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Vodacom rolls out commercial NB-IoT in Gauteng, SA

Vodacom rolls out commercial NB-IoT in Gauteng, SA

Mobile network operator Vodacom has announced that its first commercially available Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) network is now operational in Gauteng.

The company expects the rollout to accelerate IoT adoption rates and is currently averaging 55 000 new IoT connections per month.

In June Vodacom opened a NB-IoT laboratory at its Vodaworld campus to incubate and commercialise machine-to-machine (M2M) and IoT systems using narrowband networking.

In a statement Vodacom said developers, partners and customers are now able to build and launch Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) solutions based on its NB-IoT eco-system in South Africa.

"LPWA describes a category of wireless communication technologies designed to support IoT deployments and is seen as a catalyst for the next wave of connected 'things' as these networks can communicate with devices where radio infiltration has not previously been possible," the company stated.

NB-IoT is one of a number of different technologies that have been developed to fulfil LPWA requirements and is expected to dominate this space over time as the eco-system of devices matures, it continued.

Vodacom added that this commercial NB-IoT rollout will benefit customers licensed spectrum, enhanced sim security and scalability.

Deon Liebenberg, Managing Executive for the Internet of Things at Vodacom, says: "Vodacom is the first South African mobile network provider to announce the commercial availability of NB-IoT. We are ready to on-board customers, partners and developers who are in a position to deploy NB-IoT projects."

Liebenberg has also said that the company's goal is to nurture an ecosystem of developers, engineers and entrepreneurs for NB-IoT applications on the continent.

Vodacom's dedicated IoT division recently partnered with global technology solution provider PTC to implement a local version of its ThingWorx IoT platform. This IoT enablement platform brings end-to-end capability in the value chain, allowing the development of new IoT applications and solutions.

Vodacom is leveraging its existing network assets, supported by experienced network support and global standard through Vodafone.

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