Vodafone widens NB-IoT coverage
Written by: Richard Hook | Published:

Leading UK mobile network operator Vodafone has announced it has doubled the number of sites in its narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) network.

The infrastructure expansion will see Vodafone achieve what it claims will be 98% UK coverage, “to support the growing number of businesses implementing [NB-IoT] technology to increase operational efficiency through data-based insights”.

NB-IoT supports long battery life and low data demand so is frequently used in sectors where low connectivity cost is key including commercial metering, water monitoring, asset tracking and smart city applications. Existing users of the Vodafone NB-IoT include SES Water and United Utilities to detect leaks in underground pipes and other infrastructure.

The operator said it had seen increased demand across numerous industries for the low-power, wide-area network (LPWAN) technology.

Vodafone claims its core NB-IoT network will exceed 98% geographical coverage across the UK indoors and outdoors though for stronger signal requirements (-118dBm) it will cover 87%. The operator said any further expansion would be business-specific.

“NB-IoT is a part of our network that is often overlooked, but it is becoming increasingly important, bringing data from a growing variety of devices to power decision-making in more organisations,” said Vodafone UK business director Anne Sheehan.

“This is a network which has been designed for low-bandwidth devices, allowing for coverage that goes beyond 4G, and devices where battery life could be extended to as long as 10 years. We have invested in NB-IoT because we want to offer our customers the right tools for the right job, in a way which is affordable and accessible for every customer.”

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