Singapore telco M1 is getting Nokia to install an NB-IoT network atop its 4G one, interestingly with an eye not just to land but to sea.
NB-IoT stands for Narrowband Internet of Things, and is the GSM world’s answer to narrowband technologies such as LoRa and Sigifox that threaten to take away a chunk of their business when the Internet of things does eventually take off. Why use expensive modems and services when you’re just trying to connect devices which want to tell you whether they’re on or off, full or empty, fixed or broken?
Techgoondu reports: “While that network caters to heavy users who stream videos or songs on the go, a separate network that M1 is setting up at the same time is aimed at the smart cars, sensors and even wearables.
They said pricing will likely vary with each solution or package, with some companies saving costs from deploying large amounts of connected sensors. However, others that require the bandwidth, say, to deliver surveillance videos over the air, would likely stick with existing 4G networks.
And while many NB-IoT devices are still on the drawing board – standards for the network were only finalised in June – M1 executives were upbeat about jumping on the bandwagon early.
Alex Tan, the telco’s chief innovation officer, said the technology would open up new business opportunities in the years ahead.”
A press release from M1 says it’s working with the ports authority — Singapore is one of the biggest ports in the world — to “explore the deployment of a network of offshore sensors to augment the situational awareness of our port waters,” according to Andrew Tan, Chief Executive of the Maritime and Port Authority, MPA.
This follows Sigfox’s deployment in the city state last month. It also pips to the post rival Singtel who have been talking since February about running a trial of NB-IoT with Ericsson. (Update: “Our preparation to trial NB-IoT is well underway. We are working with our vendors and industry partners to conduct lab trials in December, with a view to launch an NB-IoT network by mid-2017.”)
Here’s my earlier piece on LoRa.