ZTE Corporation has announced that with the Guangdong branch of China Mobile (Guangdong Mobile), it has successfully accomplished China Mobile’s first NB-IoT field test in Guangzhou. Despite difficult test requirements, the entire industry chain’s networking test, including wireless, core network, terminals and applications was successfully completed.
The NB-IoT field test was organised by China Mobile, which follows the principle of only one vendor in each province of Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Shanghai and Fuzhou, in order to comprehensively study and verify different NB-IoT features. The test verified the setup, upgrade, single mode networking, multimode networking and networking performance of core network, service, terminals and wireless equipment concerned with users’ data rate, delay, coverage enhancement, etc. In the field test, all devices were provided by ZTE, including virtual CN, PaaS aspects, maturely commercialised 2T4R base stations on the wireless side, as well as terminals using a ZTE self-developed chip.
Among the four provinces, Guangdong Mobile's field test has following features: firstly, it has the largest scale with nearly 200 sites constructed; secondly, it is the only field test that accomplished specified test items dedicated to the NB-IoT protocol, including all combinations of uplink channels and services specified in NB-IoT protocol standards (with 15KHz Multi-tone encompassed), which meet the diverse transmission requirements of IoT services; It exclusively supported the sub-carrier interval of 3.75 KHz and 15 KHz simultaneously, comprehensively validating the enhanced coverage of NB-IoT; meanwhile, it also exclusively completed the world’s first 3.75 KHz trial networking, fully validating protocol standards. As the most important aspect of NB-IoT coverage enhancement, the 3.75 KHz feature, with 2-5 dB more coverage gain than 15 KHz, helps to enhance coverage, spectrum efficiency and capacity, completely satisfying the extremely high coverage requirements of NB-IoT under harsh wireless environments, such as smart manhole cover and smart parking services. In addition, this test exclusively supported IPv6, which provides terminals with more IP addresses compared with IPv4, meeting the requirements of massive connections in the IoT era.
ZTE, as the main promoter of NB-IoT, finished the world’s first proof of concept based on 3GPP NB-IoT standards together with China Mobile in May 2016, starting the commercialisation of NB-IoT. In Nov 2016, together with China Mobile Zhejiang Branch, ZTE showcased end-to-end smart water monitoring and smart parking services by commissioning NB-IoT based on existing wireless devices during the World Internet Conference in Wuzhen. Presently, ZTE NB-IoT applications have already expanded to smart parking, smart street lamp, smart meter reading, water monitoring, asset monitoring and smart locking, involving multiple vertical industries like smart cities and smart homes.
The successful accomplishment of this large scale NB-IoT field networking test in Guangzhou, speeds up the construction of China Mobile’s public IoT network. A network featuring low cost, low consumption, wide coverage and high reliability, will assist China Mobile fulfil its massive connections strategy and create a new pattern for digital industrialisation.