Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Deutsche Telekom rolls out German NB-IoT network

Steve Rogerson
June 12, 2019

Deutsche Telekom has put its IoT network into operation throughout Germany. The machine and sensor network facilitates digitisation in a wide range of industries.
The network covers 90 per cent of Germany's area and supplies more than 90 per cent of the population. The rollout will be completed by the end of 2019.
Smart parking is already available in more than 50 German cities: with Park & Joy, motorists can find a free parking space more easily. Payment is made via an app.
The telco also developed a connected bike with start-up company IoT Venture. The tracking system helps owners to locate their e-bikes and S-Pedelecs. The bicycles also automatically call for help when registering a fall.
The network improves fire safety as well: the smoke detector from Lupus Electronics not only alerts the fire department and tenants, it also warns other residents and the administration of the affected building. The remote maintenance function saves time and costs.
Likewise, the Smart Data Bin from logistics service provider Rhenus is transmitting via the new network. These intelligent containers detect their fill levels and coordinate their own emptying cycles with the help of a sensor.
"Our machine and sensor network offers an enormous range of applications," said Kai-Ulrich Deissner, head of international technology and services delivery at Deutsche Telekom. "Mobility, security or waste management are just a few areas that the new network revolutionises. It is an important prerequisite for the development of mobile IoT in the years to come."
Deutsche Telekom’s machine and sensor network is an integral component for the development towards 5G as it uses the NB-IoT radio technology. NB-IoT enables secure IoT applications with reliable data transmission. It makes mobile IoT possible for the mass market.
However, in addition to quantity, network quality is also an important factor: Deutsche Telekom and Ista recently conducted an indoor field test for NB-IoT that proved the technology enables data transmission deep in buildings.
Deutsche Telekom is introducing NB-IoT roaming in Europe. This will let users scale their international mobile IoT offerings in the future, for example for the logistical monitoring of containers that pass several international borders on their route. As a first step, the national companies in Germany, Austria, Netherlands, Hungary, Slovakia and Czech Republic support roaming among each other. Other countries will follow.
Nine European subsidiaries and the USA have introduced NB-IoT so far. The Netherlands completed its nationwide rollout in mid-2017. Austria and Slovakia have been covered nationwide since 2018. The USA is also covered. In the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Croatia and Greece, NB-IoT networks are already active in many cities. Nationwide rollouts in these markets are expected by the end of 2019.