Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Vodafone and AT&T open NB-IoT in Europe and USA

Steve Rogerson
October 30, 2019

AT&T and Vodafone will open up access to their respective NB-IoT networks to make it easier for their customers to create massive IoT deployments that work across the USA and parts of Europe.
The inter-carrier roaming arrangement is said to create the largest NB-IoT footprint in the world. It will include the country-wide NB-IoT network for AT&T in the USA and the Vodafone networks in Spain, Germany, Italy, UK and Netherlands. It will be available to customers by the end of 2019.
NB-IoT is a low-power wide-area network designed for IoT devices that require long battery life, high-signal penetration and low data volumes.
This network arrangement enables companies to take advantage of the network features of NB-IoT, simplifying their supply chain and facilitating seamless operations across multiple networks with a single highly secure SIM.
“Extending our collaboration with AT&T to offer NB-IoT roaming helps our customers to easily deploy their connected devices between the USA and Europe,” said Vinod Kumar, CEO of Vodafone Business. “We want to make technology adoption simpler for our customers to help them achieve their business outcomes and, by pushing forward the standards and linking up our IoT network with AT&T’s, we’re doing just that.”
This collaboration builds on the announcement in February that AT&T and Vodafone Business are offering LTE-M roaming across their respective networks in the USA and the Netherlands.
Both carriers are committed to expanding their NB-IoT and LTE-M roaming footprints globally to put LPWA on a similar global footprint to 4G. NB-IoT and LTE-M are also expected to be included in the global standards for 5G massive IoT.
“For the IoT to live up to its promise, it must be global,” said Chris Penrose, senior vice president at AT&T. “More and more of our enterprise customers are launching IoT applications across multiple countries. Working with Vodafone we can offer our customers simplified deployments to help scale their IoT plans across the USA and Europe.”
IoT services help users operate more efficiently, save energy and reduce their GHG emissions. In 2018, Vodafone’s customers saved 2.9 tonnes of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) for every tonne it generated in its own operations.
Vodafone is rolling out an NB-IoT network in Qatar. The company’s 5G network already covers 70 per cent of Doha.