Deutsche Telekom is expanding its footprint in the NB-IoT by announcing a Europe-wide rollout across the course of 2017.
In Germany, Deutsche Telekom will commercially launch NB-IoT in the second quarter of 2017, which will be followed by the Netherlands, Austria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. The Netherlands is looking like an interesting market as the team has already confirmed several customers including indoor climate specialist Itho Daalderop, railway maintenance specialist Dual Inventive and sensor maker Smartsensors.
“As the first company to push NB-IoT across Europe, we are proud to provide further evidence of Deutsche Telekom’s technology leadership,” said Claudia Nemat, Board Member for Technology and Innovation at Deutsche Telekom.
“We will continue to upgrade our base stations throughout Europe to support NarrowBand-IoT using the 900 MHz and 800 MHz frequency. The technology has achieved the promised 20 dB improvement in coverage and we are confident that our customers now quickly realize the advantages of harnessing the benefits that NB-IoT provides to remain at the forefront of innovation.”
IoT is certainly playing a starring role in the DT stage-show, as it introduced a white labelled portfolio for the smart home segment earlier this week.
Alongside the rollout, the DT team will also be expanding its current IoT initiative to further develop the NB-IoT ecosystem. The NB-IoT Prototyping Hub is a new program, based out of IoT labs in Berlin and Krakow, bringing existing and potential customers together with specialized IoT developers to work on new use cases for the technology. The initiative kicked off in 2016, and has since brought in over 100 developers.
One such example is Bee & Mee, which is a smart monitoring system to help beekeepers monitor significant parameters related to beekeeping. Think about a baby monitor for bees which helps collect data to build predictive analytics models to help better manage the environment and honey production.
As with the white labelled smart home portfolio, DT is playing on the unpreparedness of customers in IoT space. Both initiatives seem to be a bit of hand-holding to help customers move up through the IoT ranks, bringing solutions to market faster than if had been done independently.
While this is certainly a positive move for the DT team, it might be playing a bit of catch-up. Vodafone has firmly pegged its cash behind the NB-IoT bus and has been pushing hard over the last couple of months, its first commercial network was in fact launched in January in Spain. Telefónica, by contrast, seems more keen on Sigfox.