Vodafone launches commercial NB-IoT network in Spain
The NB-IoT network will initially be available in Madrid and Valencia.
Vodafone Group’s Spanish subsidiary said its narrowband “internet of things” network is now operational and commercially available in Spain.
Santiago Tenorio, group head of network strategy and architecture at Vodafone Spain, said the network will soon have the capability to connect more than 100 million new devices, and will be initially available in Madrid and Valencia.
“As part of a nationwide rollout, we will extend coverage to Barcelona, Bilbao, Málaga and Seville by the end of March 2017, when there will be over 1,000 mobile sites supporting NB-IoT. Every NB-IoT mobile site can connect more than 100,000 devices,” Tenorio said.
The NB-IoT network was deployed within existing 800 MHz spectrum, with the telco only needing to make software updates in existing base stations in order to launch the technology. Vodafone said the use of licensed spectrum allows the telco to provide customers with the same levels of security as its LTE network and that the service will not be subject to potential disruption like alternative technologies utilizing unlicensed spectrum.
“NB-IoT can increase signal coverage area by up to seven times, or 20 decibels, compared to existing GSM technology. That will help our customers to connect devices used deep indoors or underground such as gas meters, water meters, smoke and fire alarms, and parking monitors,” Tenorio said.
In June 2016, Vodafone completed a prestandard NB-IoT customer trial with Spanish water company Aguas de Valencia. In October, the telco said completed what it claimed to be the world’s first test of a NB-IoT connected product on a commercial network using a parking sensor buried in a space within the Vodafone Plaza in Madrid.