Vodafone is taking an important step in the development op 5G. The telecom company has put the finishing touches to a nationwide LTE-M network in the Netherlands. LTE-M stands for long term evolution for machines, a technique that connects devices to the internet in an efficient manner. LTE-M technology was proclaimed a fundamental part of 5G technology last month by GSMA.
John van Vianen, director of VodafoneZIggo business:”Vodafone makes more that 65 million connections between devices worldwide, with one million new connections every two weeks. With LTE-M, Vodafone is expanding the IoT portfolio for customers, with which the telecom company is the first to offer the most complete network for IoT-services, whereby the speed and reliability of the network is further increased. In this way we are constantly investing in the next generation network.”
With the launch of the new network, corporate clients can get stared with smart solutions. LTE-M makes it possible to connect devices to the Internet with much lower battery consumption than ordinary 2G/3G/4G connections. Vodafone already has a nationwide NarrowBand Internet of Things (NB-IoT) network.
LTE-M vs. NB-IoT
LTE-M and NB-IoT technology are both capable of connecting devices to the Internet, but are both used for other purposes. Because the energy consumption of NB-IoT is extremely low, you can use this technology in, for example, the water main, agriculture or other places where it is difficult to replace a battery. LTE-M technology, on the other hand, gives access to more bandwidth compared to NB-IoT and also supports voice (VoLTE). This is voice technology is relevant for solutions that require speech, such as barriers or lifts. This technology is also applicable in the field of mobility – moving objects are easy to follow and stay well connected.
Smart city bikes
Conneqtech, a company specialized in connecting machines, and Vodafone are testing energy-efficient LTE-M solutions for city bikes. This way an bike owner can easily trace and secure his bike. Together with AXA Bike Security, Conneqtech is already supplying smart locks to Sparta’s Smart bikes via the Vodafone network. These locks are using the energy from the e-bike’s battery. With the LTE-M technology that is no longer necessary.