With thirteen different companies bringing chips to market, that’s an investment of around $200 million.
Add to that the costs of the standardisation process, infrastructure development and initial market trials and it’s clear that somewhere between $500 million and $1 billion has already been spent on getting NB-IoT to the point where it is today. That’s a level of investment that should be worrying competing standards like LoRa and Sigfox, as the NB-IoT companies will do all they can to recoup their investment.
Having said which, if you count up real NB-IoT deployments, it’s still early days. There are probably fewer than 10 million chips deployed. That’s the figure from Huawei, who is certainly leading the field.