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Verizon Launches NB-IoT Network for Fixed Use Cases

May 14, 2019 / Matt Kapko

Verizon today announced the commercial availability of its narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) network, reaching nearly nationwide coverage two weeks after AT&T launched its own NB-IoT network. The operator’s starting price of $1 per month is more than double the starting rate of AT&T’s offering, but Verizon says the 50 kilobits of data included in that monthly access fee can be shared with other NB-IoT devices.
Like AT&T, Verizon’s NB-IoT network runs on its LTE network and is suited for fixed applications requiring data rates below 100 Kb/s. Verizon says its NB-IoT network, which covers 92% of the U.S. population, is operating on a dedicated frequency of 180 kilohertz bandwidth that does not share spectrum with commercial smartphone traffic. “Narrowband’s kind of that next evolution of a technology that our customers are asking for to meet some of the use cases that they have to continue to scale towards 5G and massive IoT,” Steve Szabo, head of global products and services on Verizon’s IoT business, told SDxCentral in a phone interview. “It’s more of a semi-static use case” for smart cities, metering, connected appliances, vending machines, and alarm panels, Szabo explained. These devices are “less intensive on the network” and boast longer battery life to reduce maintenance costs and management, he added.