Vodafone has announced it will be doubling the size of its European NB-IoT (Narrowband Internet of Things) by the end of 2019.
NB-IoT provides ‘industrial grade’ Low-Power Wide-Area connectivity for applications such as streetlights, connected healthcare monitors, and wearable devices.
Vodafone’s NB-IoT network is currently live in eight countries; the Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Australia, Netherlands, South Africa, Spain, and Turkey.
Cell sites in European countries will be doubled by the end of next year, while Vodafone only says it will ‘expand’ its NB-IoT networks in South Africa and Turkey.
The company’s NB-IoT network is the largest in the world and the company has further plans to launch in the UK, Romania, and Hungary.
Vodafone claims its decision to increase NB-IoT expenditure is a result of the demand it’s seen from enterprise customers.
Stefano Gastaut, Vodafone IoT Director, commented:
“NB-IoT gives businesses access to 5G capabilities a year before we expect large-scale consumer availability and I believe this will be a catalyst in the widespread use of IoT by enterprises.
Our NB-IoT network reinforces our position as the premier telecoms company for IoT and means that our customers can connect the next generation of devices to the world’s largest and most secure international network.”
The company’s existing footprint is quite impressive. Vodafone supplies over 74 million IoT connections – including those embedded in vehicles by Audi, BMW, Daimler Benz, Ford, General Motors, Jaguar Land Rover, Porsche, SEAT, VW, and Yamaha motorbikes.
Furthermore, it supports smart meters for energy companies including Centrica, EDF, and nPower. Outside of business solutions, it also provides connectivity for consumer electronics such as the Amazon Kindle and devices manufactured by Bosch, Panasonic, Philips Lighting. and TomTom.