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    As the number of connected devices rises, new technology standards have developed to handle the growing IoT space. While smartphones use cellular networks for their data, many IoT devices (for example, a smart water meter) only need to transfer small amounts of data.

    NB-IoT vs. LoRa: It’s an Ecosystem, Not a Race

    Art Reed

    Art Reed

    Vice President – Executive Search | Finding Talent in Emerging Tech | IoT and Tech Executive Recruitment

    Published Jul 14, 2017

    + Follow

    As the number of connected devices rises, new technology standards have developed to handle the growing IoT space. While smartphones use cellular networks for their data, many IoT devices (for example, a smart water meter) only need to transfer small amounts of data. Relying totally on cellular or satellite networks would be expensive and use too much battery power for most devices. Similarly, WiFi and Bluetooth networks are not always a good or cost-effective solution. Most IoT devices don’t need to be in constant contact with a cellular network, so a new type of network was needed. Enter the LPWAN.

    Many people compare LoRA and NB-IoT technologies as if they were battling it out for dominance in the IoT market. In reality, they are two branches in an emerging LPWANecosystem.

    LPWAN stands for Low-Power Wide Area Network, a wireless network designed to efficiently connect smart devices across long distances, usually through a low bit rate. LPWANs are ideal for IoT devices that don’t need to manage large amounts of data, or for circumventing more expensive gateway technology. This can include smart meters, consumer products, and sensors. The overall value of the LPWAN market is expected to reach $25 billion within 4 years.

    Many technology articles compare LoRA and NB-IoT technologies as if they were battling it out for dominance in the IoT market. In reality, these technologies are two branches within an emerging technology ecosystem. Similar to WiFi and Bluetooth, they will most likely to diverge into different niches, rather than directly compete with each other. This article will dive deeper into the capabilities, costs, longevity, maturity, and other differentiators of NB-IoT and LoRa-based technology.

    What are LoRa and NB-IoT?

    LoRa and NB-IoT both operate within LPWAN technology. They are two major standards for low-power IoT devices.

    The LoRa Alliance developed LoRa in 2015 as a secure, energy-efficient IoT standard that makes it easy to onboard new devices. LoRa is shorthand for Long-Range (WAN) and is a modulation technology for LoRaWAN. LoRaWAN is a related set of low-power specifications for IoT devices. LoRa and LoRaWAN are not interchangeable terms; LoRaWAN refers to a LPWAN protocol standard and is not a technology in and of itself. LoRa defines the physical layer. Its security standards emphasize end-to-end encryption, data authentication, and intelligent key derivation.

    NB-IoT is an abbreviation for Narrow Band IoT, a cellular standard developed by 3GPP. NB-IoT is not a standalone technology, but a cellular standard that aims to standardize IoT devices to be interoperable and more reliable. It can be implemented in a standalone or in-band spectrum manner and does not require gateways, while each LoRa device needs a gateway to function (which can affect total cost). NB-IoT connects base stations directly with sensors.

     Key Differences

    Both LoRa and NB-IoT standards were developed to improve security, power efficiency, and interoperability for IoT devices. Each features bidirectional communication (meaning the network can send data to the IoT device, and the IoT device can send data back), and both are designed to scale well, from a few devices to millions of devices.

    Major differentiators between LoRa and NB-IoT standards:

    Latency

    The most important differentiator of LoRa and NB-IoT is their latency. Here’s a quick refresher on network latency: networks and devices communicate with each other using data packets. But these data packets don’t always get transferred immediately, because it eats up battery power and network coverage. Latency is the time delay in transferring data after making a transfer request. A low latency device “checks in” with the network more often than a high latency device.

    For instance, a smart sensor detects that a pipe has broken and needs to send an alert to the network. If this sensor is high latency, it doesn’t transfer data to the network very often, and it might be a few hours before the network receives the alert. If the sensor is low latency, the network will receive the alert much sooner.

    Location / Density

    Because LoRa devices use gateways, they work well in remote or rural areas without 4G coverage. They use unlicensed spectrum to communicate with the network. They also work well when they are in motion (for instance, on a truck, plane, or ship). This makes them well suited for supply chain and transportation applications. LoRa’s geolocation is non-GPS, so devices offer location services without heavy battery usage.

    NB-IoT devices don’t need a gateway, and they rely on 4G coverage, either using spectrum within LTE, GSM spectrum, or “standalone,” which refers to unused frequency within LTE guard bands. This means that devices with NB-IoT chipsets perform better in indoor applications and dense urban areas. NB-IoT uses GPS technology for geolocation.

    स्रोत : www.linkedin.com

    10 Things About LoRaWAN & NB

    In this blog we’ll compare LoRaWAN and NB-IoT side by side.

    10 Things About LoRaWAN & NB-IoT

    21 March 2022 / by Remi Lorrain

    As the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to revolutionize the way we connect and interact with our devices, there are a number of network options on which to build smart solutions. The leading low power wide area networks (LPWANs) are LoRaWAN® and narrow band IoT (NB-IoT).

    Developed for long range communication between devices and the Cloud using cellular infrastructure, NB-IoT is compatible with LTE mobile networks. LoRaWAN utilizes the sub-gigahertz unlicensed radio spectrum bands to enable LPWAN communication between end nodes and gateways connected to a network and application servers in the Cloud. Today, Semtech’s LoRa® technology is the de facto wireless platform of IoT and enables a wide variety of solutions in many verticals through a compelling mix of long range and low power. LoRa technology provides the communication layer for the LoRaWAN standard, which has been ratified as an International Telecommunications Union (ITU) standard.

    IoT is all about solving real world problems – improving the quality of life, developing local economies and better protecting the planet – and improving efficiencies using the right technology. When creating an IoT application of your own, there are several factors to consider including LPWAN connectivity. Below we’ve compared LoRaWAN and NB-IoT side by side.

    1. Ecosystem

    LoRaWAN is supported by the LoRa Alliance®, an open, non-profit recognized by the Telecommunication Standardization Sector of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU-T). Its members from all regions of the world closely collaborate and share experiences to promote and drive the success of the LoRaWAN standard, which is recognized by the ITU-T as an open global standard for secure, carrier-grade IoT LPWAN connectivity.

    NB-IoT is supported by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) and GSMA, two telecommunications standards associations that have the shared goal of advancing the interests of cellular networks and devices. NB-IoT has mainly been rolled out in China and is beginning to emerge in other regions.

    2. Spectrum

    LoRaWAN is optimized for ultra-low power and long-range applications. LoRaWAN networks operate in the Industrial, Scientific and Medical (ISM) sub-GHz spectrum which is unlicensed and free to access for both network operators and device manufacturers.

    NB-IoT operates in spectrum licensed for cellular (LTE) networks and is optimized for spectrum efficiency over everything else. License fees paid by cellular operators to use these frequency bands are very high, limiting the number of licensees that can afford to pay to operate NB-IoT services.

    3. Deployment Status

    As of March 2022, 166 network operators offer LoRaWAN connectivity, and we see LoRaWAN private and public network deployments in 181 countries, with over 240 million end nodes and 3.2 million gateways in service.

    GSMA, the organization representing the interests of NB-IoT, LTE and other mobile networks, claims that 62 countries have rolled out NB-IoT as of February 2022.

    4. Deployment Options

    LoRaWAN networks offer highly flexible deployment options. This means they can be installed in public, private, open communities or hybrid networks, indoors or outdoors. LoRaWAN provides strong signal propagation capabilities, enabling use cases in urban settings that require deep in-building or underground connectivity as well as enabling networks to cover up to 30 miles per gateway in rural, open environments.

    NB-IoT utilizes LTE cellular infrastructure. This means the networks are outdoor public networks where there are 4G/LTE cellular towers. Base stations cannot be easily located elsewhere even if sensors are out of range of the base station. The cost to expand LTE network for IoT use cases is high.

    5. Protocol

    The LoRaWAN standard allows data to be sent asynchronously, meaning data is only sent when necessary. This extends battery life of sensor devices in the field by as much as 10 years, keeping battery replacement costs low. LoRaWAN has been designed ground up to reach very device low energy consumption.

    NB-IoT maintains a synchronous connection to the cellular network regardless if there is data present to send. This consumes considerable battery life for sensor devices, resulting in high battery replacement costs, which can be cost prohibitive in many applications. High precision electronics, heavy devices stacks, multi-band spectrum design, and end-to-end synchronized protocol participate in increasing energy consumption.

    6. Transmit Current

    LoRaWAN offers a transmit current of 18mA at 10dBm and 84mA at 20dBm. Differences in modulation allow LoRaWAN to be supported by very low cost batteries, including coin cells.

    NB-IoT sensors consume approximately 220mA at 23dBm and 100mA at 13dBm, meaning it requires more power to operate and needs more frequent battery replacements or larger batteries.

    7. Receive Current

    LoRaWAN provides lower sensor bill of material (BOM) costs and battery life for remote sensors. A receive current of approximately 5mA means LoRaWAN operates at 3-5 times lower power overall.

    स्रोत : blog.semtech.com

    LoRaWAN vs NB

    Two of the biggest LPWAN technologies defining the future of IoT facing one another: LoRaWAN vs NB-IoT. Which one should you use for your own project?

    LoRaWAN, NB-IoT

    LoRaWAN vs NB-IoT: A Comparison Between IoT Trend-Setters

    Agustin Pelaez February 04, 2020

    LoRaWAN is a low power IoT protocol that comprises the LoRa radio technology, allowing for an open, reliable, and economical network deployment. By contrast, NB-IoT is a licensed LTE radio technology offering low latency and strong security at a steeper price point.

    The LoRaWAN and NB-IoT standards are both part of a larger family of technologies known as LPWAN (Low Power Wide Area Networking).

    More so than other protocols like Sigfox and NB-Fi, these communication standards are setting the trend for what's to come in IoT.

    According to Statista, LoRaWAN and NB-IoT are expected to account for around 85.5% of all LPWAN connections by 2023. This is clearly shown in the graph below:

    LoRa and NB-IoT technologies are predicted to dominate the market by 2023 (Ratliff, 2019).

    The overlap between the two is clear, but the question remains:

    What makes these two technologies so compelling compared to other protocols? Are LoRaWAN and NB-IoT going after the same market? Or are they destined to niche down into different use cases?

    Even though they are in the same category, the way these two technologies are being developed is different.

    LoRaWAN is an open protocol offered by the LoRa alliance that uses unlicensed spectrum, allowing almost anyone to set up their own networks at a low cost.

    NB-IoT is a licensed protocol from the standards organization 3GPP offered through the licensed RF spectrum, making it available only through established mobile network operators.

    So, which one is best for your organization? Let's find out.

    Table of Contents

    A Quick Overview

    Technology Comparison

    Use Case Comparison

    Which One Is Right For You?

    LoRaWAN vs NB-IoT: A Quick Overview

    Before we jump into the comparison, here's a quick refresher on both protocols:

    LoRaWAN

    A quick explanation of LoRaWAN and the LoRa alliance.

    Following the definition from the LoRa alliance, the LoRaWAN specification is a "Low Power, Wide Area (LPWA) networking protocol designed to wirelessly connect battery operated ‘things’ to the internet in regional, national or global networks by targeting key Internet of Things (IoT) requirements such as bi-directional communication, end-to-end security, mobility and localization services."

    This specification comprises the LoRa (Long Range) technology which is a spread spectrum modulation technique derived from Chirp Spread Spectrum (CSS).

    This technology is under patent from a company known as Semtech which indirectly charges a small fee on each LoRa chipset in sensors and gateways offered as off-the-shelf solutions for IoT enthusiasts and enterprises alike.

    NB-IoT

    A quick explanation of narrowband IoT (NB-IoT).

    3GPP does not provide an official definition for the NB-IoT (Narrowband Internet of Things) protocol, also known as LTE CAT NB1. Referring back to one of their press releases from Feb 2016, NB-IoT is defined as "a new radio added to the LTE platform, optimized for the low [bandwidth] end of the market."

    NB-IoT was made specifically with low-power stationary sensors in mind. For each device deployed in a network, this protocol offers wide coverage areas with deep indoor penetration.

    NB-IoT was made specifically with low-power stationary sensors in mind. The protocol offers wide coverage areas with deep indoor penetration.

    Unlike LoRaWAN, this is a licensed protocol that is likely to cost more in the long-term but provide a better overall experience for the end users.

    One thing to note is that NB-IoT devices are rapidly moving towards Embedded SIM (eSIM) usage. According to a study by McKinsey & Company, eSIMs would "enable IoT product manufacturers to build devices with 'blank' sims that could be activated in destination countries for a more streamlined equipment connectivity."

    To learn more about eSIMs and the future of cellular IoT, check out this presentation from Particle's Sr. Director of Product, William Hart.

    The Future of Cellular-IoT - Meetup Presentation from Particle

    LoRaWAN vs NB-IoT: Technology Comparison

    ABI Research did a fantastic job at comparing the two technologies. In the table below, you have a complete rundown of technology parameters for both LoRaWAN and NB-IoT:

    Technology Parameters LoRaWAN NB-IoT

    Bandwidth 125 kHz 180 kHz

    Coverage 165 dB 164 dB

    Battery Life 15+ years 10+ years

    Peak Current 32 mA 120 mA

    Sleep Current 1 µA 5 µA

    Throughput 50 Kbps 60 Kbps

    Latency Device Class Dependent <10 s

    Security AES 128 bit 3GPP (128 to 256 bit)

    Geolocation Yes (TDOA) Yes (In 3GPP Rel 14)

    Cost Efficiency High Medium

    There are a few takeaways to highlight here:

    LoRaWAN consumes less power compared to NB-IoT, making it a more viable solution for projects that require higher refresh rates.

    Since it consumes less power, LoRaWAN also provides a longer battery life compared to NB-IoT (15+ years compared to 10+ years).

    स्रोत : ubidots.com

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