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Vodafone to deploy Narrowband-IoT throughout Germany by September

Vodafone to deploy Narrowband-IoT throughout Germany by September

  • NB-IoT wireless technology will go live in Germany by autumn
  • Vodafone to upgrade 90 percent of its LTE network for the new technology in just six months
  • Power-saving capabilities: smart sensors with sleep mode consume up to 90 percent less electricity

Düsseldorf, 20 February 2018 – Vodafone is commercially rolling out new wireless network technology throughout Germany and creating a network for machine-to-machine (M2M) communication that can connect anything - from bicycle to freight container or water meter. The Düsseldorf-based telecommunications company is building the infrastructure to broaden the future of IoT connectivity. “M2M is the next chapter in the German digital transformation,” said Vodafone Germany’s CEO Hannes Ametsreiter. “Mobile communications gave us mobile phones, apps and messengers. The Internet of Things is giving us smart factories, smart clothes and smart cities. Now and throughout Germany.” Vodafone’s new network will go live in September. Over the next six months, around 90 percent of Vodafone’s LTE base stations will be upgraded for narrowband IoT technology. This nationwide upgrade will make new applications possible all over the country. For example, logistics service providers will be able to use NB-IoT to connect and monitor raw materials, parcels and containers along the entire supply chain and across all sites.

Investment in the future: up to 4 billion things communicating in the IoT
Vodafone currently connects around 62 million devices around the world with wireless technology, and that number is increasing all the time because the Internet of Things is booming. When Vodafone NB-IoT technology goes live throughout Germany it will represent an investment in the future and provide a framework for the IoT trend to become even more widespread. The new Vodafone technology will make the simultaneous connection of up to 4 billion devices possible before the year is out. That figure is around 30 times higher than the number of active SIM cards currently in circulation in Germany.

Up to ten times less electricity: the IoT saves power
“The new M2M technology will help us to save power. When it is used to connect IoT devices their power consumption is up to ten times lower,” commented Hannes Ametsreiter. This is made possible by smart sensors with sleep mode that only “wake up” and consume power when there are data packets to be sent. Logging in and out before and after data transmissions is not necessary because the Internet of Things remembers every single connected device. It knows when they are transmitting what information and at which intervals. It’s like sending an email by only having to press the send button. The other stages of the process - switch on the notebook, login, access the mail program, logout and switch off the notebook – aren’t necessary. When the “send “button is pressed all those things – the processes that take up the most time and use the most energy – take place automatically. That's why the sensor batteries last for up to ten years and no external power source is needed. NB-IoT technology also offers coverage in places that conventional wireless technology has difficulty accessing – such as cellars or buildings with thick concrete walls.

Successful test results: energy and heat service providers are embracing IoT
NB-IoT can even reliably transmit data underground, which is why a key application is smart energy management. Energy services and metering solutions providers like German company Diehl Metering have successfully tested NB-IoT in the lab and are now planning to use it in the field and to upgrade electricity and water meters, which will put an end to long waits for manual readings. Techem intends to optimise and simplify established systems for digital heat and water consumption metering in buildings. This will improve energy efficiency and reduce the carbon footprint. The first successful lab tests have been completed and Vodafone and Techem are now in the field testing phase of their pilot project.

Vodafone Germany is a leading integrated telecommunications company and Germany’s largest cable television operator, offering fixed broadband, mobile communications, internet and TV services. As a gigabit company, Vodafone is a key contributor to the development of Germany’s 5G infrastructure. The Düsseldorf-based company’s continuous investments in faster fixed and mobile networks are taking Germany forward into the gigabit society. Vodafone Germany offers a comprehensive ICT portfolio for enterprise customers, networking people and machines, facilitating secure corporate networks and storing enterprise data in the German cloud. Around 90 % of all DAX-listed companies and 15 of Germany’s 16 federal states are already Vodafone customers. Vodafone Germany generated annual revenue of 10 billion euros in the last fiscal year with 46 million SIM cards, 6.5 million fixed broadband customers and numerous digital solutions.

Vodafone Germany is the largest operating company of the Vodafone Group, one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies with mobile operations in 26 countries and partners with mobile networks in 49 more. It also has fixed broadband operations in 19 countries. Vodafone has around 529.1 million mobile customers and 19.3 million fixed broadband customers around the world.

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