44 operators have deployed or commercially launched NB-IoT networks whereas 13 operators have deployed or commercially launched LTE-M networks in areas like connected and autonomous vehicles, connected or smart homes, smart cities and smart energy according to GSA report.
As GSA consistently reports, it is the acceleration of the 3GPP technology ecosystem that determines the speed of adoption of mobile technologies. IoT infrastructure, chipsets, modules and devices are now available from a range of companies, large and small, well-established and start-ups.
Companies are actively working on IoT use cases and opportunities in various vertical markets ranging from agriculture, energy utilities, automotive and robotics. We expect the market to grow rapidly over the next five years and for 3GPP technologies to account for much of that growth as they continue to develop. The size of the 3GPP ecosystem will further drive commercialisation of IoT, with mobile operators, infrastructure suppliers, chipset and module manufacturers, device companies as well as development and testing houses supporting new services.
LPWA (Low Power Wide Area) Technologies Deployment Globally:
- 44 operators have deployed/commercially launched NB-IoT networks
- 13 operators have deployed/commercially launched LTE-M networks
- 107 operators are actively investing in NB-IoT technology
- 38 operators are actively investing in LTE-M technology
- GSA has identified 29 operators that are planning and/or deploying NB-IoT networks
- 12 operators that are planning and/or deploying LTE-M networks
- GSA has identified a further 34 companies trialling NB-IoT technology, and 13 trialling LTE-M technology
In terms of IoT equipment, GSA has identified:
- 50 modules released supporting Cat-NB1 but not Cat-M1 (including known variants)
- 39 modules released supporting Cat-M1 but not Cat-NB1 (including known variants)
- 26 modules released supporting both Cat-NB1 and Cat-M1 (including known variants)
Around fifty operators have deployed or launched 3GPP-standards-based LPWA IoT services say Dialog Axiata in Sri Lanka, Etisalat in UAE, Orange Belgium, HKT (CSL) Hong Kong, Singtel in Singapore, Telstra in Australia and Turkcell in Turkey – have deployed/ launched both NB-IoT and LTE-M networks.
There is wide variation in terms of the scale of deployments. Some operators claim nationwide coverage and others cover a select area. For instance, Verizon in the USA covers 2.4 million square miles with its LTE-M network. Smaller launches include T-Mobile Austria’s NB-IoT network in the city of St. Polten only – with plans to later launch nationwide – and China Mobile’s launch in select locations but with plans to expand to 346 cities through 2018 to become what it claims would be the largest NB-IoT network in the world.