As per industry sources, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea Limited (VIL) are soon planning to launch commercial narrow-band internet of things (NB-IoT) services in India. To this end, the two operators have brought various partners on board to develop a complete device and sensor ecosystem.
At present, both the telcos are in various stages of pilot runs in different circles and are following a partner-led approach to build a complete ecosystem which includes sensors and devices.
Airtel is focusing on around 20,000 sites in Karnataka and Chennai to conduct NB-IoT trials. Whereas, VIL has already conducted commercial pilot testing in eight cities, and is hoping to win its first commercial NB-IoT deployment deal soon. VIL has covered cities like Kochi, Jaipur, Bengaluru, and Chennai in its pilot testing, which involved smart meters.
In 2018, Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited had launched a commercial NB-IoT network in Mumbai. Further, the telco is preparing to foray into enterprise services and may expand its IoT services accordingly.