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Narrowband IoT Convinces In Field Trial In Buildings

The real estate service provider ista has tested the network technology narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) in buildings together with Deutsche Telekom. The new technology scored well with very high availability.

In 99.75 percent of the cases, it was possible to establish a stable connection that enabled rapid, energy-optimized data transmission. Therefore, NB-IoT well exceeds the performance of existing technologies such as GSM, UMTS and LTE.

Biggest field trial so far 

For the biggest field trial of its kind so far, Deutsche Telekom made available its company-own machine and sensor network (NB-IoT) based on a licensed spectrum. This network already covers large parts of Germany and eight other European countries as well as the USA. The real estate service provider ista provided access to over 500 metering points in some 60 apartments in the Cologne/Bonn area. In addition, ista made its NB-IoT-capable devices available for the tests. The measurements themselves were performed by the independent consultant’s P3 communications GmbH.

“Today we already have over 23 million IoT-capable devices in use throughout Europe and the number is increasing every day,” says Achim Dicke, Chief Technology Officer at ista. “The successful field trial shows that narrowband-IoT has everything that is needed to become the new, globally interoperable standard in the low-energy machine-to-machine or M2M communication sector. And this applies not only outside buildings but even nationwide in buildings themselves and for the measurement of energy consumption just as for further services that require stable and energy-efficient data transmission.”

“Telekom’s machine and sensor network has fully demonstrated its capability during this stress test and meets our expectations,” says Dr Felix Wunderer, who is responsible for IoT Product and Portfolio Management at Telekom. “Our mobile IoT strategy is proving to be successful: as the forerunner of 5G, NB-IoT is already available in large parts of Germany and Europe for commercial use for the rapidly growing IoT ecosystem.”

Successful technology partnership

The pilot project is part of a technology partnership between ista and Deutsche Telekom. Together the two companies are investigating how NB-IoT can be optimally used for the end-to-end communication of battery-powered devices in buildings. Data traffic is expected to increase as the number and spread of NB-IoT-capable devices grow. At the same time, further technical optimizations based on more field trials will increase the performance of the network. As a result, within the next few years, narrowband IoT could already become the new standard for many applications in buildings.―CT Bureau


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