Vodafone is continuing its investment in Narrowband-IoT (NB-IoT) technology by deploying a fully integrated Nokia NB-IoT system at Vodafone's 'Open Lab' in Dusseldorf, Germany. The set up includes Nokia’s radio access network and elements from its Cloud Packet Core solution and leverages IoT technology from Telit.
The idea is the solution will be used by device manufacturers and applications developers in trials of new products and solutions, which will expand the IoT ecosystem.
Nokia and Telit used the technology to demonstrate how NB-IoT will meet the connectivity needs of devices. The companies used an Intel chipset integrated in a NB-IoT module, which was embedded in a Shitek technology ultrasonic gas meter.
The system connected with a meter to transmit data on gas flow over a 4G Vodafone test network, demonstrating how NB-IoT technology can be used to manage an integrated network comprised of components from multiple vendors.
NB-IoT enables 4G networks to connect IoT devices in an efficient and cost effective way. It enables wider coverage indoors and outdoors, for example allowing the radio signal to reach further inside buildings such as factories and hospitals to connect sensors and devices and transmit information.
Lower power consumption allows device battery life to be prolonged for up to 15 years, optimising the cost of maintaining the myriad devices that will be found within homes and enterprises.
Luke Ibbetson, Head of Research & Development and Technology Strategy for Vodafone Group, and Chair of the GSMA NB-IoT Forum, said: "NB-IoT will be commercially available from early 2017 and, because it has strong support from across the telecoms industry, will be the technology used to connect millions more things to the Internet."
Marco Argenton, Product Marketing Manager, Telit, said: "We have the industry's broadest portfolio of integrated products, platforms and services to support IoT deployments. With the collaboration in this trial, we demonstrated real and tangible benefits of automation in the residential energy market, the nature of which can be leveraged in many other industries and verticals."
Roberto Loiola, global customer business team head at Nokia, said: "The low power attributes and reach of NB-IoT make it an ideal technology to connect the Internet of Things. The trial with Telit showed how NB-IoT is perfectly suited to manage a network comprised of devices and sensors from multiple vendors.
“At Nokia we are constantly innovating to allow our customers to evolve their offer and anticipate the needs of their subscribers and our work with Vodafone at the Open Lab is a prime example of this."