Monday, November 21, 2016

Huawei and LG Uplus partnership for IoT business.

Models demonstrate LG Uplus' narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) products in the NB-IoT Open Lab at the telecom company's office in Sangam-dong, western Seoul, Monday. LG Uplus and Huawei have jointly opened the lab to support smaller partners here in developing and testing NB-IoT devices and services. / Courtesy of LG Uplus.

Huawei, the world's largest network equipment provider, is solidifying its long-term partnership with LG Uplus to jointly push for the narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) business, the two companies said Monday.

The Chinese network business giant pledged to give some 100,000 NB-IoT chipsets and modules to small- and medium-sized enterprises that are willing to participate in their joint NB-IoT business platform, aiming to boost its presence in the rapidly growing business-to-business (B2B) IoT service market at home and abroad.

Though Huawei has already established partnerships with other global telecom companies for the NB-IoT business, it has specifically chosen Korea and LG Uplus to offer the free chipsets and modules.

Huawei's cellular IoT product line head Zhu Cheng underlined that this is because the company has high hopes for the potential of Korea's IoT market.

"We are providing the free chipsets and modules only to LG Uplus because we believe Korea has the greatest influence around the globe in the area of IoT," Cheng said during a press conference in Seoul, Monday. 

"We will be able to succeed anywhere in the world if we successfully establish an ecosystem for IoT here. If we do, we can also reach out to global markets alongside our partners in the Korean IoT industry."

On Monday, Huawei and LG Uplus jointly opened the NB-IoT Open Lab at the telecom company's office in Sangam-dong, western Seoul. At the laboratory, partners of companies in the mobile device, services and system integration industries will be able to develop and test their products and services.

Huawei opened the first NB-IoT Open Lab in Newbury, Britain, under cooperation with Vodafone earlier in April. Since then, the company has established six more labs around the globe and is working with more than 30 partners.

"We will continue to support LG Uplus to help them become the leader in the IoT market," Cheng said.

Earlier this month, LG Uplus said it will team up with KT to jointly push for the NB-IoT network service business, against SK Telecom which has adopted the LoRa technology for the same business category.

The nation's third-largest telecom company said it will start establishing its NB-IoT network in the Seoul area in January next year, aiming at launching the service in the first quarter. It plans to complete a nationwide network, based on its existing long-term evolution network and a roaming network chain with KT, within the next year.

Thanks to its wide network coverage, long battery life and low battery consumption, the NB-IoT is expected to be one of the most widely adopted technology standards for the Internet of Small Things (IoST) services, according to the telecom company.

LG Uplus said it will foster an NB-IoT industry ecosystem in Korea by supporting smaller partners to join in the business.

"As we believe that the NB-IoT is the most economic, efficient and universal technology for the IoST industry, we will provide all the support through the open lab with Huawei to speed up commercialization of actual services," LG Uplus Technology Development Division head Lee Sang-min said.

LG Uplus also said it will actively back up its smaller partners in entering global business through the NB-IoT Open Lab.

"Our partners that are providing devices to the Home IoT platform are already drawing great attention from telecom companies in China and Japan and some of them are under detailed discussions," LG Uplus' converged home business senior vice president Ahn Sung-jun said. 

"This means that Korea's small- and medium-sized enterprises will start supplying products directly to foreign telecom companies. We will support all our partners in the NB-IoT sector the same."

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