Vodafone, a leader in Machine-to-Machine (M2M) technology, will become the first operator to introduce a new low-cost technology dedicated to connecting devices to the Internet of Things – from water meters to fire extinguishers – that have lower demands for power and bandwidth.
The new technology, called the Cellular Internet of Things, will use Vodafone’s existing global M2M network to provide a network access layer specifically designed for low power Internet of Things applications. Customers will benefit from a range of connectivity services all managed through the Vodafone Global M2M Platform, which gives greater visibility and control over all connected devices.
M2M is the technology that enables the Internet of Things. The Internet of Things, made up of machines and devices connected to the internet, is forecast to grow to 26 billion devices by 2023. Objects and devices requiring very low power consumption and a wide area connection are estimated to increase to 3.3 billion connections by 2023¹.
The Cellular Internet of Things enables manufacturers to access new, cheaper communications hardware that can operate for many years on a small battery and that will connect to Vodafone’s existing global network through the dedicated access layer. The Cellular Internet of Things will operate in Vodafone’s licensed spectrum, which will best ensure performance and reliability as the number of objects and devices needing a low power, low bandwidth connection increases.
The Cellular Internet of Things will be published as an open industry standard by 3GPP, enabling other telecoms companies to deploy the technology. The concept was developed in collaboration with Huawei, Neul and u-blox.
Vodafone’s head of research and development Luke Ibbetson said:
“Having greater ability to support low cost, low power devices as part of our existing global Internet of Things service gives us the ability to connect the largest range of objects and devices on a single network infrastructure.”
“As a leader in the Internet of Things we are excited to support this technology and the standards process to drive the industry forward.”
David Wang, President of Huawei’s Wireless Network Business Unit, said:
“This agreement builds on Huawei’s existing strong relationships with Vodafone. The Internet of Things is a major growth area for Huawei. We are looking to leverage our M2M expertise to bring innovative solutions into the mobile ecosystem offering opportunities for a new wave of growth in connectivity.”
Andreas Thiel, Vice President, Cellular at u-blox AG, said:
“We believe that providing a standards based solution for low power and low bandwidth devices will become increasingly important as the Internet of Things evolves. We are pleased to partner with Huawei, Neul and Vodafone to show how these vital criteria can be achieved.”