Is NB-IoT Suitable for Your Deployment? | Symmetry Blog

Nov 18, 2020

Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) or LTE Cat NB1 / NB2 is a low power wide area (LPWA) wireless communication standard developed by 3GPP that utilizes carrier networks to enable IoT device connectivity. Unlike the comparable LTE-M mobile IoT standard, NB-IoT does not operate within the LTE construct; instead it operates in a narrowband, within the 200 kHz spectrum, and accesses existing carrier networks in one of three ways:

  1. Through an existing Global System for Mobiles (GSM) carrier wave.
  2. An unused guard band between LTE channels.
  3. Via independently licensed bands.

Features and Benefits of Narrowband IoT

NB-IoT is ideal for stationary IoT applications that do not require high bandwidth or low latency, such as smart meters and smart sensors that communicate small amounts of information intermittently. NB-IoT utilizes Power Saving Mode (PSM) and extended Discontinuous Reception (eDRX) to direct IoT devices to wake up periodically to transmit data packets and transition back to a state of dormancy to enable > 10 years of battery life.

Narrowband IoT can support massive IoT deployments and is ideal for indoor applications due to its ability to penetrate through walls or below ground. NB-IoT allows for a means of cost savings, since it does not utilize a gateway to aggregate sensor data. Instead, the technology sends data straight to the main server. Since NB-IoT is a cellular wireless communications standard, it benefits from the security and privacy features that are offered by mobile networks.

NB-IoT Supports Constrained Devices

Growth in the NB-IoT world proves to be promising, as it belongs to the evolving 5G family. Common use cases include smart agriculture, smart streetlights, waste management, manufacturing automation, and smoke detectors. Before opting for NB-IoT for your next IoT device deployment, be sure that your application is suitable for slower speeds, high latency, low bandwidth, and limited mobility.


Interested in utilizing NB-IoT for your application? Consult with Symmetry Electronic's knowledgeable Applications Engineers to ensure this connectivity method is right for you.




Symmetry Electronics Logo


Why partner with Symmetry Electronics? Symmetry's technical staff is specially trained by our suppliers to provide a comprehensive level of technical support. Our in-house Applications Engineers provide free design services to help customers early in the design cycle, providing solutions to save them time, money and frustration. Contact Symmetry for more information.

Written By: Savannah Cuthbert


Sign up to get tech news, product updates and store promos from Symmetry Electronics.


Choose Topic


Blog Archive


Previously Viewed Products