Vodafone gears up for Internet of Things

Completes pre-standard NB-IoT trial

Vodafone has announced it has successfully completed a trial of pre-standard Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT).

NB-IoT is a 4G technology that will support the Internet of Things (IoT) by making it more efficient to connect products to the internet.

Vodafone Chief Technology Officer Benoit Hanssen said Vodafone has successfully completed wireless network access trials at several live sites across central and suburban Melbourne.

“We’ve been able to achieve significantly greater coverage both in terms of distance and depth, compared to those offered by existing 2G, 3G and 4G technology,” Mr Hanssen said.

“Based on our testing in the Melbourne CBD, NB-IoT would be able to penetrate two to three double-brick walls, enabling connectivity of objects in underground car parks and basements.

“We also achieved extended coverage during tests in suburban Melbourne, with distances of up to 30 kilometres.

“The benefits of NB-IoT include deeper and further coverage, up to 10 years battery life, increased scalability with up to 100,000 devices per cell and low cost of modem chipsets forecasted at less than $5.”

Mr Hanssen said NB-IoT was one of the new applications of evolving 4G technology.

“We’re hearing a lot of hype about 5G at the moment but there is still plenty of mileage left in 4G, such as NB-IoT,” he said.

“NB-IoT is an application of 4G designed specifically for products which require extended distance, depth and battery life.

“We’ve invested billions of dollars over recent years in our network, which is now world-class, and we’re continuing to enhance it with exciting new features.”

Executive General Manager of Enterprise Business Stuart Kelly said Vodafone was using its global expertise to benefit Australians, with Vodafone Group recognised as the world’s top operator in terms of taking advantage of IoT opportunities.

“The opportunities NB-IoT will bring are endless, with enormous potential particularly for industries such as automotive, agricultural, health and utilities,” Mr Kelly said.

“The types of products we could see utilising this technology are gas and water metering, smart bins, alarms and detectors, and parking monitoring.”

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Notes to Editor:
Wireless network access trials were carried out in late April by Vodafone and radio technology partner, Huawei. Further trials will be carried out in coming months across Australia. NB-IoT is a Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) technology which offers low cost, long battery life, wide area coverage for products requiring long range mobile connection, such as in basements. It also offers low power consumption for devices not connected to mains powers, removing the need to swap batteries out regularly.