Industry Trend Analysis - Strong Momentum For NB-IoT Deployment - AUG 2017

BMI View: China is at the forefront of the development of Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN) , with all three mobile operators investing heavily in IoT solutions and deploying NB-IoT networks across the country. Monetisation of NB-IoT will be difficult at first, but strong state support and high demand for new technologies and services will boost demand and spur growth.

Ahead of Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Shanghai (June 28 - July 1 2017), the GSM Association (GSMA) has put the spotlight on its Mobile IoT Initiative, announcing the launches by several global operators of the commercial roll-outs of Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) networks, including AT&T, China Mobile, China Unicom, China Telecom, Deutsche Telecom (DT), Verizon and Vodafone. Alongside these deployments, the GSMA is encouraging the development of new LPWA solutions through its Mobile IoT Innovators programme.

The Internet of Things (IoT) market is being enabled by a number of wireless technologies and narrowband-IoT (NB-IoT) has emerged as one key technology. Standardised by the 2GPP in 2016, it is catching up with other LPWA networks like LTE-M or unlicensed players such Sigfox and LoRa. China is at the forefront of the development of LPWA, and in our opinion, is poised to be a market leader. All three operators, and in particular China Mobile, have invested heavily in network technologies and IoT capabilities, and have or plan to roll out NB-IoT networks:

  • China Mobile Leading The Market
    China - IoT Connections (mn)
    Source: BMI, Operators

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