Two narrowband LTE technologies target at filling the 5G gap for IoT.
We’re at the dawn of 5G, a unified network which is going to attach nearly everything around you. And to reach there sooner, we’re accelerating 5G NR (New Radio) — the universal 5G standard — to usher in next-generation mobile broadband experiences for smart phones starting in 2019.
The first 5G NR version delivers eMBB (enhanced mobile broadband) and URLLC (ultra-reliable, low-latency communication), which might additionally address a number of IoT use cases. However, it'll not target the low-complexity IoT (also named as massive machine-type communication or mMTC).
So how can we achieve the 5G vision of connecting the massive IoT?
To be clear, the term “massive IoT” refers to the 10’s of billions of devices, objects, and machines that need omnipresent connectivity even within the most remote locations, like sensors buried deep underground. to achieve the massive scale (3GPP defines like a minimum of 1M devices per km2), mobile networks should more efficiently support the small devices that communicate occasionally, and are ultra-energy efficient so that they will deliver very long, 10+ year battery life.
Sound challenging? Certainly! however we don’t have to look ahead to 5G to begin connecting the massive IoT. Here’s why…
3GPP has already introduced a set of 2 complementary narrowband LTE IoT technologies in release 13: eMTC (enhanced machine-type communication) and NB-IoT (narrowband internet of Things). both are optimized for lower complexity/power, deeper coverage, and higher device density, whereas seamlessly coexisting with alternative LTE services like regular mobile broadband.
Together, they expand the LTE technology portfolio to support a wider range of low-power IoT use cases.
Do we actually need both eMTC and NB-IoT to connect the massive IoT?
The answer is affirmative, since complementary eMTC and NB-IoT are designed for various IoT use cases.
eMTC will deliver up to 1 Mbps of throughput utilizing simply 1.4 mhz of bandwidth, and supports essential capabilities like VoLTE and full quality for a broad range of IoT use cases, as well as asset trackers and wearables.
NB-IoT, on the other hand, scales all the way down to extreme simplicity for low-throughput, delay-tolerant applications, like meters and sensors. It allows data rate of simply 10’s of kbps with 200 khz of bandwidth, and maygive even deeper coverage. Moreover, NB-IoT will be deployed over an existing LTE band, in guard-band between 2regular LTE carriers, or in standalone mode, which provides an easy migration path for the re-farmed GSM (2G/GPRS) spectrum.
IPLOOK’s core network can support both NB-IoT and eMTC. Massive connections can be achieved by IPLOOK. And the features of IoT in 3Gpp R14 are all supported. I you want to know more about IPLOOK IoT core, please contact us!