Iain Morris 2/24/2017
In today's regional roundup: DT takes NB-IoT on a road trip; Arqiva eyes 5G role in UK; more 5G partnerships; Cell C spurns Telkom's advances; Proximus gets earnings boost from cuts.
- Germany's Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) has snatched some of the wind from Vodafone's NB-IoT sails by announcing plans for a commercial launch of the Internet of Things technology in a range of its European markets this year. Germany is to get a service in the second quarter, said the operator, which is currently running NB-IoT trials with customers in the smart metering, smart parking and asset tracking areas. A "nationwide implementation" in the Netherlands is also scheduled for completion this year, and several Dutch customers are already queuing up to use services, according to Deutsche Telekom, including indoor climate specialist Itho Daalderop, railway maintenance specialist Dual Inventive and sensor maker Smartsensors. The operator further plans to extend NB-IoT coverage in countries where it has already deployed networks, including Austria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. Deutsche Telekom says it is using 800MHz and 900MHz spectrum to support NB-IoT services. Regarded perhaps as the main telco cheerleader for NB-IoT, Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) last October claimed to be the "first" to announce commercial launch plans when it revealed that networks would go live in Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands and Spain in the first three months of 2017. NB-IoT faces a challenge from other low-power, wide-area (LPWA) network technologies including Sigfox and LoRa, which use unlicensed spectrum to support connectivity and have been in the market for longer. (See Deutsche Telekom Deploys NB-IoT Across Europe, DT Claims World First on NB-IoT and Vodafone Kicks Off NB-IoT Fiesta in Spain.)