Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone have completed the first international roaming trial in Europe using licensed NB-IoT technology, GSMA said.
The service will ensure seamless coverage and service continuity for millions of connections using Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) networks.
The NB-IoT trial was performed using global SIMs from Deutsche Telekom on Vodafone Spain’s network and global Vodafone SIMs on T-Mobile Austria’s network and commercial NB-IoT modules.
Roaming is important to manufacturers deploying LPWA devices. It is also critical for use cases such as logistics tracking, which may involve containers crossing international borders on a single trip, as well as for devices that may be manufactured in one country but deployed in another, such as smart meters.
Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone said the roaming test cases developed by them include power saving features such as Power Saving Mode (PSM), Long Periodic Tracking Area Update (TAU) and various throughput and round-trip-time measurements.
Ingo Hofacker, responsible for the IoT business in the Deutsche Telekom Group, said the global telecom operator has introduced and developed NB-IoT networks across most of its European footprint.
Vodafone director of IoT Stefano Gastaut said this development shows the evolution of the NB-IoT technology.
GSMA’s Mobile IoT Initiative has helped standardise licenced LPWA technologies including NB-IoT and LTE-M in 3GPP and to date. 29 mobile operators have launched 51 commercial Mobile IoT networks around the world.
GSMA Intelligence says there will be 3.1 billion cellular IoT connections, including 1.8 billion licensed LPWA connections by 2025.