The NB-IoT Guide (20th August)

iob watch learn nb-iot guide logo

Narrowband- IoT: An ultimate guide from its areas of working to different bands in different countries.

In the past years, we always get excited about hearing the new technologies that could control our household appliances, our doorbells, and temperature settings in our homes, security systems, locks, and many more.

Well, going back to 16 years, the Internet of Things or IoT was introduced by Ashton in 1999, a fantastic technology is known as RFID. The Internet of Things is all about controlling and connecting our household appliances, devices, or things through the Internet.

However, due to advancements in IoT, and people’s awareness about operating and controlling things increases, the demand for better connections and networks arises. Therefore, in 2017 a new protocol known as Narrowband-IoT was established to meet the advance connectivity requirements. The Narrowband-IoT initially started working in European countries. Meanwhile, you might be wondering what Narrowband-IoT is? Let’s see what Narrowband- IoT is, it’s working advantages, NB-IoT band in different countries, plus its pros and cons.

We are here to cover all that you need to know.

What is Narrowband- IoT?

NB-IoT or Narrowband- Internet of Things is a fast developing, wireless cellular network or protocol, and standard Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) radio technology that makes communication between things. The Narrowband-IoT is advanced by 3GPP Release 13, and being fast-emerging technology, the NB-IoT is now known as 5G technology.

The Narrowband-IoT is a low bandwidth protocol with the capacity to connect devices and appliances that are reduced in complexity and do not require high networks. The Narrowband-IoT is also suitable for indoor devices working in an environment where radio signals coverage is difficult such as underground building areas.

The Narrowband-IoT focuses more on providing better coverages, more connections, reducing cost, improving the network, and less power consumption of devices.

  • Power consumption upto10 years
  • Connections ~50.000 connection cells
  • Cell’s geographical range up to 100km

In addition to it, the NB-IoT provide users to manage

  • Fleet, logistics, and assets
  • Smart metering
  • Residential Security controls
  • Industrial work
  • Rigour agriculture
  • Metropolitan infrastructures
  • Sensors connections

NB-IoT in the context of other cellular standards

The following graphic provided by the Deutsche Telekom (www.telekom.de) displays NB-IoT in a broader context with previous cellular standards. Both NB-IoT and LTE-M are based on LTE and, via a software upgrade, can be integrated into existing LTE infrastructures. Since NB-IoT and LTE-M can be provided within the existing GSM-network, there are no additional licence fees for the mobile operators. As the following graphic shows, NB-IoT is used for the transmission of smallest data sizes.

iob watch learn cellular standards
Source: www.telekom.de (https://iot.telekom.com/de/konnektivitaet/narrowband-iot-lte-m)

How NB-IoT works

In today’s world, many technologies are working on transferring data with their pros and cons. However, the right technology usage depends upon the individualistic structures. After introducing LTE, 2G, 3G, and 4G, the more advanced technology that is Narrowband-IoT is frequently increasing throughout the world.

Before diving in to understand how Narrowband-IoT works, keep two aspects of its working in your mind.

Firstly, the data coverage to unreachable places.

Secondly, the operating and controlling of things through the Internet.

As we have said earlier, the Narrowband-IoT is equal to 5G advanced technology, thus increases the likelihood of sending more data securely to the places where data coverage is inadequate, and many other networks do not reach those areas. The Narrowband-IoT works by using a licensed frequency spectrum that ensures secure data transfer with zero interference of different devices. Plus, NB-IoT is standard LPWAN, therefore covers more areas with reduced usage of energy.

On the other hand, NB-IoT helps to work in different industries and sectors. To understand the typical example of automatic meter reading is helpful. While there are many other networks and technologies, but the advance NB-IoT is better in using than other technologies as NB-IoT can securely transfer more data to areas where other standard systems don’t work. Additionally, the modulus underground placed; therefore, NB-IoT has more indoor coverage in comparison to LTE and GSM.

Coverage for inaccessible areas

iob watch learn nb iot rural areas

As we have said earlier, the Narrowband-IoT is equal to 5G advanced technology, thus increases the likelihood of sending more data securely to the places where data coverage is inadequate, and many other networks do not reach those areas. The Narrowband-IoT works by using a licensed frequency spectrum that ensures secure data transfer with zero interference of different devices. Plus, NB-IoT is standard LPWAN, therefore covers more areas with reduced usage of energy.

On the other hand, NB-IoT helps to work in different industries and sectors. To understand the typical example of automatic meter reading is helpful. While there are many other networks and technologies, but the advance NB-IoT is better in using than other technologies as NB-IoT can securely transfer more data to areas where other standard systems don’t work. Additionally, the modulus underground placed; therefore, NB-IoT has more indoor coverage in comparison to LTE and GSM.

Operating and controlling IoT

Another aspect of NB-IoT working is in both domestic and industrial levels. Narrowband-IoT is the right choice when we talk about data transfer or connections between things. Concerning today’s advanced IoT devices or gadgets that are less expensive, have more battery life, and reduce power consumption. These IoT devices require manageable implementations; therefore, NB-IoT is the best solution due to its capacity to connect more devices easily. The application of NB-IoT is even more accessible and faster than other technologies. The signal coverage of Narrowband-IoT is prodigious, and its sensor connections of things are also unparalleled to any other technology due to its low power consumption.

NB-IoT’s industrial implementation is in agriculture, logistics, automatic meter reading, smart security systems, and others. Additionally, the domestic level implementation NB-IoT is to control and operate home appliances and other factors smartly. For instance, you are using NB-IoT to control home temperature (cold or warm) through mobile and monitoring your home’s security systems, from anywhere.

Advantages of NB-IoT

Initially, NB-IoT introduced in 3GPP release 13 standards as LTE Cat NB1; also, LTE-M (LTE Cat M1), with LPWAN technology has improved by 3GPP Release 14 with features such as;

  • Low power consumption

The reduced power consumption feature of NB-IoT includes release assistant indication that stops the radio resource control connection RRC. This indicates that the device has been finished uploading data and does not anticipate downloading any further data. Therefore the device spends more time in sleep mode and saves energy.

  • Better coverage

Either it’s about far off places or indoor penetration of signals, the NB-IoT takes all control. The 1 NB-IoT station cell supports thousands of devices connected using NB-IoT. As discussed earlier, the meters situated in basements can be accessed through NB-IoT for readings. Furthermore, according to an estimated that by 2026, NB-IoT would connect over 60% of a total of 3.6 billion LPWAN connections.

  • Transmission rate

Remember, we discussed that the NB-IoT is a low bandwidth network. Therefore, it uses a single narrow band of 200KHz and a minimum 180KHz. Allowing NB-IoT for more compact transmission power. The transmission rate of NB-IoT and coupling loss is 20dB better in comparison to GPRS.

  • Increased mobility

Another fantastic feature or advantage of NB-IoT is that it has connected mode mobility that assures no signal dropping if the objects or things move in cellular networks. Additionally, OTDOA (observed time difference of arrival) and e- CID allows estimating the device’s position based on serving cell ID, advance timing, and other connected cell IDs.

A quick comparison of NB-IoT with other LPWAN standards

Pros 

Ø The coverage range of NB-IoT is <15, which is more than any other LPWAN standard, such as Sigfox and LoRaWAN.

Ø The NB-IoT is a licensed low energy wireless standard as compared to Sigfox and LoRaWAN.

Ø NB-IoT has MCL equal to 164, which is 20db better than Sigfox 160 and LoRaWAN 157.

Cons

Ø The data rate, i.e., <150kbps, is less than Sigfox and other low power consumption wireless LPWAN standards. 

Ø In contrast to LoRaWAN, the bandwidth of NB-IoT is quite less.

The advantages of NB-IoT are summarized on a glimpse in the following figure. The graphic was created by the Deutsche Telekom and published in their whitepaper about NB-IoT in 2017.

Deutsche Telekom Whitepaper 2017

We also recommend having a look at the 2019 whitepaper published by Telekom:

MOBILE IOT GUIDE HOW NB-IOT AND LTE-M ARE HELPING THE IOT TAKE OFF

iob watch learn nb-iot advantages on a glimpse
Source: Deutsche Telekom Whitepaper (https://iot.telekom.com/resource/blob/data/121580/497a19b2ee06f5b0d7fa2c8929d84efe/whitepaper-narrowband-iot-2017.pdf)

Different NB-IoT bands with their frequencies and bandwidth in Europe, US and China are;

Narrowband-IoT bands in Europe

Narrowband-IoT bands such as B3, B8, and B20, are working in Europe for operating IoT devices with different frequency ranges to work in different regions.

Narrowband-IoT Bands in Europe

Bandwidth MHz

Uplink Frequency MHz

Downlink frequency MHz

B8 (900)

25

880 – 915

925 – 960

B3 (1800)

75

1710 – 1785

1805 – 1880

B20 (800)

30

832 – 862

791 – 821

 

Narrowband-IoT bands in North America

The Narrowband-IoT bands in North America use B4, B26, B12, B66, and B7.

Narrowband-IoT Bands in United States

Bandwidth

Uplink Frequency MHz

Downlink frequency MHz

B4 (1700)

45

1710 -1755

2110 -2155

B26 (850)

35

814 – 849

859 – 894

B12 (700)

17

699 – 716

729 – 746

B66 (1700)

70

1710 – 1780

2110 – 2200

B71 (600)

65

633 – 698

617 – 783

 

Narrowband-IoT bands in the Asia Pacific

The NB-IoT bands in the Asia Pacific, including countries such as China, Singapore, Korea, Taiwan, and many other countries, are B3, B1, B18, B28, B5, and B20.

 

Narrowband-IoT Bands in China

Bandwidth

Uplink Frequency MHz

Downlink frequency MHz

B3 (1800)

75

1710 – 1785

2110 – 2170

B1 (2100)

60

1920 – 1980

2110 – 2170

B18 (850)

15

815 – 830

860 – 875

B28 (700)

45

703 – 748

758 – 803

B5 (900)

25

824 – 849

869 – 894

B20 (800)

30

832 – 862

791 – 821

 

 

Use cases for NB-IoT

iob watch learn nb-iot
Schematic for the different use cases of Narrowband-IoT

There are various use cases for NB-IoT that we would like to highlight in the following:

  • Smart Parking
  • Supply Chain Monitoring
  • Smart submetering
  • Smart Street Lighting
  • Rail asset management
  • Smart waste management
  • Air quality monitoring

Further references for applications of NB-IoT in the academic field

 

Patent publications related to NB-IoT

Most of the patents related to NB-IoT were filed for hardware inventions, namely the radio communication modules used in smartphones and other NB-IoT devices. As can be seen from the two graphics below (patent research on patents.google.com for the keywords “NB-IoT” (left) and Narrowband IoT (right)), most of the patents have been filed for Qualcomm. Other competitors in the field are LG Electronics, Samsung Electronics and Intel.

iob watch learn nb iot patents
Source: patents.google.com, search phrase: "NB-IoT"
iob watch learn nb iot patents
Source: patents.google.com, search phrase: "Narrowband IoT"
IoB Watch Contact Form
Copyright © Ecosoph 2020
×

Wir sind für Sie da!

Klicken Sie auf einen unserer Mitarbeiter oder senden Sie bitte eine Mail an m.bobinger@ecosoph.com

× Wie können wir Ihnen helfen?