IPv6 and IoT News

T-Mobile US launches NB-IoT network

By Zenobia Hegde

T-Mobile US is laying claim to a narrowband Internet of Things first, with the official launch of a new narrowband IoT network that operates in guard bands. The carrier said that its service is the first NB-IoT network in the U.S. and the first one in the world that leverages guard bands, which are narrow slices of unused spectrum meant to separate frequency ranges and prevent interference.

“By lighting up NB-IoT in the guard bands – the network equivalent of driving down the shoulders on the highway – T-Mobile can utilise precious spectrum resources most efficiently, and IoT applications don’t have to compete with other data traffic for network resources,” the carrier said in its announcement.

Verizon has said that it plans to launch an NB-IoT network by the end of this year; the operator already offers LTE-M services. Last month, AT&T said that it plans to launch an NB-IoT network in the U.S. in early 2019 and Mexico in late 2019, to complement its existing LTE-M networks in those countries.

T-Mobile US tested NB-IoT last year and announced aggressive pricing for the service earlier this year, offering NB-IoT connectivity at $6 (€5.14) per device for a year, for up to 12 MB of data. T-Mo said that it worked with vendors Ericsson, Nokia and Qualcomm Technologies to deploy the NB-IoT network, and that it already has several Qualcomm NB-IoT modules certified for use on the newly available network.

When AT&T outlined its NB-IoT plans last month, it talked about deploying NB-IoT through software upgrades and said that both its LTE-M and NB-IoT services “will operate alongside our 4G LTE network and within our mobile 5G network.” AT&T is planning for 5G launches in parts of Dallas and Waco, Texas and Atlanta, Georgia later this year.

In its recent State of Mobile 2018 report, CTIA said that in the first quarter of 2018, 90% of operators’ new net additions came from areas like connected cars and IoT. CTIA said that connections for “data-only devices,” which it considered IoT devices, grew 19.5% from 2016 to 2017.

The GSMA published a report in May on IoT and said that NB-IoT and LTE-M “will be fundamental to the development of massive IoT and in supporting and complementing 5G’s myriad use cases and applications.” According to the GSMA, two dozen mobile operators around the world have commercially launched 48 mobile IoT networks using either NB-IoT or LTE-M.

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IDG Contributor Network: What’s so special about 5G and IoT?

By Zach Supalla

The hype around 5G and its relation to the IoT (Internet of Things) industry has been growing exponentially since its initial launch in 2012. So far, numerous telecoms have promised that 5G will be the next-generation mobile network that provides everything from superfast bandwidth speeds, to ultra-low latency, to ten-times the geographic coverage.

However, the attempts to decode what all this means for product creators and enterprises who have some investment in 5G and IoT typically lacks real substance and clarity. While 5G networks may fundamentally transform mobile cellular networks, they are still in early deployment stages despite the just-around-the-corner narrative that is being spread.

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KT uses IoT, big data analytics to monitor and analyse air quality in south Korea

By Zenobia Hegde

Korean telecom operators KT has been using technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and big data analytics to monitor and analyse air quality 24 hours a day, with the aim of contributing to government-led efforts to reduce fine dust levels, Korean press reported.

In September 2017, KT launched its “Air Map Korea” project, to collect air quality data by installing monitors at its nationwide infrastructure including 4.5 million telephone poles, 330,000 mobile base stations, 60,000 public phone booths, and 4,000 central offices in Korea. During the first phase of the project, KT installed air quality monitors at its 1,500 main telecom service stations in major cities, including Seoul.

The Korean telco operates the observation network through an integrated fine dust control center at the KT Intelligent Network Support (INS) unit in the city of Gwacheon. Through this monitoring center, the telco can check for errors or failures in the observation network. Once the control center detects the failure, technicians are sent immediately to the location.

KT’s observation desk collects a wide range of information such as fine dust levels, temperature, noise levels and humidity. Once collected, this information is transmitted to the company’s “Air Map Platform” every minute, and the control center manages such information in real time.

KT also said big data analytics is used to manage fine dust levels as it analyses the volume of traffic as well as the locations of facilities that emit sources of air pollutants. The telco highlighted that this technology can also be used to see if policies designed to reduce fine dust levels are being effective.

Several local governments and national government agencies are already using KT’s Air Map Korea big data analytics for their relevant policies. The telco also said that it plans to develop a mobile phone app during this year to share fine dust information with other mobile users. Earlier this year, KT confirmed plans to launch its commercial 5G network by March 2019.

The country’s second largest telco had previously completed a 5G trial during the Winter Olympics Games, which took place in the city of PyeongChang from February 9-25. During the PyeongChang Games, KT Corp. provided five 5G-driven visual technologies — sync view, interactive time slice, 360-degree virtual reality live broadcasting, omni-point view and a 5G-connected bus.

During a keynote presentation at Qualcomm’s 4G/5G Summit, which took place in Hong Kong in October 2017, KT’s SVP of Network Strategy YongGyoo Lee, said that the telco’s 5G deployment plans initially stipulate the use of 28 GHz spectrum for urban hot spots and 3.5 GHz band for urban and rural areas. Through the utilisation of these frequencies, KT will be in a position to cover a wide range of use cases such as smart cities, 4K/8K cameras, remote medical services, drones, smart factories and public safety, the executive said.

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