Vodafone India to launch narrowband IoT network

Vodafone India to launch narrowband IoT network
19 Apr, 2018

Telecom major Vodafone India is in the process of evaluating plans to launch a narrowband Internet of Things network in the country, The Economic Times reported.

The company will become the second telco in the country after Reliance Jio Infocomm, the telecom arm of Reliance Industries, to start such a network, the report added, citing Nick Gliddon, director of business services at Vodafone India.

Gliddon said that the evaluation process was adopted after a few smart city projects were successfully deployed in Kolkata and Pune.

He added that besides smart city projects, the company was exploring use cases in healthcare, automobile, manufacturing and retail.

Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) is a low power wide area network (LPWAN) radio technology standard developed to enable a wide range of devices and services to be connected using cellular telecommunications bands.

Tata Communications, the telecom arm of the diversified Tata Group, said last month that it was working on a collaborative project to deploy 15,000 street lights in Jamshedpur that can be controlled via the internet. The telecom company partnered with electronic equipment manufacturer Motwane to help urban infrastructure provider Jamshedpur Utilities and Services Co. Ltd. (JUSCO) to install the smart lights.

Tata Communications' IoT network is based on LoRaWAN technology, which is similar to narrowband IoT. LoRaWAN, or low power consumption and wide area coverage, has benefits such as covering a radius of over 15 km in semi-urban areas and 2 km in urban areas. 

Tata Communications had rolled out its IoT network in 38 cities last year and plans to include more cities in the next two years.

In February, Reliance Jio partnered with South Korean electronics giant Samsung to deploy a cellular Internet of Things network across India. The company had already rolled out a narrowband IoT network in Mumbai and was looking to expand to other parts of the country.