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Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) is a standards-based Low Power Wide Area technology developed to enable a wide range of new IoT devices and services. NB-IoT significantly improves the power consumption of user devices, system capacity and spectrum efficiency, especially in deep coverage. Battery life of more than 10 years can be supported for a wide range use cases.
New physical layer signals and channels are designed to meet the demanding requirement of extended coverage – rural and deep indoors – and ultra-low device complexity. Initial cost of the NB-IoT modules is expected to be comparable to GSM/GPRS. The underlying technology is however much simpler than today’s GSM/GPRS and its cost is expected to decrease rapidly as demand increases.
Supported by all major mobile equipment, chip set and module manufacturers, NB-IoT can co-exist with 2G, 3G, and 4G mobile networks. It also benefits from all the security and privacy mobile network features, such as support for user identity confidentiality, entity authentication, confidentiality, data integrity, and mobile equipment identification. First NB-IOT network trials are already in place, with pre-commercial launches planned later in 2016 and commercial launches scheduled to take place globally in early 2017.