Vodafone New Zealand (VfNZ) said it will deploy Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) technology nationwide during early-2018, in expectation of a “surge” in IoT applications over the coming years.

VfNZ claimed to have successfully tested NB-IoT on its network, in collaboration with Nokia, in September 2016. The OpCo said it will pilot the technology with a “select group of business customers” in late-2017, then steam ahead with network rollout in early-2018.

One company already on board for pilot testing is EROAD, a transport technology services company. Specifics of its pilot role are unclear, but may well involve road-toll charging, a specialist area for EROAD.

On the same day VfNZ announced its NB-IoT timetable – which may have been pushed back if earlier media reports of a planned launch during second half of 2017 were correct – Spark New Zealand, the incumbent, said it was “developing” rollout of rival IoT technology LoRa.

  • Vodafone has refused resolutely to indulge in the likes of Ingenu, LoRa, and SigFox, all of which use unlicensed spectrum and fall outside the scope of 3GPP, an industry standards body, for IoT solutions based on low power wide area (LPWA) networks. Instead, it is a staunch and longstanding supporter of NB-IoT. VfNZ is the latest OpCo subsidiary to toe the Group line.
  • Vodafone has the ambition of extending NB-IoT across its entire 4G footprint by 2020 and so minimising the market opportunity for rival LPWA technologies (Vodafonewatch, #144). Commercial deployment of NB-IoT technology, or plans for rollout, have already been announced by Vodafone OpCos in the Czech Republic, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, and Spain. Firm NB-IoT moves have also been made in Australia and South Africa (Vodafonewatch, #156 and passim).

Never mind the hiccups

Without reference to recent claims of non-interoperability between NB-IoT kit from different suppliers, as well as doubts about customer readiness in parts of Europe, Tony Baird, Technology Director of VfNZ, painted a positive picture of widespread NB-IoT support.

There are many IoT networks available now but we think NB-IoT is a premium technology choice that is worth waiting for. It is supported by over 40 of the world’s largest mobile operators plus many more suppliers and innovators that serve the majority of the global IoT market. ” – Baird.

VfNZ – which is considered something of a trailblazer within Vodafone in IoT and broader machine-to-machine communications – said it was building on a “strong IoT heritage” with its NB-IoT plans, referencing 1.4 million connected devices operating across its 2G network. NB-IoT, said the OpCo, was a network evolution capable of “supporting tens of millions more devices in future”.

VfNZ cited recent research that estimated a NZ $2.2bn (£1.2bn/EUR1.4bn) IoT market opportunity for New Zealand industries over the next ten years. The study was commissioned by the New Zealand IoT Alliance, an independent member-funded group of tech firms, major corporates, startups, universities, and government agencies.

LoRa adds Spark

In partnership with Actility, a France-based IoT software upstart, Spark said it will build a LoRa IoT network across the country, with a “significant proportion” to be operational as of June 2018. Kordia, a New Zealand government-owned broadcast and telecoms company, is also involved in the design and build of the network.

Spark also intends to roll out 3GPP-backed LTE-M, as well as “narrowband LTE” – curiously, the incumbent does not use the more common NB-IoT label, if indeed that was the technology it was referring to.

We already have a lot of capabilities needed to make the most of a more connected world – we have the world-class network, we have the platforms, and we have the big data analytics power of Qrious to make sense of the torrent of information that will be created from networks of sensors connecting the things around us. ” – Michael Stribling, General Manager, IoT, Spark.

  • The LoRa Alliance has attracted over 400 members since its inception in March 2015. It promotes and develops the LoRaWAN protocol. Comprising technology providers and some mobile operators – including KPN, Orange, and SK Telecom – the Alliance runs a certification and compliance programme to ensure interoperability with LoRaWAN. The only vendor licensed to manufacturer radio chipsets, as far as Vodafonewatch is aware, is Canadian specialist Semtech.

Image: (c) Vodafone.

Table of Contents

3 Executive brief

5 Group

6 M&A
6 Deutsche Glasfaser mooted as another German add-on
6 VfD, Glasfaser tag-team for ultrafast Düsseldorf
7 Table 1 Germany’s broadband race: key contestants
7 Good optics
8 SEBI scrutiny could throw Idea-VfIn curveball
9 Table 2 Idea-VfIn envisaged merger timeline
9 Minority rights
10 Table 3 People movement highlights
13 Global Technology
13 Vodafone takes lead role in vRAN drive with TIP
14 More partners sought
14 Phluido making FRANDs and influencing people
15 Group Commercial & Operations
15 Group breaks with Dropbox, preps new backup service
15 Eerie silence on traction

17 Europe Region

18 Table 4 Spectrum holdings of main Czech operators, post-July 2017 auction
18 Czech Republic
18 VfCZ gains 3.7GHz spectrum add-on
18 T-Mobile misses out
18 One-time weakling VfCZ gains heft
19 Germany
19 VfD establishes e-commerce startup
20 Greece
20 VfGr trumpets broadband expansion plans
20 High fibre plan
21 Silence on Wind-VfGr MoU, though
22 Italy
22 VfIt registers new sub-brand as Iliad entrance looms
22 Spain
22 VfS doubles up 4.5G to 700Mbps
23 Table 5 Selected Vodafone “4.5G” tests and rollouts (500Mbps and above)
23 Familiar 4.5G cocktail with TDD 2.6GHz twist
24 VfS expands e-sports activity with Twitch channel
24 E-sports: connectivity is king
26 Table 6 Current spectrum holdings of UK mobile network operators (MHz)
26 UK
26 Ofcom unveils updated 5G auction plans
27 All over by Christmas, unless Three opens new front

28 Africa, Middle East, and Asia-Pacific Region

29 Kenya — Safaricom
29 M-PESA gets another system reboot
29 Service and platform refresh
30 New Zealand
30 VfNZ’s FibreX service under scrutiny
31 Cable concerns
33 VfNZ targets NB-IoT launch, goes up against LoRa
33 Never mind the hiccups
34 LoRa adds Spark
35 Turkey
35 VfT gets Ministry nod for network-share rural JV
36 Under active consideration
37 Vodacom — Nigeria
37 EMTS play mooted, despite Nigerian difficulties
38 Vodacom — South Africa
38 South African 4.5G test surpasses 500Mbps

40 Profile

41 Cambridge Broadband Networks Ltd
41 Table 7 CBNL overview
41 Q&A

47 Further reading

51 Index

Index

Symbols

3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) 11, 29, 30

A

Accel Partners 36, 40
Accenture 10
Actility 30
Aditya Birla Group 8
Idea Cellular 8
– Africa 10, 25, 27, 33, 36, 37, 38, 39
Congo 10, 36
– Egypt 28
– Ghana 27, 36, 39
– Kenya 26, 28, 36
– Nigeria 33, 36, 37, 39
– South Africa 10, 21, 27, 29, 33, 34, 36
– Competition Commission 22
– – Tanzania 34, 36, 39
– Afrimax Group 13
Alcatel-Lucent 10
Amazon.com Inc. 22, 27
Americas
Canada 30
– USA 11, 12, 13, 14, 22, 26, 38
– States
– – Califormia 12
– – – Ohio 7
– – -Asia-Pacific
Australia 29
– China 32
– Fiji
– Commerce Commission 27
– – India 8, 9, 11, 28, 38
– Licence Circles
– – Delhi 8
– – – Malaysia 9
– New Zealand 27, 29, 30
– Commerce Commission (New Zealand) 27, 28
– – South Korea 22
– AT&T 13
Axiata Group Bhd (TM International) 9
India (Idea Cellular, see also Aditya Birla) 8, 9
– B
Bharti Group 12
Airtel 12, 36
– Brightstar Corp. 11
BT Group 10, 12, 23

C

Cambridge Broadband Networks Ltd 36
Cisco Systems 28
Citrix Systems 10

D

Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange 34
Deutsche Telekom 10, 36, 39
Europe
– Czech Republic 16
– – Greece (see OTE) 18
– – UK (EE) 10, 23, 24
– – Germany 6, 7
– USA 12
– Dropbox 11, 14
du (Emirates Integrated Telecommunications) 13

E

EE (see DT, FT) 10, 23, 24
Elisa 12
Ericsson 13, 21
Etisalat 33, 36
Europe 10, 14, 15, 16, 22, 24, 29, 34, 38, 39
Bulgaria 12
– Czech Republic 16, 21, 29
– Czech Telecommunications Office (CTU) 16
– – Denmark 12
– Finland 12
– France 20, 30
– Germany 6, 7, 13, 17, 21, 22, 26, 29
– Bundesnetzagentur für Elektrizität, Gas, Telekommunikation, Post und Eisenbahnen (BNetzA, RegTP, FNA, or German Federal Network Agency) 7
– – Länder
– – Berlin 17
– – – North Rhine-Westphalia (Düsseldorf) 17, 21
– – – Greece 18, 19
– Hellenic Telecoms and Post Commission (EETT) 18
– – Ireland 10, 17, 19, 21, 29
– Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) 19
– – Italy 20, 21
– Latvia 12
– Lithuania 12
– Luxembourg 13
– Malta 11, 19
– Netherlands 6, 29
– Norway 12
– Portugal 21
– Romania 21
– Scandinavia 12, 16
– Spain 13, 20, 21, 22, 29, 32
– Comision Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia 22
– – Sweden 12
– Turkey 21, 31, 32
– United Kingdom (UK) 10, 11, 12, 14, 16, 17, 21, 23, 24, 36
– Advertising Standards Authority 27
– – National Consumer Council (NCC) 33
– – Office of Communications (Ofcom) 10, 16, 23, 24
– -European Union 38
European Commission 16, 24
– EWE
EWE Tel 7
– F
Facebook 12, 13
Forthnet 19

G

Globacom Ltd
Glo Mobile 33
– Google 12

H

Huawei Technologies 13, 21, 26, 27, 28, 32
Hutchison Whampoa 24

I

Iliad 20

K

Kabel BW GmbH & Co. KG 7
Kohlberg Kravis Roberts 6
Deutsche Glasfaser 6, 7
– Kordia 30
KPN 30

L

Largo Ltd
WIND Hellas 18
– LinkedIn Corp. 10
LoRa Alliance 30

M

Market segments
Mobile broadband 10, 32
– Mobile data 22
– Network-sharing 18, 32
– Outsourcing 39
– Value-added services (VAS) 11, 24
– Voice 11, 19
– McKinsey & Co 10
Microsoft 13
SharePoint 13
– Middle East 28
Egypt 28
– Israel 13
– Qatar 28
– United Arab Emirates 33
– Moocall 17
MTN 33, 36
Nigeria 33
– Mumbai Stock Exchange 8

N

Naspers Limited (MIH Group) 27
Net Cologne 7
Netflix Inc. 27
Nokia 10, 28, 29

O

Oger Telecom
Avea 31
– Orange
Orange 12, 22, 30, 33, 36
– Spain 22
– UK (see EE) 10, 23, 24
– OTE (Hellenic Telecom. Org. SA, see DT)
Cosmote 18, 19
– Greece 18
– -P
Phluido 12, 13
Providence Equity Partners 9

Q

Qualcomm 11, 12, 21, 23

R

Rackspace Managed Hosting 26

S

Safaricom 26, 28, 36
Executives
– Collymore, Bob 26
– – M-PESA 26
– Samsung 20, 34, 36
SAP 13
Signals Research Group 11
Sixt Group 11
Skorpios Technologies 13
SK Telecom 12, 30
SoftBank Corp. 11
Sony Corp. 20, 22
Sprint Nextel 12

T

TDC 12
Technology
2G 16, 28
– CDMA 16
– – 3G 16, 28, 38
– Evolved HSPA (HSPA+/I-HSPA)
– – MIMO 21, 34
– – – 4G 16, 19, 20, 22, 23, 28, 29, 38
– Long Term Evolution (LTE) 7, 11, 16, 20, 22, 30, 31, 39
– – 5G 11, 14, 16, 20, 21, 23, 24, 31, 32, 34, 36, 38, 39, 40
– Cloud computing 12, 14
– Data centre 12
– DSL 7, 28
– Ethernet 12
– Fibre 6, 7, 12, 18, 19, 22, 27, 28
– FTTC 18
– – FTTH 6, 7, 18, 22, 28
– IP 11, 12
– M2M 29
– Narrow Band Internet of Things (NB-IoT) 29, 30
– PC 13
– RAN 12
– R&D 28, 40
– Smartphone 14, 17, 20
– Spectrum 9, 10, 16, 21, 23, 24, 29, 32, 34, 38, 39, 40
– 700 MHz 16, 23, 24, 32
– – 800 MHz 10, 16, 21, 23
– – 900 MHz 16, 23, 34
– – 1800 MHz 16, 21, 23, 34, 39
– – 2100 MHz 16, 21, 23, 34
– – 2600 MHz 16, 21, 23
– – VDSL 18, 19
– VDSL2 19
– W-LAN 12, 28, 37
– Tele2 12
Telecom Infra Project 12
Telecom Italia 12, 20
Telefónica Group 7, 10, 12, 22, 24, 32, 36
Europe 16, 23, 32
– España 22
– – UK 24, 32
– -Telekom Austria Group 12
Texas Pacific Group (TPG) 11
Time Warner
AOL 12
– TUI AG 11

U

United Internet 6
1&1 Internet 7
– Versatel 6
– V
Verizon Communications 12, 13
Viacom Inc.
MTV Networks 22
– Vodacom Group 10, 27, 33, 34, 36, 37, 38
Congo 10, 36
– Gateway Communications 37
– Group 10, 33, 34, 37, 38
– South Africa 10, 21, 27, 29, 33, 34, 36
– Tanzania 34, 36, 39
– Vodacom Business 33, 37
– Vodafone
Africa, Middle East, and Asia Pacific Region (AMAP) 10, 25
– Africa 10, 25, 27, 33, 36, 37, 38, 39
– – Australia 29
– – Egypt 28
– – Ghana 27, 36, 39
– – India 8, 9, 11, 12, 28, 38
– – Kenya (see Safaricom) 26, 28, 36
– – Middle East 28
– – New Zealand 27, 28, 29, 30
– – TelstraClear 27
– – – Qatar (see Vodafone and Qatar Foundation and Vodafone Qatar) 10, 28
– – South Africa (see Vodacom) 10, 21, 27, 29, 33, 34, 36, 37, 38
– – Turkey 21, 31, 32
– – Europe Region 15, 16, 24
– Czech Republic 16, 21, 24, 29
– – Germany 6, 7, 11, 13, 17, 21, 22, 26, 28, 29
– – Crvsh 17
– – – KDG Holding GmbH (Kabel Deutschland) 6, 7
– – – Greece 18, 19
– – Hellas On Line (HOL) 18
– – – Victus Networks 19
– – – Hungary 16, 24
– – Ireland 10, 16, 17, 19, 21, 24, 29
– – Italy 20, 21
– – Malta 11, 16, 19, 24
– – Netherlands 29
– – Portugal 10, 21
– – Romania 10, 16, 21, 24
– – Spain 20, 21, 22, 28, 29, 32
– – Grupo Corporativo Ono (ONO) 22
– – – UK 10, 11, 12, 14, 16, 17, 21, 23, 24, 32, 36
– – Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure Ltd 32
– – – Executives
– Amzallag, David 10
– – Baird, Tony 29
– – Borgogno, Livio 10
– – Chopra, Naveen 11
– – Colao, Vittorio 9, 14
– – Engelbertz, Thomas 17
– – Exposito, Israel 13
– – Grover, Vikas 11
– – Heeran, Fran 10
– – Joosub, Shameel 33
– – Kavanagh, Sheila 19
– – Lorilloux, Murielle 10
– – Nascimento, Joao 10
– – Read, Nick 20
– – Rook, Ivo 10
– – Sauter, Marc 10
– – Takkar, Ravinder 10
– – Wibergh, Johan 39
– – Williams, Matt 27
– – Ex-executives
– De Spiegeleire, Kenneth 11, 14
– – Ferguson, Richard 11
– – Fields, Darren 10
– – Joussen, Friedrich 11
– – Sarin, Arun 6
– – Senecal de Fonseca, Michelle 10
– – Group 10, 12, 13, 14
– Partner Markets 12, 13, 33
– – Africa (Afrimax) 13
– – – Estonia (Elisa) 12
– – – Finland (Elisa) 12
– – – Kenya (Safaricom) 26, 28, 36
– – – Scandinavia (TDC) 12
– – – United Arab Emirates (du) 13, 33
– – – R&D
– – Competence Centre 13
– – – Vodafone Global Enterprise (VGE) 10, 12
– – Vodafone Procurement Company (VPC) 11, 13
– – Vodafone Ventures 13
– – Skorpios Technologies (see separate) 13
– – – Products
– Backup 14
– – One 22
– – Red 19
– – Vodafone Cloud 10
– -Vodafone Qatar Q.S.C. 10, 28

W

Windstream Corp. 36
WPP
G2 Worldwide 22, 26
– Ogilvy & Mather 10
– Y
Yahoo! 12

About

About Vodafonewatch

Report: #157
Covering: July 2017
Published: July 2017
Next report: September 2017
For more information visit: Vodafonewatch