From Nimbelink: NB-IoT is Coming

Aug 14, 2019

If you are creating an IoT device that requires low-power consumption, long battery life, and low data costs you’ll want to take a close look at the Low Power Wide Area Network wireless technology known as NarrowBand Internet of Things.

After several years of development, NB-IoT is becoming a reality and, as always, NimbeLink will be the first to market with this new cellular technology. To help you understand its true capabilities we offer the following FAQs:

What bands are utilized by Narrowband IoT?

NB-IoT (also known as LTE Cat NB1) typically uses 200kHz sections of the licensed LTE standard or the carriers’ Guard Bands.

Why was it developed?

It was developed to enable cost-saving low-power IoT devices that require two-way transmission of small packets of data at rates under 150Kbps.

Why should I be excited about it?

NB-IoT sensor-enabled devices will consume much less power, enjoy extended battery life, and longer range.

Can NB-IoT be used for mobile applications?

It has limited ability to conduct handover from one cell site to another, and was specifically designed for fixed/static applications. Mobile applications such as logistics and transportation will continue to use LTE-M technologies.

How do the data transmission rates of NB-IoT and LTE-M (Cat M1) compare?

LTE-M peak uplink data rates are approximately 300Kbps while Narrowband IoT is roughly half that at up to 150Kbps. Partially due to this higher throughput, LTE-M will consume more power.

At what latency ranges will NB-IoT cellular modems operate?

Its latency will fall in the 1 to 10 second range, compared with approximately 100 milliseconds for LTE-M modems, which will continue to be the technology of choice for latency-sensitive applications.

What are some of the ideal applications for NB-IoT?
  • Periodic monitoring of fixed equipment in remote areas
  • Manufacturing equipment
  • Parking meters
  • Utility smart meters
  • Smart appliances
  • Tank monitors
  • Irrigation equipment
  • In-store displays and signage
  • Floor-care equipment
What U.S. carriers have NB-IoT networks in place?

As of June 1, 2019, Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile now have NB-IoT networks in place.

When will NimbeLink have new NB-IoT cellular modems available?

The carriers are in the final stages of testing and approving modules, and NimbeLink expects to have end-device certified modems available for each of these networks by August 1, 2019.




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