Vodafone launches first narrow-band IoT network

Vodafone IoT launch
Minister for Communications Denis Naughten, and Anne O’Leary, Vodafone

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31 August 2017 | 0

Vodafone has launched Ireland’s first Narrow-band Internet of Things (NB-IoT) network which will facilitate the connections of a wide variety of devices, underpinning the country’s development as a ‘smart nation’.

Launched by Minister for Communications, Climate Action & Environment, Denis Naughten, NB-IoT is a low power wide area network (LPWA) technology. It is designed to wirelessly connect millions of devices that have low bandwidth requirements, such as municipal bins, parking bay meters, air quality sensors, and more, that will, Vodafone says, enable society to become smarter and more efficient, massively benefiting citizens as well as businesses. The company predicts that Irish consumers will see a huge variety of products, services and applications enabled by NB-IoT.

Network upgrades
Vodafone said that in preparing for this rollout, it had upgraded its existing 4G base stations to provide nationwide NB-IoT coverage, which will have the ability to run alongside existing 2G, 3G and 4G networks.

NB-IoT has broad support within the mobile industry, Vodafone reports, from 40 global mobile operators, 27 technology vendors and over 550 mobile IoT innovators.

The company has been a supporter of these technologies here, with involvement in an industrial IoT project with EMC and others from 2015.

Technology milestone
“Today’s announcement by Vodafone Ireland is warmly welcomed and I’m delighted to support such innovation,” said Minister Naughten. “This is a significant technology milestone that holds the potential to connect millions of devices and change the way we use and interact with technology. Ireland continues to be at the forefront of such innovation, with this latest rollout by Vodafone being a true testament to the limitless possibility NB-IoT can offer.”

“My department is committed to working closely with industry to ensure that digital advancements such as NB-IoT meet the needs of our society, as well as ensuring Ireland punches above its weight when it comes to innovation,” said the minister.

Urgent need
“The evolution of the Internet of Things,” said Anne O’Leary, CEO, Vodafone Ireland, “ means that there is an urgent need for a low-power way to connect thousands of devices. NB-IoT fits the bill perfectly. We are therefore delighted to be the first Irish operator to provide a fully commercial, nationwide NB-IoT network to our customers. Our latest innovation will provide a head start to Irish businesses and consumers in their race to become truly smart and efficient, radically saving time and money”

“The NB-IoT network is a standards based technology and is deployed in the licenced spectrum which is important from a security perspective.  Our service offers specialist security consultancy to provide advisory support and security assessments to ensure that the security and data protection of our customers is protected,” said O’Leary.

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