What is LPWAN (Low-power Wide Area Network)?
LPWAN (Low-power Wide Area Network) is a wireless network technology that interconnects low-bandwidth, low-power consumption devices with low bit rates over long ranges, enabling more M2M and IoT applications that were previously prohibitive due to cost.
LPWAN consists of a group of various low-power, wide-area network technologies. It can use licensed or unlicensed frequencies and include proprietary or open standard options.
Narrowband-IoT (NB-IoT) and LTE-M
Narrowband-IoT (NB-IoT) and LTE-M are both 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) standards that operate on the licensed spectrum. While they have similar performance to other standards, they operate on existing cellular infrastructure, allowing service providers to quickly add cellular IoT connectivity to their service portfolios.
The low-power wide-area networks, LTE-M and NB-IoT, are designed and optimized for IoT connectivity and M2M communication.
NB-IoT, also known as CAT-NB1, operates on existing LTE and Global System for Mobile (GSM) infrastructure. NB-IoT is developed to enable efficient communication with long battery life for mass distributed devices.
Telecommunication giants have put together this standard in conjunction with 3GPP because of its benefits like Power Efficiency, Cost Savings, Reliability, Wider Deployment, Deep Penetration & Global Reach.
NBIoT is developed to enable efficient communication and long battery life for mass distributed devices and uses the already established mobile networks to connect devices.
NBIoT works in one of three ways:
- In unused 200-kHz bands that have previously been used for GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications)
- On LTE base stations allocating a resource block to NB-IoT operations or in their guard bands.
Although it has lower bitrates, suitable for applications where data is captured through sensors and sent for computation.
Low cost: The NB-IOT modules have lower costs than the modules & subscription charges for other communication technologies in the market like 3g 4G and LTE-M.
More cellulars per cell tower: NB-IOT devices use 180 kHz bandwidth so it is estimated the network can support more than 50000 connections per cell tower.
Uplink and Downlink Speed: up to 62.5kbps
Excellent penetration indoors and underground.
Can be used in Smart metering, Home/Building Automation, Smart cities & Smart Grid applications.
The advantage of LTE-M, (also known as CAT-M1 or LTE-MTC ) over NB-IoT is its comparatively higher data rate, mobility, and voice over the network, and the highest bandwidth of any LPWAN technology.
It supports a Bandwidth of 1.4MHz
Uplink and Downlink speed: Up to 1 Mbps which is quite more than NB-IoT
VoLTE: Supports voice
Mobility: For devices in movement
Can be used in fleet management, Tracking, Retail & POS, Wearable devices, and asset monitoring applications.
Key differences between NBIoT and LTE-M are cost, latency, and speed.
For IoT applications, the revolution – in the form of LTE-M and NB-IoT – is already here; it’s future-proof and will be supported for many years to come with 5G and is thus clearly on the path to 5G.
Also Read: LTE-M OR NBIOT: WHICH IS BETTER?
We, at PsiBorg Technologies, have created IoT solutions with both NBIoT and LTE-M, possessing a high amount of expertise in the field.