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MWC 2018: Cisco launches NB-IoT platform worldwide

Cisco doesn't disappoint at day two in Barcelona, pushing its IoT vision further.

By April Slattery

On day two of Mobile World Congress (MWC), Cisco has announced its Jasper Control Center for NB-IoT is now available around the world.

The Narrow Band-IoT (NB-IoT) is expected to help customers grow and deliver IoT products at a significant rate, compared to in the past, via low cost and low power devices.

Cisco’s aim is to reduce the costs of connectivity for customers, whilst driving growth in the IoT industry still. NB-IoT brings significant cost savings for companies, but ensures the level of quality remains the same when connecting a number of everyday devices.When used alongside Cisco Jasper Control Center IoT connectivity management platform, enterprises will be able to better manage both NB-IOT and cellular devices.

The GSMA supports the platform, with NB-IoT a 3GPP-Standard for Low Power Wide Area Networking. The capability aims to make it practical and profitable for organizations to deliver connected services through multiple devices, with a much lower cost.

“NB-IoT dramatically reduces the power and cost of connectivity, so now even the most simple things will be capable of delivering valuable IoT services. This is going to drive exponential growth in the IoT industry, and one size will not fit all,” said Daniel Collins, Vice President IoT Products at Cisco.

The growth of the capability has been demonstrated through various trials around the world, for smart metering, parking and street lighting. China Unicorn was one of the service provider’s trialling the platform, reaping its benefits and fulfilling business needs.

MWC sees Cisco launch NB-IoT platform worldwide

Cisco hopes using the Control Centre with NB-IoT will boost IoT growth across businesses.

“The demand for low cost, low power connectivity is extremely high throughout China, and we expect to have over 100 million NB-IoT connections on our network by 2020,” said Xiaotian Chen, General Manager of China Unicom IoT Business Unit. “By embracing multiple technologies for both traditional and low power devices, we give our customers – regardless of their industry – the flexibility to choose what fits their specific business needs.”

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Cisco also aims to make the connectivity of devices much more accessible and affordable with NB-IoT and the control center providers businesses with many capabilities. Firstly, customers are provider with the management of multiple connection types including both NB-IoT and traditional cellular. This will help grow customers’ IoT industries and boost business.

Secondly, the Control Center for NB-IoT will provide businesses with customizable service packages. These are designed to help organizations manage their connectivity, based on the value each connected device providers. Finally providing NB-IoT with the Control Center provides organisations with automation for managing scale. In the growing IoT industry, time is of the essence and Cisco will comine automation with real-time visibility across a significant number of connected devices. This will in turn help customers manage large deployments.

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Collins said: “We designed Control Center for NB-IoT to address a broad range of low power use cases and business models – from a water meter that sends a burst of data once a week, to a city parking meter that handles transactions at all times of the day and night.

“Companies need the flexibility to get and pay for connectivity based on the value that each of those transactions represent to their business. We are excited to support our service provider partners and enterprise customers in China and around the world in their quest to cost-effectively deliver meaningful business outcomes.”

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