As part of 3GPP Rel 13, NB-IoT radio access network is designed for massive MTC (machine type communication) connectivity. This would require radio conditions that will cater for wide coverage area, low power consumption, high capacity of device connections, and low-end devices support. As a result, the 3GPP Rel 13 for NB-IoT includes significant deployment flexibility where the technology can be deployed in re-farmed GSM/GPRS spectrum, normal LTE Carrier, or utilizing unused resource blocks within WCDMA/LTE guard band.
Such massive MTC connectivity network with scaled down complexity and power consumption (often known as low power wide area (LPWA) network) is a good reference case for application in industries such as smart metering, agricultural and infrastructure monitoring, controllers and sensors, as well as well fleet management.
Besides NB-IoT, another radio access specification eMTC (enhanced machine type communication) for Cat-M1 UE Category is also targeted for 3GPP Rel 13. It also covers massive MTC connectivity (but with higher requirements than NB-IoT), and includes a broader range of IoT applications that require better performance (e.g. higher peak rate, higher bandwidth, lower latencies, etc) and mobility. eMTC application segment may include vending machines, wearables, assets tracker and so on.
The potential, advancement and benefits of NB-IoT applications in various industries and segments are well acknowledged by global telecommunications key players (China Mobile and China Telecom included). This has prompted China Ministry of Industry and Information Technology to announce its decision to speed up the commercial use of NB-IoT in China
Dingli Corp Ltd, the leading mobile network test and measurement tool headquartered in Zhuhai, China, has been closely involved with System Vendors, China Telecom, China Mobile and NB-IoT/eMTC chipset vendors (which are primarily based in China) in developing the test and measurement solution (with Cat-NB1 and Cat-M1 modules) according to the requirements from these companies.
The Cat-NB1/Cat-M1 chipset vendors that Dingli is currently cooperating with includes Qualcomm and Hisilicon. Dingli is also the exclusive vendor supporting Hisilicon chipset.
This cooperation allows Dingli to OEM the relevant the NB-IoT/eMTC modules, as part of our innovative test and measurement solution offering. We are also working to integrate the R&S® TSME Ultracompact Drive Test Scanner with NB-IoT/Cat NB1 support, to compliment the overall solution.
The NB-IoT and eMTC test and measurement solution from Dingli shall extend over several key products to satisfy different use case scenarios. This is to ensure customers with different industry background can benefit from our offering.