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IoT @ MWC 2018 Day 2: NB IoT Prominent, More Go-to-Market IoT Partnerships, 5G Trials and Connected Lamborghinis!

by Gina Luk | Feb 27, 2018

Strategy Analytics has a large team of analysts across IoT, Smartphones, Drones, Robots, Tablets, Wearables, Components, Smart home and connected cars in attendance. Too meet or follow-up with our IoT analysts, please get in touch here

Mobile World Congress (MWC 2018) is the biggest show on the Mobile and Smart Connected Ecosystem that is taking place Barcelona, from Feb 26 to Mar 1, 2018. With in excess of 100,000 attendees expected for the third year in a row, MWC 2018 is an event of massive scope that brings together – from all corners of the globe – all major players in the mobility space.
MWC 18

Source: Strategy Analytics

As we highlighted on Day 1, network rollouts were a key theme at MWC 2018, with the GSMA announcing that to date, 23 mobile operators have commercially launched 41 Mobile IoT networks worldwide, across both NB-IoT and LTE-Cat M.

NB-IoT was the central IoT theme on Day 2, but there is still no answer or agreement from leading carriers on the applicability and coexistence of Cat M1/M2 and NB IoT! Panellists at the 6th Mobile IoT Summit covered mobile IoT. Cheng Zhu, president of the Huawei cellular IoT product line highlighted that 2018 will see a “big bang” moment for networks based on narrowband-IoT (NB-IoT), with the number increasing to 100 from 28 in 2017 and the number of ecosystem partners tripling to more than 3,000. Panellists agreed that much more still has to be done to ensure that existing challenges with regard to cost, roaming, scalability, the simplification of services and devices, and security aspects. The panel stipulated that NB-IoT and LTE-M are not in competition with each other and are both required because they serve different use cases-although Strategy Analytics believes that as both technologies serve low power use cases, this is a very ambiguous statement!

According to Lory Thorpe, head of innovation and prototyping at Vodafone Group “We don’t see them converging. There is still a lot of work to be done in understanding how these technologies can work in the most optimised manner”

NB IoT got a boost as Ericsson was selected by Far EasTone (FET) to enable it to offer Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity services globally to enterprises. Ericsson’s global IoT Connectivity Management is based on its Device Connection Platform, and part of Ericsson’s IoT Accelerator platform. FET forecasts three million NB-IoT connected devices in Taiwan by the end of 2019. Access to Ericsson’s global cloud service will open up domestic and international IoT business opportunities for FET’s Enterprise IoT customers. As the first operator providing NB-IoT commercial service in Taiwan, FET began rolling out the NB-IoT network in November 2017.

Earlier, Sequans announced it had introduced Monarch N, an NB-IoT platform designed and optimized for pure NB-IoT operation to enable massive IoT deployment. Monarch N is a single-chip LTE Cat NB1/NB2 platform, compliant with 3GPP release 14/15 of the LTE Advanced Pro standard. Monarch N is highly integrated and includes all primary functions in a small chip scale package (CSP), enabling modules smaller than 10 x 10 mm.

G+D highlighted the need to secure the emerging NB IoT standard, introducing a data security solution, which provides secure end-to-end NB-IoT data protection that is independent of network security mechanisms or additional cryptographic hardware that would raise the bill-of-material (BOM) of cost-sensitive IoT devices.

It seems that every year there are announcements between Chinese Service Providers and Western Service Providers, designed to be mutually beneficial to both parties. 2018 is no different, with Vodafone and China Mobile announcing that they have joined forces to resell each other’s services for the first time.

Under a new agreement each company will share new IoT project opportunities. Vodafone customers will be given access to China Mobile IoT SIMS for deployments in China, and China Mobile customers wanting to offer IoT-enabled products outside of China will use Vodafone’s Global IoT SIM and management platform.

Vodafone will manage all elements of the operational model for its customers including on-boarding, SIM and logistics as well as billing and support. The company will effectively act as a single China Mobile will discuss the possibility for IoT sales opportunities with Vodafone for companies wanting to expand outside of China.

Telenor Group and Cisco announced they have signed a Joint Purpose Agreement (JPA) to collaborate on enhancing end customer experiences with data analysis, IoT, Smart City, and security solutions. Telenor Group will utilize Cisco’s data platform, Cisco Kinetic, to extract, compute, and move data from connected things to various applications – exploring potential business benefits

MWC 5G Drone

Source: Strategy Analytics

More 5G trials were announced, touching on IoT applications. China Mobile plans to start large-scale 5G trials in the second quarter across 17 cities, with 11 types of services and applications such as 4K live streaming, mobile telemedicine and connected drones.

Liu Guangyi, CTO of the wireless department at China Mobile Research, said that to hit the government’s target of having 5G commercial launches in China by 2020, the industry needs to focus on completing standards and not just introducing new features and developing mature products, by moving quickly to field trials. He noted that since 5G is not just the business of the mobile industry but also the business of industry verticals, “let’s work together to try to create a cross-industry ecosystem”.

The chief executive of Huawei said the pace of commercialisation for 5G wireless network is picking up as the Chinese telecom equipment maker has begun pre-commercial development with more than 30 network operators. Huawei is conducting pre-commercial 5G trials in many of the world’s biggest cities, including Seoul, Tokyo, London, Milan and Vancouver.

Finally, we can all dust off our Lamborghinis, now that Vodafone has become Automobili Lamborghini’s global connected car partner, giving the Automaker in-car connectivity services from 2019 across 190 countries.

Be sure to check back here tomorrow for highlights of Day 3 from the Strategy Analytics IoT Team at Mobile World Congress 2018.

Previous Post: IoT @ MWC 2018 Day 1: Network Roll-outs, eSIM, Smart Home Gets a (Security) Boost, Commercial Partnerships and Samsung is everywhere! | Next Post: IoT @ MWC 2018 Day 3: Geolocation, Remote worker safety, Connected Commercial Washing Machines and 4G on the Moon!

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