What is NB-IoT?

Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) is most commonly used to support a large variety of cellular and mobile devices. It is based on Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) radio technology and is perfect for indoor solutions in a high connection density environment. One of its key features is that it offers a long battery life and is relatively affordable, making it easier for manufacturers to deploy on a mass scale, while customers do not have to bear extensive overhead costs.

NB-IoT uses a form of LTE standard whose bandwidth usually doesn’t surpass 200kHz. With more than 142 operators using NB-IoT to enable their cellular services and solutions, it is one of the most popular standards in place today. It was developed by 3GPP and employs OFDM modulation to support downlink communication. With regards to uplink communications, the standard uses SC-FDMA.

It is often the standard of choice for many IoT service providers due to its many advantages such as compliance with modern specifications of cellular networks, simpler and more affordable radios, and uncomplicated controls. As a result, it finds a lot of use in factory environments and industrial settings. However, it should be kept in mind that although it is part of 5G technology, it is designed for low-complexity devices. These devices include trackers and sensors that are not process-intensive. NB-IoT may not be suitable for more complex and intelligent systems, which may require other standards.