T-Mobile launched on Thursday its Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) service nationwide. T-Mobile is the initial provider to launch NB-IoT in the U.S. and first in the world to launch NB-IoT in the guard bands for optimal efficiency.
The Un-carrier also announced its new partner program, T-Mobile CONNECT, to help IoT solution providers collaborate and bring their products and services to market on T-Mobile’s network — and into the hands of customers — 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 U.S., 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-Advanced technology that provides a pathway to 5G IoT and offers many comparable benefits like low power usage, long battery life and low device cost. T-Mobile was also first to trial NB-IoT in the U.S. 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 utilize precious spectrum resources 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 nationwide NB-IoT, laying the foundation for the 5G future and giving partners and customers peace of mind that their solutions are future proof.
NB-IoT is ideal for smart applications that can track high value assets, optimize utilization of equipment in the field and help ensure safety and compliance in fleet management, waste management, energy utility monitoring and many other industrial sectors. In addition to reducing costs and improving efficiency, partners are building IoT solutions that have the potential to alleviate traffic congestion, improve food safety and so much more.
Unveiled earlier this year, T-Mobile’s NB-IoT plan costs US$6 a year – one tenth of Verizon’s Cat-M plans – for up to 12 MB per connected device, and several NB-IoT modules based on Qualcomm 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 new T-Mobile CONNECT program will help IoT solution providers accelerate the development and commercialization of their products and solutions.