The momentum behind Mobile IoT, or licensed Low Power Wide Area (LPWA), networks continues to grow on a global basis. To date, 23 mobile operators have commercially launched 41 Mobile IoT networks worldwide across both NB-IoT1 and LTE-M2.
According to GSMA, this growth is supported by 34 IoT Labs and an expanding community of over 800 organisations in the GSMA’s Mobile IoT Innovators Community. According to GSMA Intelligence forecasts, by 2025 there will be 3.1 billion cellular IoT connections, including 1.8 billion licensed LPWA connections.
“2018 is the year that Mobile IoT networks will scale. We have seen huge growth in the availability of commercial networks in licensed spectrum and anticipate seeing many more launches this year. This is underpinned by an expanding community of organisations developing innovative new solutions and a number of IoT Labs helping companies to test out new products and services,” said Alex Sinclair, Chief Technology Officer, GSMA. “Mobile IoT networks are fast becoming the defacto global IoT solution, as only licensed, managed mobile services can provide the secure low power connection that can meet future demand.”
The GSMA also announced that there are now 34 IoT Labs in operation around the world which are available to any operator, module vendor or application provider to develop LPWA devices and applications for a wide variety of different verticals.
The Labs provide organisations with the opportunity to perform end-to-end and interoperability testing on the network. AT&T became the latest operator to participate in the IoT Labs initiative, with the support of three AT&T Foundry locations in Atlanta, Georgia and Plano and Houston, Texas, and the AT&T Device Radio Lab (DRL) in Austin, Texas.
The GSMA Mobile IoT Initiative
The GSMA Mobile IoT Initiative was created to help the industry deliver commercial LPWA solutions in licensed spectrum.
These new networks are part of the adaptable 5G sliced architecture designed to support mass market IoT applications across a wide variety of applications such as industrial asset tracking, safety monitoring or water and gas metering, that are low cost, use low data rates, require long battery lives and often operate in remote locations.
It is currently backed by 74 global mobile operators, device makers and chipset, module and infrastructure companies worldwide. Mobile IoT networks are part of the evolution of the mobile platform and form a key element of the 5G future.