British service provider, Vodafone plans to roll out NB-IoT technology in many markets in the coming year and thus putting its weight behind Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) wireless technology, which is facing strong competition from LORA and Sigfox.
It is a significant that the company has decided to adopt NB-IoT since the standard is yet to ratified while the rival offerings have started to gain momentum. The company has opened NB-IoT open lab in Newbury, UK and plans to start more in many parts of the world. Vodafone operates in around 30 countries across the world. While LORA and Sigfox operate in unlicensed spectrum, NB-IOT uses licensed spectrum.
“NB-IoT operates in licensed spectrum and that is important to us at Vodafone because we need to deliver a high quality experience to our customers,” wrote Erik Brenneis, Vodafone’s IoT group director, in a blog. He further said that Sigfox and others “risks disruption to the signal from other technologies trying to use the same frequencies.”
China Mobile, the world’s largest service provider, hopes to commercialise NB-IOT in the coming year. Etisalat and Telecom Italia are other telcos who have come out in support of the technology. Besides, Huawei is also a strong proponent of this technology. Qualcomm, Intel, Sierra, Telit, Gemalto are some of the other vendors who have supported NB-IoT.