South Korean mobile operator SK Telecom is to work with Nokia Networks to research and develop narrow band Internet of Things (NB-IoT) communication technologies. The two companies announced that they signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today (9 December 2015).
Under the MOU, SK Telecom and Nokia Networks will co-develop NB-IoT, a narrowband radio technology specially designed for IoT, which uses a bandwidth of 0.2 MHz (or 200 kHz), compared with LTE that requires at least 1.4 MHz bandwidth.
The technology is currently one of the low power wide area (LPWA) IoT options being standardised by the 3GPP standards body – others include LTE Cat-0 and LTE Cat-M.
NB-IoT is designed to maximise efficiency by supporting low-power transmission of small data among massive number of low throughput devices. One of its advantages over proprietary LPWA technologies is that mobile operators can deploy it in their licensed bands, utilising resource blocks within a normal LTE carrier through an equipment upgrade.
The two companies will also develop diverse uses cases and key technologies related to NB-IoT, while leading standardisation efforts for NB-IoT at 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project).
Andrew Cope, Head of Korea at Nokia Networks said: “The company would break new ground in IoT through joint research and development with SK Telecom, as NB-IoT is one of core technologies which is essential for the development of a variety of IoT services. We will continue to collaborate with SK Telecom on the commercialization and expansion of IoT.”
“Through the MOU, SK Telecom and Nokia Networks will develop and secure NB-IoT, which is a powerful technology that can support a wide range of IoT services involved with transmission of ultra-small data,” said Park Jin-hyo, Senior Vice President and Head of Network R&D Center at SK Telecom. “We will continue to make multifaceted efforts to develop and secure key IoT technologies to lead the global industry.”