[April 15, 2020] The "Journey to 5G NB-IoT 1 Billion Connections Summit" was recently held online. Partners from across the value chain, including those involved in chipsets, modules, networks, operators, and applications, gathered together to discuss pressing issues. With the goal 100 million narrowband connections now achieved for the Internet of Things (NB-IoT), the sector expects explosive growth, both within China and around the world. Attendees shared their opinions on how long it would take to build the next 100 million connections, how infrastructure construction can be accelerated by leveraging IoT, and what new opportunities await.
NB-IoT: The Driving Force Behind Ubiquitous IoT Connectivity
NB-IoT is a cellular network–based technology that supports connections between devices in low-power wide-area networks (LPWANs). NB-IoT is characterized by low power consumption, low costs, wide coverage, and a massive number of connections. It is also a linchpin technology that meets 5G massive machine-type communications (mMTC) requirements. As 3GPP Release 16 enables NB-IoT devices to access the 5G core network (5GC), the ever-evolving NB-IoT technology will still comprise the core mMTC IoT technology that supports the unveiling of industrial IoT on a larger scale.
According to the Internet Data Center (IDC), the global market size of the IoT sector is likely to be on the scale of trillions of dollars by 2020. The number of LPWAN connections accounts for 60% of the total, and in 2019, the number of NB-IoT users in China exceeded 100 million.
HiSilicon Boudica 150: The Most Advanced and Widely Used NB-IoT SoC
As Yang Guoxing, noted at the summit, "With the exit of 2G and 3G networks, NB-IoT assumes its place as the most important cellular LPWAN technology. It will work with 4G and 5G to support the construction of cellular IoT, and continue to evolve to promote the large-scale development of 5G mMTC applications."
"Boudica 150 is the most advanced and widely used NB-IoT SoC. It has played an important role in facilitating the first 100 million NB-IoT connections."
"In the future, NB-IoT will be extensively used in countless ways, such as in wearable devices, shared bicycles, tracking devices, and networked Point of Sale (POS) terminals. New service scenarios pose more stringent requirements on the size, power consumption, positioning, and security of chips and modules. More multi-functional chips are needed to support the NB-IoT industry's quest to achieve 1 billion connections."
HiSilicon Boudica 200: Third-generation NB-IoT SoC Ready to Shine
HiSilicon will soon launch the third-generation NB-IoT SoC Boudica 200, to unlock the boundless applications for the technology in a diverse range of industries.
Intensive integration: Boudica 200 will reduce power consumption by 50% in typical usage scenarios, and integrate new components and functions, such as power amplifier (PA) and iSIM, reducing the number of eBOM components by 50%, resulting in more compact modules.
Positioning: Boudica 200 also incorporates global navigation satellite system (GNSS) and Bluetooth low energy (BLE) 5.0 technologies. In addition to positioning services, Boudica 200 will also provide short-distance capabilities, supporting the application of NB-IoT technologies in such fields as shared mobility and article tracking.
Security: Boudica 200 comes equipped with an independent security subsystem. It features a powerful security engine and a reliable operating environment, which provide comprehensive protection for applications with a high security threshold, such as networked POS terminals and smart locks.
NB-IoT has already witnessed explosive growth, and 5G promises an era of skyrocketing performance. HiSilicon will continue work with partners across the industry to promote NB-IoT development.