Telenor Pakistan has claimed a national first with the launch of an NB-IoT network site. Telenor’s announcement extolled the virtues of NB-IoT technology for low power consumption resulting in higher battery life, penetrative signals for greater reach, low latency for quick response, high security and better scalability of connected devices and integrated solutions. The mobile operator added that NB-IoT is ‘set to be a game changer for local industries’ and ‘will improve civil infrastructure by aiding development of advanced solutions like smart metering, smart water monitoring, smart homes, smart fire systems, and smart agriculture etc.’
Telecom Italia (TIM) and the Municipality of Turin have announced switching on ‘Europe’s first 5G Edge Cloud live network with connected drones’. In the coming months the partners will trial drones for environmental and infrastructure monitoring, connecting the drones and their control centre to the 5G Edge Cloud at a very low latency and using a secure radio channel, thereby preventing possible interference and ensuring drones can be flown safely even in densely populated areas (city parks, industrial areas etc.), with processing in the part of the network closest to the terminals enabling simultaneous 4K live video on numerous 5G terminals.
Beeline Russia has confirmed that its entire network in Moscow is covered with active NB-IoT and LTE-M technologies, capable of supporting ‘tens of millions of smart devices’. Rival MegaFon, meanwhile, has launched network support for new generation NB-IoT Cat-NB2 devices in 59 regions across Russia, following tests with chip manufacturer MediaTek recording 130kbps data transfer rates (‘five times faster’ than previous performance) utilising Dual HARQ functionality. A MegaFon spokesperson, speaking to ComNews, highlighted that Cat-NB2 support appeared in 3GPP Release-14 specifications, and requires updating the radio network software, core network and additional service platforms, while also pointing out that the faster a sensor receives or sends data, the faster it goes into standby mode and therefore can extend its battery life. MegaFon also disclosed that it intends to further expand its NB-IoT network to all 83 Russian regions. Similarly, a representative of another of the ‘big four’ cellcos, Tele2 Russia, told ComNews that ‘Tele2 uses the NB-IoT standard Cat-NB2 release, and our network supports the use of commercial NB2 devices for the Internet of Things.’ Note that Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) is the current Russian leader in terms of NB-IoT geographical coverage, across 62 regions.
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