Vodacom has started building a narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) network, which it plans to commercially launch in major metropolitan areas across South Africa in 2017.
Various components of its existing network will be upgraded to support NB-IoT, as such networks will run on existing licensed spectrum, said Vodacom.
NB-IoT is a low power wide area network technology that allows devices to communicate where radio penetration has previously not been feasible.
A key characteristic of LPWA devices is power efficiency, resulting in devices being deployed in-field with batteries that could last multiple years, said Vodacom.
New services enabled by NB-IoT will include the next wave of connected things – from water meters and environmental monitoring devices to smoke detectors.