Singapore’s telecommunications giant Singtel has announced that it will trial Narrow Band Internet of Things (NB-IoT) technology in the second half of 2016.The trial forms part of Singtel’s partnership with communication technology and services provider Ericsson.
Through the partnership, the telecommunications provider aims to test technologies that will prepare Singtel’s existing 4G LTE network to support the expected rapid growth of connected devices as Singapore targets 5G availability in 2020.
According to Channel NewsAsia, narrow-band Internet of Things technology is a standard focused on providing wider coverage and less complex devices specially built for the Internet of Things.
Says Tay Soo Meng, Singtel’s group chief technology officer: “IoT connectivity is an important part of Singapore’s enterprises and supports the Singapore Government’s Smart Nation initiative.
“We anticipate a growing demand to connect a multitude of sensors and devices in a cost-effective manner. Focusing on power saving capabilities in our networks enables energy efficiency benefits for the IoT eco-system; we expect at least 10 years battery life.”
He added: “With the early introduction of low-powered IoT devices, this brings us a step closer to 5G goals, where new device and sensor technologies can leverage network connectivity to power a variety of use cases, such as lighting and vehicle-to-infrastructure connectivity.”
Longevity of narrowband IoT
Ericsson said that long-term battery life as well as minimal power requirements and maintenance have become prerequisites for most devices in the emerging IoT market.
Sam Saba, region head of Ericsson South East Asia and Oceania: “We are pleased to work with Singtel to enhance their network to support the adoption of IoT.
"Together we will continue to explore future IoT technologies such as Cat-M and NB-IoT which promises to reduce device costs and improve coverage and battery life even further. Examples of applications that can leverage on these technologies are temperature, air quality and flood water sensors.”