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Narrowband-IoT Tech Likely To Be Next Airtel-Jio Battle

A new technology that significantly improves communication between machines over the Internet promises to be the next battleground for bitter telecom rivals Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio Infocomm.

The narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) is an evolving technology standard that is designed to deepen network coverage and lower power consumption by devices, with smart cities expected to drive growth, along with verticals such as smart meters, automotive tracking and utilities.

The Mukesh Ambani-led Jio, which launched a pilot NB-IoT project in Mumbai last year, expects to roll it out commercially across India in the coming months. “Jio has a unique advantage again, being the only (4G) LTE and all-IP network …we have the capability compared to any other operator to launch nationwide NB-IoT without having any incremental spectrum leveraging guard bands,” Jio president Mathew Oommen told ET.

Airtel too says its pan-India 4G network is ready to support NB-IoT technology. “We have the capability to serve this segment and the market opportunity will depend on how the ecosystem develops and matures. In addition, we can offer IoT and M2M (machine-to-machine) services on our networks,” a company spokesperson said.

“We have been offering these services for years now with millions of connected devices on our network,” he added. Market leader Vodafone Idea Ltd is also preparing to launch commercial NB-IoT services, having set up proofs of concept in Kochi, Jaipur, Bengaluru and Chennai.―Gadgets Now


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