T-Mobile US takes aim at Verizon with NB-IoT plan - Mobile World Live

T-Mobile US takes aim at Verizon with NB-IoT plan

10 JAN 2018

T-Mobile US is looking to steal a jump on competitors in attracting enterprises to its narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) network, announcing a new business tariff it said significantly undercuts Verizon’s rival Cat-M1 plan.

Dubbed Magenta, T-Mobile said the tariff is the nation’s first NB-IoT plan and it will offer businesses rates of $6 a year per device for up to 12MB of data “for a limited time”, to connect to the network. The plan includes ten single packet transactions per hour at up to 64kb/s.

Singling out leading operator Verizon, as it often does in pushing its own agenda, T-Mobile said its Magenta plan is priced “at one tenth the cost of Verizon Cat-M plans”, while adding NB-IoT in general was “much more affordable” than Cat-M1. A pricing guideline on Verizon’s website shows it costs potential customers $2 per device for 200kB of data, or $3 per month per device for 500kB of data.

T-Mobile clarified to Mobile World Live the tariff is solely for businesses, not consumers.

IoT meets uncarrier model
The operator deployed its NB-IoT network in October 2017 and plans to launch the technology nationwide by mid-year.

While rivals Verizon and AT&T opted to deploy low power wide area (LPWA) networks using Cat-M1 technology (which is also referred to as LTE-M), T-Mobile decided to deploy NB-IoT as part of its push around IoT. Cat-M1 and NB-IoT are two of three standardised LPWA networks, with the latter proving more popular in Europe (the third licensed technology is EC-GSM).

In addition to talking up the lower cost of its service, T-Mobile used its announcement to further push the efficiency benefits of NB-IoT over Cat-M1: “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 data traffic for network resources,” added the company.

T-Mobile also said it had now certified new NB-IoT modules from u-blox and Sierra Wireless for use on the network.


Kavit Majithia

Kavit joined Mobile World Live in May 2015 as Content Editor. He started his journalism career at the Press Association before joining Euromoney’s graduate scheme in April 2010. Read More >>

Read more