What is the Platform about

It’s time for a change in the world of Internet of Things industry. It’s time for connecting a billion of devices. It’s time for Narrowband IoT. We want your spark to create and develop this new sector. Support us in our task to establish Narrowband IoT! 

You can contribute new and innovative ideas and concepts to develop use cases based on Narrowband IoT. By registering, you also join our community, which lets you comment on and evaluate use cases posted by other members. It also opens up the possibility of teaming up with others for jointly developing suggestions.

Please have a look at the "How does this contest work" section at the bottom of this page before submitting your idea! 

The Categories

How would you use NB IoT in the following categories?

Connected Car

The automotive industry is intensely competitive and there is considerable pressure to drive down operating costs, improve efficiency as well as customer service experience and increase revenue opportunities. Interesting sectors hereby are Usage-Based Insurance, Roadside Assistance and Vehicle Navigation.

Connected Business

In today’s dynamic marketplace, organisations face a whole new set of challenges. In order to keep up with the changes, commercial building automation and security, office equipment, and even network equipment must be kept up to date.

Connected Cities

Connected cities are necessary to adapt to the demand of urban growth. Imaginative and collaborative partnerships, may it be in environmental monitoring, public safety or even public transport, are critical to make smart cities a reality.

Connected Consumer Electronics

Connectivity is no longer just considered to be an added luxury for consumers – it has become a requirement as consumers become more demanding in the services they expect. Therefore a new generation of intelligent consumer devices, mainly in the areas of tracking applications and personal multimedia.

Connected Energy and Metering

Privatisation and deregulation have opened up the market to intense competition, giving consumers and businesses more choices to meet their energy needs. Especially in the areas of smart metering and smart grid & distribution monitoring will be happening a lot.

Connected Health

Global aging demographics and a worldwide chronic disease epidemic are driving a vast economic cost burden to healthcare. A modern approach to healthcare are connected personal appliances measuring health parameters. Further areas might be Assisted Living, Clinical Remote Monitoring, Telemedicine and others.

Connected Home

Tomorrow’s ‘connected home’ will allow the householder to monitor domestic energy use, as well as remotely access and control appliances, thermostats and house security systems – via any device. This means the residential network infrastructure, building automation and security but also household information devices fall into this sector.

Connected Industry

Global competition and rising fuel and materials prices, mean that it is imperative to find new ways of working in order to reduce costs across all areas of the business which go from Land Agriculture, over Vending Machines to Warehousing and Storage. The industry is under intense pressure to increase productivity, make business processes more efficient and meet sustainability targets.

Connected X

All other possibilities which do not fit into the categories mentioned before.

Important Dates

Contest start date:  October 17th, 2016
Closing date for submissions: December 15th, 2016
Idea Selection meeting: January 2017
Announcement of winners: February 2017
Award ceremony: March 2017 


What is NB IoT?

Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) is a new mobile communication technology optimized to connect a very large number of wireless devices which communicate with the internet or cloud applications. It provides a wide-area coverage for machine-to-machine (M2M) communications, such as remote control of machines, alarming, metering, sensing, etc., where exchange of data via a highly available and reliable connection is necessary. This new technology can be used in many different use cases that will improve our future lives.

NB-IoT is the 3GPP specified approach for a Low-Power Wide Area Network (LPWA) technology. It just requires a bandwidth of 180 kHz in a mobile network’s spectrum and provides data rates of tens of kB/s. This is why this technology is perfect for applications which just require the transmission of low volumes of delay tolerant data. In those applications the focus is generally put more on extended coverage, reliable data transfer, energy efficiency and cost effectiveness. However the new technology does require a new type of low cost device.



Data rate

Up to 200kbps


Up to 500kHz

Spectrum Efficiency

Very High

Power Efficiency



Very Long

System Complexity

Relatively Low




Smart Metering

Tracking of Persons/Objects

Logistic Controls

Smart City

Industrial Appliances

Connected Health Devices



What makes NB IoT so special?

Currently, there are many LPWA Networks on the market that enable the Internet of Things such as e-MTX, SigFox or Lora. But NB-IoT has overcome the current problems of the existing technologies such as poor reliability, poor security and high operational and maintenance costs. NB-IoT can be integrated into existing LTE networks an can co-exist with other 3GPP technologies in these networks.

There are several inherit characteristics of the NB IoT technology that makes it the best LPWA deployment:

1. Improved Indoor Coverage: For many IoT applications deep indoor connectivity is a requirement. NB IoT guarantees +20dB coverage (better than GSM) which enables connections under the surface area and in regions, where the broadband has not access yet.

2. Low Power Consumption: For almost 80% of all LPWA use cases a low power consumption is necessary as the cost of replacing batteries in the field is not viable. With NB IoT more than 10 years of battery life can be achieved.

3. Massive Connections: Thanks to the use of only one Physical Resource Block (PRB) in the downlink and uplink transmission it is possible to connect up to 50.000 devices to the same cell. This enables the simultaneous transmission of data from a high number of devices.

4. Low Price: Currently the price of a module is estimated between 5$ and 7$. This enables the application of many devices in new markets with a high profitability.

5. Fast deployment: Besides the fact, that this is a new technology the integration in the network system is very easy. NB IoT is optimized to ensure harmonious coexistence with LTE. This means that the new cellular technology can be deployed in the existing LTE networks. This deployment flexibility allows an operator to introduce NB IoT using a small portion of its existing available spectrum.

Submission of Entries

Submitting your idea or concept is very simple, using the following steps

1. Get informed about the benefits and limitations of Narrowband IoT! 

2. Read through the information provided as well as the existing ideas ! Be creative and develop your idea! 

3. Give your idea a clear title! 

4. Describe your idea! Please include:

   -  which features of NB IoT suit your solution and why
   - consumer benefits of your solution
   - at best describe the service/platform in which your application will be embedded 

5. Add further attachments to your idea contribution (this is optional)

Upload images (.JPG, .GIF, .PNG, .IGS, .STP, .3DS, .VRML; max. 5MB)
- Upload documents (DOC, PDF, XLS, PPT, TXT, CSV)

6. Add tags (optional)

7. Submit your idea

Community Evaluation

As a registered user you can evaluate other ideas by assigning 1 to 5 stars for each of these criteria:

- Degree of innovativeness: Is this idea novel and new?

Creativity: How creative and out-of-the-box is the idea?

Customer benefit: How beneficial would the idea be to potential customers?

The average rating is displayed within the idea pool. With your rating you can influence the selection of the best ideas!

Expert Support & Evaluation

Experts from Vodafone are part of the community. They will be available to give feedback to your idea, and they have the opportunity to also score all the ideas. They have the same criteria as the community and an additional 4 criteria to rate on which are as follows: scaling potential, feasibility, market readiness and NB IoT fit.


Finally, the jury selects the winners of the contest. The jury considers the community and expert scores, as well as existing business strategies and plans.


1st prize: 5.000 € + Cooperation with Vodafone Open Lab

2nd prize: 3.000 € + Cooperation with Vodafone Open Lab

3rd prize: 2.000 € + Cooperation with Vodafone Open Lab

4th prize: iPad Pro 12,9“

5th prize: iPhone 7 Plus

6th prize: iPad Pro 9,7“

7th prize: iPhone 7

8th – 10th prize: Vodafone Smart platinum 7 with VR Headset

We’ve come a long way since making the first ever mobile call in the UK on 1 January 1985. Today, more than 400 million customers around the world choose us.

Vodafone Germany is the largest operating company of the Vodafone Group, one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies with mobile operations in 26 countries and partners with mobile networks in 51 more. It is a leading integrated telecommunications company and Germany’s largest cable television operator, offering fixed broadband, mobile communications, internet and TV services. As a gigabit company, Vodafone is a key contributor to the development of Germany’s 5G infrastructure.

Vodafone Germany offers a comprehensive ICT portfolio for enterprise customers, networking people and machines, facilitating secure corporate networks and storing enterprise data in the German cloud.

In an increasingly connected world, it’s no longer just about being able to talk and text. Vodafone understands that businesses need a communications partner with solutions that scale and adapt as their business needs change. They may need a few smart phones for voice and email on the move. Or they may require a fully integrated solution. Whatever their size and whatever their need, we are constantly looking for new, innovative ways to help our business customers grasp every opportunity in a simple and straightforward way.

In order to fully use the power of Narrowband IoT, we will establish a NB-IoT Open Lab alongside to our headquarters in Düsseldorf.

This Open Lab drives strategic technology and promotes the eco-system relating to the new technology. With the help of this Open Lab, we created the environment to explore new products and applications based on Narrowband IoT. Our goal is to generate cutting edge developments. In order to reach this goal we established a facility to test pre-integration of several products. The Open Lab will not only be used by Vodafone but also by our partners and developers.