One of the issues that confronts any organization investing in an Internet of Things (IoT) project is the high cost of connecting all the sensors and gateways back to the data center. To address that issue, vendors have been working on a Narrow Band-IoT (NB-IoT) standard for Low Power Wide Area Networking (LPWAN) environments. At the Mobile World Congress 2017 conference today, Cisco announced that it has completed a live trial of an instance of its Jasper control platform for IoT environments that supports NB-IoT.
Theresa Bui, head of enterprise product marketing for Cisco’s IoT Cloud business, says the combination of LPWANs and NB-IoT will provide organizations with a more efficient means of employing 3G cellular networks for IoT environments.
Bui says NB-IoT, developed by the GSMA consortium, makes sense because it leverages the LTE infrastructure that carriers already have in place.
“It rides on the back of their investments in mobile,” says Bui.
By 2023, Cisco is forecasting there will be over three billion devices connected to the Internet via NB-IoT.
Cisco says that via its relationships with over 50 service providers, over 9,000 enterprise IT organizations employ Jasper to manage an IoT environment. That number is increasing at a rate of 400 additional customers per month, says Bui. In all, Bui says, there are now over 40 million devices being managed by Jasper, which is increasing at a rate of 1.5 million devices per month.
A live trial doesn’t mean that NB-IoT is ready to be deployed in a production IoT environment. But it does suggest that progress in IoT networking is now starting to occur at a rapid rate.