Jul 21, 2021

Vodafone expands IoT coverage to 98% of the UK

IoT
Vodafone
Network
Internet of Things
Catherine Gray
3 min
Vodafone has expanded its Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) coverage as customer demand grows

The technology communications company has doubled the number of sites in its NB-IoT network to meet the increasing demand for IoT services. Vodafone's NB-IoT coverage now reaches 98% of the UK geography. 

Vodafone's expansion supports its ongoing investments in IoT platforms and services. This is to help the growing number of businesses implementing IoT technology to increase operational efficiency and grow new revenues.

Anne Sheehan, Business Director at Vodafone UK said concerning the expansion of its coverage: “NB-IoT is a part of our network that is often overlooked, but it is becoming increasingly important, bringing data from a growing variety of devices to power decision-making in more organisations.”

Affordable and accessible

NB-IoT is a lower power, wide area network (LPWAN) technology, designed to enable efficient communication across wide geographical footprints, or deep within urban infrastructure. 

There has been increased demand across numerous industries for a connectivity solution that can support use cases. For example, industrial and commercial metering, water monitoring, asset tracking, and smart city applications. 

Recognising this increase in demand, Vodafone wanted to make its NB-IoT network more readily available.

Sheehan added, referencing NB-IoT’s affordability: “We have invested in NB-IoT because we want to offer our customers the right tools for the right job, in a way which is affordable and accessible for every customer.”

“One of the advantages of NB-IoT is coverage beyond the traditional mobile footprint, as the network is designed for devices with lower bandwidth requirements,” she added.

Benefits to the user

NB-IoT supports applications where the lowest possible connectivity cost is essential to the viability of the business case. It offers several benefits over utilising mobile networks for certain use cases and devices:

  • The lifetime of devices and batteries can be extended to as long as 10 years.
  • The cost of modems and devices is reduced, meaning reduced overall capital expenditure.
  • Deployment is more scalable and lower cost.
  • Coverage is extended due to lower signal requirements for data transmission.
  • Maintenance requirements are lower for IoT devices in remote and inaccessible locations.

A tailored approach

Vodafone's NB-IoT network is already being used by customers across multiple industries. SES Water and United Utilities use the network to detect leaks in underground pipes and other infrastructure.

The NB-IoT network broadens Vodafone's IoT offering, adding to an existing leadership position in the IoT segment.

Complementing its existing mobile coverage, Vodafone's NB-IoT network can create tailored connectivity solutions for different IoT cases. This is opposed to relying on a ‘one-size-fits-all' approach.

Highlighting its dedication to bring its customers a tailored approach to connectivity solutions, Sheehan stated: “For those areas that are not covered by the NB-IoT network today, Vodafone will work with customers to upgrade and add infrastructure on a case-by-case basis. [...] The NB-IoT network, alongside Vodafone’s mobile network, provides connectivity for devices and assets, while Vodafone’s IoT.nxt platform allows Vodafone to work with customers at every stage of the journey.”

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