NB-IoT: Good Times, Bad Times
Within the last two months, NTT DoCoMo and DISH Network both announced abandonment of their Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) networks, choosing to focus on their LTE footprints. These moves were largely unforeseen, with NTT DoCoMo’s network having been operational for less than one year, and DISH’s NB-IoT deployment coming off the back of extensive preparations in 2017 and 2018 and a bullish attitude at the beginning of 2019. In both cases, the premature shutdown of networks reflects the low uptake of NB-IoT connectivity solutions and the lack of devices entering the network.
While the decision by DISH in the United States may see strong competition from major Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) such as T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T, it is important to note that these organizations’ NB-IoT networks have also not seen major uptake. With Sigfox and LoRa without a major footprint, and following the sunset of 2G across the country, the United States provides a good test case for uptake and perceived relative merits of Cat-M and NB-IoT. So far, the news from component …
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