Next big thing for the Technology Industry is Internet of Everything. The concept is to bring people, process, data and things together to make networking more relevant. This is a great economic opportunity for the businesses to use the information and provide new capabilities and richer experience to their customers.
Internet of Everything is going to be a multi-trillion dollar industry over the next decade as there is a huge potential to use the technology for Smart grids, Smart cities, Smart homes, Consumer wearables, Inter vehicle communications, Machine type Communications etc.
Internet of Things, using the existing cellular technologies (like GSM, LTE etc), has become very important because of its existing infrastructure. These traditional cellular technologies provide coverage of 90-95% areas and this does not suffice the need of Cellular IoT, which needs a coverage of 99.5%. 3GPP, A Global Initiative which defines the mobile broadband standards, has incorporated the standardization of NB-IoT, the new narrowband radio technology developed for the Internet of Things as part of Release 13 specifications.
Narrow band IoT has been designed for infrequent and short messages between the end device and the network. It is also assumed that the device exchanges messages while being served from one cell. It occupies a frequency band of 180 kHz bandwidth, which corresponds to one resource block in LTE transmission. A maximum speed of 250kbps (in DL and UL) can be achieved using NB-IoT.
Following operation modes are possible for NB-IoT:
- Standalone operation: A possible scenario is the utilization of currently used GSM frequencies. With their bandwidth of 200 KHz there is still a guard interval of 10 kHz remaining on both sides of the spectrum.
- Guard band operation: Utilizing the unused resource blocks within an LTE carrier’s guard-band.
- In-band operation: Utilizing resource blocks within an LTE carrier.
For operators with mainly LTE spectrum available, the LTE in-band option provides the most spectrum- and cost-efficient deployment of NB-IoT. For inband deployments with no IoT traffic present, the PRB can be used by LTE for other purposes, as the infrastructure and spectrum usage of LTE and NB-IoT are fully integrated. The base station scheduler multiplexes NB-IoT and LTE traffic onto the same spectrum, which minimizes the total cost of operation.
Narrow Band IoT is a Low Power Wide Area technology standard to enable and support wide range of IoT devices and services. Advantages of NB-IoT are:
- Provides better network coverage
- Suited for large device density areas
- Low power consumption
- High spectrum efficiency
- Better suited for application requirements in industrial, public, personal, and home domains
- Very low cost of deployment as a standard deployment can support 200000 devices within a cell
Since NB-IoT can utilize the existing LTE infrastructure, hence it can be used for large-scale and worldwide IoT deployments. NB-IoT and LTE can use single network for both Mobile Broadband users and Machine Type Communication traffic, which reduces operational costs in areas like provisioning, monitoring, billing, and device management. Similar to present LTE networks, NB-IoT supports state-of-the-art 3GPP security, with authentication, signaling protection, and data encryption.
3GPP, in its Release 14 specifications speaks more about extending NB-IoT to include features like positioning methods, multicast services required (software update or group messaging, mobility and service continuity), as well as further technical details to enhance the field of applications.
Altran is the leading solution provider of Wireless technologies and has extensive experience LTE product development and deployment. Recently, Altran has already been rated in the leadership zone in the IoT Service Rating and recognized as established and expansive player in Product Engineering Services by Zinnov.
Altran Team will demonstrate expertise in NB-IoT at 2017 Mobile World Congress, Barcelona.