Vodafone & Huawei complete "milestone" live network NB-IoT test

Vodafone & Huawei complete "milestone" live network NB-IoT test

Vodafone and Huawei have completed the first over-the-air connection using standardised Narrowband-Internet of Things technology (NB-IoT) on a live network.

The joint trial was carried out in Madrid, Spain, using a live 4G base station optimised to support NB-IoT technology. It ran across the 800MHz spectrum band, Vodafone said.

The operator is aiming to launch NB-IoT, an industrial grade Low Power Wide Area network solution, commercially next year. The technology is designed to support connections of low powered connected devices and is seen as a key driver in the immersion of the Internet of Things in to every day life.

NB-IoT was designed by Vodafone and Huawei, and already has the support of more than 20 of the world’s largest mobile operators, with a combined customer base of more than 2.9 billion connections. It was finalised as a global standard by 3GPP in June, but this is the first time an operator has completed a trial of standardised NB-IoT on a live commercial network.

“This first successful trial of NB-IoT on a live commercial network is a significant technology milestone on the path towards a world with billions of devices connected at extremely low cost with minimal power requirements to mobile networks,” said Vodafone Group’s director of technology architecture and strategy Matt Beal.

“NB-IoT has strong support as the industrial LPWA technology to support our enterprise customers. This successful trial demonstrates Vodafone’s commitment and ability to bring this technology to market early in 2017.”

Edward Deng, President of Wireless Network Product Line at Huawei, added: “With our decade-long strategic partnership with Vodafone, the first live call using standardised NB-IoT marks a significant milestone in our long term relationship. 

“Working with Vodafone, we have successfully achieved standardisation of NB-IoT and established the world’s first Open Lab to contribute to the development and promotion of its ecosystem.  Huawei will continue to work closely with Vodafone on the commercialisation of NB-IoT to open the door to a truly Better Connected World.”