What is NB-IoT?
Today, about 6.5 billion things are connected to the internet, whilst this sounds like a lot, less than 1% of the all the things that could be connected, are connected. So why aren’t they? They’re either too remote, too inaccessible or simply too many of them to make it economically viable to do so.
Narrowband-IoT (NB-IoT) is a new technology standard, designed to broaden the future of IoT connectivity. Ratified by the 3GPP, a telecoms standards body which works to develop future generation wireless technologies, NB-IoT will soon be deployed by operators across the globe.
The technology was developed to enable efficient communication and long battery life for mass distributed devices across wide geographical footprints and deep within urban infrastructure.
Low-Power Wide-Area (LPWA) Technology
Narrowband-IoT is a Low-Power Wide-Area (LPWA) network technology, developed to enable efficient communication for mass distributed devices across wide geographical footprints and deep within urban infrastructure. It’s ideal for devices that generate low data traffic, rely on batteries and typically have a long device life cycle.
NB-IoT can be used to connect simple devices, such as sensors, to drive new data streams, reduce operational costs and create new business models. Smart Meters, Smart Bins, environmental monitoring and precision agriculture are just a few applications of NB-IoT.
NB-IoT technology uses existing network infrastructure to deliver excellent coverage and reliable connectivity which will benefit businesses of all sizes.
The Power of our network, as well as our place as a founding member of the GSMA NB-IoT Forum, puts us firmly at the forefront of delivering this pioneering technology. Read more about what we are doing to enable the Internet of Things with NB-IoT
On 19th September 2016 engineers from Vodafone and Huawei completed the world’s first trial of standardised NB-IoT on a live commercial network. It was a significant technology milestone on the path towards a world with billions of devices connected at extremely low cost.
In October 2016 Vodafone announced that the world’s first live commercial NB-IoT networks will be in Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands and Spain.
Practical applications of NB-IoT
NB-IoT is an efficient, cost effective technology for a wide range of IoT applications. Any devices that require low energy consumption, have low data transfer demands and are geographically dispersed or remote can benefit from its application. Industry leading developments so far include:
- Gas Metering
- Environmental Monitoring
- Water Metering
- Smoke and Fire Alarms
- Liquid and pressurised fuels
- Parking monitoring
- Smart Bins
- Alarms and event detectors
Read more about how NB-IoT will connect the internet of hidden things
Why use NB-IoT?
NB-IoT turns ordinary devices into smart devices. These newly enabled devices can then transmit critical information which will change the way businesses collate data. In addition to being low cost and low power, there are some key reasons to choose NB-IoT:
- LTE grade security as standard, keeping your data and network safe
- Uses existing networks minimising the need to deploy additional infrastructure
- Based on open standards - service is not vendor or operator dependant
- Wide industry support from service providers through to chipset makers
- Supports two-way communication
- Operates in a licensed spectrum and provides assured quality of service with minimal risk of disruption.
The world’s first NB-IoT Open Lab was opened in Newbury, UK in April 2016 and is operated in partnership by Vodafone and Huawei.
The Open Lab provides a simulated real time environment for application developers and device, module and chip manufacturers to test their products. This accelerates their time to market for NB-IoT devices and services. It also allows device manufacturers to verify that their products meet the exceptional sensitivity and battery life performance requirements for NB-IoT devices.