Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Vodafone and Genus put NB-IoT to test in India

Steve Rogerson
February 14, 2019

Vodafone Idea, India’s largest telco, is working with local smart metering company Genus Power Infra to establish a commercial-scale proof of concept of NB-IoT network in the country.
Trials are being conducted at Genus’s R&D facility in Jaipur around one of the most promising uses of NB-IoT – AMI (automatic metering infrastructure). These trials are part of the plan to bring massive IoT deployments in the country as part of the government’s mission of Digital India and Make in India initiatives.
“Narrowband IoT is the next growth engine in the IoT space which allows greater network coverage, improved battery life of ten years plus for devices, and the ability to slice and partition the network for specific use case, to make massive IoT deployments commercially viable for enterprises across verticals,” said Nick Gliddon, chief enterprise business officer at Vodafone Idea. “We are excited to partner with Genus Power Infra, a leader in energy meter manufacturing, and look forward to bring alive more exciting deployments and projects which will help build a better digital enabled India and make truly smart cities a reality soon. With the power of NB-IoT, we look forward to bringing digital transformation in the fields of agriculture, healthcare, utilities – energy, water and gas distribution – and smart city applications.”
While in the past, cellular networks were built to connect people, NB-IoT is primarily built to connect things. Apart from smart utility metering, NB-IoT enables scalable deployments of various smart city use cases such as smart street lighting and smart parking. It also promises to benefit the agriculture industry in rural areas, giving rise to crop monitoring systems and automated feeding for crops and herds. This is apart from its uses in health and patient monitoring, and people and asset tracking.
“As a leader in the smart metering industry, we are very pleased to be the first in India to conduct advanced trials of NB-IoT enabled meters in partnership with Vodafone Idea Business Services, a global leader in IoT,” said Jitendra Kumar Agarwal, joint managing director of Genus Power Infra. “Genus has conducted NB-IoT trials globally and has been a part of the digitisation and power reforms phase in India. We are committed to supply smart and sustainable solutions to the power sector in the country.”
Vodafone has launched NB-IoT networks in other countries including Czech Republic, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Australia, Netherlands and South Africa, and has more than 74 million connections, and a network and services platform supporting a wide range of business-critical applications.
Genus has been an exporter of smart energy meters particularly to south-east Asia and Africa and is planning to produce NB-IoT enabled smart meters commercially both for India and global markets. 
Vodafone Idea is an Aditya Birla Group and Vodafone Group partnership. It is India’s leading telecoms service provider with over 422 million customers.