Italian operator TIM says it’s the first in Italy to make its network ready for NB-IoT services, which will be offered at the end of this month.
75% of the TIM network is apparently up and running with NB-IoT technology, which is one of the more advanced flavours of narrowband wireless available. This means 5,000 municipalities will be able to live the internet of things dream in a couple of weeks.
Quite what form that will take, however, remains to be seen. It’s one thing having access to the latest narrowband tech, but what are they going to use it for? According to TIM it ‘will enable the commercial development of services starting with smart meters, which will permit not only real time monitoring of consumption and the telemanagement of gas, water and electricity transmission and distribution networks, but also district heating and environmental management.’
Smart metering seems to be quite a popular early use-case for IoT, but the business case remains unproven and for consumers they seem to solve problems most of us didn’t realise we had. But having said that we have to start somewhere and TIM seems to be doing a good job of leading the way, in Europe at least.