Vodafone Ireland has today announced that it will roll-out a live commercial Narrowband-IoT (NB-IoT) network. This dedicated IoT network is due to go live in Ireland at the end of the first quarter of 2017.

NB-IoT is the newly agreed standard for an industrial grade Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) network layer that will allow millions of everyday objects to be connected to the Internet of Things (IoT).

It will act as the catalyst for companies to consider connecting things that would not have been viable with existing technologies. Irish consumers will see a huge variety of products, services and applications enabled by NB-IoT, from gas meters to smoke alarms and car parks. NB-IoT offers long battery life, lower cost, extended coverage into buildings and operates in licenced spectrum meaning improved reliability and security for users.

NB-IoT will enable cities to become smarter and more efficient – benefiting the citizens that live in them. Waste infrastructure will have the potential to ‘phone-home’ when full, reducing cost and improving city cleanliness. Parking bays can be fitted with sensors, providing drivers with information about where the quickest parking is available and reducing traffic congestion.

Applications are likely to span many industries and verticals. For example, farmers could benefit from applications that track their livestock and monitor the health of their animals. The use of pesticides, fertilizer and irrigation could be optimised by monitoring soil conditions, improving crop yields and reducing production costs.

For Vodafone, the NB-IoT rollout will involve a software upgrade to existing 4G base stations and will have the ability to run alongside existing 2G, 3G and 4G networks. The initial rollouts will be followed by other markets during the rest of the year with full coverage across Vodafone’s global network by 2020.

Director of Enterprise at Vodafone Ireland Anne Sheehan said: “We are delighted to be among the first Vodafone operating companies to launch NB-IoT to the market. This will provide a head start to Irish businesses to be at the forefront of developing new IoT applications, with the knowledge that the network platform is a global standard, predicted to have widespread global coverage in a matter of years. Gartner positioned Vodafone as a “Leader” in its Magic Quadrant for Managed M2M Services, Worldwide in 2016, for the third consecutive year. The launch of an NB-IoT network in Ireland will build on Vodafone’s core offering to help customers improve their efficiency, increase revenues and develop new business models.”

For more information, please visit: www.vodafone.com

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