Vodafone launches a new narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) network in Ireland that aims to bolster the country’s ‘smart nation’ credentials.
Vodafone Ireland’s launch of NB-IoT makes it the first player in that country to offer the low-power, wide-area technology.
Companies executives claim the network will cover large areas, be more power-efficient and support many devices within a single cell without congestion. In preparation for the launch, Vodafone has upgraded existing 4G base stations to provide nationwide NB-IoT coverage. The network will also be able to operate alongside existing 2G, 3G and 4G networks.
An “urgent need” for NB-IoT
“The evolution of the internet of things means that there is an urgent need for a low-power way to connect thousands of devices,” said Vodafone Ireland CEO Anne O’Leary.
“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,” she said.
Ireland’s Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten, TD, said that the network was “a significant technology milestone that holds the potential to connect millions of devices and change the way we use and interact with technology.
“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.”
Vodafone previously said that NB-IoT would launch in Ireland and the Netherlands in early 2017, but this had to be pushed back to later in the summer. NB-IoT has broad support within the mobile industry from 40 global mobile operators, 27 technology vendors and over 550 mobile IoT innovators.