Today, about 6.5 billion ‘things’ are connected to the internet. Yet, we are still only connecting less than 1% of what could be potentially connected to the internet. This is because these items are either too remote, too inaccessible, or there are simply too many to make it economically viable to do so.
Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) technology was developed to enable efficient communication and long battery life for mass distributed devices across wide geographical footprints and deep within urban infrastructure. It can be used to connect simple devices, such as sensors, to drive new data streams, reduce operational costs and create new business models.
Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) is a category of wireless communication technologies designed to support Internet of Things (IoT) deployments. LPWA technologies are used to deliver:
Even when devices are underground or deep within buildings
Great power efficiency
So devices can run on batteries for 10 years or more without a charge
Connecting potentially millions of devices at once in a single deployment
At Vodafone, we use NB-IoT technology to achieve LPWA technology requirements. Basically, this means that the evolution of the IoT has created an urgent need for a low-power way to connect thousands of devices in field. We believe NB-IoT fits the bill perfectly.
Vodafone NB-IoT technology uses our existing network infrastructure to deliver excellent coverage and reliable connectivity which benefits businesses of all sizes.
The power of our network, as well as our place as a founding member of the GSMA NB IoT Forum, puts us firmly at the forefront of delivering this pioneering technology.
Fast and flexible
NB-IoT is a 3GPP standard closely related to LTE technology. As a result, it can be deployed on almost all LTE base stations, alongside LTE traffic, through a straightforward software upgrade to the radio access network (RAN).
Globally, Vodafone is in the process of adding NB-IoT to about 85% of its network through a software upgrade, with the rest upgradeable after a small hardware modification, and the goal is to enable all LTE sites with NB-IoT by 2020.
Broad market support
Because NB-IoT is an open 3GPP standard, it gives enterprises the reassurance that they’re making a low-risk, long-term technology commitment, free of the risks associated with proprietary technology. It’s a safe bet for long-term commitment globally and benefits from economies of scale.
Globally, NB-IoT is supported by over 30 of the world’s largest operators, which provide communications for more than 3.4 billion customers and geographically serve over 90% of the IoT market.
Easy to integrate
In many ways NB-IoT behaves like LTE, so it’s familiar to network engineers, application developers and hardware developers.
On the Vodafone IoT network in particular, NB-IoT connections can be managed seamlessly alongside other IoT SIMs on the Global IoT Platform, including reporting, self-service control over SIM states, use of alerts and business rules and API access.
You can use Vodafone 4G in our 4G areas. 4G in selected areas in Australia. You get broadband speeds in our 3G areas. Check your device is compatible to the coverage areas you will use. Actual speeds vary due to things like device capability, location & network congestion. See our coverage checker.