MTS connects 20 cities to NB-IoT, targets Russia-wide rollout by 2019

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MTS is aiming to implement NB-IoT across all of Russia's major cities by the end of this year, which it said would boost its enterprise offering.

The technology is already available in 20 cities including Moscow, St. Petersburg and Novosibirsk.

The rollout is in response to high demand for IoT connectivity within the likes of transport, energy, mining, manufacturing and energy consumption control, in addition to smart homes and smart cities.

The operator has been working with Cisco, Ericsson, Huawei, Nokia and Samsung on upgrading its LTE base stations to support NB-IoT. It said the technology would reduce the cost of rolling out new IoT solutions compared to other M2M standards. It highlighted the technology's network capacity, low costs and long life.

Kirill Dmitriev, Vice President, Sales and Customer Service, MTS, said: "The Russian IoT market is moving into a new phase: recently tested promising technologies are now becoming ready-made commercial solutions.

"The launch of the NB-IoT network turns our pilot IoT projects into industrially scalable products developed to satisfy demand by businesses in various industries.

"Thanks to the NB-IoT network coverage and our technical competency, MTS is exceptionally well positioned to become one of the largest suppliers of commercial IoT products and services in Russia."

Last year, MTS launched a €400 million network upgrade programme in partnership with Ericsson.

The operator said at the time that it wanted to prepare its network for the 5G era, as well as underpinning its Internet of Things plans.