Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

T-Mobile rolls out NB-IoT across USA

Steve Rogerson
July 26, 2018



T-Mobile has launched its narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) service across the USA. It claims to be the first to launch NB-IoT in the USA and the first in the world to launch NB-IoT in the guard bands to increase efficiency.
 
The company has also announced a partner programme, T-Mobile Connect, to help IoT providers collaborate and bring their products and services to market on T-Mobile’s network – and into the hands of users – more quickly.
 
“We’re always innovating to bring customers the latest technology, and NB-IoT is the globally-preferred standard to power the rapidly expanding world of IoT applications,” said Neville Ray, chief technology officer at T-Mobile. “So, of course, T-Mobile is the first to bring NB-IoT to the USA, lighting up new capabilities to connect massive numbers of devices at low cost.”
 
Built on the 3GPP standard, NB-IoT is a low-power wide area network (LPWAN) LTE-A technology that provides a pathway to 5G IoT and offers benefits such as low power usage, long battery life and low device cost. T-Mobile was also first to trial NB-IoT in the USA last year.
 
By lighting up NB-IoT in the guard bands – the network equivalent of driving down the shoulders on the highway – T-Mobile can use spectrum resources most efficiently, and IoT applications don’t have to compete with other data traffic for network resources. T-Mobile worked with Ericsson, Nokia and Qualcomm Technologies to deploy NB-IoT nationwide, laying the foundation for the 5G future and giving partners and users peace of mind that their services are future proof.
 
NB-IoT suits smart applications that can track high value assets, optimise use of equipment in the field, and help ensure safety and compliance in fleet management, waste management, energy utility monitoring and other industrial sectors. In addition to reducing costs and improving efficiency, companies are building IoT products that have the potential to alleviate traffic congestion, improve food safety and more.
 
Unveiled earlier this year, T-Mobile’s NB-IoT plan costs $6 a year for up to 12Mbyte per connected device, and several NB-IoT modules based on Qualcomm’s MDM9206 LTE IoT modem are certified for use on T-Mobile’s network. For applications that require more bandwidth and voice, T-Mobile also offers Cat-1 IoT access packs. In addition, the T-Mobile Connect programme could help IoT providers accelerate the development and commercialisation of their products and services.