Vodafone created the industry-defining Global IoT Service, built around the Vodafone Global SIM and management platform. We are rated as an IoT leader by a number of industry analyst houses, and today we connect more than 89 million devices globally using a range of network technologies:
Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) – NB-IoT is an industrial grade ‘Low Power Wide Area’ (LPWA) technology used to connect devices that are only going to be communicating intermittently, or are placed in hard-to-reach areas (such as underground). LPWA technologies use low bandwidth, low power (increasing device battery life), providing wider (more devices connected per cell site) and deeper (increased indoor penetration) network coverage. Many millions of devices are predicted to be connected via LPWA networks, from utility meters to rubbish bins and wearables. Vodafone was instrumental in developing NB-IoT and we have rolled out this network technology in 14 countries.
LTE-M is another LPWA technology and complements NB-IoT because it can be used in cases where some voice service is required (e.g. smart watches). After reaching nationwide coverage of NB-IoT in the Netherlands in 2017, VodafoneZiggo enabled LTE-M on all NB-IoT sites and completed the first successful Voice over LTE call over LTE-M in June 2018.
Cellular Vehicle To Everything
Cellular Vehicle To Everything (C-V2X) – also known as LTE-V – enables direct communication between vehicles, and is a building block of an Intelligent Transportation System. This system promises to bring about a transformational change to vehicle safety, smarter traffic congestion management and increasing degrees of autonomous or assisted driving. Vodafone is a Platinum member of the 5G Automotive Association (5GAA), a global cross-industry association of companies from telecommunications and automotive industries formed in September 2016 to foster the development of connected and self-driving cars as well as intelligent transport systems, embracing C-V2X and the evolution to 5G.