Huawei releases new improved NB-IoT solution based on Release 14

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Huawei says it has released its eRAN13.1 commercial NB-IoT solution, which is based on 3GPP R14 and boasts better performance than its predecessors.

Huawei says the new solution effectively increases data rates by a factor of seven, offers double cell capacity and coverage, and introduces new improvements in location services.

NB-IoT features large capacity, low power consumption, and deep coverage. Huawei says that NB-IoT has quickly proliferated in low power wide area (LPWA) markets since the NB-IoT standards were frozen, with 45 commercial NB-IoT networks globally deployed and more than 500,000 NB-IoT base stations established as of May 2018.

However, Huawei adds, while NB-IoT has been promoted by 3GPP and GSMA as a 5G-oriented IoT technology, the first-generation NB-IoT solutions in compliance with 3GPP R13 cannot meet the high requirements of a number of IoT applications in fast-growing IoT markets.

For example, asset or pet tracking requires a positioning function with low power consumption to reduce equipment costs and charging frequency. Operators are in urgent need of a new IoT technology that can support high-data-rate communications to accelerate GSM spectrum refarming.

Highlights of Huawei’s eRAN13.1 NB-IoT solution include:

  • x7 data rates: The uplink peak rate and downlink single-user peak rate can reach 157 kbps and 102 kbps, respectively
  • x2 cell capacity: The maximum number of users in a single cell can reach over 80,000, almost doubling the cell capacity of the previous release
  • x2 cell coverage: Huawei’s proprietary uplink channel estimation enhancement technologies improve the deep coverage capability of cells and reduce network construction costs.
  • GPS-free location services: NB-IoT terminals can deliver a positioning accuracy of 50 meters without the integration of GPS modules. Such terminals boast a power consumption and positioning delay that is only half of that provided by a GPS-based solution. GPS-free location services are ideally suited for applications such as asset tracking, logistics, and pet tracking.

“Global operators have reached a consensus that networks providing a full range of services will be developed over the next upcoming years. IoT will become the best practice for operators pursuing the development of vertical industries,” said Chen Chuanfei, VP of Huawei’s LTE Product Line. “The newly released 3GPP R14-based commercial NB-IoT solution can improve the performance of NB-IoT networks in data rates, cell capacity and cell coverage, expand the potential scope of application for NB-IoT through location services.”

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