04 June 2018
| Natalie Bannerman
The GSMA in partnership with Deutsche Telekom (DT) and Vodafone Group have completed the first international roaming trial in Europe using licensed narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) technology.
The new service will deliver seamless coverage and service
continuity for millions of connections using Low Power Wide
Area (LPWA) networks.
"The success of these trials is an important milestone in
the development of a sustainable roaming environment for mobile
IoT networks, showcasing their capabilities as well as ensuring
consistent service across geographical boundaries," said Alex
Sinclair, chief technology officer at GSMA. "The market has
matured considerably in a very short time and we anticipate
that this will be the year that mobile IoT scales. Only
licensed, managed mobile services can provide the secure low
power connection that can meet future demand."
The trial was carried out using global SIMs on T-Mobile
Austria’s network and commercial NB-IoT modules.
The trial will also form a useful case study and offer guidance
to other operators by delivering a consistent level of
"Deutsche Telekom has successfully introduced and developed
NB-IoT networks across most of its European footprint and we
are very pleased to see the ecosystem rapidly expanding," says
Ingo Hofacker, responsible for the IoT business at Deutsche
Telekom Group. "First commercial offers are available on a
national basis already, but now, operators need to satisfy
customer demand for international coverage and service
continuity as well."
Roaming test cases were jointly developed by DT and
Vodafone, which includes features such as Power Saving Mode
(PSM), Long Periodic Tracking Area Update (TAU) in additional
to various other throughput and round-trip-time
Vodafone director of IoT Stefano Gastaut said, "This
development shows the successful evolution of the technology
and I am confident that it will lead to a raft of new
applications for NB-IoT, such as the cold chain monitoring of
goods across borders."