M1 launches South-east Asia's first commercial nationwide Internet-of-Things network

M1 launched the Internet of Things (NB-IoT) network on Monday (Aug 7).
M1 launched the Internet of Things (NB-IoT) network on Monday (Aug 7).PHOTO: M1

SINGAPORE - Telco M1 launched South-east Asia's first commercial wireless network dedicated to machine-to-machine communication on Monday (Aug 7) - a move which it says further enables Singapore's growing adoption of connected devices while also easing the burden on networks currently used for phone calls and mobile web surfing.

The new nationwide network, known as a narrow-band Internet of Things (NB-IoT) network, is akin to the 4G mobile networks most Singaporeans are familiar with, except that they are used exclusively by devices like sensors, tracking gadgets or smart home appliances. Currently, smart devices connect to the same networks consumers do.

One of the first users of M1's network will be electricity retailer Keppel Electric, which intends to deploy smart Web-connected power meters to customers.

Their new power and water meters will be faster to deploy as they will not require power cables to be set up first, unlike existing meters.

It will also let residents have information about their own power usage.These meters will also be able to send information through this network in real-time, which can lead to extra features such as being able to isolate malfunctioning household appliances.

"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," said M1 chief executive Ms Karen Kooi during the launch ceremony at Mandarin Oriental hotel.

Rival telco Singtel also announced on Monday that it is rolling out its own cellular IoT network at the end of September. Singtel's network will support NB-IoT technology as well as another type of network called CAT-M1, which can send more data but consumes more power.