Vodafone has invested heavily in deploying NB-IoT sites to meet growing demand from customers across the country, and it has now announced its doubled the number of its NB-IoT network sites in the UK to cover 98% of the country’s geography.
As the world becomes increasingly connected, the NB-IoT ecosystem has soared. In January 2020, NB-IoT connections reached the 100 million milestone, with expectations that they will make up 46% of all cellular IoT connections by 2026.
NB-IoT is a low-power, wide-area network (LPWAN) technology, used for enabling efficient communications between devices that require long battery life and have low data demand. This makes the NB-IoT perfect for numerous applications that do not need to constantly transmit data, such as smart gas and water metres, environmental sensors, or smoke and fire alarms.
Vodafone sees NB-IoT as complementary to its other connectivity services, such as 4G 5G, which can deliver greater bandwidth and a constant connection. This, it argues, allows it to offer flexible, tailored services for customers based on their needs.
“NB-IoT is a part of our network that is often overlooked, but it is becoming increasingly important, bringing data from a growing variety of devices to power decision-making in more organisations,” explained Anne Sheehan, Business Director at Vodafone UK.
“This is a network which has been designed for low-bandwidth devices, allowing for coverage that goes beyond 4G, and devices where battery life could be extended to as long as ten years. In IoT, customers might want to use our 4G network for real-time, data-intensive analytics, while others might need a connectivity solution for non-time-sensitive use cases, such as environmental monitoring.”
Vodafone also runs NB-IoT networks in a number of European countries, including Germany, Greece, Italy and Spain