefield that global telecom carriers are scrambling for so they can establish a beachhead,” Xiang Ligang, chief executive of telecom industry website Cctime, told China Daily.

Read more: Ecommerce giant Alibaba opens ‘China’s smartest warehouse’

China 5G IoT test

According to a report published in May, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has urged NB-IoT’s commercial use in industrial IoT and urban public services. It also supports smart factories and the internet of vehicles.

The newspaper also reported that China Mobile had carried out the world’s first end-to-end 5G New Radio technology test in collaboration with ZTE and Qualcomm and is moving closer to commercialization of the technology. The test used ZTE’s 5G NR pre-commercial base stations and Qualcomm Technologies’ 5G NR UE prototype.

The interoperability test was based on the 5G New Radio specifications under development by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP). It was carried out at China Mobile’s 5G Joint Innovation Center. The test also looked at 5G in a car, a drone, and a submarine. It also tested 5G wireless access and virtual reality cloud gaming.

Read more: Ericsson and China Telecom launch open IoT platform