In the rapidly evolving world of Internet of Things (IoT), Huawei’s narrowband technology is getting increased attention.

The Chinese networking giant announced it won a gold medal at the recent World Internet of Things Exposition in Wuxi, China.

The award recognized Huawei’s narrowband (NB) cellular IoT advancements, which the company says has helped boost industry confidence in the NB-IoT chain’s rapid development.

In particular, Huawei has conducted several tests of its technology that have exceeded industry specifications in regards to Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN).

Narrowband is a LPWAN technology that uses licensed spectrum to provide communications over long distance.

“NB-IoT technologies fully meet the LPWA market requirements for deep coverage, mass connectivity, ultra-low power consumption, and ultra-low costs,” said Huawei IoT manager Zhu Cheng. “With this leading NB-IoT solution, Huawei will continue working together with carriers and vertical industries to promote the implementation of commercial NB-IoT applications.

Huawei has already started to deploy pilot NB-IoT sites with various global carriers. By the end of 2017, the company expects to have rolled out 20 commercial NB-IoT networks around the globe.

“Besides technological innovation and product development, Huawei will proactively and relentlessly promote construction of the NB-IoT ecosystem and boost incubation of NB-IoT applications for a prosperous future for the NB-IoT industry,” said Zhu.

NB-IoT competition from around the world

Meanwhile, UK-based Vodafone has announced rollout plans for its NB-IoT network, which will start in four European countries next year.

The dedicated IoT network will go live in Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, and Spain in the first quarter of 2017.

Vodafone has been one of the largest backers on NarrowBand, an evolution of Huawei’s NB-IoT effort. 3GPP, the largest telecommunication association, standardized the technology in June.

However, narrowband is currently competing with LoRa, another IoT network built by Semtech. A few developments in Asia have cropped up in the past using that standard, creating fragmentation in the IoT networking industry.