The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology in China announced its decision to accelerate the commercial use of NB-IoT for utilities and smart city applications.
According to China Daily, the The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology is encouraging enterprises to promote the technical transformation of broadband network infrastructure, such as fiber broadband and Long Term Evolution (LTE) enhancement, as well as expand the deployment of cellular IoT and accelerate the commercial use of NB-IoT.
The commercial use of Narrowband IoT technology will be used for industrial internet and urban public service and management, including the development of "smart factor[ies] and [the] internet of vehicles."
Domestic telecom operators have also reportedly expanded the deployment of network infrastructure under the guidance of the ministry.
Telecommunications companies such as China Telecom, China Mobile and several other listed companies are in the planning or deployment phase of NB-IoT technology.
China Mobile is said to have started an outfield test on Narrowband IoT in Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hangzhou and Fuzhou, with commercialisation of the technology planned for 2018.
NB-IoT smart metering
A domestic smart metering solution provider, Viewshine Ltd, said in April its NB-IoT smart metering had entered the trial stage.
Hangzhou Innover Technology Co Ltd also announced in January that the company's first NB-IoT smart gas meter had started trial operation in the urban area of Shanghai. The NB-IoT technology enables the gas meter to upload gas data and real time abnormal running state to backend.
A researcher of China Unicom Labs told Shanghai Securities News, "IoT will be used in the fields of public utilities and smart city and industries including smart metering, smart parking and intelligent security," says China Daily.
Li Zhenya, an analyst of Zhongtai Securities, commented that "the launch of NB-IoT sets a unified protocol standard for the transport layer and the involvement of operators increases the speed and scale of IoT, which can provide a better material basis for the development of the application layer in downstream.
"The full explosion of IoT industrial chain is at the corner."
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