NB-IOT, Accelerating Cellular IOT


Cellular-based Internet of Things (IoT) technologies have become an important branch of Internet of Everything (IoE). Based on existing wireless networks, NB-IOT provides better network coverage for thing-to-thing communications, supports more connections, and lowers power consumption. Therefore, NB-IOT meets the application requirements in industrial, public, personal, and home domains. Such applications include smart water/gas metering, municipal light and waste management, livestock breeding and irrigation, and environment monitoring.

Huawei, in collaboration with Vodafone, is currently developing research into narrowband cellular IoT technology since 2014. Together with the participation of Qualcomm, Huawei is able to formulate the related technical standards of uplink and downlink. In 2015, Huawei officially submitted NB-CIOT proposals to the 3GPP. Based on Huawei's proposals, 3GPP has named this technology as NB-IOT on September 2015. The culmination of NB-IOT standard formulation is expected to be completed in 2016.

Meanwhile, Huawei continues to deploy commercial NB-IOT pilots around the world. Huawei and Vodafone successfully completed a joint demonstration of smart metering at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2015 in Barcelona. At MWC Shanghai 2015, Huawei and China Unicom had the privilege of pioneering the world's first experimental pilot introduction of a commercial network-based intelligent parking system for trial with global tier-1 telecom operators.

Huawei provides end-to-end (E2E) NB-IOT solutions, including chips, modules, terminals, network devices, and service management platforms. This supplies optimal support for commercial NB-IOT deployment.

Huawei will officially release the world's first NB-IOT commercial chip at the 2015 Global MBB Forum in Hong Kong.

Currently, 80% of IoT applications require terminals with low power consumption, with an average battery life expectancy reaching10 years. Huawei has proposed PSM and Extend DRX as feasible techniques to prolong and enhance the effectiveness of the technology. The two key techniques allow terminals to enter deep sleep mode in periods with no data transmission. In addition, the traditional discontinuous reception period is extended, significantly reducing terminal power consumption.

Traditional GSM and LTE networks can fulfill only 95% to 99% of outdoor coverage. However, cellular-based IoT has higher coverage requirements. Specifically, the percentage for indoor coverage must be at least 99.5% or higher. Huawei addresses this issue through the enhancement of power spectrum density (PSD) using narrowband technologies. The 16-time retransmission mechanism and Standalone and Guardband spectrum planning modes increase the coverage gains of NB-IOT by 20 dB when compared with those of GSM networks. Favorable coverage performance positions NB-IOT as the preferred technique in the practical application of intelligent metering.

Networks must be able to accommodate a massive number of connections in order to actively respond to future IoT requirements. A classic traffic model based on studies conducted in UK indicates that a single cell serves more than 50,000 connections. NB-IOT's E2E network design meets the requirements of massive connections. As a current case, Huawei will demonstrate intelligent pet tracking demo based on NB-IOT.

Huawei provides Firefly with NB-IOT technical support in the development of intelligent trolley cases and luggage. This type of intelligent trolley case is able to provide NB-IOT-based applications such as intelligent tracking, distance exceeding alarm, electronic lock control, and battery monitoring.

Huawei will launch NB-IOT-based intelligent bicycles with well-established partners in the personal transportation industry. This type of bicycle is capable of location-based anti-theft functionality and support for information report generation and tracking features.