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Vodafone, Huawei Open UK NB-IoT Lab

Vodafone and Huawei are hoping to spur the development of NB-IoT through a new lab facility at the UK operator's Newbury headquarters.

Iain Morris

April 25, 2016

6 Slides

Vodafone and Huawei have opened a new NB-IoT facility at the UK operator's headquarters in Berkshire, where developers and organizations targeting Internet of Things (IoT) opportunities will be able to test equipment and services.

The facility is expected to be the first of a number of IoT labs that Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) will open worldwide and has been described as a "catalyst" for the technology by Matt Beal, Vodafone's director of innovation and architecture.

Vodafone and Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. announced their NB-IoT Open Lab initiative back in February with the aim of speeding up technology development. The companies are targeting a commercial launch of NB-IoT services in early 2017.

While standardization work on NB-IoT has yet to be finalized, the UK operator is confident that specifications will be included in the 3GPP's Release 13 by June.

"We'll be adding the ability to access developer toolkits and providing access to critical business support systems to put the full service wrapper around this," said Luke Ibbetson, Vodafone's chief engineer for Group R&D, when discussing the role the NB-IoT lab will play. "We want to speed things up -- we hear about the monolithic and slow nature of the telco industry and we need to shatter those perceptions."

Light Reading has included a selection of photographs taken at the opening event in the following pages.

Figure 1: NB-IoT Catalyst? Executives from Huawei and Vodafone open a lab dedicated exclusively to NB-IoT technology at the UK operator's headquarters in Newbury. Executives from Huawei and Vodafone open a lab dedicated exclusively to NB-IoT technology at the UK operator's headquarters in Newbury.

— Iain Morris, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, News Editor, Light Reading

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About the Author(s)

Iain Morris

International Editor, Light Reading

Iain Morris joined Light Reading as News Editor at the start of 2015 -- and we mean, right at the start. His friends and family were still singing Auld Lang Syne as Iain started sourcing New Year's Eve UK mobile network congestion statistics. Prior to boosting Light Reading's UK-based editorial team numbers (he is based in London, south of the river), Iain was a successful freelance writer and editor who had been covering the telecoms sector for the past 15 years. His work has appeared in publications including The Economist (classy!) and The Observer, besides a variety of trade and business journals. He was previously the lead telecoms analyst for the Economist Intelligence Unit, and before that worked as a features editor at Telecommunications magazine. Iain started out in telecoms as an editor at consulting and market-research company Analysys (now Analysys Mason).

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