Huawei and Vodafone to open up NB-IoT lab in a bid to drive IoT standards.
Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) technology got a boost as Huawei and Vodafone said the firms would team up to launch the word’s first research facility dedicated to it.
The NB-IoT Open Lab would test pre-standard NB-IoT technology prior to full standardisation to improve the efficiency of future NB-IoT ecosystems.
The two firms said that NB-IoT would make extend IoT by making it more efficient to connect objects requiring a long battery life and are located in hard to reach areas to the internet by ways of mobile connectivity.
They added that the technology is viewed by the industry as the answer for enterprise applications in a range of different areas, from utility meters, sensor monitoring, to asset-tracking. The first devices connected by NB-IoT technology are expected in late 2016 or early 2017.
“We’re delighted to be partnering with Huawei in the creation of this new Open Lab facility for NB-IoT. As the technology moves towards commercial deployment in early 2017, it’s essential that we start building a strong ecosystem with developers and solution providers,” said Luke Ibbetson, Vodafone Group R&D director and chairman of the NB-IoT Forum.
David Wang, president of wireless product line at Huawei, said: “This agreement builds on Huawei’s existing strong relationships with Vodafone and our joint commitment to lead the development of NB-IoT technology and its eco-system. Having successfully gained industry recognition, we will now continue to work closely with Vodafone to build a joint roadmap for the continuous evolution of the NB-IoT Open Lab to create innovative solutions to build a better connected world.”
The lab will be incorporated into the federation of NB-IoT Open Labs being planned within the GSMA’s NB-IoT Forum at a later stage.
IoT learning continues
Saverio Romeo, principal analyst of Internet of Things as Beecham Research, told Internet of Business that next year would be a “learning-by-doing year with less errors” for IoT.
“The desire of knowledge about IoT platforms, connectivity alternatives, data ownership, data analytics, data visualisation, device design and applications development is growing rapidly,” he said.
“Companies are ready to think of the IoT [not only] as a resource optimisation approach, but as a source of creativity and innovation. However, they are not always well equipped for that in terms of skills and know-how.”
As reported by Internet of Business, Vodafone and Huawei completed commercial trials of NB-IoT last year on Vodafone’s existing network in Spain and then sent the first pre-standard NB-IoT message to a u-blox module installed in a water meter. This trial was the first of its kind to successfully implement narrowband communications using cellular bands.