Nokia and Zain trial NB-IoT technologies for smart cities

Natalie Bannerman
Published on:

Nokia and Zain Saudi Arabia have partnered together to trial NB-IoT technologies in smart metering use cases

Nokia and Zain Saudi Arabia have successfully trialed narrowband internet of things (NB-IoT) technology at a live site in the Mina area of Makkah province.

The trial was conducted with smart metering and was able to control temperature, humidity and air pressure from a remote location using a Nokia LTE base station at 900MHz. The success of the testing demonstrates how NB-IoT could be used in not only smart metering but also electricity utilities, smart parking and smart waste management.

Ali Al Jitawi, head of the Zain Saudi Arabia customer team at Nokia, commented: “This trial is the first step in utilizing Zain’s country-wide LTE network assets to create a cost-efficient IoT ecosystem and introduce new services. NB-IoT will help connect numerous devices, opening revenue opportunities in many verticals including transport, manufacturing, healthcare, energy, agriculture and home appliances.”

The news follows the agreement signed by both parties in February to collaborate on 5G and IoT technologies. During the trials Zain used Nokia’s LTE radio platform Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Station to transfer data, in addition to Nokia’s expertise in system integration, network implementation and care services.

Sultan Abdulaziz AlDeghaither, chief technology officer at Zain Saudi Arabia, said: “This Saudi-first IoT trial in a live network again shows our strong commitment to bring new services to make people’s lives more comfortable and productive. It has been a fruitful, decade-long journey with our longtime partner Nokia in transforming telecom services in Saudi Arabia, and now this successful joint trial accelerates our initiatives in building smart cities across the kingdom including Riyadh and Jeddah.”

NB-IoT technology is a 3GPP Release 13 radio access technology that works in numerous different environments, with its strong coverage capability it connects devices in hard-to-reach locations. Also, because of its use of existing mobile networks it allows for the transfer of small data packets securely and due to its low power consumption, device battery life can last for up to ten years.

The Zain Group recently completed successful trials of 5G technology, reaching maximum throughput speeds of over 70Gbps over 2GHz spectrum.