Vodafone has released a new open-source network access layer for companies wishing to connect to the Internet of Things.
The operator has partnered with Huawei, Neul and u-blox to develop the "Cellular IoT" product, which it said could be used for the likes of water meters or fire extinguishers.
Devices can be managed through the operator's Global M2M platform, connecting to its network through a dedicated access layer.
The product has been released as an open industry standard from 3GPP, allowing other telcos to roll out the technology themselves.
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 IoT service gives us the ability to connect the largest range of objects and devices on a single network infrastructure.”
Andreas Thiel, Vice President, Cellular at u-blox AG, added: “We believe that providing a standards-based solution for low power and low bandwidth devices will become increasingly important as the IoT evolves. We are pleased to partner with Huawei, Neul and Vodafone to show how these vital criteria can be achieved.”
Opinions vary as to how many connections the IoT will lead to, with Huawei predicting it could be as high as 100 billion. However, last week, the chair of the International M2M Council said hype around the sector's potential could ultimately damage it.