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Thursday, August 10, 2017

Portugal rolls out first NB-IoT smart meter

By Nick Flaherty

The first operational pilot project using electrical energy smart meters and NB-IoT communications technology has start in the Parque das Nações in Lisbon. 

Huawei, which has been one of the main contributors towards standardizing NB-IoT technology, has developed the NB-IoT Smart Meter in partnership with JANZ CE and u‑blox. EDP Distribuição is using this technology for a pilot project as part of the UPGRID project of the Horizon 2020 Program of the European Commission. The infrastructure network using NB-IoT technology has been installed by NOS, based on Huawei’s technology, making NOS the first operator in Portugal to test the 4.5G – IoT technology on its network infrastructure.

NB-IoT offers a battery life of up to 10 years, a gain of 20dB over conventional GSM networks and support more than 100,000 connections per cell. This helps with the automatic detection of failures, improving the time needed to restore service and quicker detection of problems so that teams can be allocated immediately and precisely on the ground for the problem to be resolved rapidly;
The Parque das Nações area in Lisbon was chosen by EDP Distribuição to pilot the project among around 100 customers, until the end this year. This cluster of the city is already covered by NB-IoT and has been equipped with two NOS base stations, which provide NB-IoT coverage. Intelligent energy management in the homes of these customers, who will also play an active role in helping to improve their energy consumption efficiency, represents a relevant practical example for this technology.

“We are really proud of NOS’ involvement in this innovative project, which will make a real difference in making electricity consumption more efficient in Portuguese homes in the near future. Working with long term partners, such as Huawei, and with new companies with a vision of the future, is always a guarantee of success and will strengthen the competitive position of NOS,” said Manuel Ramalho Eanes, board director of NOS. 

"We strongly believe that this technology will be the driver for mass adoption of IoT due to its unique advantages," said aid Chris Lu, CEO of Huawei Portugal. "Huawei is also contributing towards faster development of the E2E ecosystem, by deploying several labs around the world focused on the integration of NB-IoT technology in a variety of devices. We are proud to participate in this first successful NB-IoT Electricity Smart Meter project with our partners NOS, EDP Distribuição, JANZ CE and u-blox, and we renew our commitment to continuing partnerships of this kind to develop the maturity of the NB-IoT ecosystem in Portugal.”

"u-blox has been an early pioneer developing technical expertise and thought leadership in NB-IoT. Since years, we’ve worked closely with Huawei and with global mobile operator partners to complete technology demonstrators and the first successful commercial trials of pre-standard NB-IoT in several Industrial IoT and Smart Metering applications. With SARA-N2, a 3GPP compliant NB-IoT module, u-blox keeps driving innovation to the Smart Metering industry, and we are now really pleased and proud to support, along with our partners JANZ CE, Huawei, NOS and EDP distribuição, the world first electricity smart metering pilot performed on a live commercial network and using 3GPP standard NB-IoT technology," said Andreas Thiel, Co-Founder and Executive VP, Cellular Products & IC Design at u-blox.

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