velcom becomes latest Telekom Austria opco to test NB-IoT

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Telekom Austria Group's Belarussian subsidiary velcom has started a trial of NB-IoT, ahead of a commercial rollout of the technology.

During the recent International Forum on Telecommunications, Banking and Office Technologies in Minsk, velcom displayed numerous use cases of how the technology could be used, highlighting water supply and the smart home as two particularly interesting areas.

Further tests, held in partnership with ZTE, will take place over the coming months, before a wider implementation of NB-IoT.

Christian Laqué, CTO of velcom, said: "This is a 100 percent ready-to-use network that just needs to be connected to the core infrastructure."

Sascha Zabransky, Director Group Technology & Future Services, Telekom Austria Group, added: “In order to meet the increasing demands of our customers, in regard to products and IoT solutions, we as telecommunication providers are developing new to connect billions of devices in the coming years. 

"Telekom Austria Group is at the forefront of the use of these new technologies, where not only the speed of data transmission is important, but also relevant factors such as long battery life, simple maintenance, increased building indoor penetration, short latencies and lower module costs.

"Thus, key services are technically and economically viable with connected people, devices and things."

In June last year, Telekom Austria Group held its first trial of NB-IoT in Vienna, followed by a live network trial in October, a first for the market.

Also in Austria, the operator is rolling out a nationwide network of smart meters, although it is unclear which technology will connect them.