Narrowband IoT

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Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) is a Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) radio technology standard developed by 3GPP to enable a wide range of cellular devices and services.[1][2] The specification was frozen in 3GPP Release 13 (LTE Advanced Pro), in June 2016.[3] Other 3GPP IoT technologies include eMTC (enhanced Machine-Type Communication) and EC-GSM-IoT.[4]

NB-IoT focuses specifically on indoor coverage, low cost, long battery life, and high connection density. NB-IoT uses a subset of the LTE standard, but limits the bandwidth to a single narrow-band of 200kHz. It uses OFDM modulation for downlink communication and SC-FDMA for uplink communications. [5][6][7][8][9] IoT applications which require more frequent communications will be better served by NB-IoT, which has no duty cycle limitations operating on the licensed spectrum.

In March 2019, the Global Mobile Suppliers Association announced that over 100 operators have deployed/launched either NB-IoT or LTE-M networks.[10]. This number had risen to 142 deployed/launched networks by September 2019.[11]

3GPP LPWAN standards[edit]


[12][13]
LTE Cat 1 LTE-M NB-IoT EC-GSM-IoT
LC-LTE/MTCe eMTC
LTE Cat 0 LTE Cat M1 LTE Cat M2 non-BL LTE Cat NB1 LTE Cat NB2
3GPP Release Release 8 Release 12 Release 13 Release 14 Release 14 Release 13 Release 14 Release 13
Downlink Peak Rate 10 Mbit/s 1 Mbit/s 1 Mbit/s ~4 Mbit/s ~4 Mbit/s 26 kbit/s 127 kbit/s 474 kbit/s (EDGE)

2 Mbit/s (EGPRS2B)

Uplink Peak Rate 5 Mbit/s 1 Mbit/s 1 Mbit/s ~7 Mbit/s ~7 Mbit/s 66 kbit/s (multi-tone)

16.9 kbit/s (single-tone)

159 kbit/s 474 kbit/s (EDGE)

2 Mbit/s (EGPRS2B)

Latency 50–100 ms not deployed 10–15 ms 1.6–10 s 700 ms – 2 s
Number of Antennas 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1–2
Duplex Mode Full Duplex Full or Half Duplex Full or Half Duplex Full or Half Duplex Full or Half Duplex Half Duplex Half Duplex Half Duplex
Device Receive Bandwidth 1.4–20 MHz 1.4–20 MHz 1.4 MHz 5 MHz 5 MHz 180 kHz 180 kHz 200 kHz
Receiver Chains 2 (MIMO) 1 (SISO) 1 (SISO) 1 (SISO) 1 (SISO) 1 (SISO) 1 (SISO) 1–2
Device Transmit Power 23 dBm 23 dBm 20 / 23 dBm 20 / 23 dBm 20 / 23 dBm 20 / 23 dBm 14 / 20 / 23 dBm 23 / 33 dBm

Deployments[edit]

As of March 2019 GSA had identified:[14]

  • 149 operators in 69 countries investing in one or both of the NB-IoT and LTE-M network technologies
  • 104 of those operators in 53 countries had deployed/launched at least one of the NB-IoT or LTE-M technologies of those, 20 operators in 19 countries had deployed/launched both NB-IoT and LTE-M[15]
  • 22 countries are now home to deployed/launched NB-IoT and LTE-M networks
  • 29 countries are home to deployed/launched NB-IoT networks only
  • Two countries are home to deployed/launched LTE-M networks only
  • 141 operators in 69 countries investing in NB-IoT networks; 90 of those operators in 51 countries had deployed/launched their networks[15]
  • 60 operators in 35 countries investing in LTE-M networks; 34 of those operators in 24 countries had deployed/launched their networks

Devices and modules[edit]

The 3GPP-compliant LPWA device ecosystem continues to grow. In April 2019, GSA identified 210 devices supporting either Cat-NB1/NB-2 or Cat-M1 – more than double the number in its GAMBoD database at the end of March 2018.[16] This figure had risen a further 50% by September 2019, with a total of 303 devices identified as supporting either Cat-M1, Cat-NB1 (NB-IoT) or Cat-NB2. Of these, 230 devices support Cat-NB1 (including known variants) and 198 devices support Cat-M1 (including known variants). The split of devices (as of September 2019) was 60.4% modules, 25.4% asset trackers, and 5.6% routers, with data loggers, femtocells, smart-home devices, and smart watches, USB modems, and vehicle on-board units (OBUs), making up the balance.[17].

In 2018 first NB-IoT data loggers are other certified devices started to appear. For example ThingsLog released their first CE certified single channel NB-IoT data logger on Tindie in the late 2018.

To integrate NB-IoT into a maker board for IoT developments, SODAQ, a Dutch IoT hardware and software engineering company, crowdfunded an NB-IoT shield on Kickstarter.[18] They then went on to partner with module manufacturer u-blox to create maker boards with NB-IoT and LTE-M integrated.[19]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "NarrowBand – Internet of Things (NB-IoT)".
  2. ^ Grant, Svetlana (September 1, 2016). "3GPP Low Power Wide Area Technologies - GSMA White Paper" (PDF). gsma.com. GSMA. p. 49. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  3. ^ "Standardization of NB-IOT completed". 3gpp.org. 3GPP. June 22, 2016. p. 1. Retrieved August 19, 2016.
  4. ^ "Extended Coverage - GSM - Internet of Things (EC-GSM-IoT)". gsma.com. GSMA. May 11, 2016. p. 1. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  5. ^ Ryu, Jaeku. "NB-IoT Handbook".
  6. ^ Lawson, Stephen (September 21, 2015). "NarrowBand IoT standard for machines moves forward". computerworld.com. Computerworld / IDG. p. 1. Retrieved September 24, 2015.
  7. ^ Jones, Dan (September 11, 2015). "Ericsson, Intel, Nokia Back New Narrowband LTE IoT Spec". lightreading.com. LightReading. p. 1. Retrieved September 24, 2015.
  8. ^ Scales, Ian (September 18, 2015). "3GPP agrees 'harmonized' proposal for narrowband IoT radio technology". telecomtv.com. TelecomTV. p. 1. Retrieved September 24, 2015.
  9. ^ Lawson, Stephen (September 22, 2015). "LTE standard for Internet of Things machines gets the green light". PCWorld / IDG. p. 1. Retrieved September 24, 2015 – via pcworld.com.
  10. ^ GSA: Global Narrowband IoT – LTE-M networks – March 2019 (retrieved 27 March 2019)
  11. ^ GSA: NB-IoT and LTE-MTC Global Ecosystem and Market Status (retrieved 15 October 2019)
  12. ^ "Preliminary specification". 3GPP.
  13. ^ Luo, Chao (March 20, 2017). "3GGP TS45.001: GSM/EDGE Physical layer on the radio path" (ZIPped DOC). 3gpp.org. 14.1.0. 3GPP TSG RAN WG6. p. 58. Retrieved May 27, 2017.
  14. ^ GSA: Global Narrowband IoT – LTE-M networks – March 2019 (retrieved 25 March 2019)
  15. ^ a b GSA: NB-IoT and LTE-M: Global Ecosystem and Market Status, April 2019 (retrieved 24 April 2019)
  16. ^ GSA: IoT Ecosystem: NB-IoT and LTE-M Report: April-19
  17. ^ GSA: NB-IoT and LTE-MTC Global Ecosystem and Market Status (retrieved 15 October 2019)
  18. ^ "The first NB-IoT shield for Arduino: supported by T-Mobile". Kickstarter. Retrieved 2019-06-25.
  19. ^ "SODAQ SARA AFF R410M". SODAQ. Retrieved 2019-06-25.

External links[edit]