LIVE FROM GSMA MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS SHANGHAI 2017: KDDI is set to rollout its commercial low-power wide-area (LPWA) network in Japan within its next fiscal year, Takuya Sawada, general manager for product and service strategy at the operator, confirmed.
Speaking at the MIoT Technologies – Path to Deployment session at the GSMA Global Mobile IoT Summit on the eve of Mobile World Congress Shanghai, Sawada (pictured) said although KDDI was committed to LPWA deployment using licensed cellular standards, it was still weighing up its options between LTE-M and NB-IoT technology.
“We have to think about emerging technologies and IoT is one of the hottest topics, both in our industry and in Japan,” he told the audience. “There are so many options we have to choose from and some are very difficult for us to determine.”
He added the company was still in discussions with enterprise customers, many of which had their own preference towards a specific protocol. “Many have their preference of LTE-M or NB-IoT,” Sawada said. “We are in the middle.”
The panel, which also featured executives from China Mobile, China Telecom, AT&T, Vodafone Group and Korea Telecom, discussed the status of IoT deployments in their respective markets and the benefits of rolling out low-power applications through standardised protocols.
China Mobile deputy general manager Huang Yuhong said her company was set to flesh out its IoT plans shortly, after emphasising the operator had already announced a number of NB-IoT network deployments earlier this week.
She added the general IoT market in China had been important for some time, but had previously been fragmented: “With the standardisation we have attention from the telecoms sector and other organisations,” she said.
Cameron Coursey, VP product development at US operator AT&T, said the introduction of LTE-M and NB-IoT standards had meant “IoT was no longer the stepchild of the cellular industry”.