HomeConnectivityVodafone bringing NB-IoT network to New Zealand next year

Vodafone bringing NB-IoT network to New Zealand next year

 Vodafone expects to carry out a NB-IoT pilot later this year with select enterprise customers

U.K.-based operator Vodafone announced plans to deploy a narrowband-internet of things (NB-IoT) network in early 2018 in New Zealand.

“There are many IoT networks available now but we think NB-IoT is a premium technology choice that is worth waiting for,” said Vodafone Technology Director, Tony Baird. “It is supported by over 40 of the world’s largest mobile operators plus many more suppliers and innovators that serve the majority of the global IoT market.”

Vodafone said it currently has more than 1.4 million connected devices operating across its 2G network in New Zealand. The upcoming deployment will be an evolution of this network, so it can support tens of millions more devices in future, the telco said.

Vodafone successfully tested NB-IoT on its network with Finnish vendor Nokia in September 2016. The company said that the next step is to pilot the technology with a select group of business customers in late 2017, before a network roll out in early 2018.

Transport technology services company Eroad will be one of the customers that will be part of the NB-IoT pilot program, Vodafone said.

“Because NB-IoT is built to a global standard, the products we develop can be optimized so they are compatible in multiple global markets. Kiwi tech companies are integral to New Zealand’s export future, and we’re really excited about what NB-IoT will mean for ours,” Eroad CEO, Steven Newman said.

Vodafone also highlighted a recent IoT Alliance report that estimates a NZ$2.2 billion ($1.6 billion) IoT market opportunity for New Zealand industries over the next 10 years.

Last month, Vodafone Netherlands activated its NB-IoT network in 20 locations across the Netherlands.

The new NB-IoT network is already operational in nine cities across the European country. The new technology had already been introduced at VodafoneZiggo offices in Maastricht, Utrecht and Amsterdam. The network is now also active in several locations in the cities of Rotterdam, Eindhoven, Hilversum, Den Bosch, Groningen and Delft.

Spark announced plans to launch IoT network in New Zealand

In related news, Spark New Zealand announced plans to deploy a nationwide IoT network. The telco said that part of this network will become operational by June 2018.

“The network we are rolling out is being developed by Kordia, who have commenced initial network design in preparation for the network build, which will operate on the LoRa network standard,” said Michael Stribling, general manager, IoT, at Spark. Spark also plans to deploy LTE-M and narrowband LTE (NB-IoT).

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