Canadian telecoms operator Rogers announced plans to launch narrow-band internet of things (NB-IoT) technology in the country, the carrier said in a release.
The telco said that NB-IoT will allow IoT devices and sensors to send and receive small amounts of data over long distances, with very low power requirements. The carrier also highlighted that the new technology will be mainly used for asset monitoring, industrial automation, smart meters and smart cities.
“This is another first for Rogers in our long history of innovation in IoT. We are thrilled to commit to launching NB-IoT for our customers,” said Dean Prevost, president of Rogers for Business. “With the launch of NB-IoT, we are complementing our national LTE-M network, providing choice to our customers, and empowering innovation by enabling reliable, low power, low cost, and secure IoT solutions.”
The company emphasized that NB-IoT is complementary to Rogers national LTE and LTE-M networks, which are available to IoT customers across Canada, with additional sites continuously being added, starting with Ontario.
In addition, NB-IoT will also enable consumer IoT applications such as personal SOS devices and trackers, the telco said.
According to data provided by research firm IDC Canada, 81% of medium and large-sized Canadian organizations are currently using IoT solutions.
“Business leaders are becoming more and more sophisticated about their connectivity requirements for each IoT deployment,” said Nigel Wallis, vice president of internet of things research at IDC Canada. “Low-power wide area networks enable businesses to rethink their traditional practices by connecting assets and processes that may previously have been physically or financially challenging. This opens the door to making better decisions faster with more accurate data, a critical step to competing in today’s market.”
In October last year,Rogers announced its plan to launch an LTE Cat M1 network (LTE-M) to provide IoT-based services across Canada. The telco said that the technology would allow businesses connect and track their assets in real time using solutions such as logistics tracking, alarm monitoring, and smart metering.
Rogers positioned LTE-M as an alternative option for all machine-to-machine connections that are still using 2G networks and said it would provide 2G IoT customers with options to enhance their service experience when they migrated and upgraded their devices.
Meanwhile, in April of last year, Rogers announced a multi-year initiative to deploy 5G technology in partnership with Ericsson. Rogers’ network plan included the continued rollout of its gigabit LTE network with technology and equipment that is based on the latest global 3GPP standards, including 4×4 multiple-input-multiple-output, four-carrier aggregation and 256 QAM. The Canadian operator also plans to boost and densify its network with small cells and macro sites across the country.
Through the partnership with Ericsson, Rogers will trial 5G technology in Toronto and Ottawa, in addition to select cities during 2019.