Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone claim first European NB-IoT roaming trial

Europe map with network points

Low power IoT network technology isn’t much good if it can’t easily cross national borders, so DT and Vodafone have been looking into that with the help of the GSMA.

In fact the GSMA was the one to make the announcement, claiming the two operator groups “…have successfully completed the first international roaming trial in Europe using licensed NB-IoT technology.” NB-IoT is generally accepted to be the default LPWAN technology, for which Vodafone has been one of the most active cheerleader, so it’s no surprise to see it involved in this.

“The success of these trials is an important milestone in the development of a sustainable roaming environment for mobile IoT networks, showcasing their capabilities as well as ensuring consistent service across geographical boundaries,” said Alex Sinclair, CTO of the GSMA. “The market has matured considerably in a very short time and we anticipate that this will be the year that Mobile IoT scales. Only licensed, managed mobile services can provide the secure low power connection that can meet future demand.”

“Deutsche Telekom has successfully introduced and developed NB-IoT networks across most of its European footprint and we are very pleased to see the ecosystem rapidly expanding,” said Ingo Hofacker of DT. “First commercial offers are available on a national basis already, but now, operators need to satisfy customer demand for international coverage and service continuity as well.”

“This development shows the successful evolution of the technology and I am confident that it will lead to a raft of new applications for NB-IoT, such as the cold chain monitoring of goods across borders,” said Vodafone director of IoT Stefano Gastaut.

The trial used global SIMs from DT on Vodafone Spain’s network and global Vodafone SIMs on T-Mobile Austria’s network and commercial NB-IoT modules. The announcement somewhat redundantly stresses that NB-IoT roaming is especially important for anyone deploying LPWAN devices on a global basis. The GSMA is claiming some credit for creating a mobile IoT initiative that may or may not have played a significant role in this happening.

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One comment

  1. Avatar Leland Creswell 05/06/2018 @ 1:45 am

    Honestly the ability to cross borders with NB-IOT devices doesn’t seem to have much value at the moment. Most projects I see actually in the field attempting to use NB-IOT are static to one location/region. There are some specific use cases where you have NB-IOT devices moving around, but they don’t represent a very large % of the overall market.

    Seems like more chest puffing from Vodafone.

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