Executive Summary

Now launched commercially by 36 mobile operators in 33 countries, the Mobile Internet of Things (Mobile IoT) is expanding rapidly with over 60 Commercial networks available globally, a combination of LTE-M and NB-IoT. Operating in licensed spectrum, low power wide area networks can provide low cost, yet secure, connectivity to battery-powered devices in both rural and urban locations. Following successful pilots involving a wide variety of use cases, Mobile IoT connectivity has now been deployed across North America, Latin America, China, South-East Asia, South Africa and in many European countries.

Widespread commercial services

In the U.S., Verizon and AT&T have both upgraded their entire nationwide LTE networks to support commercial LTE-M services, while T-Mobile has deployed NB-IoT nationwide. In Canada, Bell has deployed LTE-M in the Atlantic region with further rollout plans in place. Whilst in Latin America, AT&T has upgraded their LTE network to enable LTE-M in Mexico and TIM Brazil now supports NB-IoT. In Africa, the first Mobile IoT network has been enabled with Vodacom launching NB-IoT in South Africa.

Between them, Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone provide NB-IoT connectivity across much of Europe, including Austria, the Czech Republic, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Spain, Turkey, Slovakia, Greece, Croatia, Poland and the Netherlands. Turkcell has rolled out both NB-IoT and LTE-M across its LTE footprint in Turkey. Telecom Italia has commercially launched NB-IoT, as have Velcom in Belarus and Telia in Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland. DNA and Elisa have also switched on NB-IoT networks Finland. Orange Belgium offers both LTE-M and NB-IoT, while KPN and Vodafone have switched on LTE-M in the Netherlands. Telefonica has launched their first NB-IoT network in Spain as has TDC in Denmark.

In the Asia-Pacific region, Vodafone has deployed NB-IoT in Australia, where Telstra has launched nationwide LTE-M and NB-IoT networks. China Telecom has configured 310,000 base stations now to support NB-IoT, China Mobile has launched NB-IoT networks in several cities (including Hong Kong) and China Unicom has rolled-out NB-IoT in over 300 cities. 3 Hong Kong is also offering NB-IoT. South Korean operators KT Corporation and LG Uplus have both launched nationwide Mobile IoT services, while KDDI has rolled out LTE-M in Japan, where Softbank launched nationwide LTE-M and NB-IoT networks.  Mobitel operates a commercial NB-IoT networks in Sri Lanka, whilst Dialog Axiata have deployed both LTE-M and NB-IoT. Singapore is also now offering LTE-M and NB-IoT connectivity with M1 Singapore deploying NB-IoT and SingTel deploying both technologies. There are also now three technologies in Thailand with AJS supporting both LTE-M and NB-IoT, and True deploying NB-IoT.

Very versatile and highly capable

Following standardisation by 3GPP in June 2016, the versatile and flexible Mobile IoT technologies are now being used to enable everything from smart metering and smart parking to asset tracking and consumer wearable devices. In agriculture and forestry, Mobile IoT connectivity can enable farmers to monitor the location and condition of their livestock, while tracking the health of crops and plantations. NB-IoT and LTE-M can also be used to cost-effectively connect sensors monitoring the performance of an array of industrial machinery.

Upgrading an existing cellular network to support the Mobile IoT technologies can deliver as much as a sevenfold increase in coverage area, while penetrating deep inside buildings and below ground. That makes them particularly well suited to connect water, gas and electricity meters, as well as applications in manufacturing and logistics. Mobile operators have also found that these new technologies can support very dense networks and can scale easily.

An expanding ecosystem

As demand grows, the Mobile IoT ecosystem is expanding fast with dozens of operators and equipment vendors supporting the new technologies. A multitude of Mobile IoT modules, chipsets and software have now been certified as compliant with Release 13 of the 3GPP standards.

Operators can typically adapt their networks to support LTE-M and NB-IoT, which generate less signalling traffic than existing technologies, via a simple software upgrade. In many cases, tariff plans and modules are priced well below those associated with traditional cellular machine-to-machine propositions.

In 2018, many more mobile network operators are likely to roll out commercial Mobile IoT services. By March 2019, the GSMA expects the Mobile IoT will be available in more than 40 countries.

The GSMA released the NB-IoT logo in November and the LTE-M logo in February. They are freely available to download

 

Case Study – Atlas Copco Harnessing Connectivity for Industrial IoT Atlas Copco, one of the world’s leading suppliers of industrial equipment, has been at the forefront of offering ground-breaking services for several years now with remotely ma...

Read more | See all Resources

NB-IoT Commercialisation Case Study: How China Mobile, China Telecom & In China, the leading mobile operators are using Mobile IoT technologies to connect millions of devices, appliances and machines. This case study illustrates how China Mobile, Ch...

Read more | See all Resources

Mobile IoT Case Study: How Asia Pacific Intelligently Connects to IoT This report shows how LTE-M and NB-IoT are being deployed in the Asia Pacific region. Drawing on interviews with mobile operators and their partners, the report describes six ver...

Read more | See all Resources

Mobile IoT Journey Through MWC Barcelona 2019 This self-guided Mobile IoT Journey through MWC19 Barcelona gives attendees the opportunity to explore innovative demonstrations and to see key information at a glance. Discover ...

Read more | See all Resources

Huawei: NB-IoT Ecosystem Partner list This document provides a list of Huawei’s NB-IoT partners, detailing the solutions offered by each organisation. The brochure also contains a list of regions and sectors ...

Read more | See all Resources

Case Study: Ground-to-Air LTE Communication Services for Industrial Drone A With the increasing use of drones for industrial applications, China Unicom has launched an innovative business service project to enable unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to fly a...

Read more | See all Resources

The Internet of the Skies: Establishing Public Trust in the Future of Cellu The GSMA is supporting the Global Unmanned Traffic Management Association (GUTMA) on Connected Skies, a major conference on drones and UTM, which will bring together the aviation...

Read more | See all Industry News

Making Mobile IoT Easy MWC Barcelona 2019 showcases new tools to streamline the development of Mobile IoT applications Creating compelling Mobile IoT applications is becoming increasingly straightforwa...

Read more | See all Industry News

Operators Optimistic of Bright Future as New IoT Revenue Opportunities Come Among the many show-stealing IoT breakthroughs and showcases at the world’s leading tech event, there is a central question: how do mobile network operators increase revenue an...

Read more | See all Industry News

Mobile IoT Summit: Collaboration Deepens as Global Use Cases Multiply “How many people here refer to Mobile IoT in their day-to-day activity?”, asked one panellist of our 500-strong audience at yesterday’s 8th Mobile IoT Summit. “That’s a...

Read more | See all Industry News

ETSI Issues Cybersecurity Standard to Support the Internet of Things Internet standards organisation, ETSI has released a new standard for cybersecurity in the Internet of Things (IoT) that references the GSMA’s IoT Security Guidelines. With mo...

Read more | See all Industry News

NB-IoT Commercialisation Case Study: How China Mobile, China Telecom & In China, the leading mobile operators are using Mobile IoT technologies to connect millions of devices, appliances and machines. This case study illustrates how China Mobile, Ch...

Read more | See all Industry News

Connected Skies 2019 June 18, 2019 *The GSMA is offering an exclusive 50% discount to Connected Skies 2019. Book by 30 April to secure the early bird price of $150. Use the promotional code CONNSKIES19GSMA when pu...

Read more | See all Internet of Things Events