TIM teams with Huawei to accelerate NB-IoT technology development

BARCELONA, Spain -- TIM and Huawei announced plans to jointly develop narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) technologies on the eve of the opening of Mobile World Congress.

The Italian operator will join forces with Huawei to help grow the NB-IoT market by conducting field trials of the technology with partners from vertical industries. The trials will boost the deployment of NB-IoT technologies and improve overall effectiveness, TIM stated.

Gabriela Styf Sjoman, head of TIM's Engineering and TILab, said the collaboration with Huawei "will accelerate the international standardisation and will stimulate industrial synergies with other partners, anticipating the design of innovative solutions and services."

In a statement announcing the partnership, TIM said NB-IoT technology will deliver low power consumption, better coverage and the possibility of connecting an even greater numbers of objects. The operator also argued that NB-IoT will be an important step in the evolution of 4G networks to 5G networks.

Chaobin Yang, CMO of Huawei's Wireless Network Product Line, said the mobile industry is now entering the era of 4.5G, and that the IoT will be one of the main innovations resulting from that shift.

"The NB-IoT technology will allow operators to offer IoT applications in a fast and competitive way anticipating a new innovation phase. This cooperation will accelerate the NB-IoT commercialization progress and application in…vertical industries."

Machina Research last month predicted that 2016 would see a shake out of technologies including NB-IoT, which it classes as one of several options in low power, wide area (LPWA) networks. Other technologies in the space include LoRA, Sigfox and LTE-M.  The company predicts that just two major technologies will prevail by the year-end.

Huawei in December claimed to have sent the industry's first pre-standard NB-IoT message across a commercial mobile network, as part of a collaboration with Vodafone Group and u-blox.

For more:
- see this TIM announcement

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Machina Research: 'At least one' major LPWA technology to fall by wayside in 2016
Vodafone, Huawei claim to have sent first pre-standard NB-IoT message
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