3GPP completes standardisation of NB-IoT

27 June 2016 |

3GPP has completed the standardisation of narrowband internet of things (NB-IoT), the narrowband radio technology developed for the IoT over mobile networks using licensed spectrum.

NB-IoT is said to enable the communications of devices that require small amounts of data over long periods in inaccessible places. 

"It took us only nine months to standardise the new technology after the study phase," said Dino Flore, chairman of the 3GPP RAN group. "Once again 3GPP demonstrated the ability to quickly respond to the emerging market needs."

NB-IoT – along with GSM IoT for 2G networks and LTE Cat-M1 for 4G networks – is one of three LPWA technologies incorporated within LTE-Release 13, also known as LTE-Advanced Pro. The release is designed to build on improving 4G while paving the way for the introduction of 5G.

The standardisation will enable operators to optimise their existing mobile network infrastructure.

Alex Sinclair, CTO of the GSMA, said: “We are pleased that the industry has moved so quickly to adopt them and that they have now been ratified by 3GPP.”

"Mobile operators have already started a number of pilots around the world and this agreement over common standards will help accelerate the development of commercial solutions and ensure they are in market much faster, providing customers with more choice," he added.