Bharti Airtel (Airtel) on Monday said it has partnered with Secure Meters for deploying narrow band (NB-IoT) services that will power 1.3 million homes in Bihar through a smart meter solution.

This deployment will be India’s first NB-IoT solution on a narrow band with a fall-back option that will work on 2G and 4G and ensure real-time connectivity and uninterrupted transfer of critical data, the company said in a statement.

NB-IoT is a low-power, wide area, radio network technology developed by 3GPP which enables a wide variety of IoT devices and services including smart meters.

“IoT is one of the fastest-growing business segments for Airtel Business. This venture into NB-IoT strengthens our credentials as the largest cellular IoT player in the country and places us firmly as a partner of choice for Discoms looking to invest in smart meters. We look forward to being an active player in India’s energy transition,” Ajay Chitkara, Director and Chief Executive Officer, Airtel, said.

Airtel’s NB-IoT platform is future-ready and is scalable to 5G, the company said adding that the NB-IoT proposition also includes its advanced IoT platform ‘The Airtel IoT Hub’ which has been customised to suit the needs of advance metering infrastructure service providers (AMISPs).

Its enterprise-grade feasibility tool helps AMISPs plan their meter deployments better. Other functionalities include customer life cycle management and advanced analytics tools like diagnostics, live sessions check, and real-time data usage among others, it said adding that Airtel’s network is ready for pan India NB-IoT deployment.

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“With Airtel’s support, we were able to seamlessly connect and monitor our meters, resulting in greater efficiency and cost savings for secure and for our customers in North Bihar,” Ananya Singhal, Joint MD, Secure Meters, said.