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Digitimes Research: Cellular M2M IoT will be fast developing in China

Cellular M2M (machine to machine) IoT is expected to be fast developing in the China market since the China government in 2009 included IoT industries as a focus of the nation's long-term development. China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom have been actively deploying IoT networks, according to Digitimes Research.

The China government has come up with policies and strategies to boost development and application of IoT technology since 2010 and an IoT ecosystem has formed in China, Digitimes Research indicated. However, over 85% of the members of the IoT ecosystem are small- to medium-size businesses and almost no firms are capable of integrating hardware with software to provide IoT services and developing IoT solutions.

For cellular M2M IoT, the number of connected devices stood at 94.4 million at the end of 2015 and is expected to keep increasing to 140 million and 350 million in 2016 and 2020 respectively, while the corresponding production value will rise from CNY750 billion (US$119 billion) in 2015 to CNY910 billion in 2016 and CNY1.585 trillion in 2020.

As 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project) in June 2016 completed standardization of Narrow Band (NB)-IoT, a LPWAN (low power wide area network) technology for cellular M2M IoT application, China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom will shift cellular M2M IoT operation from being based on 2G/3G networks to NB-IoT networks. China Mobile plans to use 900MHz for NB-IoT operation. China Unicom chooses 900MHz and 1800MHz and China Telecom uses 800MHz. The three mobile telecom carriers will begin NB-IoT trial operation in selected cities in 2017.