Mobile operators Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone Group have successfully completed the first international roaming trial in Europe, using the licensed NB-IoT technology.
The GSMA announced the trial through a statement, saying that service will ensure seamless coverage and service continuity for millions of connections using Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) networks.
According to the statement, the trial was performed using global SIMs from Deutsche Telekom on Vodafone Spain’s network and global Vodafone SIMs on T-Mobile Austria’s network and commercial NB-IoT modules, adding that the trials will also provide guidance to other operators in delivering a consistent level of implementation.
“The success of these trials is an important milestone in the development of a sustainable roaming environment for Mobile IoT networks, showcasing their capabilities as well as ensuring consistent service across geographical boundaries,” said Alex Sinclair, Chief Technology Officer, GSMA in the statement.
Sinclair believes that the market has matured considerably in a very short time and anticipate that this will be the year that Mobile IoT scales, emphasizing that only licensed, managed mobile services can provide the secure low power connection that can meet future demand.
Roaming is particularly important to manufacturers deploying LPWA devices on a global basis and looking to benefit from economies of scale. It is also critical for use cases such as logistics tracking, which may involve containers crossing numerous international borders on a single trip, as well as for devices that may be manufactured in one country but deployed in another, such as smart meters.
The roaming test cases were jointly developed by Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone and include important power saving features such as Power Saving Mode (PSM), Long Periodic Tracking Area Update (TAU) and various throughput and round-trip-time measurements. Underscored by the success of these trials, the industry is working to accelerate the adoption of NB-IoT roaming around the world.