Nokia, Vodafone and Telit announced Thursday their collaboration to expand the Internet of Things ecosystem using Narrowband-IoT (NB-IoT) technology.
Nokia has deployed a fully integrated NB-IoT system at Vodafone’s ‘Open Lab’ in Dusseldorf, Germany using its radio access network and elements from its Cloud Packet Core solution. The system leverages IoT technology from Telit and will be used by device manufacturers and applications developers in trials of products and solutions to expand the IoT ecosystem.
NB-IoT will optimize 4G networks to meet the dynamic demands of billions of connected devices. It enables wider coverage indoors and outdoors, for example allowing the radio signal to reach further inside buildings such as factories and hospitals to connect sensors and devices and transmit information. Lower power consumption allows device battery life to be prolonged for up to 15 years, elevating the cost of maintaining the myriad devices that will be found within homes and enterprises.
In a trial during Vodafone’s recent Innovation Day event in Dusseldorf, Nokia and Telit used the technology to demonstrate how NB-IoT will meet the connectivity needs of devices. The companies used an Intel chipset integrated in a NB-IoT module, which was embedded in a Shitek technology ultrasonic gas meter.
The system connected with a meter to transmit data on gas flow over a 4G Vodafone test network, demonstrating how NB-IoT technology can be used to manage an integrated network comprised of components from multiple vendors.
Nokia’s NB-IoT system includes its Flexi Multiradio 10 base stations; Nokia Cloud Packet Core: the Cloud Mobility Manager (CMM) supporting the Mobility Management Entity (MME), and the Cloud Mobile Gateway (CMG) supporting the System Architecture Evolution Gateway (SAE-GW) network functions; Intel XMM7115 NB-IoT chipset; Telit NE910 module; and Shitek Technology UGM-01 G4 Ultrasonic Gas meter.
NB-IoT is a 3GPP Rel. 13 radio access technology. The enhanced coverage of NB-IoT compared to conventional LTE will allow for the tracking of objects deep within buildings and in rural areas. NB-IoT will co-exist with operators’ existing networks to benefit from mobile security and privacy features. All major network infrastructure, component and device manufacturers support the standard.
“NB-IoT will be commercially available from early 2017 and, because it has strong support from across the telecoms industry, will be the technology used to connect millions more things to the Internet,” said Luke Ibbetson, Head of Research & Development and Technology Strategy for Vodafone Group, and Chair of the GSMA NB-IoT Forum. “We are very pleased to make the Vodafone Open Labs available to companies that want to exchange ideas and to develop and test connected products and services powered by NB-IoT.”
“We have the industry’s broadest portfolio of integrated products, platforms and services to support IoT deployments,” said Marco Argenton, Product Marketing Manager, Telit. “With the collaboration in this trial, we demonstrated real and tangible benefits of automation in the residential energy market, the nature of which can be leveraged in many other industries and verticals.”
“The low power attributes and reach of NB-IoT make it an ideal technology to connect the Internet of Things,” said Roberto Loiola, global customer business team head at Nokia. “The trial with Telit showed how NB-IoT is perfectly suited to manage a network comprised of devices and sensors from multiple vendors. At Nokia we are constantly innovating to allow our customers to evolve their offer and anticipate the needs of their subscribers and our work with Vodafone at the Open Lab is a prime example of this.”