About Cellular IoT

The Internet of Things (IoT) is on the verge of becoming one of the most important features of the 21st century, connecting all kinds of objects and devices and establishing communication between a vast amount of devices and services. It unlocks incredible value that benefits all of us in multiple ways.

The technologies unlocking this great potential are the result of continuous investments in effort, time, skill and money made by a group of companies that have taken the risk to focus on innovation.

Instead of keeping the results of their R&D for themselves as trade secrets, these companies disclosed their inventions in patents and collaborated with other companies in the cellular IoT (c-IoT) field to bring their technologies together in open standards. This enabled a broad number of entities to learn how to build c-IoT networks and c-IoT products. It is a process that delivers benefits to, and improves the lives of, people across the globe.

In return for sharing their knowledge in this way, the innovators concerned are entitled to ask for a fair and reasonable royalty from companies making products that implement their patented technology.

Open standards innovation is an ecosystem, requiring a balance between invention and implementation, investment and reward, all parts contingent and dependent on each other.

By creating this patent pool, the participating Patent Owners have created a simple one-stop-shop offering a licence to all their relevant Patents that are essential to implement the LTE-M and Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) standards.

Doing this replaces a multitude of discussions, licence agreements, sales reporting obligations and invoices, with a single licence, single reporting and a single royalty payment.

This single licence gives implementers peace of mind to choose LTE-M and NB-IoT as their communication technology if they are believed to provide the best match with their product design and function - and not to make intellectual property conflicts a decisive factor. In turn, this will allow the industry the freedom it needs to grow.

Sisvel supports its partners in this patent pool by acting as an independent administrator, offering commercial solutions that work both for innovators and implementers, making sure the Patent Owners are fairly rewarded for their innovation while also facilitating technology adoption. This is how Sisvel helps to foster innovation.

For more details visit the License Terms page.

Patent Owners

The Sisvel Cellular IoT programme offers a licence to the LTE-M and NB-IoT standard essential patents (SEPs) held by:

  • ASUSTek Computer Inc.

  • BlackBerry Limited

  • China Mobile Communications Group Co., Ltd.

  • Datang Mobile Communications Equipment Co., Ltd.

  • Deutsche Telekom AG

  • Electronic and Telecommunication Research Institute

  • Harfang IP Investment Corporation

  • HFI Innovation Inc. (an affiliate of MediaTek, Inc.)

  • Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd.

  • Innovative Sonic Limited

  • JVCKENWOOD Corporation

  • KDDI Corporation

  • Koninklijke KPN N.V.

  • Mitsubishi Electric Corporation

  • NTT DOCOMO, Inc.

  • Optis Cellular Technology, LLC

  • Optis Wireless Technology, LLC

  • Orange S.A.

  • Pantech Corporation

  • Shanghai Langbo Communication Technology Co., Ltd

  • Sisvel International S.A.

  • SK Telecom Co. Ltd.

  • Sony Group Corporation

  • TCL Communication Technology Holdings Limited

  • Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson

  • Telefónica S.A.

  • Unwired Planet, LLC

  • Verizon Patent & Licensing Inc.

  • ZTE Corporation

  • [company name to be announced soon]

Patents

Sisvel has the right to grant non-exclusive licences to all LTE-M and NB-IoT standard essential patents held by the participating patent owners.

Licensed Standards

LTE-M includes the portion of the 4G standard applicable to Cat-M (Cat-M1 and/or Cat-M2) device categories.

NB-IoT includes the portion of the 4G standard applicable to Cat-NB (Cat-NB1 and/or Cat-NB2) device categories.

All patent families listed in the patent brochure of the Cellular IoT licensing programme undergo an essentiality evaluation from an independent evaluator. The patent brochure is updated on a regular basis as new patents are evaluated as essential to the relevant licensed standard(s). We aim to publish the patent brochure during 2024.

For more details, please refer to the License Terms page.

Licence Terms

The royalty rates for Sisvel’s Cellular IoT programme are offered on a per unit fee basis as follows:

Royalty per unit

NB-IoT

US$ 0.66

LTE-M*

Smart Sensor Devices

- Selling price of US$6 or less

US$ 0.08

- Selling price of US$6-US$20

US$ 0.35

- Selling price of US$20-US$130 **

US$ 1.33

Smart Utility Metering Devices

US$ 2.00

* The LTE-M royalty rate also applies to multimode devices featuring both LTE-M and NB-IoT standard data connectivity.

** Sisvel is available to discuss applicable royalty rates for LTE-M Smart Sensor Devices with a Selling Price over US$130.

Please note that the listed rates represent the current royalty structure of the Sisvel Cellular IoT programme and may be subject to alteration in case of substantial changes to market conditions.

FAQ

What is LTE-M and NB- IoT?

Long term evolution (LTE) is a fourth-generation (4G) wireless standard that was introduced by the 3GPP consortium to provide higher network capacity and increased speed for cellular communication.

LTE-M, also known as LTE Cat M1 or eMTC, is a variant of the LTE standard that has been specifically introduced to support IoT applications that require less battery power and wider coverage.

NB-IoT is a narrow band LPWAN technology that operates in the licensed band and can coexist with LTE or GSM bands. The NB-IoT protocol is built on the LTE paradigm where it reuses the different building blocks and components of the physical and upper layers of the LTE protocol stack. NB-IoT reduces the protocol stack functionalities of LTE to a minimum and modifies them to fit the requirements of IoT applications.

Which patent owners participate in the Sisvel Cellular IoT programme?

An updated list of participating patent owners can be found at the following link. A licence under the Sisvel Cellular IoT programme covers all patents that are essential to the LTE-M and NB-IoT standards held by these companies.

Who should obtain a licence under the Sisvel Cellular IoT programme?

If you manufacture any IoT devices implementing LTE-M or NB-IoT, or if you are in the process of bringing such a device to market, you should contact us to obtain a licence under the programme.

What value does a licensee receive from a licence?

A licence under the Sisvel Cellular IoT programme covers all patents that are essential to the LTE-M and NB-IoT standards held by entities currently participating in the programme (see Patent Owners) and all new ones that join in the future. Any new patents essential to the standards that these entities may come into possession of during the lifetime of the licence are also covered.

What products are covered?

The licence covers complete and ready to use products. Intermediary products and components are not licensed under this programme.

What technologies are covered by the licence?

The license covers both LTE-M and NB-IoT.

What geographies are covered by the licence?

The Sisvel Cellular IoT programme offers a worldwide licence.

How much does a licence cost?

Please see License Terms.

What is the royalty rate for a licensed product featuring both LTE-M and NB-IoT standard data connectivity?

The LTE-M royalty rate covers both LTE-M and NB-IoT, meaning that an LTE-M/NB-IoT product is only subject to the LTE-M royalty rate.

What are the steps to becoming a licensee?

The first step is for Sisvel and a potential licensee to establish contact. Once this happens, Sisvel will explain how a licence under the programme works. A licensee will also be able to ask questions. For example, about the scope of the licence and the products it will cover.

The process is completed when the parties have signed the licence agreement. After this, the parties will stay in contact during the course of the licence in connection with, for example, the licensee’s royalty reporting.

What do I need to do to obtain a licence?

When a potential licensee is ready to sign an agreement and has provided relevant company information (e.g., name, address and contact details), Sisvel stands ready to support the preparation of a signature version of the agreement and assist throughout the signature process.

Today, most of our licence agreements are formalised using electronic signatures, but they can also be signed with ink on a hard copy.

The licence agreement is concluded when both the licensee and Sisvel have signed the agreement. It remains in force for the duration of the licensed term, or otherwise as set forth in its terms and conditions.

What is the term of the licence?

The standard term of the licence is five years.

What are the reporting requirements under the licence?

Licensees must report the sales of licensed products made or sold on a calendar quarterly basis.

Is there any joining fee or other initial payment to become a licensee?

No.

Are there any additional costs associated with the licence in addition to the royalty?

No.

Are there any subscription or use fees for the licence?

No.

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