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Deutsche Telekom NB-IoT network hits eight European countries and aims to be nationwide in USA by mid-year

Steve Rogerson
January 25, 2018



Deutsche Telekom’s NB-IoT network is now live across eight European markets as well as the USA. The company is pressing ahead with nationwide rollout of its low-power machine network in the USA by mid-year and in many of its European markets by the end of 2018.
 
The availability of the sensor network paves the way for cost-effective NB-IoT services in virtually all business areas, including transport and logistics, industrial automation, and the public sector. One of Deutsche Telekom’s key focus areas for NB-IoT deployment is the development and implementation of smart city services based on NB-IoT, as the sensor network is suited to many applications in this sector, including smart lighting, smart public transport and smart waste management.
 
“Deutsche Telekom’s aim is to deliver this exciting technology across Europe and the USA as quickly as possible, both by making the NB-IoT sensor network available everywhere as well as actively driving the development of innovative NB-IoT solutions,” said Ingo Hofacker, responsible for the IoT business at Deutsche Telekom. “The extensive availability of NB-IoT network coverage in 2018 beyond the initial city-led pilots we have seen last year lays the ground for NB-IoT to be deployed not only locally, but also nationally and across borders.”
 
Deutsche Telekom has rolled out its NB-IoT sensor network to approximately 600 towns and cities across Germany since it was launched in June 2017, with more than 200 companies now trialling the technology already via commercially available test packages. Nationwide rollout in the Netherlands was completed in May 2017 and Deutsche Telekom brought the technology to six further European markets by the end of 2017.
 
In Austria, Deutsche Telekom’s subsidiary T-Mobile has become the first operator to roll out NB-IoT commercially with the city of St Pölten already fully covered and nationwide rollout of NB-IoT to be completed by autumn 2018. In Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary and Greece, NB-IoT networks are live already across many cities with nationwide coverage expected in many countries by the end of 2018 as well.
 
Deutsche Telekom is also actively pushing forward the NB-IoT ecosystem through various joint research and development facilities in this area. Its Warp NB-IoT innovation programme, powered by its incubator Hub:Raum, was established as a follow-on after the successful conclusion of the NB-IoT prototyping hub last summer.
 
Start-ups are offered access to technology and technical support in the Warp NB-IoT prototyping lab, helping them accelerate product development, prototyping and market implementation.
 
Furthermore, Deutsche Telekom has established a European smart centre (ESC), based in Budapest. The ESC will initially focus on the development and implementation of NB-IoT based smart city services in Europe, offering a competence in consulting cities to use funds for urban development, allocated by the European Union.
 
The recent launch of the Telekom Open IoT Labs with the Fraunhofer-Institute for Material Flow & Logistics will see Fraunhofer scientists and Deutsche Telekom IoT experts collaborate on NB-IoT projects, including the development and testing of systems aimed at the manufacturing, logistics and aviation industries. The lab will also be open to external companies seeking to develop application-specific NB-IoT prototypes.
 
Deutsche Telekom is expanding its IoT ecosystem with the launch of a Telekom IoT innovation space within IBM’s Watson IoT Center in Munich, Germany.
 
 

DT will also collocate an IoT team at the centre. This team will work side by side with IBM experts to develop services that draw upon Deutsche Telekom’s expertise in connectivity, security and IoT and IBM’s artificial intelligence, big data and industry-specific IoT capabilities, as well as proven security and cloud know-how from both companies.
 
Deutsche Telekom and IBM will explore IoT and AI services based on NB-IoT and examine how businesses can use insights from the extreme amounts of data generated through this connectivity technology. Initially, the work will focus on applications tailored for customers in the manufacturing, smart cities and healthcare sectors.
 
"Narrowband IoT is the newest trailblazer for the internet of things and a major priority for us," said Hofacker. "This is precisely why we are upgrading our network with full power and are joining forces with strong partners such as IBM. The IBM Watson IoT Center is a fantastic environment in which we can not only closely collaborate to develop the IoT ecosystem, but also innovate with NB-IoT technologies to help us deliver the transformative business results that our customers demand.”
 
The Telekom IoT innovation space will showcase several IoT applications such as smart parking, smart waste and water management, air quality monitoring, and predictive maintenance.
 
The smart air quality monitoring application, for example, will leverage the existing Telekom smart air quality monitoring system together with the Watson IoT platform. Sensors will capture and signal air quality data from virtually any location, which will then be aggregated and analysed across multiple areas of a city and combined with weather forecasts and traffic information.
 
Presented through a visual command centre dashboard, city mayors and other officials will be able to access actionable sensor-generated insights and contextual data for planning, forecasting and other predictive and cognitive functions, all focused on improving air quality. Citizens can monitor the air quality in their location via an easy-to-use mobile app.
 
“Since inaugurating the IBM Watson IoT Center, we have seen tremendous interest from partners and customers who are eager to co-locate teams at our cognitive collaboratory to innovate and create future of IoT with our experts,” said Sherri Thomas, head of the IBM Watson IoT Center. “We are excited to welcome Deutsche Telekom and have them join a strong community of clients and partners, including BMW, BNP Paribas, Capgemini, Tech Data and Tech Mahindra.”