Vodafone and Huawei this week completed the first ever Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) connection on a live mobile network, in an effort to gear up for the launch of commercial services in 2017. The connection was established recently on Vodafone’s 4G network in Madrid, using 800-MHz spectrum.
“This first successful trial of NB-IoT on a live commercial network is a significant technology milestone on the path towards a world with billions of devices connected at extremely low cost with minimal power requirements to mobile networks,” said Matt Beal, Vodafone’s group director of technology architecture and strategy, in a blog post. (See: Huawei, Vodafone To Transform Madrid.)
NB-IoT is a low-power, wide-area (LPWA) networking standard that uses licensed spectrum to provide two-way communication over long distances and in hard-to-reach locations. It supports very large numbers of low throughput, low cost devices that consume very little power.
3GPP in June completed the standardisation of NB-IoT as part of its work on LTE Release 13.
“NB-IoT has strong support as the industrial LPWA technology to support our enterprise customers. This successful trial demonstrates Vodafone’s commitment and ability to bring this technology to market early in 2017,” Beal said.