Telenor is readying a trial of NB-IoT technology for January 2017, as it looks to demonstrate a smart parking network in Trondheim, Norway.
Details about the trial, which will be held with road infrastructure company Q-Free, were scant, but the Norway-based operator said it is likely to be the first trial of the technology across the Nordics and its first step towards launching a commercial IoT network.
The operator has commissioned a white paper from consultants Northstream to explore the variety of IoT technology, spanning cellular, low power wide area networks, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
Telenor Connexion, the operator’s IoT arm, said enterprises face “critical” choices in choosing the right kind of connectivity, as the wrong decision can lead to poor performance or higher costs in the short term. In the longer term, it said operators could be hindered by reduced scalability or the need to swap in new technology at greater costs.
Martin Whitlock, CTO at Telenor Connexion, said: “Telenor Connexion sees great potential in LPWA, which enables new use cases beyond the cellular-based applications that we deliver today. We have particularly high expectations on the LPWA standard Narrow-Band IoT, which we believe will be a technology that operators worldwide will establish, thereby ensuring high demands on performance and future proofing. The scale advantages from a widespread usage of NB-IoT cater for an ecosystem where the costs for connected devices can be kept down.
Bengt Nordström, CEO of Northstream, said: “There is not one single technology or solution that is ideal for all IoT solutions, and some technologies will coexist with others rather than being a competing standard. There are many actors in the respective technologies today, aiming to become market leaders and establish their own ecosystem. The current fragmentation in the market is not sustainable in the long run and eventually leaders will emerge.”