Verizon announced that its Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) Network is now covering more than 92 percent of the US population.
Verizon will be spending $17-18 billion towards its network Capex focusing on LTE, 5G and fiber networks in 2019. Verizon’s Capex during the first quarter of 2019 touched $4.3 billion — in line with the company’s strategy for dedicating funds for network expansion. The Capex of AT&T reached $5.2 billion in Q1.
Verizon Wireless added 261,000 other connected devices, primarily wearable, during the first quarter of 2019.
Verizon’s initial NB-IoT Standard Price Plan offers 50 KB of data with a $1 monthly access fee per device. IoT customers can share the data allowance with other NB-IoT devices on the same price plan and on the same account.
While CAT-M1 targets a range of applications for business customers such as wearables, fleet and asset management, NB-IoT focuses on applications needing data rates below 100 kbps.
GSMA in February said mobile IoT or Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) networks are now globally available in licensed spectrum in 49 markets following 93 launches by 50 different mobile operators across both LTE-M and NB-IoT.
Mobile IoT coverage is expected to reach approximately 93 percent of the world’s largest IoT markets by Q2 2019. There will be 3.5 billion cellular IoT connections, including 1.9 billion licensed LPWA connections, by 2025.
“There is a whole universe of smart solutions needing scalable and affordable connections. By launching our NB-IoT Network, Verizon is taking yet another step in making that connectivity available and driving innovation in the IoT field,” said Jeffrey Dietel, senior vice president of Business Marketing and Products.
NB-IoT technology is designed for IoT applications that could benefit from access to lower cost chipsets, superior coverage and better battery life. The NB-IoT Network provides the ability to manage both IP and non-IP data traffic. This ability to handle non-IP data traffic allows for the creation of more cost-effective IoT devices.
Verizon, which is already building a nationwide 5G network, has joined hands with chipset and module manufacturers to ensure that IoT makers can immediately start working towards building their devices for the Verizon NB-IoT network.
Verizon said three module manufacturers in final stages of testing — Telit, SIM-COM and Quectel — have modules on Verizon’s Network which are ready to be used in development efforts.
NB-IoT technology occupies a dedicated frequency of 180 kHz bandwidth designated for IoT applications which does not share spectrum resources with commercial smartphone traffic.
“We have engineered our NB-IoT network in the Guard Band of our spectrum. By using the Guard Band solution for our Narrow Band IoT Network, we are demonstrating very efficient use of spectrum assets,” said Bill Stone, vice president of Technology Development and Planning at Verizon.