The ICT solutions provider, Huawei and Vodafone Group collaborated their efforts to open an Open IoT Lab in Newbury, UK to work on the development of products and applications relating to Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) technology. This is the first Lab out of the seven that Huawei plans to open.
The lab will provide a pre-integration testing environment for application developers and device, module and chip manufacturers. The facility will be further extended to offer support to developers and partners. They will work with both companies to explore cutting edge developments including network solution verification, new application innovation, device integration, and product compliance certification.
David Wang, President of Wireless Product Line at Huawei said: “With our decade-long strategic partnership with Vodafone, the creation of this lab is another important milestone in our long term relationship. 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.”
NB-IoT technology has emerged as the Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) standardized by 3GPP, which provides provide improved network coverage for IoT communications using lower power. Viewed by the industry as the most appropriate solution for enterprise applications, it gives an enhanced security supported by two-way authentication and strong interface encryption, as well as providing carrier stability to enable IoT applications and smart cities.
Luke Ibbetson, Vodafone Group R&D Director and Chairman of the GSMA NB-IoT Forum said: “As one of the founding members of the GSMA NB-IoT forum, we’re delighted that the first lab is up and running. 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.”
Huawei currently offers a comprehensive portfolio of IoT solutions. The company has been working on a chipset and modules to promote the development of IoT for its partners to take advantage of, while also collaborating with telcos to come up with a standard that is “conducive for the carrier network to carry more IoT connections”.
Explaining the importance of this joint effort with Vodafone, Paul Scanlan, President of Business & Network Consulting, Huawei said, “Together with our partners, Huawei is applying groundbreaking NB-IoT innovation to solve core challenges around IoT applications and smart cities. As a platinum sponsor of M2M Congress, we believe this is an important forum bringing together industry experts to discuss innovation and best practices for sustainable development of NB-IoT technology to enable IoT applications and smart cities and ultimately to build a better connected world.”
Huawei’s efforts are steeply leaning towards more investment in innovation to building a robust, open ecosystem to drive NB-IoT technology innovation and commercialization. The two companies are already working with a number of companies to develop NB-IoT applications. The first devices connected by NB-IoT technologies are expected in late 2016 or early 2017.