What is NB-IoT Technology?

NarrowBand-Internet of Things (NB-IoT) is a new fast-growing wireless technology 3GPP cellular technology standard introduced in Release 13 that addresses the LPWAN (Low Power Wide Area Network) requirements of the IoT. It’s been classified as a 5G technology, standardised by 3GPP in 2016. It is a standards-based low power wide area (LPWA) technology developed to enable a wide range of new IoT devices and services. NB-IoT significantly improves the power consumption of user devices, system capacity and spectrum efficiency, especially in deep coverage. Battery life of more than 10 years can be supported for a wide range of use cases.

New physical layer signals and channels are designed to meet the demanding requirement of extended coverage – rural and deep indoors – and ultra-low device complexity. Initial cost of the NB-IoT modules is expected to be comparable to GSM/GPRS. The underlying technology is however much simpler than today’s GSM/GPRS and its cost is expected to decrease rapidly as demand increases.

Supported by all major mobile equipment, chipset and module manufacturers, NB-IoT can co-exist with 2G, 3G, and 4G mobile networks. It also benefits from all the security and privacy features of mobile networks, such as support for user identity confidentiality, entity authentication, confidentiality, data integrity, and mobile equipment identification. The first NB-IoT commercial launches have been completed and global roll out is expected for 2017/18.

What is the range of NB-IoT?

NB-IoT enables the deployment of low complexity devices in massive numbers (approximately 50 000 connections per cell). The cell’s range can go from 40km to 100km. This allows industries like utilities, asset management, logistics and fleet management to connect sensors, trackers and metering devices at a low cost while covering an extensive area.

NB-IoT provides a deeper coverage (164dB) than most LPWAN technologies and 20dB more than conventional GSM/GPRS.

What problems does NB-IoT solve?

This technology is designed to meet the demand for extended coverage with low power use. Devices can be powered for very long periods on a single battery. NB-IoT can be deployed using existing and reliable cellular infrastructure.

NB-IoT also has the security features present in LTE cellular networks, such as signal protection, secure authentication and data encryption. Used in conjunction with a managed APN, it makes device connectivity management simple and secure.

Post time: Sep-19-2022