China Telecom claims new record with 100 million 5G NB-IoT users

27 May 2021 | Melanie Mingas

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China Telecom has claimed the title of being the world's largest carrier for NB-IoT, after reporting it has reached the 100 million connections milestone.

It is the world's first carrier to have developed a user base of this scale.

In July 2020, NB-IoT was officially endorsed as one of the global 5G standard systems, paving the way for it to become an important part of 5G's three major use cases. A recent forecast by the Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA) concludes that medium- and low-speed IoT connections will account for 90% of the total IoT connectivity by the end of 2025.

The carrier said: "After five years of extensive development, China Telecom has made breakthroughs in network coverage, user scale, platform services, chip modules, and industrial applications, demonstrating the role that NB-IoT has to play in forming the foundation for the digital economy."

China Telecom's IoT services are used to support smart firefighting, security surveillance, urban facility management, smart homes, passenger car, charging device management, and smart appliances. The company also leads in industry-specific use cases, with NB-IoT smart gas and water users numbering almost 30 million, making it the world's largest provider of NB-IoT smart water and gas meter services (pictured).

As for smart home appliances, China Telecom and Haier Group have built the world's first NB-IoT self-cleaning air conditioner, closing the gap of shared air conditioners for smart campuses and creating a new appliance consumption model for the sharing economy. China Telecom is also working with several home appliance giants in China to build a shared air conditioner leasing solution based on the NB-IoT technology, which is set to provide intelligent services for college students. These shared NB-IoT air conditioners have already been deployed in hundreds of colleges and universities in China.

China Telecom has helped build the country's first city-level IoT platform in Xiong'an, a new national district in China. In addition to that feat, the platform is now the foundation for the city to build a digital replica.