Qualcomm, China Mobile Research Institute team up on Mobike trial

Qualcomm Technologies plans to start the first eMTC/NB-IoT/GSM multimode field trials in China with China Mobile Research Institute and bike-sharing company Mobike.

Plans for the field trials call for making use of China Mobile’s 2G/4G multimode network and Mobike’s smart lock, supported by Qualcomm’s MDM9206 global multimode LTE modem for internet of things (IoT) applications.

The MDM9206 LTE modem is designed to support global Category M1 and NB1/GSM multimode. Qualcomm said the narrowband LTE technologies help the MDM9206 modem to support cost-efficient, low-power, low-bandwidth, multiyear battery life and greater coverage for next-generation IoT products and services as compared with previous LTE generations. The modem design should also lead to quicker time for commercialization of products.

Basically, the idea behind the field trials is to help Mobike customers accurately identify available bikes and speed up the unlock process for the smart lock, all while allowing Mobike to continuously monitor a bike’s status.

Besides showing off the LTE connectivity and integrated GNSS position-location capability in the MDM9206, the trial aims to use Qualcomm’s low-power Bluetooth solution to support submeter level positioning, helping Mobike monitor the real-time location and overall status of its bikes including quantity, position and traffic information from different regions. Operations personnel will get access to smart instructions for the delivery, scheduling, operation and maintenance of the bikes.

Right now, more than 4.5 million smart bikes operate on the Mobike system, which are equipped with specially designed smart locks. Using connectivity capabilities such as those of the MDM9206 LTE modem with integrated GNSS supporting GPS BeiDou and Glonass, Mobike believes it has one of the largest IoT systems in the world.

“Mobike pioneered the world’s first smart bike sharing platform, and we are committed to addressing the challenge of short trips with innovative technologies and solutions and bringing bikes back to the city,” said Joe Xia, co-founder and CTO of Mobike, in a press release. 

Of course, this isn’t the only smart bike project in China. Bike-sharing startup Ofo is working with China Telecom and Huawei Technologies in a joint research project on implementing its solutions for smart bicycle locks.

China Telecom announced last week that it had established the world’s biggest NB-IoT coverage, Ecns.cn reported. China Telecom, which is rolling it out at 800 MHz, is also involved in the world's first commercial NB-IoT technology-based smart water project in partnership with Shenzhen Water and Huawei.