Chinese mobile operators are leading IoT deployments, already connecting nearly 960 million devices for mass market applications in smart home, smart industry and smart city solutions, according to a study by GSMA Intelligence.

The study reports that China is the world’s largest IoT market, with 64 percent of the 1.5 billion global cellular connections, including mobile IoT licensed low power wireless access (LPWA) technologies.

“Backed by proactive government support, China is now at the forefront in the development and mass deployment of innovative and transformative IoT based solutions based on mobile IoT technology. These new technologies are being implemented across multiple different vertical sectors, fundamentally altering the way we live and work, delivering real-time information and making our cities smarter and our lives easier and more productive.” — Alex Sinclair, GSMA CTO

The report and findings were announced during Mobile World Congress 2019 in Shanghai.

Smart Communities

The GSMA study highlighted a deployment where Chinese firm Sunsea AIoT, together with China Telecom, installed over 500,000 NB-IoT sensors covering more than 37 km (sic) of the Jing’an District. The project turned the area into a smart community, with the sensors monitoring the environment, gas and smoke and fire hydrant water pressure. Connected manhole covers monitor gases and underground assets. An integrated platform centralizes, monitors and analyzes the sensor data to identify required improvements real-time.

China Mobile has installed more than 100,000 NB-IoT intelligent fire alarm systems across China, including fire alarms, temperature sensors, smoke and gas detectors. China Unicom has installed more than 25,000 gas and water meters utilizing an NB-IoT solution that combines the IoT network with big data.

Electric Bikes

The NB-IoT electric bike management system jointly developed by Zhengzhou Public Security Bureau, China Mobile, Huawei and Tendency won the GSMA award for “Best Mobile Innovation for Smart Cities in Asia” at Mobile World Congress Shanghai 2019.

China is the world’s largest producer and seller of electric bikes, which have become an important and convenient means of transportation for consumers in China. However, electric bikes create urban management, security and safety problems, which are getting worse with increasing adoption. In Zhengzhou, 70 percent of reported thefts, 30 percent of traffic accidents and 9 percent of fires were caused by electric bikes in 2017.

To address these problems, Zhengzhou Public Security Bureau has been working with China Mobile, Huawei and Tendency for an innovative management system based on an NB-IoT E2E solution. Equipping bikes with NB-IoT communications devices and GPS or BeiDou modules can help prevent theft, warn of fires, identify low battery power and help prevent traffic violations.

The NB-IoT electric bike management system is widely deployed in Zhengzhou, in China’s Henan Province, with about 3 million electric bikes connected to the NB-IoT network.