Huawei and Vodafone Group claim to have made a major breakthrough in low cost Internet of Things technology.
The two teamed up to use Vodafone’s existing mobile network in Spain to communicate with a water meter module. Vodafone and Huawei used cheaper, low powered technology that could potentially offer operators an affordable way into the enterprise IoT market.
The IoT opportunities in business are vast, ranging from utility meters to sensor monitoring and asset tracking. However one of the key issues lies in finding a cost efficient way for operators to utilise spectrum and technology that can sustain a long range mobile connection.
Vodafone and Huawei’s IoT transmitted message came from the use of narrow band, or NB-IoT, technology which is specifically designed for IoT use. It is currently being tested as a way to make connecting objects more efficient for operators, especially in hard to reach places where long battery life, wide range connectivity and low power consumption are on-going problems.
According to Vodafone Group’s Matt Beal, Director of Innovation and Architecture, the technology’s capabilities to connect multiple IoT devices has gained industry support.
‘Vodafone has led the development of NB-IoT, this technology in licensed spectrum has gained huge industry support. Once commercialised, NB-IoT will provide tangible benefits for our enterprise customers, principally making it feasible to connect more devices to the IoT.’
Huawei and Vodafone’s partnership in enterprise IoT kicked off earlier this year when the two came together to target the European ICT enterprise market, developing M2M designs and IoT solutions for the sector.
The manufacturer has previously invested heavily in commercialising IoT technology, launching an IoT operating system this year to allow connected devices to communicate each other. The brand is one of many in the industry that have had an increased focus on IoT, with Samsung and Telefonica also investing in this area.