[dropcap]V[/dropcap]odacom has opened a narrowband Internet of things (NB-IoT) laboratory at its campus in Midrand. The lab will be used to incubate and then commercialise machine-to-machine (M2M) and IoT systems using narrowband networking, it said.
The mobile operator, South Africa’s largest, said late last year that it would build an IoT network using the NB-IoT technology favoured by the cellular industry. It will launch the network commercially later this year in the major metropolitan areas.
It said IoT has been identified as a key strategic growth areas for the business.
“Vodacom’s NB-IoT lab provides a controlled test environment and framework for customers and developers to develop hardware and applications as well as test their end-point devices on the NB-IoT network,” said Vodacom IoT managing executive Deon Liebenberg in a statement.
“Our ultimate goal is to nurture an ecosystem of developers, engineers and entrepreneurs for NB-IoT applications on the continent,” he said.
Last month, Vodacom said it had successfully completed the launch of a live NB-IoT site. It worked with Huawei to deploy the network.
“The live site, which is on the roof of Vodacom’s data centre in Midrand, is the first step towards the development of a smart campus which will monitor and meter utilities on the network. Collection of this data will reduce the risks of water losses, mitigating both environmental sustainability and cost risks,” Vodacom said in the statement. — (c) 2017 NewsCentral Media