Vodafone Group, Huawei and u-blox have completed the first successful commercial trial of pre-standard NB-IoT (Narrowband Internet of Things). NB-IoT is a new technology that will extend the Internet of Things (IoT) by making it more efficient to connect objects to the internet which are in areas hard to reach by mobile connectivity or that require a long battery life.
Vodafone and Huawei successfully integrated the technology onto the operator’s existing mobile network in Spain and then sent the first pre-standard NB-IoT message to a u-blox module in a water meter.
Water meters are just one of the objects that NB-IoT could eventually connect. NB-IoT is a LPWA technology that offers low cost, long battery life, wide area coverage for objects requiring a long range mobile connection (e.g. in basements or in shaded areas) and low power consumption (many devices are not connected to mains power or are in areas where one would not want to swap out batteries regularly). NB-IoT promises to achieve up to 10 years’ battery life and deep indoor penetration.
The improved penetration and low power requirements make it possible to connect devices using NB-IoT simply and efficiently using an established mobile network.
NB-IoT is viewed by the industry as having application for enterprises in a range of different areas, from utility meters to sensor monitoring to asset-tracking.
The pre-NB IoT commercial technology trial used Huawei’s chipset and software and was the first of its kind to successfully implement narrowband communications in cellular bands. The deployment of NB-IoT in licensed cellular spectrum means it is secure and less susceptible to interference and can provide a better guarantee of service.
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