Intel, Nokia, Ericsson square off against Chinese IoT threat

Proposed NB-LTE narrowband comms standard leaves Huawei on the outer

Gorillas by Thomas Wildmann Flickr https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

US and European vendors have linked arms in an effort to set low-bandwidth mobile communications standards.

Intel, Ericsson and Nokia have thrown their weight behind a standard proposal called Narrow-Band LTE (NB-LTE) to support the comms requirements of Internet of Things devices.

If adopted – there's a vote on narrowband technologies slated for a 3GPP meeting next week, as Lightreading reports – NB-LTE would back the US-Euro vendors against the Huawei-led Narrowband Cellular IoT proposal.

It would also launch yet another Intel attempt to get a foothold in the mobile market, a segment that's been a persistent disappointment for Chipzilla.

Intel says it'll have a 2016 roadmap for NB-LTE products aimed at power-efficient, slim form factor products. Ericsson and Nokia will concentrate on developing the infrastructure side of NB-LTE, hopefully with a minimum of disruption to networks that operators have already deployed.

In this white paper (PDF), Nokia puts its position that NB-LTE's 200 kHz channel is optimised for machine-to-machine communications, and can be implemented as a software upgrade to existing base stations.

NB-LTE's proponents are targeting the 700-900 MHz spectrum and want their devices to have a battery life of more than ten years. ®

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