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MTS opens NB-IoT lab in Moscow

Steve Rogerson
January 3, 2018
Russian telco MTS has launched an open IoT lab in Moscow to demonstrate and trial a wide range of IoT services, bringing together IoT suppliers and customers to stimulate growth in the market. It is the first of its kind in Russia based on NB-IoT technology and was launched under the GSMA Mobile IoT initiative.
The innovation space lets corporate users, partners and suppliers explore current and future IoT-enabled services in fields from water consumption metering to city lightning management.
The lab serves as a showcase for the effectiveness of various pilot and commercial fragments of IoT networks using sensors and devices that transmit data to clouds for further processing. The devices are managed and controlled through tablets and laptops, with visual reporting shown on large screens. 
The IoT lab represents the results of MTS’s cooperation with a number of vendors. The central part of the showcase is a test NB-IoT network in the 800, 900 and 1800MHz bands with four pilot products based on Nokia technologies – smart homes, smart city infrastructure monitoring and management, energy consumption control in housing services, and physical facility security systems. There is also a test NB-IoT network based on Ericsson technology for housing and communal services.
"Today, we present a comprehensive infrastructure of the internet of things using commercially available standardised solutions and open interfaces," said Demetrio Russo, vice president for Eastern Europe at Nokia. “The implementation of this project will allow MTS to become the centre of the Russian ecosystem of IoT, combining many developers and applications in various sectors of the economy. The opening of the MTS IoT laboratory is the next step in implementing agreements between our companies in the development of IoT and 5G.”
The adoption of the NB-IoT standard by regulators should accelerate the commercial launch and rollout of IoT across Russia. Due to the available network capacity, energy efficiency and sensitivity offered by radio modules, the standard will allow the connection of multiple IoT devices to one base station, even in difficult conditions of signal passage and without sensor battery replacement for several years.
MTS says it is well prepared for the fast approaching connected future and has a wide portfolio of innovative IoT products and services for B2B customers, including for smart home and smart city, monitoring and security, and production processes management.
"Today's announcement serves as yet another illustration of MTS’s digital-focused strategy," said Kirill Dmitriev, vice president at MTS. “With the launch of the open IoT lab, MTS reinforces its commitment to develop the IoT ecosystem in Russia. By providing reliable connectivity and working together with our partners and device manufacturers, we can accelerate the future of the internet of things. As next steps in the IoT development, we will strengthen our presence in the IoT segment through open source platforms, cloud apps and the introduction of IoT platforms fit for any scale. We believe the IoT evolution will benefit individuals, businesses and entire economics by escalating connectedness, removing physical barriers and harnessing big data.”
The lab serves not only as a showroom for MTS IoT products in action, but also as a real laboratory to develop tomorrow's IoT products. It is designed to provide partners and device manufacturers wishing to accelerate the development of connected devices with access to MTS facilities at no cost. They can bring their early stage projects to the lab for testing and receiving first-hand operational experience. MTS IoT experts are also available in the lab for support.
"There is a real sense of momentum behind the roll-out of mobile IoT networks across both NB-IoT and LTE-M with 29 global launches around the world to date," said Alex Sinclair, chief technology officer for the GSMA. “This is underpinned by a growing community of over 25 open labs supporting operators, equipment manufacturers and vendors to trial new technologies. We welcome this announcement as it provides innovative Russian companies with the opportunity to trial new products and services using LPWA networks and accelerate their time to market."