Vodafone Idea is the third major carrier to prepare to launch NB-IoT LTE commercial services in India.
The carrier has already launched eight commercial pilots of NB-IoT-based smart metering in Indian cities, such as Kochi, Jaipur, Bengaluru and Chennai. Smart metering records the consumption of electricity and sends that information back to utilities hourly or daily.
Vodafone Idea says it will now go commercial with customers before the end of this year. "We're looking at winning our first commercial deployments over the next six weeks. So, commercially, we're also seeing customers now, wanting to buy that. Once we contract them, we will go and deploy," Vodafone Idea Chief Enterprise Business Officer Nick Gliddon told India's Economic Times.
Why this matters By early 2020, Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea will all have live commercial NB-IoT networks up in India. Reliance will launch NB-IoT services on its pan-India network in January 2020. Airtel is planning to launch NB-IoT early next year.
NB-IoT will create a massive number of connections for machine-to-machine (M2M) communications in India. Reliance, for instance, says that it expects 2 billion IoT connections will be created within two years of its January 2020 launch.
— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading