Yes, Narrow Band IoT or NB-IoT is here, or you may call it LTE Cat.NB1. Remember it is a Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) technology that works virtually anywhere.
But, what is NB-IoT?
It is a new 3GPP radio-access technology designed to achieve excellent coexistence performance with legacy GSM, General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) and LTE technologies. NB-IoT requires 180 kHz minimum system bandwidth for downlink and uplink. A GSM operator can replace one GSM carrier (200 kHz) with NB-IoT. NB-IoT is optimized to ensure harmonious coexistence with LTE, and thus such an “in-band” deployment of NB-IoT inside an LTE carrier will not compromise the performance of LTE or NB-IoT. An LTE operator also has the option of deploying NB-IoT in the guardband of the LTE carrier.
NB-IoT reuses the LTE design extensively, including downlink orthogonal frequency-division multiple-access (OFDMA), uplink single-carrier frequency division multiple-access (SC-FDMA), channel coding, rate matching, interleaving, etc. Therefore it reduces the time required to develop full specifications. Also, it is expected that development times for NB-IoT products will be significantly reduced due to existing LTE equipment and software vendors. In other words, using NB-IoT leverages current vendors’ infrastructures, avoiding extra deployment costs.
To summarize, NB-IoT has been designed to be used by Internet of Things applications:
But 3GPP’s NB-IoT is not the only game in town. In addition to the evolution of licensed LTE technologies (NB-IoT, LTE-M and 5G), unlicensed technologies (LoRa, Ingenu and Sigfox) are aiming to fulfill the needs of wide array of connected device applications that require low bandwidth, low power and long range coverage.
When we compare inherent capabilities of NB-IOT with other LPWA technologies like SigFox or Lora, NB-IOT offers better performance. Furthermore, when we look at all the technologies in terms of network investment, coverage scenario, uplink and downlink traffic and network reliability, we realize that NB-IOT is a better fit than others. NB-IOT has quite an extensive ecosystem mainly because of its support from many global top operators. Most importantly, unlicensed solutions can’t guarantee reliability and security.
In other words, each of these technologies has its own set of advantages and limitations. Combined, they offer a portfolio of solutions for enterprises looking to deploy smart, distributed and connected devices. Smart meters, energy management, smart retail, traffic monitoring are only few examples of the applications where LPWA fits perfectly.
Hence, NB-IOT welcome, maybe SoFiA2 meets Sara N2!!!, do you think so?
LET’s DO IT !”!”!