Press Release

Huawei has announced that 2017 will be the year of scale commercial rollout for Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) at the annual GSMA Global Mobile IoT Summit, a Mobile World Congress event. With the announcement Huawei also released its NB-IoT Ecosystem Partner List — a document containing information about various industry applications for NB-IoT — and revealed its plans to build 30 commercial NB-IoT networks in 20 countries worldwide by the end of the year.

Huawei’s partner list compiles a range of market-ready solutions for NB-IoT developed by more than 40 partners spanning 20+ industries. The solutions were developed in collaboration with Huawei as part of its innovative NB-IoT Open Lab initiative, in which Huawei gave support on technical aspects of terminal development, such as antenna selection and battery power saving, conducted performance tests and verifications for wireless terminals, and also provided end-to-end testing.

Smart water, gas, and electricity meters, streetlights, and parking sensors were some of the solutions to pass these tests which are included in the NB-IoT Ecosystem Partner List. Huawei’s aim in sharing the document with operators worldwide is to help them identify suitable vertical industry applications for NB-IoT while developing an ecosystem for the technology locally.

The extensive range of solutions listed in the document is ideally positioned to accompany NB-IoT into the scale commercial rollout phase of 2017. NB-IoT adoption is expected in major industries such as the water industry.

Huawei forecasts that it will support the deployment of approximately30 networks in 20 countries by the end of the year. NB-IoT emerges as the technology of choice for leading operators around the world.

Huawei had performed NB-IoT tests with 18 operators worldwide by the end of 2016, driving NB-IoT maturity in terms of technology, network rollout, and operation and maintenance. 2017 is now in line to be the year of scale commercial NB-IoT. Huawei estimates as many as 50 networks in total around the world by the end of the year including those built by other vendors.

NB-IoT is already used in the water industry in China, Spain, South Africa, Japan, Australia, and elsewhere. The Melbourne-based water utility South East Water plans to modernize its water network using the technology, with applications including smart meters as well as monitoring systems for pipe networks, water sources, and flood drainage.

Philip Johnson, CFO of South East Water, said“” In the world first, South East Water this week deployed fully integrated NB IoT enabled digital meters at customer locations in our region. The ultrasonic meters, which are fitted with pressure, flow and temperature sensors, have been deployed to meet our specific requirements and are connected to our operational and customer system, transmitting data via existing telecommunication towers. The trial includes meters from three vendors, which we are connecting via operator’s networks, working closely with Huawei.”

Quan Yu, CSO of Huawei Wireless Product Line, said,"After exploring this technology over the last few years, a clear picture has emerged of the place of NB-IoT in the market and the direction in which it is headed. Particularly rapid progress was made in 2016, which marked the commercial launch of Huawei device chipsets and network equipment. 2017 will be the year in which the NB-IoT ecosystem development pace will explode and the year of many commercial service launches. Huawei will be a major player in building this ecosystem, which in turn will drive advances in commercial services."