The NB-IoT forum will bring together all of the industry and ecosystem partners in a way which helps deliver NB-IoT to the market as quickly as possible. The forum will be hosted within an existing industry level organisation.
NB-IoT is the emerging industry solution for deployment of Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) networks using licenced operator spectrum, in-band, guard band and stand-alone deployments, and is expected to have global scale. The new technology is designed to provide deep coverage of hard to reach places, supporting a massive number of low throughput, ultra-low cost devices, with low device power consumption and optimised network architecture.
The NB-IoT forum aims to:
- facilitate demonstrations and proof of concept trials which strengthen the NB-IoT solution to meet LPWA requirements;
- lead partners to build a strong end-to-end industry chain for NB-IoT future growth and development;
- drive and proliferate NB-IoT applications in vertical markets for new business opportunities;
- promote collaboration between all NB-IoT industry partners to ensure interoperability of solutions.
China Mobile, Etisalat, LG Uplus, Shanghai Unicom, Telecom Italia and Vodafone also announce their support for the creation of six new NB-IoT open labs worldwide, which will focus on NB-IoT new service innovation, industry development, interoperability tests and product compliance certification.
It is expected that these labs and others will form a key part of the NB-IoT forum initiative. New use cases and business models will be explored in these open labs, and results will be shared with the whole industry.
Customer pilots using pre-NB-IoT technology are already underway. Pre-commercial deployment is expected during the second half of 2016, with commercial roll-out from early in 2017. The NB-IoT forum and the open labs will help to drive the development of the NB-IoT industry to the next stage.
The detailed scope, format and objectives of the forum will now be worked on, with membership extended to further companies in future.