Deutsche Telekom rolls out NarrowBand-IoT Network across Europe

Deutsche Telekom rolls out NarrowBand-IoT Network across Europe

Business news |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

Deutsche Telekom describes its offering as “the implementation and commercial expansion of the new, standardized and cost-effective NarrowBand-IoT technology across Europe”. In Germany, Deutsche Telekom will commercially launch NB-IoT in the second quarter of 2017, and already runs several pilots with large customers in the areas of smart metering, smart parking and asset tracking. In the Netherlands, the nationwide implementation of the NB-IoT network is scheduled to be completed in 2017 with several customers, including indoor climate specialist Itho Daalderop, railway maintenance specialist Dual Inventive and sensor maker Smartsensors, also lined up to use the network. In its other European markets, including Austria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, Deutsche Telekom plans to extend the already existing NB-IoT coverage to more cities during 2017.


“As the first company to push NarrowBand-IoT across Europe, we are proud to provide further evidence of Deutsche Telekom’s technology leadership,” says Claudia Nemat, Board Member for Technology and Innovation at Deutsche Telekom. “We will continue to upgrade our base stations throughout Europe to support NarrowBand-IoT using the 900 MHz and 800 MHz frequency. The technology has achieved the promised 20 dB improvement in coverage and we are confident that our customers now quickly realize the advantages of harnessing the benefits that NarrowBand-IoT provides to remain at the forefront of innovation.”


Deutsche Telekom’s broad European rollout comes four months after the company presented the world’s first live NB-IoT end-to-end system and smart parking application in October 2016 in Bonn, Germany. The technology’s key advantages are its low-cost factor, good coverage in buildings (20 dB more than GSM), extremely long battery life of connected devices (up to 10 years with two AA batteries with NB-IoT typical usage patterns), as well as its usage of licensed spectrum and approved standardization by 3GPP which enable LTE-based security. These specific characteristics enable Internet of Things applications for large-scale use – and pave the way for numerous new business models in a highly secure operating environment.


One of Deutsche Telekom’s close cooperations on NB-IoT is together with ista. The Germany-based energy service provider currently operates more than 15 million connected devices in multi-family houses across Europe. These include battery-powered digital measuring devices, mainly for heat and water consumption, as well as intelligent smoke alarms. Based on Deutsche Telekom’s NB-IoT network, ista will initially focus on the intelligent recording, visualization and billing of energy consumption.


“We see a clear trend towards smart building among our customers in the housing sector,” says Jochen Schein, COO of ista. “Demand from owners and landlords for networked digital devices is growing steadily. Around 400,000 of these devices are currently being added to the ista portfolio every month.”


Deutsche Telekom is further developing the NB-IoT ecosystem through its NB-IoT Prototyping Hub, a program designed to accelerate market adoption by bringing existing and potential customers together with specialized IoT developers. They can use Deutsche Telekom’s live NB-IoT base stations to test new applications and sensors in its labs in Berlin and Krakow in Poland, supported by a dedicated software toolkit. The initiative kicked off in 2016, and has since brought in over 100 developers, each with pioneering solutions around the new technology.


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