Verizon Boards the NB-IoT Train

Dan Jones
News Analysis
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor

Verizon says it has completed its first NB-IoT data session test and plans to deploy the Internet of Things-focused cellular specification across its LTE network in 2018.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) said Thursday that it used Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) software to test the narrowband cellular tech in 180KHz of spectrum. Unlike consumer LTE, NB-IoT offers an efficient option for hooking up smart sensors and other machine-to-machine applications because it uses very little power for its 200 Kbit/s connections and very little spectrum, which gives devices a battery life that can be measured in years.

T-Mobile was the first carrier to offer commercial NB-IoT services in the US: It launched in Las Vegas in October 2017. (See T-Mobile Rolls Out $6-a-Year NB-IoT Plan.

Like T-Mobile, Verizon likes NB-IoT because it can be deployed in LTE spectrum "guard bands" that sit between LTE channels to prevent interference. Thus the dedicated 180KHz bandwidth for NB-IoT "does not share spectrum resources with commercial smartphone traffic," Verizon noted in a statement.

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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