In early 2018, Vodafone NZ will be launching a new narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) network for business customers. They are expecting to do a trial run in late 2017.
Initially, their NB-IoT network was tested last September with the help of Nokia. This year’s customer trial will have the software being deployed on Vodafone’s network testing facilities, in addition to several cell sites.
Tony Baird, Vodafone NZ technology director, views the NB-IoT as the “premium” solution for connecting a near endless wave of IoT devices that we are going to see in the years to come.
Towards the end of the current year, Vodafone will also be launching live NB-IoT networks in Australia, New Zealand, and Germany, following January’s NB-IoT launch in Spain where six cities received their own networks. The networks in Germany and New Zealand will be nationwide, while those in Australia will be rolled out on a state-by-state process, beginning in Victoria.
Since multiple customers are trialling their products on Vodafone’s NB-IoT networks in Spain, Vodafone will be able to utilise the knowledge gained from these trials in order to provide a better service to businesses worldwide.
As far as the global expansion of Vodafone’s NB-IoT is concerned, they are working in on it with various partners, including Nokia, Huawei, and Ericsson.
In other industry news, last week Vodafone NZ and Sky decided they will not be merging. However, they will continue to work together.