Abu Dhabi – MENA Herald: Etisalat Group, the leading telecommunications operator in Middle East, Africa and Asia, is accelerating its work with global partners in the field of Internet of Things (IoT). The foundation of an industry forum and new customer trials in several countries are the latest initiatives announced by the company to develop Narrow Band-IoT (NB-IoT) solutions, which will play a critical role in deploying Internet of Things services.

Narrow Band Internet of Things (NB-IoT) is the proposed global standard that enables mobile operators to build Low Power Wide Area networks. LPWA networks are new types of networks to address a large number of IoT and M2M applications that are limited due to cost, coverage or battery life. LPWA networks will improve the deployment of IoT services for Smart Cities and in industries, such as Agriculture, Utilities and Asset Management and is a market estimated to be worth $589bn by 2020.

Khalifa Al-Shamsi, Etisalat Group Chief Digital Services Officer, said: “Etisalat is at the forefront of IoT innovation using different types of connectivity options to provide innovative solutions for the best customer experience. We see LPWA as a key enabler of IoT solutions and are leading the definition and adoption of global standards, which will drive economies of scale, consistency and innovation. A global standard for LWPA is critical for future success and Etisalat is at the forefront of making this a commercial reality.”

The new initiatives announced by Etisalat build on the work the Group has already led in creating a global standard. Recently the GSMA announced that the mobile industry has agreed on the technology standards for LPWA, an agreement supported by Etisalat and 26 other operators from around the world.

Etisalat Group and Huawei have also set up a (JIL) joint IoT innovation lab with which will focus on NB-IoT new service innovation and development. Smart Parking and Connected car, are the first applications using JIL platform. More verticals, including Smart Metering, Smart Tracking, and Smart Lamp Pole are being included for testing as part of this JIL after it was formally inaugurated on February, 2016 which is the first such NB-IOT open Lab in the world.