The Belarussian subsidiary of the Telekom Austria Group, mobile carrier velcom, has started a trial of the first Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) network in Belarus. During the "International Forum on Telecommunications and Banking and Office Technologies (TIBO)", held end of April in Minsk, the company demonstrated the fantastic possibilities this new technology has to offer. The new infrastructure is expected to cover areas as diverse as the urban water supply to smart homes.
The network is based on the NB-IoT technology, which has been deployed in Belarus for the first time ever. NB IoT operates in the GSM 900 MHz range using 200 kHz narrowband bandwidth. A specific algorithm of the given technology enables a high level of signal penetration and enhanced network stability even in the most hard-to-reach spots such as basements, low-lying areas, thick walls, concrete floors and ceilings.
A test zone has been rolled out by velcom in partnership with ZTE. At the TIBO Exhibition, the largest annual event in the telco industry in Belarus, innovative players present novelties and ready-for-market technologies. In a football arena located in Minsk where the TIBO was held this year, velcom demonstrated NB-IoT for the first time. The company plans to conduct testing before launching the network commercially.
"As a matter of fact this is a 100% ready-to-use network that just needs to be connected to the core infrastructure", said Christian Laqué, CTO of velcom.
"In order to meet the increasing demands of our customers, in regard to products and IoT solutions, we as telecommunication providers are developing new to connect billions of devices in the coming years. Telekom Austria Group is at the forefront of the use of these new technologies, where not only the speed of data transmission is important, but also relevant factors such as long battery life, simple maintenance, increased building indoor penetration, short latencies and lower module costs. Thus, key services are technically and economically viable with connected people, devices and things", said Sascha Zabransky, Director Group Technology & Future Services, Telekom Austria Group.
NB-IoT enables a wide range of new services from the online monitoring of the quality, composition and level of water to displaying the availability of free parking lots. Corporate customers will be able to remotely monitor and manage water, energy and gas consumption, track corporate car fleets, and manage urban infrastructure elements such as street lighting, garbage containers and fountains.
Back in June 2016, the Telekom Austria Group became the first operator in Austria to ignite the turbo for the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT will be deployed in the standards of NB-IoT and LTE-M as part of Telekom Austria Group's strategy. In a successful demo the Telekom Austria Group's team showed off mobile communication for machines. At the M2M/IoT CEE Forum, in Vienna's Town Hall, a team of experts from the Telekom Austria Group successfully presented a showcase for NB-IoT for the first time in Austria. The showcase demonstrated the improved network coverage and advantages of future NB-IoT services that the Telekom Austria Group will be offering throughout Austria. Together with Telekom Austria Group's network infrastructure vendors the company will be able to deliver nationwide IoT services and application scenarios in one strategic move. Furthermore, a global eco-system of open standards guarantees the long-term availability of the technology and an excellent cost structure.
In October 2016, an NB-IoT modem was tested in a live network for the first time in Austria. NB-IoT was activated in an area of the A1 network in Burgenland so that extensive tests could be carried out. An Intel NB-IoT modem successfully connected to Nokia's radio access technology and delivered the measurement data continuously and extremely efficiently without impairing service for other users.
In mid-October 2016, the Telekom Austria Group became an official NB-IoT Forum member of the GSMA, taking its place alongside such prominent representatives of the telecoms industry as Deutsche Telekom, China Mobile, Nokia, Cisco, NTT Docomo and Telefónica.