T-Mobile has launched Magenta, a Narrow Band-IoT-based platform for connecting and coordinating IoT devices. The T-Mobile Magenta service will cost $6 per year for up to 12 MB per connected device under terms of a special offer.
NB-IoT is an LTE-Advanced based approach developed under the aegis of the 3GPP. The goal is to send a small amount of data using very little power, which translates into comparatively low cost and long battery life. These are considered key attributes as the number of IoT devices explodes and battery replacement becomes difficult.
NB-IoT can operate in guard bands and thus doesn’t interfere with existing network traffic or network resources, T-Mobile explained in a press release. The technology can seamlessly lead to 5G support for IoT infrastructure, the carrier said. T-Mobile launched NB-IoT last year and has certified modules from u-blox and Sierra Wireless for use on its network. In September, the carrier announced its intention to take NB-IoT nationwide and said it was testing modules from Sierra Wireless, Telit and u-blox in its labs.
The T-Mobile Magenta special offer is subject to change and taxes and fees may be added. The plan is based on 10 single-packet transactions hourly via 64 Kbps, according to a press release.
The telecommunications industry is dealing with the massive amount of IoT devices that are being deployed. In addition to sheer numbers, many are places in which battery replacement is an issue. A number of approaches, including NB-IoT, Cat-M and LTE-M, are competing to be the first choice.
The T-Mobile offering is aimed at uses in which large numbers of IoT devices must be supported. T-Mobile’s testing last year was on a live network in Las Vegas. Run in conjunction with the city, the test – which also included Ericsson — supported municipal services. T-Mobile used 200 KHz of Advanced Wireless Service (AWS) spectrum to support flood and storm drainage sensors, smart city lighting and environmental sensors. The testing took place in the Las Vegas Innovation District.