Deutsche Telekom and Huawei have activated the world’s first Narrowband IoT end-to-end system on DT’s live network in Germany and The Netherlands, based on the 3GPP R13 standard which was released in June 2016. Narrowband IoT is a technology which enables wide area and deep in-building coverage, combined with low device costs and low energy consumption, and can therefore facilitate a host of compelling use scenarios across a wide range of sectors, from agriculture and logistics, to automotive and the public sector, says the press release.
The activated system is based on cutting edge technology including SRAN base stations, virtualized C-SGN (core network) and a cloud-based IoT platform. The first application, a fully up-and-running commercial Narrowband IoT smart parking system, has also been launched in Bonn, Germany. The solution, which has parking sensors built into each parking space, communicates with motorists via an app that directs them to available parking spaces.
“Deutsche Telekom and Huawei’s joint innovation is opening up the next generation of Internet of Things applications,” says Bruno Jacobfeuerborn, Chief Technology Officer, Deutsche Telekom. “With the implementation of the first standardized Narrowband IoT network in not one, but already two of Deutsche Telekom’s markets, we have achieved an important milestone on the road to a full, Europe-wide commercial roll-out of Narrowband IoT-based solutions.”
“Together with Deutsche Telekom, we are front runners in accelerating the Narrowband IoT ecosystem and making this technology a commercial success. We are proud that the well-proven cooperation between Deutsche Telekom and Huawei has led to the launch of the first end-to-end Narrowband IoT network worldwide,” says Jiang Wangcheng, President of Global IoT Business, Huawei. “Narrowband IoT is a key contributor to the rapid growth of cellular IoT connections worldwide. Our focus is on connecting more things to the network and to unlock the potential of untapped markets to date.”
Narrowband IoT Prototyping Hubs in Berlin, Bonn and Krakow
The rollout of the Narrowband IoT network goes hand in hand with the development of innovative first use cases. To this end, Deutsche Telekom has established test environments within its “Narrowband IoT Prototyping Hub” initiative in Bonn, as well as at its hub:raum facilities in Berlin and Krakow.
Developers receive a starter developer kit and support via their relevant hub with the aim to introduce first Narrowband IoT solutions by the end of 2017. A further aim of the hub facilities is to kick-start a cross-industry Narrowband IoT ecosystem by bringing together customers and developers, and also providing vertical sectors with the know-how to build flexible and scalable Narrowband IoT applications.
Introducing Narrowband IoT Soft Lab Concept
Furthermore, Deutsche Telekom and Huawei are jointly introducing the Narrowband IoT Soft Lab concept, an innovative approach to accelerate the Narrowband IoT ecosystem by tapping into the creative power of developers to achieve faster time-to-market for Narrowband IoT solutions. Soft Labs are an evolution of the existing Open Lab concept, where physical labs were set up at various locations around the globe, so hardware (chipset/module) manufacturers and application developers can come together to perform end-to-end testing. With the introduction of Soft Labs, developers based anywhere in the world can test chipset, module and base station functionalities without physical installation, but with software operating on a standard PC instead. The only prerequisite is connectivity to the C-SGN core network and IoT platform.
Exciting prospects for the future
Narrowband IoT is specially designed to enable Internet of Things applications for large-scale use – and is paving the way for numerous new business models. As market leader, Deutsche Telekom is driving forward this innovative technology to enable Internet of Things applications. The exciting prospects that Narrowband IoT opens up for the future are described in Deutsche Telekom’s new Narrowband IoT whitepaper. On October 26, as part of the IoT Solutions World Congress in Barcelona, Deutsche Telekom will also discuss the difficulties and approaches for dealing with the velocity, variety and quality of transportation in a session on “NB-IoT in industrial environments.”