Vodafone starts on NB-IoT interoperability testing with vendors

Vodafone starts on NB-IoT interoperability testing with vendors

NB-IoT could be dead in the water, claims IoT analyst
NB-IoT could be dead in the water, claims IoT analyst

Telco Vodafone is working with equipment vendors to ensure standardisation of NB-IoT.

Vodafone is carrying out tests of Narrowband IoT equipment with vendors to ensure that they are interoperable with each other.

It has worked with Huawei, Ericsson, Nokia and Affirmed Networks on a process it calls Interoperability Development Testing (IODT). The aim of the testing is to extend the reach of the standard to Vodafone networks globally, as well as some of its partners’ networks around the world.

Read more: Telco DNA puts NB-IoT to the test for monitoring indoor air quality

Spread of NB-IoT

Vodafone launched its commercial NB-IoT back in February and has since upgraded base stations in cities in Spain.

“As a company committed to a multi-vendor strategy, we understand the importance of a healthy device and network ecosystem in delivering the best service to customers at a competitive price,” said Luke Ibbetson, head of Vodafone’s research and development and technology strategy.

“We have tested devices from Neul and Qualcomm against Huawei, Ericsson and Nokia systems in multiple regions.” All of these vendors’ NB-IoT Radio Access Network (RAN) technologies have been successfully interconnected with Vodafone’s IoT core network, he added.

Edward Deng, president of the wireless network product line at Huawei, confirmed that the company has been working closely with Vodafone.

“We are pleased to say that all systems have passed successfully through the interconnect test program and we look forward to expanding the scale of our NB-IoT roll-out with Vodafone,” he said.

Read more: How will Vodafone’s NB-IoT network affect IoT device manufacturers?

Looking ahead

Vodafone said that as vendor roadmaps mature over the coming months, it expected more devices to be tested and approved. The mobile operator added that it was working alongside the GSMA and with the wider industry to ensure that NB-IoT has multi-operator, seamless and predictable coverage around the world.

Last year, Vodafone partnered with Inmarsat to use satellites to provide internet connectivity to remote parts of the world for IoT.