Skip to main content

Will NB-IoT Survive?

Back in March this year, NTT Docomo announced that they are switching off their NB-IoT network due to not enough demand but will continue to support LTE-M and Cat 1.


This news have started a lot of discussions, as you would expect, about the future of NB-IoT. From the standards point of view, IoT is going ahead full steam with both LTE-M and NB-IoT having been enhanced for 5G in Release-16 to support massive Machine Type Communications (mMTC). This slide from Qualcomm illustrates it well

A recent article from Mobile World Live had a heading, "China Mobile migrates IoT connections off 2G". While reading the article, you would get a feeling that China Mobile will stop supporting the 2G IoT (more like M2M) devices. But again this might not be that straightforward as I explain in this tweet.


China Mobile had 884 million IoT customers at the end of 2019. According to CounterPointTR, some 95 million were on NB-IoT so nearly 750 million+ will be on GSM / 2G. It would take a very long time to migrate these to NB-IoT.


As Matt Hatton from Transforma Insights points out, the technology is good enough but needs a long term business case to be viable.


Tom Rebbeck from Analysys Mason highlights similar points. It is too early to call it quits. Docomo had their reasons for closing down their NB-IoT networks but there are many other operators that still support the technology wholeheartedly and most of them will try their best to make it a success.

Finally, here is another tweet by Tom, highlighting the market for IoT operators. You can also get a report here.


Related Posts:

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Laser Inter-Satellite Links (LISLs) in a Starlink Constellation

When we first talked about Starlink back in 2019 , we saw in the video that the concept involved laser communication to communicate between the satellites. While the initially launched satellites did not have the laser communication mechanism built in, it looks like they are being added to the newer ones.  A report from Fast Company in late 2021 said: One of the next big upgrades in telecom will involve satellites firing lasers at each other—to beam data, not blow stuff up. The upside of replacing traditional radio-frequency communication with lasers, that encode data as pulses of light, can be much like that of deploying fiber-optic cable for terrestrial broadband: much faster speeds and much lower latency. “Laser links in orbit can reduce long-distance latency by as much as 50%, due to higher speed of light in vacuum & shorter path than undersea fiber,” SpaceX founder Elon Musk tweeted in July about the upgrade now beginning for that firm’s Starlink satellite constellation. The

CSI-RS vs SRS Beamforming

In an issue of Signals Flash by Signals Research Group (SRG), they talked about 2 different types of MIMO. Quoting from their journal, "CSI-RS versus SRS. Those operators that have tested or made token use of MU-MIMO leverage a flavor of MU-MIMO that is based on CSI-RS. The MU-MIMO network we tested was based on SRS, which makes it far more likely to observe sixteen spatial layers (versus eight)." I reached out to Emil Bj√∂rnson, Visiting Professor at KTH Royal Institute of Technology and Associate Professor at Link√∂ping University to see if he has explained this in any of his videos. Here is what he said: " I'm not talking about 3GPP terminology in any of my videos. But you can listen to the slides that starts around 12:40 in this video (embedded below) . If you are looking for CSI-RS vs SRS based MU-MIMO, then jump to around 12:40 in this video where you can see CSI-RS being referred to as "grid of beams" and SRS is similar to the other option, which is t

IEEE 802.11be Extremely High Throughput (EHT), a.k.a. Wi-Fi 7

We have been writing about Wi-Fi for a long time, weather it's to do with indoor connectivity , competition with 5G or just a name change to something simpler. When we last wrote about WiFi 6, a.k.a. 802.11ax, we were expecting a quick adoption of the technology in the industry. We are still not there yet.  You know what's strange? None of the new @madebygoogle gadgets from yesterday support Wi-Fi 6. Not the Pixel 5, not the Pixel 4a 5G, not the Nest Audio, and not the new Chromecast. pic.twitter.com/QtJ8iB9FeO — Ry Crist (@rycrist) October 1, 2020 Take for instance the new iPhone 12 supports Wi-Fi 6 in all their models as one would expect but none of the new Google Pixel phones (4a, 4a 5G and 5) support it. In fact none of the new Google devices support it. Which is rather bizarre. While we are still looking forward to Wi-Fi 6 becoming widespread, IEEE has already started working on the successor of 802.11ax, 802.11be - Standard for Information technology--Telecommunicati