MediaTek, ZTE release NB-IoT R14 certification for commercial applications to boost NB-IoT progress

MediaTek announced Tuesday initial certification of NB-IoT R14 for commercial applications, indicating that the NB-IoT R14 specification is now ready to enter the large-scale commercial deployment phase.

With the support of ZTE, the two companies jointly finished the high-speed testing of NB-IoT R14 Cat-NB2 specification with uplink/downlink data rates of over 150/100kbps as compared to 60/21kbps of R13. Cat-NB2 is ideal for Firmware Over-The-Air (FOTA), Voice over Message, and other applications that require high data transmission rate with minimum delay.

The uplink and downlink peak rates of the R13 standard can no longer meet the increasing demand for more and more Internet-of-Things applications on the market.

The NB-IoT R14 specification can achieve over 100kbps uplink and downlink peak data rates by using larger transport blocks (2536 bits TBS) and the 2HARQ process. Moreover, the NB-IoT R14 has also been enhanced in terms of mobility, positioning, multicasting, and multi-carrier technologies to further provide better standards and technical support for the development of the Internet-of-Things in a mature industry.

MT2625 comes with a NB-IoT R14 enabled SoC that will enable ultra-low power and cost effective IoT devices for a wealth of applications ranging through home, civic, industrial or mobile use. It’s highly integrated design incorporates an NB-IoT modem DSP, antenna RF and base-band analogue front-end.

Other integral components include an ARM Cortex-M MCU with internal RAM, plus Flash, PSRAM, and a power management unit (PMU). Extensive peripheral I/O extensions include SDIO, UART, I2C, I2S, SPI and PCM. Despite its high functionality, its tiny package size and low pin-count yields cost and size effective designs for many applications, while its highly integrated platform simplifies the product design process for partners.

With a realitime operation system (RTOS) base, it’s customizable for applications such as home automation, cloud beacons, smart metering and many other static or mobile IoT implementations. Its wideband front-end module is designed to support all ultra-low/low/mid bands defined by the 3GPP Rel-14, including up to Quad-band operation, allowing a single design to address worldwide markets, reducing cost and development time.

MT2621 is dual-mode IoT SoC that capable of both NB-IoT R14 and GSM/GPRS connectivity enabling extended coverage, cross-market application with network transition function and phone call applications; such as smart trackers, wearables, IoT security, smart metering and industrial applications. MT2621 is ideal for long-life designs and long-term installations, anticipating future cellular network infrastructure change-over from GSM to NB-IoT.

It is a highly integrated design with complete connectivity platform; a single SIM and antenna covers both cellular networks, with dual standby functionality (SSDS). This allows a single UICC and mobile number for both networks, even while operating simultaneously, saving PCB space, simplifying design, minimizing cost and speeding time-to-market.

The wideband front-end module is designed to support ultra-low/low/mid bands defined by the 3GPP Rel-14, including up to quad-band operation, allowing a single design to address worldwide markets, reducing cost and development time.

MT2621 includes a highly power efficient ARM7 MCU paired with internal Flash and PSRAM that keeps package size and component count to a minimum.

Currently, MediaTek already has two chips that support the NB-IoT R14 specification — the single-mode MT2625 and the GSM+NB-IoT dual-mode MT2621 — with MT2625 entering mass production aimed at commercial applications.

“NB-IoT is a key technology for the Internet-of-Things era,” said Jerry Yu, MediaTek Corporate Vice President and General Manager of the Home Entertainment Business Group. “After completing the preliminary development of the technology and ecosystem, NB-IoT will enter the commercial phase in 2018 with mature products to be introduced for a wide variety of applications. MediaTek has always been at the forefront of NB-IoT — leading the introduction of the highly integrated MT2625 and MT2621 chipsets with NB-IoT R14 support — to go hand-in-hand with China Mobile to create the industry’s smallest NB-IoT module. Today, we have collaborated with ZTE to complete the first NB-IoT R14 commercial certification to push the industry forward. In the future, MediaTek will work closely with operators, base station equipment manufacturers, and terminal manufacturers to promote the commercial applications of NB-IoT and to embrace the Internet-of-Things era.”

MediaTek will showcase wearable devices equipped with both the MT2625 and MT2621 chipsets at ongoing 2018 MWC.

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