All about Narrowband IoT
The number of connected IoT devices is expected to reach 125 billion by 2030, wireless technologies that support them are also continuing to get a good deal of attention. NB-IOT low-power, wide-area network (LPWAN) is one of the important communications technology which is becoming increasingly used. This article will explain more about its strengths and weaknesses.
NB-IoT is the initiative by the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), the organisation carrying out the standardization of cellular systems, to suit the needs of most low data rate devices that need to connect to mobile networks, often powered portably. The aim of NB-IoT is to standardize IoT devices to be interoperable and dependable, for a cellular standard.
NB-IoT is a cellular-grade wireless network technology that uses OFDM modulation, the chips are more complex, but the link budgets are far better. That means users get the greater performance level associated with cellular connections, but at the cost of more complexity and greater power consumption.
NB-IoT is designed to be used to transfer small amounts of data— hundreds of bytes per day or less on average, generated by edge IoT devices.
NB-IoT will likely be for simple devices that need to connect to an operator network via licensed spectrum. It is currently being piloted and tested exclusively in Europe, and is not readily available except through a small number of operators across Europe that are doing trials.
It is message-based, non unlike LoRa, but achieves a much quicker modulation rate that can handle a lot more data than its rival. However NB-IoT is not an IP-based communication protocol like LTE-M (another LPWA cellular technology associated with IoT). You can’t connect to an IP network and expect to use it as you would with a mobile phone. It was made for basic IoT applications and is a low power alternative to LTE-M but designed for less frequent communication purposes.
Advantages of NB-IoT
– If fully deployed the coverage would be exceptional. NB-IoT devices rely on 4G network coverage, so they work well indoors and in dense urban environments.
– It has quicker response times than its rival ‘LoRa’ and can guarantee a better quality of service.
Disadvantages of NB-IoT
– Some of the design specs for NB-IoT make transferring large amounts of data down to a device harder.
– Network and tower handoffs will be an issue, so NB-IoT is suited for primarily static assets, like meters and sensors in a permanent location, rather than moving assets.
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Does the eSIM work out of the box?
The embedded SIM card is not pre-activated, the IronLink is ready to transmit data as soon as you top up the sim card.
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All IronLink LTE devices are eligible for 10 Euros worth of free data. Simply register your device's with us and claim your data to get connected.
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We provide the eSIM to make fleet management cheaper and reduce overheads, but use of the eSIM is not mandatory. We provide a micro SIM connector on the back of the board so you may use any provider of cellular data.
Can I use the eSIM and an external SIM card?
Absolutely, the eSIM and regular sim card are connected to a multiplexer and can be easily switched in software. The eSIM is generally more rugged than a standard SIM card and makes an great backup in the case of a failure.