The lab is situated at Vodafone’s headquarters in Newbury, UK, and will provide a pre-integration testing environment for application developers and device, module and chip manufacturers. NB-IoT is a wireless technology designed for IoTcommunication, typically over licensed spectrum, and is currently being standardised by the 3GPP. It is viewed as competitive to proprietary, unlicensed IoT wireless technologies such as Sigfox and LoRa.
“As one of the founding members of the GSMA NB-IoT forum, we’re delighted that the first lab is up and running,” said Luke Ibbetson, Vodafone Group R&D Director and Chairman of the GSMA NB-IoT Forum. “Over the past twelve months we’ve made significant progress establishing industry standards for the technology and the new labs will be critical to the next phase of development, which is to build a vibrant NB-IoT ecosystem.”
“With our decade-long strategic partnership with Vodafone, the creation of this lab is another important milestone in our long term relationship,” said David Wang, President of Wireless Product Line at Huawei. “Working with Vodafone, we have accelerated standardization of the technology and carried out successful pre-commercial trials. This facility will be crucial in supporting the deployment of NB-IoT globally and contribute to the promotion of its ecosystem.”
“The GSMA’s Mobile IoT initiative has been instrumental in aligning the industry behind three complementary technologies in NB-IoT, Extended Coverage GSM For IoT (EC-GSM-IoT) and Cat-M that will underpin a diverse range of solutions in the burgeoning LPWA market,” said Graham Trickey, Head of Connected Living Programme, GSMA. “There are already a number of pilots taking place around the world and we welcome the work of the GSMA NB-IoT Forum that will help to accelerate the availability of commercial solutions in licensed spectrum.”
Elsewhere Ericsson has signed a partnership with the Brazilian government to create a Networked Society Lab in Brazil to develop public sector IoT projects. “By cooperating with Ericsson’s Networked Society Lab, we will better understand and be at the forefront of how we can sustainably improve agriculture, smart cities, energy and industrial production, among other areas, in Brazil,” said André Figueiredo, Brazil’s Minister of Communications.