Sensors Working Overtime: T-Mobile NB-IoT Goes Nationwide

Dan Jones
News Analysis
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor

T-Mobile said Thursday that it is the first US carrier to deploy an NB-IoT LTE network nationwide in the US.

The low-power, narrowband network can be used for Internet of Things (IoT) devices like sensors for product tracking, waste management, basically anything where high-data rates, or voice support, isn't required, but which needs to support battery-powered devices that operate for years on one charge.

T-Mobile US Inc. 's CTO, Neville Ray, unveiled the nationwide launch Thursday. NB-IoT requires a software update on the general 4G LTE network:

NB-IoT delivers 200Kbit/s connections in around 180KHz of spectrum. The technology uses the guard bands that separate the channels for standard up-and-down 4G LTE data communications. Ray says that it can enable ten- to 15-year battery life for suitable IoT devices.

T-Mobile was the first major US carrier to deliver NB-IoT in Las Vegas last year. It has also rolled out a $6-a-year plan for the enterprise users of IoT devices. (See T-Mobile's Las Vegas Lessons on NB-IoT and T-Mobile Rolls Out $6-a-Year NB-IoT Plan.)

Verizon Wireless now plans to deploy NB-IoT later this year. AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) has announced plans for 2019. Only Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) has stayed away from NB-IoT so far. (See Verizon Boards the NB-IoT Train and AT&T Buckles Down to Deploy NB-IoT in 2019.)

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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