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Airtel And Vodafone Idea Join Forces For Widespread Growth Of NB-IoT

In a bid to introduce commercial NB-IoT (Narrow Band Internet of Things) service in India, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea Limited (VIL) have collaborated to develop an entire ecosystem of devices and sensors with the expectation to expand the reach of IoT technology and thus bring down costs.

NB-IoT is a LPWAN (Low Power Wide Area Network) technology standard, which has the ability to cover IoT devices over greater distances. This hugely beneficial for communication between several machines at low power consumption.

India’s need for NB-IoT

Airtel has targeted approximately 20,000 sites across Karnataka and Chennai to conduct NB-IoT trials. “We willl be going with a pilot in a denser way rather than just a few trial sites. In a couple of months, we will be commercially rolling out,” said Ajay Chitkara, Director and CEO, Airtel Business.

According to him, NB-IoT is greatly required for providing IoT services to aid the growing businesses in India.  He further added, “We have around five and a half million subscribers on our IoT side and the way growth is happening, we need to eventually get into NB-IoT.”

Soon to be deployed

At the same time, Vodafone Idea Limited (VIL), has already successfully conducted commercial testing in eight cities of India including that includes Kochi, Jaipur, Bengaluru and Chennai and hopes to soon secure the deal in the coming weeks that will help it in widescale deployment of NB-IoT.

Nick Gliddon, chief enterprise business officer, Vodafone Idea Ltd. said, “We’re looking at winning our first commercial deployments over the next six weeks. So commercially we’re also seeing customers now, wanting to buy that. Once we contract them will go and deploy.”

Similar to the approach by Airtel, VIL too is aiming to expand NB-IoT on wider level across India in the next 12 months. It has brought on-board over 25 partners, mainly consisting of startups and SMEs, who will work towards building new use cases around NB-IoT

As per a report by Deloitte, India’s IoT market size is expected to increase to US$ 9 billion by 2020 from US$ 1.3 billion in 2016. This indicates that in the coming times, IoT technology is set for a rapid growth in India.―Electronics For You

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