Telekom Austria demos NB-IoT with Nokia

Telekom Austria carried out what it claimed to be the first demonstration of narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) technology in Austria and said the cellular-based low-power wide area (LPWA) network is the next logical step in its machine-to-machine (M2M) strategy.

According to Bernd Liebscher, managing director of M2M at Telekom Austria, the trial was carried out in conjunction with Nokia and forms part of the operator's strategy to support "the fast-growing IoT market."

Peter Wukowits, country senior officer for Austria and head of Central Europe at Nokia, noted that IoT devices could make up to 6.8 trillion daily connection requests by 2020.

"Our joint demonstration of NB-IoT clearly shows the potential of this technology for managing this immense volume of connections," he claimed.

The two companies said they presented a showcase for NB-IoT at the M2M/IoT CEE Forum at Vienna's Town Hall. Telekom Austria stressed that it will be able to launch NB-IoT quickly and easily throughout Austria because all that is required is a software update of the network.

"Together with Nokia the company will be able to deliver nationwide IoT services and application scenarios in one strategic move," the operator said, although it did not say when the services would be available.

Telekom Austria does appear to be throwing its hat firmly into the NB-IoT arena rather than focusing on non-cellular options such as Sigfox or the LoraWAN standard.

That also applies to Vodafone, which recently said NB-IoT could be one of the fastest rollouts of new technology that it has ever completed as it continues to upgrade its core and radio network ahead of a planned commercial launch in several markets during 2017.

Other operators such as Orange are tending to keep their options open: the France-based operator is now rolling out a LoRaWAN network in France and believes this could complement its future cellular-based IoT network.

For more:
- see the Telekom Austria release

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