Vodafone launches NB-IoT project for smart meters
Vodafone will work with Veolia Energy to kick off a commercial NB-IoT initiative in the Czech Republic
Vodafone Czech Republic and Veolia Energie have launched a commercial NB-IoT project to deploy smart meters. Under the NB-IoT initiative, a total of 1,000 smart meters will be connected to the operator’s NB-IoT network and monitor heating usage. The deployment will initially take place in the cities of Prague and Ostrava.
Veolia said it has selected Vodafone due to its good indoor coverage and coverage of premises underground, where the heat supplier usually installs its devices.
Vodafone Czech Republic also offers its NB-IoT network for testing of devices, such as sensors. The starter package includes 20 IoT SIM cards, six-month connectivity in the NB-IoT testing platform with licensed radio spectrum, technology support and access to Vodafone IoT portal.
Vodafone has recently signed a commercial agreement to install over 104,000 NB-IoT connections for Spanish IT services company Grupo POAS.
Under the terms of the agreement, Vodafone Spain will implement NB-IoT connectivity in multiple use cases including security and access control. Vodafone launched its NB-IoT network in Madrid and Valencia in January 2017 after upgrading existing 4G base stations using the 800 MHz licensed spectrum frequency band and subsequently extended it to other Spanish cities including Barcelona, Seville, Bilbao and Malaga.
In August 2017, Vodafone Spain said it had 1,000 base stations for NB-IoT in the country, including recent launches in the cities of Zaragoza and Santander. Every NB-IoT mobile site can connect more than 100,000 devices, Vodafone said.
Vodafone Spain previously announced that the system would be used to connect various different product categories, including gas and water meters, smart bins, fire alarms, parking meters, lighting and other types of sensors.
The U.K based telecom group has also announced plans to deploy NB-IoT in Germany. Vodafone Germany said it is planning to activate its nationwide NB-IoT network in September after it upgrades 90% of its LTE network for machine-to-machine (M2M) communications over the next six months.
Up to 4 billion devices will be able to be connected to Vodafone’s NB-IoT network following its activation, said Vodafone. Vodafone has already signed up customers for the NB-IoT network, including energy metering company Diehl Metering, which will use the technology to upgrade its footprint of electricity and water meters.
In addition, German firm Techem will use NB-IoT to optimize and simplify its systems for digital heat and water consumption metering. Both companies have already conducted lab trials with Vodafone.
Vodafone also deployed NB-IoT networks in the Netherlands and Ireland. In this latter country, the telco is also undertaking proof-of-concept trials in areas including smart lighting, smart parking and smart bins.