T-Mobile US has launched world’s first official NB-IoT network that operates in guard bands. “By lighting up NB-IoT in the guard bands – T-Mobile can utilize precious spectrum resources most efficiently, and IoT applications don’t have to compete with other data traffic for network resources.
T-Mobile has several Qualcomm NB-IoT modules certified for use. It is likely to price connectivity at $6 per device for a year, for up to 12 MB of data.
Verizon has said that it plans to launch an NB-IoT network by the end of this year; the operator already offers LTE-M services. Last month, AT&T said that it plans to launch an NB-IoT network in the U.S. in early 2019 and Mexico in late 2019, to complement its existing LTE-M networks in those countries.
AT&T will be deploying NB-IoT through software upgrades and both its LTE-M and NB-IoT services “will operate alongside 4G LTE network and also within mobile 5G network.” AT&T is planning for 5G launches in about 12 cities later this year.
According to the GSMA May 2018 report, NB-IoT and LTE-M “will be fundamental to the development of massive IoT. and in supporting and complementing 5G’s myriad use cases and applications.” About two dozen mobile operators around the world have commercially launched 48 mobile IoT networks using either NB-IoT or LTE-M.
According to CITA recent State of Mobile 2018 report, in the first quarter of 2018, 90% of operators’ new net additions came from areas like connected cars and IoT. Connections for “data-only devices,” /IoT devices, grew 19.5% from 2016 to 2017.