2019 IoT World: Verizon’s Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) Network now covers 92% of U.S.

Verizon announced yesterday that its NB-IoT network is now available coast-to-coast covering more than 92% of the U.S. population. NB-IoT focuses on applications needing data rates below 100K bits/sec which makes it ideal for solutions that aren’t designed to be always mobile such as alarm panels, environmental sensors, industrial appliances, factory equipment and parking meters.

NB-IoT is specifically designed for IoT applications that could benefit from access to lower cost chipsets, superior coverage and significantly prolonged battery life. The NB-IoT Network provides the ability to manage both IP and non-IP data traffic. This ability to handle non-IP data traffic allows for the creation of much simpler and more cost-effective IoT devices which are ideal for solutions that aren’t designed to be always mobile such as alarm panels, environmental sensors, industrial appliances, factory equipment and parking meters.

Other viable use cases for NB-IoT include:

  • Smart cities – improve citizen experience and municipal operations through parking sensors, waste management and smart lighting.
  • Smart buildings – enhance building safety and incident response times through connected smoke detectors including regular auto-test, battery check and real-time alerts to the relevant parties in case of fire.
  • Industrial – improved machinery maintenance cycles and factory safety through machinery control such as equipment status, factory control, and process and safety monitoring.
  • Environment monitoring – increase focus on environmental responsibility through status reporting of manhole covers, fire hydrants and chemical emission levels.
  • Agricultural – improve efficiency in the agricultural industry with livestock tracker, connected greenhouse, stationary tracking and monitoring of air quality, humidity, moisture, temperature, and weather conditions of air and soil.
  • Asset Tracking – improve efficiency and decrease costs by using pallet tracking and geo-fencing.
  • Utilities – improve efficiency and decrease waste by using gas and water metering, including smart meter consumption tracking and pipeline monitoring.

Verizon has partnered with chipset and module manufacturers for its NB-IoT network. The carrier said three module makers – Telit, SIM-COM and Quectel, are in the final stages of testing modules, and will be available for use in IoT development on the new network.

NB-IoT adds another connection option for businesses:

Verizon maintains a strong leadership position in IoT technology and solutions with a history of providing customers with many options to meet their needs including nationwide deployment of 4G LTE, LTE Cat 1, and LTE Cat M1 networks. While CAT-M1 targets a wide range of applications for business customers such as wearables, fleet and asset management, NB-IoT focuses on applications needing data rates below 100 kbps. NB-IoT technology occupies a dedicated frequency of 180 kHz bandwidth designated for IoT applications which does not share spectrum resources with commercial smartphone traffic.

“We have engineered our NB-IoT network in the Guard Band of our spectrum. By using the more complex Guard Band solution for our Narrow Band IoT Network, we are demonstrating very efficient use of spectrum assets while giving customers the breadth of options they need to best meet their needs. This strategic use of spectrum is one of the many variables that has resulted in Verizon’s continued performance superiority and strong capital management over the years,” said Bill Stone, Vice President of Technology Development and Planning at Verizon.

During his IoT World Tuesday keynote speech, Shamik Basu, Director of IoT Products at Verizon, said that massive IoT sensor networks could be deployed today using Verizon’s NB-IoT or LTE-M networks.  “They make critical infrastructure intelligent….NB-IoT and LTE-M will co-exist in some networks (i.e. the IoT device module supports both as does the wireless base station).  You don’t need gateways to deploy massive sensor networks today.”

Verizon is ready to support developers and manage commercial traffic:

Verizon continues to expand its already robust ecosystem of partners to help develop, bring to market, connect and manage IoT solutions. Verizon has partnered with leading chipset and module manufacturers so that IoT makers can immediately start working towards building their devices for the Verizon NB-IoT network. Three module manufacturers in final stages of testing – Telit, SIM-COM and Quectel – have modules on Verizon’s Network which are ready to be used in development efforts. Additionally, customers will be able to manage their connections securely using the integrated ThingSpace platform that supports connectivity management, location and device security.

Verizon has announced an initial NB-IoT Standard Price Plan, offering 50 KB of data with a $1.00 monthly access fee per device. The data allowance can be shared with other NB-IoT devices on the same price plan and on the same account.

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Verizon at IoT World 2019, Santa Clara, CA:  Booth 510

Verizon’s NB IoT demo, permits conference attendees to experience Verizon’s NB IoT network in action.

At Verizon’s 5G for enterprise demo, conference attendees will explore the possibilities that will result from the ultra-low latency and massively scalable characteristics of the Verizon’s 5G technology.

Mixed reality developer Arvizio will be on hand demonstrating their MR Studio mixed reality platform for XR experiences on Microsoft HoloLens. Arvizio has converged Verizon’s ThingSpace IoT platform and augmented/mixed reality technologies to transform how businesses connect and use the data flow from IoT devices.

At the ThingSpace Ready demo, conference attendees will learn about ThingSpace Ready, Verizon’s IoT Accelerator program, which enables easier IoT onboarding with Verizon. We curated partnerships with design houses, system integrators, module/modem providers, and SIM manufacturers, so OEMs (device makers) get easy access to the hardware and solutions needed to create the next generation of IoT devices, all with upfront and transparent pricing.

At the ThingSpace Manage demo, conference attendees will learn how Verizon’s ThingSpace Manage platform will enable customers to provision, monitor, diagnose and control their IoT devices using connectivity APIs, as well as value-added microservices. The exhibit will demonstrate key capabilities on the ThingSpace Manage Portal such as device activation, network diagnostics, and coarse location. A demonstration of SIM-secure will also showcase how Verizon can help protect devices if the SIM are removed.

At the Critical Asset Sensor demo, conference attendees will experience how Verizon made it simple for customers using public clouds to get the data they need to drive their businesses. Critical Asset Sensor is an Edge to Enterprise solution with 7 sensors, GPS, LTE-M connectivity, and the ThingSpace platform with APIs to consume data into Amazon Web Services or any other cloud platform that drives your business.

Deploying IoT Massive Sensor Networks:

In his IoT World keynote, Mr. Basu suggested that companies deploying IoT massive sensor networks match the technology to their needs.  Those needs might include:  long battery life (10+ years), long range (network) coverage, ubiquitous, low improvement cost, security, reliability/availability, and longevity.  Putting a NB-IoT interface in a sensor module facilitates data collection in real time which can then be tabulated and analyzed at the edge or in the cloud.

Shamik recommended Verizon’s ThingSpace to manage a rich suite of services for IoT.  Companies can then monetize their IoT solutions and use public clouds, like Amazon Web Services (AWS).  By pre-integrating software on development kits pre-approved by Verizon and Amazon, developers have all the key building blocks to create an IoT solution out of the box. AWS’s reliability and scalability make it an ideal foundation for your solution.

The ThingSpace Cloud Connectors program allows you to build a powerful IoT solution by combining your AWS solution, the Verizon network and ThingSpace device lifecycle management tools.

Conclusions:

In summary, NB-IoT combined with Verizon’s ThingSpace IoT accelerator/ management platform, new pricing and rich ecosystem of partners who have modules ready for development, enterprise customers have the ability to bring unique NB-IoT solutions to market quickly.

 

References:

https://www.verizon.com/about/news/verizon-extends-iot-leadership

https://thingspace.verizon.com/partners/aws/

Narrowband – Internet of Things (NB-IoT)

4 thoughts on “2019 IoT World: Verizon’s Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) Network now covers 92% of U.S.

  1. Verizon is following T-Mobile and AT&T in deploying a NB-IoT nationwide network. T-Mobile and AT&T launched their networks in 2018 and 2019 respectively.

    All three operators opted to use guard band spectrum, meaning the NB-IoT networks don’t share spectrum with smartphone traffic. Guard bands are gaps of spectrum left between radio frequencies to prevent interference.

    In a statement, Verizon VP of technology development and planning Bill Stone said the decision to use guard band airwaves was a “strategic” move to make the most efficient use of its spectrum assets.

    An initial NB-IoT tariff will offer 50KB of data for $1 per month/device. The data allowance will be sharable with other devices on an account which use the same price plan.

  2. U.S. Carrier Comparison: T-Mobile launched its NB-IoT network last July. AT&T’s NB-IoT network went live two weeks ago. Sprint said it is testing NB-IoT technology, but it plans to merge with T-Mobile in the not-too-distant future so may not roll out its own offering.
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………
    The “Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) Chipset Market by Device (Smart Meters, Smart Parking, Smart Street lighting), Deployment Type, Vertical and Region – Global Forecast to 2024” report by ResearchAndMarkets.com

    The NB-IoT chipset market is expected to grow from USD 272 million in 2019 to USD 2,002 million by 2024 at a CAGR of 49.1%.

    Growing adoption of IoT and an increase in the use of connected devices, and rising demand for low-power, low-cost, and long-range connectivity technologies are the key drivers for the growth of this market. Increasing participation of industry players in the development of NB-IoT and widening applications of NB-IoT technology are the other factors fueling the growth of this market. However, stiff competition from other LPWA technologies, and privacy and security concerns are among the major factors restraining the growth of the NB-IoT chipset market.

    Stand-alone deployment to witness highest CAGR in market during forecast period

    In the stand-alone deployment type, NB-IoT is deployed in a dedicated frequency band. The stand-alone deployment type utilizes new bandwidth instead of sharing the existing LTE bandwidth. It is considered as an option when LTE is deployed in a higher band and GSM is still in use to provide coverage for basic services. Moreover, with the growth in the number of NB-IoT-connected devices, the standalone deployment technique, utilizing new bandwidth, is likely to be used.

    Smart Meters to hold largest market followed by smart parking in NB-IoT chipset market

    The growing adoption of water, gas, and electricity smart meters; and favorable government reforms are boosting the implementation of smart meters across the world. Moreover, the demand for long battery life, and low and intermittent data transmission have fueled the adoption of NB-IoT technology for smart metering devices. Moreover, increasing adoption of NB-IoT technology for smart parking application is accelerating its market growth. For instance, in January 2018, Deutsche Telekom (Germany) started deployment of NB-IoT-enabled devices to improve the smart parking system across Hamburg. The company plans to roll-out 11,000 sensors by the end of 2019.

    Energy & utilities to hold largest market size during forecast period followed by infrastructure

    Energy and utilities is expected to hold the largest size of NB-IoT chipset market based on vertical during the forecast period. Massive adoption of NB-IoT-enabled smart meters is driving the growth of this market. Favorable federal mandates in various countries are further driving the growth of the NB-IoT-enabled smart meters. Moreover, IoT applications such as smart parking and smart streetlights, and industry trends such as smart city spread across the world are driving the growth of the NB-IoT chipset market for the infrastructure vertical.

    North America to witness highest CAGR in overall market from 2018 to 2024

    Growing adoption of NB-IoT technology in the region and developed IT infrastructure is expected to boost the growth of this market in this region. Moreover, established LTE-M network and availability of dual-mode NB-IoT chipsets offering CAT-M1 and CAT-NB1/NB2 connectivity are expected to complement the growth of NB-IoT chipsets in the region. Verizon (US), T-Mobile (US), AT&T (US), and Bell Canada (Canada) are expected to be the key NB-IoT services providers in the region. Furthermore, increasing participation of key industry players such as Qualcomm (US) and Nordic Semiconductor (Norway) to build dual-mode-only chipsets is expected to complement the growth of NB-IoT in Europe and North America.

    https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/the-global-narrowband-iot-nb-iot-chipset-market-is-projected-to-grow-from-271-8-million-in-2019-to-2-billion-by-2024—-stand-alone-deployment-to-witness-the-highest-cagr-300848046.html

  3. As noted in previous comment, T-Mobile was 1st to have a U.S. nationwide NB-IoT network:

    https://iot.t-mobile.com/narrowband/

    https://iot.t-mobile.com/wp-content/themes/T-Mobile/device_images/pdf_download/Whitepaper_NarrowBand_IoT_March2019.pdf
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    The technical performance of NB-IoT devices are influenced by three factors:
    1. Coverage condition: Where is the device located? (E.g., deep within a building, underground, etc.) The answer indicates whether CE level 0, 1, or 2 is required.

    2. Traffic profile: How often should the IoT device send data to the server? How large is the average uplink and downlink traffic payload?

    3. Battery lifetime: How long should the battery be able to power the device without maintenance? What type of battery is required?

    These factors are interdependent and, depending on which of them is the most important for an application, users have to accept concessions on the others. For example, an IoT device located deep within the basement of a building (assuming CE level 2) that needs to send numerous messages per hour will likely consume more power, resulting in shorter battery life.

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