Telecom operator Telenor has revealed a free Internet of Things (IoT) offering, Telenor Start IoT, in Norway.
The company said that the multi-city IoT pilot initiative, available free of charge to Norwegian entrepreneurs and students, will support entrepreneurship and boost innovation.
Technology firm Intel estimates that 200 billion smart objects will be part of the Internet of Things (IoT) by 2020.
“Cost-free access to IoT infrastructure is part of an initiative from Telenor to drive growth in the use of technologies such as artificial intelligence, IoT and big data in Norway,” said Telenor CEO Sigve Brekke.
IoT customers can make registration for Telenor Start IoT at a launch event today at StartupLab in Oslo.
Telenor aims to set up a physical Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) experimental network, a backend system and provide development kits to startups, students and developers free of charge for testing and experimentation purposes over the next 5 years.
The pilot network is aimed at stimulating LPWA innovation in Norway and will initially be rolled out in Trondheim, Tromso and Oslo from 1 May.
Earlier, Telenor announced Telenor-NTNU AI-Lab for supporting startups and accelerator programs across eight of its markets – supporting 70 startups in 2016 alone.
The telecom operator said Telenor Start IoT pilot network offering will initially be based on LoRaWAN technology (LoRa) but other network technologies may also be included, such as the 2G/3G/4G, NB-IoT and eMTC standards.
At present, Telenor’s mobile network in Norway connects over a million things. Newly released LTE standards will allow Telenor’s 4G networks to commercially support IoT devices that have Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) requirements. Such networks will be available for commercial use in 2018.