Kcell and Ericsson launched pilot NB-IoT network in Almaty


Kcell and Ericsson launched a trial NB-IoT network in the center of Almaty. Narrow Band Internet of Things (NB-IoT) is a cellular standard designed specifically to enable a wide range of IoT devices and services. The trial will enable simultaneous connections of up to 10,000 devices. Battery life of more than 10 years can be supported for a wide range of use cases.

“This is an important step towards deployment of the network, on which Kcell plans to build its IoT ecosystem going forward. The NB-IoT implementation started last fall when Kcell and Ericsson worked together on software activation, equipment configuration and testing end user devices. Through joint efforts, Kcell’s partners – device makers and concept developers for IoT – were able to test devices and create new products based on NB-IoT chips. Currently, we are pilot testing trackers on our network which could be useful both in agriculture and for personal use by our clients in their daily lives”, – said Vadim Liu, Director for Enterprise Department of Kcell.

The NB-IoT network signal can serve tens of thousands of devices per base station. It even penetrates into hard-to-reach places, such as basements and underground parking lots. The NB-IoT standard allows the creation of industrial and consumer scenarios for “smart” buildings and “smart” industry, optimization of the housing and utility infrastructure, environmental protection and road traffic safety.

“The Internet of Things opens up wide opportunities for improving people’s quality of life of people, developing all industries and economic growth. According to the Ericsson Mobility Report, there are 1 billion cellular IoT connections globally, a figure that is expected to rise to 4.1 billion by the end of 2024, of which 45% are represented by Massive IoT. The introduction of IoT in all sectors will primarily be based on 5G mobile technologies. Through our IoT projects implemented jointly with Kcell, city residents in Kazakhstan will be the first to appreciate the benefits of new technologies”, – Aydin Abzhanbekov, Vice President and General Director of Ericsson in Kazakhstan comments.

The ready-made scenarios for IoT use include smart city concepts that provide various intelligent solutions to make the urban environment more convenient for living: “smart” parking to optimize the use of parking spaces, “smart” lighting, “intelligent” water supply systems that monitor the quality of water consumed by residents, as well as “smart” transport systems that provide accurate information on city transport departure/arrival times. Other use cases include intelligent maintenance and repair, logistics and security systems, as well as smart pumps, compressors and valves.

Kcell show cased convenient “smart city transport” solutions at the meeting held in Akkol in February and attended by the city akims of Kazakhstan as part of the Smart Akkol project. In April, Kcell and KazTech Innovations signed a memorandum on cooperation of the two companies on potential IoT projects. The launch of pilot NB-IoT network is the next step for Kcell towards active development of the Internet of Things in Kazakhstan. The NB-IoT network will be launched commercially once the outcomes of the pilot project have been analyzed.