The announcement follows the recent launch of NB-IoT technology by rival TIM
The Italian subsidiary of U.K.-based telecom group Vodafone announced plans to invest more than 10 million euros ($11.8 million) to deploy its NB-IoT network across the country. The European telco confirmed the network rollout will begin this month in major municipalities in the southern and central areas of Italy.
From January 2018, the telco said it will continue the rollout of the NB-IoT in additional cities, with the goal of covering the entire national territory by March 2019. The NB-IoT will be deployed across the telco’s entire 4G LTE network, which currently exceeds 97% population coverage, Vodafone Italy said.
Vodafone Italy highlighted a list of NB-IoT use cases, including smart metering, smart city functions as well as applications in the fields of environmental and structural monitoring, and agriculture.
Earlier this week, rival operator TIM announced the commercial launch of a NB-IoT network covering 5,000 municipalities across Italy. TIM said its NB-IoT 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.
Europe to reach 62 million smart gas meters by 2022, study finds
In related news, the installed base of smart gas meters in Europe will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 37.8% between 2016 and 2022 to reach 62 million units at the end of the period, according to a recent study by Swedish M2M/IoT analyst firm Berg Insight.
The research firm said the deployments of smart gas meters in Europe accelerated in 2017 as the number of installed devices reached 17.3 million. The growth is mainly driven by nationwide rollouts in France, Italy, the Netherlands and the U.K. Italy is the largest market with annual demand projected to reach more than 5 million units towards the end of the decade.