Bharti Airtel forged a deal with UK-based Secure Meters to deploy smart energy meters running on the operator’s nationwide NB-IoT network, with the aim of reaching 1.3 million homes in the Indian state of Bihar.

Airtel claimed in a statement the deployment will be India’s first NB-IoT service with a fall back option to 2G and 4G.

“We look forward to being an active player in India’s energy transition,” Airtel Business CEO Ajay Chitkara stated, adding IoT is one of its “fastest-growing business segments”.

Secure Meters joint MD Ananya Singhal noted with Airtel’s support, it was able to connect and monitor its meters, resulting in greater efficiency and cost savings.

Airtel stated its NB-IoT platform is upgradeable to 5G, with a customised service hub to help metering infrastructure service providers plan deployments.

Other features include customer life cycle management and analytics tools.

Secure Meter starting supplying electronic energy meters to companies in India in 1987.

Bihar is India’s third-largest state by population.