Deutsche Telekom (DT) committed to expanding its narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) network across its European footprint of eight countries by the end of the year.
The operator said in a statement it will commercially launch NB-IoT in Q2 in Germany, where it already runs several pilots with large customers in the areas of smart metering, smart parking and asset tracking.
In the Netherlands it plans to roll out a nationwide NB-IoT network this year. The operator said it has lined up several customers, including indoor climate specialist Itho Daalderop, railway maintenance specialist Dual Inventive and sensor maker Smartsensors, to use the network.
In its other European markets, including Austria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, DT said it plans to extend its existing NB-IoT coverage to additional cities by the end of the year.
“We will continue to upgrade our base stations throughout Europe to support NB-IoT using the 900MHz and 800MHz frequencies,” said Claudia Nemat, board member for technology and innovation at DT.
He said the technology has achieved the promised 20dB improvement in coverage, and “we are confident that our customers now realise the advantages of harnessing the benefits that NB-IoT provides to remain at the forefront of innovation”.
In October DT announced what it said was the world’s first end-to-end NB-IoT system and smart parking application on its live network in Bonn, Germany.
DT’s European expansion plan comes a month after Vodafone Group launched its first commercial NB-IoT network, achieving the feat in Spain less than seven months after the technology was standardised. The move follows an October statement from Vodafone committing to launch live NB-IoT networks in Spain, Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands in Q1.
NB-IoT, one of three “official” cellular technologies to deliver low power wide area connectivity and support low bandwidth applications, was standardised in June 2016. Unlicensed rivals include Sigfox, LoRa and Ingenu.