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  • Neil O-Sullivan

Mobile IoT Commercial Networks

Updated: Apr 28, 2021


NEJAVI has been looking into the rise of mobile IoT commercial networks that enable our partners and customers to build eco-systems to drive digital transformation. It has become apparent that long range low power IoT networks are necessary, with the need to place hundreds or thousands of sensors in solutions without wiring, support and maintenance. Specifically looking at devices and networks built for low power consumption, low bandwidth requirements that transmit over long distances. NB-IoT and LTE-M meet these needs.


Mobile IoT Commercial Networks are rapidly expanding, with the total number today at 156. This is a combination of both LTE-M and NB-IoT. Carriers such at Vodafone AT&T and Telstra have all invested in this technology. So, what does LTE-M and NB-IoT stand for?


Long Term Evolution for Machines: LTE-M is the simplified industry term for the LTE-MTC low power wide area (LPWA) technology standard published by 3GPP in the Release 13 specification. It specifically refers to LTE CatM1, suitable for 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 uses a subset of the LTE standard but limits the bandwidth to a single narrow-band of 200kHz.


Both are protocols for low bandwidth cellular communications to enable connection to internet devices that need to transmit small amounts of data, with lower cost and higher battery life. LTE-M and NB-IoT operate over dedicated, licensed, and managed spectrum. At this point we also need to highlight part of the larger family of technologies known as LPWAN (Low Powered Wide Area Networking) including LoRaWAN, which follow the same standards.


An LTE-M device can transmit data up to a distance of 60 KM compared to NB IOT at 1KM urban and 10KM rural. Suitable for Asset trackers • Telematics • Smart watches • Alarm panels • Pet trackers • Fitness bands • Point of Sale terminals • Gas/water meters • Patient monitors


The ability of Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) to provide coverage in low power applications amongst the various other versions of IoT makes it unique. It is also distinct in the wide coverage and low cost of its deployment. Suitable for Smoke detectors • Parking control • Smart agriculture • Smart cities • HVAC Lighting • Electric meters • Industrial monitors

LTE-M and NB-IoT are relatively new technologies, but are already being adopted in real life applications, for example water leak detection. In the UK, potable water leakage is arguably the most critical area where water companies are really being challenged. At least 20% of water produced is lost to leakage - the equivalent of 3 billion litres every single day. New advances in smart meter technology can immediately highlight leaks and utilise NB-IoT to transmit information to dedicated analytic platforms.


The NEJAVI team has the capabilities and expertise to help your business take the journey in digital transformation and harness the potential power of IoT. At NEJAVI, we combine our insights and skills to transform your IoT aspirations into a plan and a message. We’re proud to help shape and improve how our client’s structure and manage their business.


The NEJAVI approach:


 

IoT Glossary:


LTE-M: (Long Term Evolution for Machines) is the simplified industry term for the LTE-MTC low power wide area (LPWA) technology standard published by 3GPP in the Release 13 specification. It specifically refers to LTE CatM1, suitable for IoT.


NB-IoT: Narrowband Internet of Things 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 uses a subset of the LTE standard but limits the bandwidth to a single narrow-band of 200kHz.


LPWA/LPWAN - A low-power wide-area network/ low-power wide-area network is a wireless telecommunication wide area network that allows long-range communications at a low bit rate among things (connected objects), such as sensors.


LoRaWAN - LoRa (Long Range) is a proprietary LPWA/LPWAN modulation technique designed to wirelessly connect battery operated ‘things’ to the internet in regional, national or global networks, and targets key Internet of Things (IoT) requirements such as bi-directional communication, end-to-end security, mobility and localization services.




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