Narrow Band Technology

An efficient, cost effective technology for a wide range of IoT solutions and applications


What is NB-IoT?

Narrowband-IoT (NB-IoT) is a low power wide area network (LPWAN) technology built on the Internet of Things (IoT). NB-IoT enables efficient communication, long battery life of mass distributed devices, and lower costs for wide geographical footprint or devices operating deep within urban infrastructure. 5G technology is capable of reaching speeds up to 100 times faster than 4G, enabling a whole new range of IoT applications and business models.

Key Features of NB-IoT Technology

SecureLTE grade security as standard, keeping your data and network safe
Global Roaming
Open Standards NB-IoT is based on open standards, which means it is vendor agnostic
Industry Support Wide industry support, from service providers to chipset makers
Bi-DirectionalSupports two-way data communication over a wide geographical footprint
Licensed SpectrumOperates in a licensed spectrum and provides assured quality of service with minimal risk of interference
64dB Propagation
64dB PropagationA huge 20dB advantage over conventional GSM/GPRS — Deepest and furthest reach of any LPWAN

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Why NB-IoT technology?

NB-IoT (Narrowband Internet of Things) is a specification developed by The Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) and standardised on June 13 2016. NB-IoT is an industrial grade LPWAN (Low Power Wide Area Network) solution running on a licensed spectrum that provides guaranteed quality of service and future-proofed capability.

NB-IoT is very flexible and can operate in 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G network bands. It eliminates the need for a gateway, which reduces costs in the long run. It is characterised by improved indoor coverage, support of a massive number of low throughput devices, low delay sensitivity, low device power consumption, and optimised network architecture. NB-IoT is ultra-cost efficient.

3GPP has confirmed that NB-IoT (and LTE-M) will continue to evolve as part of 5G network specifications.

How does NB-IoT compare with LoRa and Sigfox?

IoT Smart network of networks technology comparison

LPWAN (Low Power Wide Area Network) is designed to deliver the greatest coverage for the lowest power consumption, and at the lowest cost, while still maintaining sufficient real-world data throughput. We have compared NB-IoT against LoRa and Sigfox in the figure opposite.

(Fig 1. NB-IoT – from R1-157741, Summary of NB-IoT evaluation results, 3GPP RAN1#83, Nov 2015. Sigfox, and LoRa – from LoRaWAN: a technical overview of LoRa and LoRaWAN, LoRa Alliance, Nov 2015.)

164db NB-IoT

Deeper Coverage in Challenging Deployments

LPWA deployments often involve deploying devices across a large area with weak signal coverage. Devices may be installed underground, deep within buildings, or in rural areas far from the nearest mast. NB-IoT offers deeper coverage than alternative LPWA technologies and, compared to conventional GSM/GPRS, offers a huge 20dB advantage, which equates to a sevenfold increase in coverage.

Frequently Asked Questions

NB-IoT stands for Narrowband Internet of Things. It is a low power wide area network (LPWAN) technology used to connect devices to the internet over cellular networks, especially in situations where low power consumption is crucial. The technology significantly improves power consumption, system capacity, and spectrum efficiency. Therefore, it is ideal for a wide range of IoT devices and services. NB-IoT is used in smart cities, smart metering, smart homes, smart logistics, and other applications. The adoption of 5G technology, enabling extremely fast internet speeds, is ushering in a new era of NB-IoT business use cases.

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