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IoT

1NCE doubles NB-IoT footprint

IoT carrier 1NCE, whose backers include Deutsche Telekom and Japan's SoftBank, says it has doubled its international NB-IoT footprint. The company now boasts one of the world's largest NB-IoT coverage maps.

1NCE flagged, too, that its uniform cross-border flat-rate price of $10 (or €10) per IoT sensor is still valid across its entire footprint.

Footprint expansion, courtesy of commercial deals with MNOs, saw NB-IoT availability extended to various countries, including Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Slovak Republic, Sweden, Taiwan and the US.

The company's total IoT cellular network coverage, which also includes 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE-M, now reaches 140 countries. New destinations via 2G, 3G, and 4G include Algeria, Andorra, Bahrain, Benin, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curacao, Gabon, Lebanon, Mauritius, Mozambique, New Caledonia, Suriname, Tajikistan, Togo and Uruguay.


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1NCE clearly thinks that it's onto a good thing. Citing "analysts," the IoT specialist asserts that 80% of IoT projects don't require "broadband speed." This makes NB-IoT, a licensed Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) technology, a "perfect match" as far as 1NCE is concerned.

A weakness of NB-IoT compared to LTE-M, which is also part of the cellular LPWA family, is the inability to track devices on the move without dropping the connection. 1NCE COO Ivo Rook indicated, however, that LTE-M was just as important as NB-IoT. "Our strong focus," he said in prepared remarks, "[is] expanding the availability of NB-IoT and LTE-M for 1NCE's customers."

"The demand for cross-border availability of low power networks is increasing as more companies and cities realize the power that IoT-driven intelligence can have in creating a strong impact in their field," continued Rook. "Network availability without the hassle of multiple vendors is critical for large scale, multinational IoT deployments in every industry."

The 1NCE flat rate per connected device is a one-off upfront payment of $10 (or €10) for ten years, which includes 500MB of data and 250 SMS each year. The company says it has more than 8,500 customers worldwide, and that it handles more than 10 million managed connections.

Closer SoftBank ties

Earlier this month, Japan's SoftBank – already an investor in 1NCE – agreed to exclusive distribution rights across 19 Asia-Pacific markets in exchange for an undisclosed amount of 1NCE equity,

"1NCE is the only company that can deliver true cross-border, future-proof IoT connectivity without uncertainty," asserted Daichi Nozaki, who heads up SoftBank's global business division.

Last September, 1NCE announced $50 million in financing from various investors, including Deutsche Telekom and SoftBank.

— Ken Wieland, contributing editor, special to Light Reading

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