Recently, Ministry of Industry and Technology Information of the People’s Republic of China released “Notice of the General Office of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology on Deepening the Comprehensive Development of the Mobile Internet of Things” which focused on the further development of NB-IoT industry chain and the establishment of its ecosystem. This makes that the development of NB-IoT (low power consumption) has entered a key phase in China.


What Is NB-IoT

Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) is a Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) radio technology standard developed by 3GPP to enable a wide range of cellular devices and services. NB-IoT focuses specifically on indoor coverage, low cost, long battery life, and high connection density. NB-IoT uses a subset of the LTE standard, but limits the bandwidth to a single narrow-band of 200kHz.

Features of NB-IoT

Massive connections: NB-IoT has the ability to support massive connections. One sector can support 100,000 connections. For example, due to limited bandwidth, operators only open 8-16 access ports to each router at home, and there are often multiple mobile phones, notebooks, and tablets for offices or schools, and hundreds of sensing devices need to be networked, which becomes a difficult problem. However, by deploying NB-IoT technology, it is easy enough to meet the networking needs of a large number of devices in the future.

Ultra-wide coverage: NB-IoT has a strong indoor coverage capability, which is 20dB higher than LTE. Not only can it meet the needs of such wide coverage in rural areas, it is also suitable for applications that require stable and strong coverage in factories, underground garages, and manhole covers. Take manhole cover monitoring as an example. In the past, you need an antenna for GPRS signal, which could be easily damaged by vehicles passing by. However, as long as NB-IoT is properly deployed, this problem can be solved.

Ultra-low power consumption: NB-IoT focuses on small data volume and small rate applications, so the power consumption of NB-IoT devices can be very small, and the battery life can be greatly increased to several years, compared to battery life in the past.

Ultra-low cost: Compared with LoRa technology, NB-IoT does not need to rebuild the network. The RF and antenna are basically multiplexed. Taking China Mobile as an example, there is a relatively wide frequency band in 900MHZ. Only a part of the 2G frequency band needs to be cleared, and then LTE and NB-IoT can be deployed simultaneously. Thus, low speed, low power consumption, and low bandwidth also brings low-cost advantages to NB-IoT chips and modules.

Intuitive Learning and the Development of NB-IoT Applications

The application of the smart city is to interconnect vehicles, roads, street lights, parking spaces, manhole covers, trash cans, electricity meters, water meters, gas meters, heat meters and other public facilities to realize the intelligent management of municipalities (such as city water, electricity, gas Intelligent management of infrastructure, etc.), intelligent management of transportation (such as traffic flow control, road condition analysis, emergency handling, vehicle management, etc.).

In fact, the most important thing to realize the deployment of a smart city is the communication coverage of the Internet of Things. With the NB-IoT standard, relying on the operator’s experience in building a large network nationwide, it is easy to form a scale effect. From the characteristics, we know NB -One of the characteristics of IoT is that the coverage depth is relatively deep, so the basement and parking lot can also be covered. In addition, another important factor in choosing NB-IoT in smart cities is low cost.