Here in the Netherlands we are lucky to have Internet of Things networks available. We have a complete coverage of Sigfox from Aerea and hopefully this year coverage of LoRa from KPN. Off course we also have The Things Network (Lora based) community network in some cities.
All these ‘standards’ have great functionality for IoT sensors:
- Long distance; several km’s
- Low energy for sensors
- Low costs
- Indoor coverage (not always)
Last week T-Mobile in the Netherlands announced an extra IoT network named NB-IoT (NarrowBand-IoT). This standard is based on the 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project) telecommunications associations, like GMS, UMTS and LTE.
I don’t know if it is great again that an extra operator is creating a new IoT network or not, they all use different standards now.
We know that not every (new) sensor will support every standard that is on the market. So sensor makers must think before releasing with network(s) they will support. I think it would be much better if we had one standard for sensor communication. So we can focus to have the best and cheapest sensors. Yes, I know that completion is also good, but the competition would be better if they all use the same standard like with the telephone market.
I like the idea of the NB-IoT what T-Mobile has launched. It’s based on the current 3G and 4G networks and it’s easy (just software) to add this new IoT network. They will have directly whole covered in the Netherlands, but even better it’s simple to launch in every country. And that would be great for Asset management or other IoT propositions. No big investments in new hardware for T-Mobile and maintain extra hardware. During the launch of the new network T-Mobile showed also a new use case for IoT: Smart Paving Stone. They put a sensor in the paving stone at parking places in a city. The sensor can see if a car is on the parking spot and via an APP a other person can see where a space is available to park. Great use case, because we have a lot of paving stones here in the NL for parking spaces.
What do you think of the several IoT networks? Good or not?