Industry pundits and IT experts have predicted that billions of IoT devices are likely to hit the market by 2020. To make this happen, a strong wireless connection will be required to support the connected devices. Will NarrowBand (NB-IoT) serve the purpose? Let’s find out…
NarrowBand Internet of Things (NB-IoT) is a standardized Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) technology intended to operate a huge variety of advanced IoT enabled devices and solutions. Not only does it improves the power consumption of devices but also increases the system capacity and spectrum efficiency in deep coverage.
The technology operates either independently, in unused 200 KhZ bands been used for GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) previously, or on LTE base stations. Business benefits of NB-IoT include cost cutting, power efficiency, wide deployment, reliability and global reach.
Network selection for IoT (Internet of Things) is based on the existing application in place. The IoT applications in homes, supermarkets, factories or malls requires small transmission path and are connected via WiFi, Local Area Network (LAN). They often use near-field technologies such as NFC (Near Field Communication), Bluetooth or RFID (Radio Frequency Identification).
A Useful Technology with Array of Potential Barriers
NB-IoT applications can be seen in various industries such as facility management services, smart metering in water, electricity and gas, tracking people or objects, appliances such as air compressors and welding machines, commercial properties and homes, etc.
NarrowBand IoT is likely to improve the existing IoT technology to a great extent; however, its deployment could be a challenge. The initial cost for developing the operating software application may bother users, but slowly it will prove to be an affordable technology.
In addition, antennas and modems installation could be a hassle at first, particularly at places with low GSM spectrum. Moreover, telecommunications giants may charge a huge licensing fee for setting up and turning NB-IoT into operation.
How Narrowband is the next IoT?
Several challenges makes it a question of debate as to if NarrowBand is going to enhance the IoT Technology in the near future, since the implementation is quite complex. But the answer is simple- whatever comes in the area of Internet of Things involves initial cost and a little bit of efforts. However, NB IoT solution providers make the overall implementation and integration process easier and faster.
Once the set up and integration is done, NarrowBand applications seems to be cost effective as they need a very small volume of data with tremendously low data rates of few kbits or less than 100 bits and a permanent connection. IoT solutions such as remote operations, connected cars and autonomous driving require real time data transmission.
NB-IoT can give Internet of Things a boost since it is one of the faster, accurate and powerful technologies with low energy consumption and lower operational cost. Narrowband IoT use licenced spectrum so data privacy, quality and security standards are ensured. The best thing is that the technologies can operate on existing infrastructure and can be rolled out rapidly, it is not obligatory to set up a new network.