M1 rolls out Southeast Asia's first commercial NB-IoT network

According to Singapore telco player M1, this is in efforts to catalyse smart solutions innovation and support Singapore's transformation into a Smart Nation.

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The Singapore Merlion is seen in front of the city centre, in Singapore. Reuters

Singapore telco player M1 made history with its launching of Southeast Asia's first commercial nationwide Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) network.

According to the group, this is in efforts to catalyse smart solutions innovation and support Singapore's transformation into a Smart Nation.

M1's CEO Karen Kooi said a key Smart Nation building block in enabling connectivity in millions of devices, sensors, and services is the Internet of Things.

She noted that the launch of the NB-IoT network allows solution providers and businesses to develop and deploy new IoT-enabled solutions.

"The launch of Southeast Asia's first commercial nationwide NB-IoT network will accelerate our journey into a digital society. The Internet of Things will open up an incredible array of fresh opportunities and innovation. We look forward to working closely with government agencies, technology partners, and customers to enable smart solutions for everything and everyone," Kooi said in a press statement.

Meanwhile, the Infocomm Media Development Authority of Singapore Chief Executive Tan Kiat How mentioned that the IoT is a vital area of growth which can spur advancement's in Singapore's push for a digital economy.

"We are heartened that M1 has rolled out their narrowband IoT network on a nationwide basis and partnered enterprises to bring ready solutions to market and accelerate innovation to empower possibilities. We encourage companies to embrace the exciting benefits of NB-IoT as we move towards the digital future," he noted.

One such firm embracing the newly-rolled out tech is Leppel Electric. As part of the collaboration, the firm is piloting the NB-IoT Energy Management Meter, which is expected to enable it to deploy power and water meters to its customers' premises faster and more cost-effectively.

Keppel Electric General Manager Janice Bong said with the full liberalisation of the electricity market expected in 2018, the launch of M1's NB-IoT network is a timely development for their customers.

"We also see the potential of such implementations helping consumers to manage their electricity use more prudently," Bong explained.