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Telekom Serbia bundles NB-IoT and LoRaWAN in “unified” national IoT network

Telekom Srbija (Telekom Serbia) is rolling out a new NB-IoT network to go alongside its public LoRaWAN network, to serve the country’s industrial firms, energy providers, cities and municipalities, and retail and facilities operators. France-based low-power wide-area (LPWA) network specialist Actility, an important vendor in the unlicensed LoRaWAN sphere, announced that it is providing the management platform to Telekom Srbija for both technologies.

Telekom Srbija has appointed Belgrade-based system integrator Teri Engineering to handle the NB-IoT upgrade on its LTE network. Actility has been drafted in for its ThingPark Wireless service management platform, as a single web-based dashboard to handle the day-to-day running of both licensed and unlicensed LPWA-geared IoT networks. Actility billed the developing infrastructure as a “carrier-grade… nationwide multi-technology IoT public network”.

It stated: “By covering both unlicensed and licensed spectrum technologies, Telekom Srbija’s 360-degree IoT strategy… offer[s] tailored connectivity for every use case, including the ones that require 10 to 15 years of operation on battery power, like water or gas metering.” Teri Engineering claimed the combination of LoRaWAN and NB-IoT created a “unified IoT network” in the country. Actility claimed a “vast ecosystem of LoRaWAN and NB IoT devices”.

Telekom Srbija suggested the expanded strategy with NB-IoT is mostly for metering, plus auxiliary smart-city applications. It said: “In this way, conditions are created for business customers in both commercial and public sectors – cities, municipalities, utility companies engaged in the supply of water, electricity, gas, thermal energy – to digitalize and automate their business processes and thus take a step further in providing sustainable business.”

The operator has had a LoRaWAN network since 2018, and has worked with Actility and TERI Engineering since the start. Actility’s ThingPark Wireless platform underpins “the vast majority of large scale nationwide LoRaWAN network deployments worldwide”, it said. It provides a multi-tenant LPWAN model to enable operators to delegate different parts of the network to different stakeholders.

Natali Delić, chief strategy and digital officer at Telekom Srbija, said: “I am pleased that we can make another new technology – NB-IoT – available to our tech partners and business customers. Telekom Srbija is constantly striving to provide… the most state-of-the-art tech solutions to support the fourth industrial revolution. Manufacturers of smart devices and software solutions, in addition to LoRa technology, will now have the opportunity… to develop and test solutions based on NB-IoT.”

Olivier Hersent, chief executive at Actility, said: “Licensed and unlicensed spectrum is clearly what the [IoT] market expects. Companies can source their IoT connectivity from Telekom Srbija with the certainty to receive unbiased advice and effective support of the best technology for each use case… We are impressed by the innovation spirit at Telekom Srbija, and we are sure this new offering will greatly contribute to the acceleration of digitization of Serbia, [as] a key enabler for the transition to a more sustainable economy.”