27 November 2018
Vodafone will double the number of European cell sites in its 5G Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) network footprint by the end of 2019.
It’s claimed this will create the world’s biggest, international NB-IoT network. It will be available in 10 European countries, including planned launches in the UK, Romania and Hungary.
According to Vodafone, NB-IoT is the ‘industrial grade’ LP-WAN (low power wide area network) technology that will provide connectivity for many smart city and industrial applications at low cost and with equivalent security to 4G. It says NB-IoT operates in licenced spectrum to guarantee customers service quality, provides “strong” coverage over large areas (even when devices are underground or deep within buildings), and provides “greater” power efficiency enabling devices to run on batteries for 10 years or more on a single charge. Vodafone adds that the technology also gives it the ability to support upwards of 50,000 devices in a single cell without congestion for the first time.
Vodafone IoT director Stefano Gastaut says: “NB-IoT gives businesses access to 5G capabilities a year before we expect large-scale consumer availability, and I believe this will be a catalyst in the widespread use of IoT by enterprises.”
Vodafone has already launched NB-IoT networks in the Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Australia, Netherlands, South Africa, Spain and Turkey. The company claims to be the global leader in managed IoT, with 74 million connections and an international network and services platform supporting companies such as Amazon, Audi, BMW, Bosch, Centrica, EDF, General Motors, nPower, Panasonic, Philips Lighting, Yamaha motorbikes, among many others.