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Hong Kong carrier, 3 Hong Kong claims to be one of the first operators in Asia to provide commercial NB-IoT roaming capability that will serve enterprises with more stable and secured end-to-end NB-IOT connectivity.
A subset of the LTE standard, NB-IoT or Narrowband IoT is a Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) radio technology standard developed by 3GPP to enable a wide range of cellular devices and services. It is mainly targeted at indoor or high connection density applications requiring low cost and long battery life capabilities.
Aimed largely at enterprises looking to tap the opportunities presented by the Internet of Things (IoT), the 3 Hong Kong offering will interconnect with Taiwan’s Fast EasTone’s NB-IoT network by way of NB-IoT roaming. This bilateral NB-IoT roaming facility is the first such agreement between Asian carriers. 3 Hong Kong says it intends to pursue similar agreement with other members of the Conexus Mobile Alliance.
The NB-IoT roaming capability is expected to meet demand created by rising export sales activity among corporate customers. Devices with NB-IoT chips embedded – such as sensors and trackers – can be connected in countries where NB-IoT roaming-enabled networks are available. This enables enterprises to explore business opportunities overseas.
Activation of 3 Hong Kong’s NB-IoT roaming capability promotes development of NB-IoT technology. When compared with 3G and 4G networks, NB-IoT has been shown to offer wider coverage, lower consumption of energy, safer transmission and higher assurance of quality of service. In addition, large-scale connectivity capacity facilitates greater cost efficiency.