Deutsche Telekom leads NB-IoT roll-out in Europe and US

26 January 2018 | Natalie Bannerman


Deutsche Telekom (DT) is leading the charge with the deployment of NarrowBand IoT (NB-IoT) technology in Europe and North America.

Ingo Hofacker 300 x 375The company says that it will complete deployment of the new network in the US by the middle of 2018 and Europe is due for completion by the end of 2018.

“Deutsche Telekom’s aim is to deliver this exciting technology across Europe and the US as quickly as possible, both by making the NB-IoT sensor network available everywhere as well as actively driving the development of innovative NB-IoT solutions,” said Ingo Hofacker, head of IoT business at Deutsche Telekom. “The extensive availability of NB-IoT network coverage in 2018 beyond the initial city-led pilots we have seen last year lays the ground for NB-IoT solutions to be deployed not only locally, but also nationally and across borders.”

DT hopes to use this new technology to development and implement smart city solutions because as the NB-IoT sensor network is well suited for applications in this sector, these include: smart lighting, smart public transport and smart waste management. Although DT says that NB-IoT technology is suitable for a number of different industries including: transport & logistics, industrial automation and the public sector. 

So far DT has rolled-out its NB-IoT network to approximately 600 towns and cities across Germany, with more than 200 companies now trialing the technology via commercially available test packages. The nationwide rollout in the Netherlands was completed in May 2017 and along with six other European markets by the end of 2017. In Austria, T-Mobile, the Deutsche Telekom subsidiary became the first operator to roll out NB-IoT commercially with the city of St. Pölten already fully covered and a nationwide rollout due to be completed by the fall of 2018. In Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary and Greece, NB-IoT networks are live already across many cities with nationwide coverage expected in many countries by the end of 2018 as well.

In addition, DT says it is also actively pushing forward the NB-IoT ecosystem through various joint research and development facilities. Its innovation program WARP NB-IoT, powered by its incubator hub:raum, was established after the successful completion of the NB-IoT Prototyping Hub that took place last summer. Through it startups are offered access to cutting-edge technology and technical support in the WARP NB-IoT Prototyping Lab, helping them to accelerate product development, prototyping and market implementation.

Also DT has established a European Smart Solutions Center (ESC), based in Budapest. The ESC will initially focus on the development and implementation of NB-IoT based smart city solutions in Europe.

Lastly, the recent launch of the Telekom Open IoT Labs together with the Fraunhofer-Institute for Material Flow and Logistics will see Fraunhofer scientists and DT IoT experts collaborate on NB-IoT projects, including systems aimed at the manufacturing, logistics and aviation industries. The lab will also be open to external companies seeking to develop application-specific NB-IoT prototypes.