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Vodafone Completes Narrowband Internet Of Things Trial

Vodafone has completed a pre-standard Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) trial undertaken in Melbourne.

Wireless network access trials were completed at several live sites across central and suburban Melbourne, with the trials carried out in late April by Vodafone and radio technology partner Huawei.

“We’ve been able to achieve significantly greater coverage both in terms of distance and depth, compared to those offered by existing 2G, 3G and 4G technology,” Vodafone chief technology officer Benoit Hanssen commented.

“Based on our testing in the Melbourne CBD, NB-IoT would be able to penetrate two to three double-brick walls, enabling connectivity of objects in underground carparks and basements.”

Hanssen noted that extended coverage was also achieved during tests in suburban Melbourne, with distances of up to 30 kilometres.

“The benefits of NB-IoT include deeper and further coverage, up to 10 years battery life, increased scalability with up to 100,000 devices per cell and low cost of modem chipsets forecasted at less than $5,” he commented.

Amid the development of 5G tech, Hanssen stated that “there is still plenty of mileage left in 4G”, including NB-IoT.

Vodafone executive general manager of enterprise business Stuart Kelly noted that “the opportunities NB-IoT will bring are endless”, with industries such as the automotive, agricultural, health and utilities industries in line to take advantage of its potential.

“The types of products we could see utilising this technology are gas and water metering, smart bins, alarms and detectors, and parking monitoring,” Kelly commented.

Further trials are set to be carried out in the coming months across Australia.

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