Standardised by 3GPP, Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) is a low power wide area (LPWA) technology that can enable a wide range of new IoT devices and services. NB-IoT minimises the power consumption of connected devices, while increasing system capacity and spectral efficiency, especially in locations that can’t easily be covered by conventional cellular technologies. In a wide range of use cases, NB-IoT connected devices can have a battery life of more than 10 years.
NB-IoT employs a new physical layer with signals and channels to meet the demanding requirements of extended coverage in rural areas and deep indoors, while enabling very low device complexity. The underlying technology is much simpler than that of GSM/GPRS modules, and the cost of NB-IoT modules is likely to decrease rapidly as demand increases.
Supported by all major mobile equipment, chipset and module manufacturers, NB-IoT can co-exist with 2G, 3G, and 4G mobile networks. It also benefits from all the security and privacy features of mobile networks, such as support for user identity confidentiality, entity authentication, data integrity, and mobile equipment identification.
Many different operators are rolling out NB-IoT services in Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and Europe, with commercial launches now underway. China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, KT, NOS, TDC, Telefónica, Telia and Vodafone are among the operators to be deploying NB-IoT, having piloted the technology across a wide range of use cases, such as smart metering, smart parking and smart agriculture, which all require large numbers of low cost and low maintenance connected devices.
The GSMA NB-IoT Forum
Working on behalf of the mobile industry and wider ecosystem stakeholders, the GSMA NB-IoT Forum aims to accelerate the widespread adoption of 3GPP-based NB-IoT technology. The Forum Chair is Luke Ibbetson, Vodafone Group, and the Vice-Chairs are Madame Huang Yuhong of China Mobile, Daniel Herb of T-Mobile US and Jens Olejak of Deutsche Telekom.
Discover more about how NB-IoT is being used for:
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