NB-IoT: A Revolutionary Network for connected IoT Devices

As the popularity of the Internet of Things is rising rapidly, the need for wireless connectivity is also increasing. According to research done by Transforma Insights, there will be around 24 billion IoT devices connected over the internet. Therefore, we need a network on which we can rely without worrying about security. NB-IoT can be that network? Let’s find out !

WHAT IS NB-IoT?

Narrowband-IoT or LTE Cat- NB1 is a network which comes under LPWAN technology. In 2016, the 3rd generation partnership project (3GPP) recognised it as the rapidity increasing technology for wireless communication. The primary purpose of NB-IoT network is to connect smart devices and network services in a wide area. 

Established for smooth communication between IoT devices, NB-IoT has a long-life benefit too. The technology provides network coverage to mass devices at low cost, and those are connected over large geographic regions. NB-IoT is a technology which is well established but the usage to provide coverage at the global level is still not into practice. Telecommunications companies like Vodafone, Huawei, Qualcomm, Erricson, etc. are widely using NB-IoT for providing better network coverage. Let’s understand the benefits of the NB-IoT network. 

Some primary characteristics of NB-IoT include:

  • It has the best indoor coverage ability, which means the signals can even reach crossing walls.
  • It’s budget is decent and fits the pocket.
  • A large number of IoT devices can get connected.
  • Network architecture is much more flexible and optimised.
  • Consumes low power and provides a wide area range.
NBIoT - Narrow band internet of things

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF NB-IoT OVER OTHER LPWAN TECHNOLOGIES?

HOW FLEXIBLE AND SCALABLE is NB-IOT?

NB-IoT is one of the most flexible networks which can be operated in 2G, 3G, 4G bands. The reason behind this is that there is no need for a gateway to connect IoT devices with the network. This also saves the cost and makes the network cost-efficient. Also, NB-IoT can establish connections for millions of devices which makes it a scalable network.

WHAT ARE THE PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS OF NB-IOT?

NB-IoT is best suited for primarily static assets, like meters and sensors in a fixed location, rather than roaming assets. Practically NB-IoT is applicable in various services such as facility management, smart metering, fire alarms and intruder alert system in buildings, health management systems, human tracking systems, fleet management, smart devices used in industries, smart city infrastructures, etc. All of these smart devices or systems are operational in fixed locations mostly, and that’s why NB-IoT best serves the purpose for all of these applications.

DOES NB-IOT SUPPORT FIRMWARE OVER THE AIR (FOTA)?

The firmware over the air is a management system for IoT devices so that the device firmware can be updated and upgraded without any wired connection with the manufacturer. This also makes it possible to push the updates in millions of devices simultaneously. NB-IoT network supports FOTA as it allows device updates over the air without any physical connection established between the device and the service provider. 

HOW LONG CAN THE NB-IOT BATTERY RUN?

NB-IoT network devices come with 10+ years of battery life which makes it reliable for extended battery life. In the network where thousands of devices are connected, it becomes impossible to change batteries frequently. Therefore, the need for long battery life becomes a necessity. With the NB-IoT technology, the need for changing batteries frequently is reduced to nil which saves not only the cost but also the device efficiency. It also consumes low power and low current, which makes it a power-saving network too. 

IS NB-IOT GOOD FOR DEEPER BUILDING PENETRATION? 

One of the best features of NB-IoT includes deep building penetrations, i.e. the signals can get through places more profound than the standard signal coverage. It surpasses the  existing  cellular networks so that devices at underground locations can get good network coverage. The devices hidden behind the walls with several layers can achieve good connectivity because of low-frequency bit rate. Therefore, it can be concluded that NB-IoT is capable of connecting devices that are kept inside the underground building floors, tunnels, sewage, or rural areas. Also, NB-IoT penetrates deep underground and into enclosed spaces providing 20+dB coverage indoors.

Is NB-IoT guaranteed security?

NB-IOT is indeed a revolutionary network with ease of understanding. The design, development and device integration of the network is easy as compared to other LPWAN networks. However, the question of security remains the same. The NB-IoT network is secure and safe, just like other LTE mobile networks. The network guarantees the confidentiality of user identity, data security, authenticity, and security of mobile devices. All these security features make NB-IOT a secure network.

WHAT ARE THE TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS OF NB-IOT?

Deployment: In-Band LTE, Guard Band LTE, Standalone

Downlink Peak Data Rate: 26 kbps

Uplink Peak Data Rate: 66 kbps

Latency: 100 ms

Technology Bandwidth: 200 kHz

Duplex Technology: Half Duplex

Transmit Power Class: 20 dBm or 23 dBm

Also Read: Choosing between LTE- catM1 and NB-IoT

CONCLUSION

NB-IoT undoubtedly is an advanced networking technology with several advantages. It is best when it comes to establishing connection among devices, namely meters, sensors, Smart home, static assets, in a fixed location. If you are looking for NB-IoT connectivity in your IoT device, then we can help you out. We at PsiBorg Technologies provide the best solutions for all IoT needs.

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