T-Mobile US has launched a $6-per-year, per-device narrowband internet of things plan for IoT connectivity, seeking to undercut LTE-M-based price plans from other carriers.
T-Mobile US in particular singled out Verizon as a competition target, contrasting its new $6 per year, per-device NB-IoT plan with Verizon’s IoT plans for Category 1 or M1 LTE. Those run $2 a month per device for 200 KB of data or $3 per month per device for 500 KB of data. The limited-time plan from T-Mobile US includes 10 single-packet transactions per hour at up to 64 Kbps, up to 12 MB. It does not include roaming.
Last October, T-Mobile US was the first domestic carrier to launch an NB-IoT network; other carriers have pursued LTE Cat 1 or Cat M1 networks as their strategy for low-cost IoT connectivity. T-Mobile US conducted NB-IoT tests in Las Vegas last summer, seeking to support smart city projects. Now the operator has plans to “launch the technology nationwide by mid-year.” At the same time, T-Mobile US said that it also has new modules from u-blox and Sierra Wireless certified on its NB-IoT network.
T-Mobile US emphasized the efficiency of NB-IoT along with the low cost in its announcement. “Because it can operate in guard bands – the network equivalent of driving down the shoulders on the highway — NB-IoT carries data with greater efficiency and performance and doesn’t compete with other data traffic for network resources,” the carrier said. T-Mobile US also added that it “plan to support the full ecosystem of LTE technologies for IoT to meet the differing needs of customers” and said that it “expects to launch Cat-M nationwide shortly after NB-IoT is available.”
In other IoT news this week out of the Consumer Electronics Show, Sprint is also boosting its IoT focus. The carrier is working with MyDevices to launch an online IoT marketplace for its business customers “with finished IoT solutions and faster implementation.” AT&T, meanwhile, is focusing on smart city offerings with an expanded infrastructure monitoring solution that includes LTE-enabled sensors for remote monitoring of structures.