TIM launches NB-IoT network to cover 5,000 towns in Italy
The new network will fully cover TIM’s LTE footprint by January 2018
Italian telecommunications group TIM has announced the commercial launch of a narrowband-internet of things (NB-IoT) network which will cover 5,000 municipalities across the European country.
The telco said the new cellular-based internet of things network will cover 75% of the telco’s 4G network by the end of this month. Full coverage of TIM’s 4G network will be achieved in January 2018, the telco said.
In April this year, TIM carried out a field test of a smart water meter which is capable of automatically sending meter readings via the live NB-IoT network. This test was carried out by Olivetti, the digital hub of the TIM Group, with Torino water company Società Metropolitana Acque Torino (SMAT).
“The availability of the NB-IoT service nationwide will enable the commercial development of services starting with smart meters, which will enable not only real time monitoring of consumption of gas, water and electricity transmission and distribution networks, but also district heating and environmental management,” TIM said in a statement.
NB-IoT technology allows significant consumption savings with a battery duration for connected objects of over ten years and important increments in radio coverage up to seven times greater than GSM,” the telco said. TIM highlighted the quality of NB-IoT’s coverage, saying it will be able to connect meters located under staircases, and inside manholes, basements, cellars and garages.
TIM had opened a NB-IoT Open Lab in Turin last November with the primary goal of contributing to the development of an IoT ecosystem through testing of chipsets and smart meters.
TIM’s NB-IoT Open Lab has already involved 110 companies with 39 active collaborations, of which 12 validation activities have already been completed.
The telco also said it is working with Olivetti in the development of IoT solutions such as industrial automation and autonomous driving.