Narrowband IoT (NB‑IoT) is a new way of communicating with the “things” in Internet of Things that was standardized by 3GPP in June 2016.
The latest mobile broadband standard, NB-IoT is aimed at devices that need to communicate small amounts of data over long periods in hard-to-reach places. It connects devices through existing GSM and LTE spectrum networks.
NB-IoT uses the 3GPP-licensed network spectrum, which is secure and free from interference, and offers low power, long range, the ability to penetrate walls and metal barriers, and support for about 50,000 devices per single cellular cell.
“Narrowband IoT will be good for connecting devices in locations where the signal distance is in kilometers and for locations in basements and underground,” said Antenova CEO Colin Newman.
“It could be the enabler for some of the IoT applications that are emerging that are not suited to the established telecoms networks, where the data throughput is quite low and infrequent.
“We see these antennas being used for smart metering, agricultural technologies, building automation and smart-city applications with lighting, waste bins and parking spaces,” Newman said.
u-blox and Digicom. Chip-maker u-blox partnered with Digicom to develop its NB-IoT products, carrying out a series of innovative and successful field trials of the new NB-IoT technology.
Digicom offers solutions for industrial markets using NB-IoT, with a focus on connectivity solutions for smart cities, smart buildings, industry 4.0 in general and the automotive industry. Digicom platforms are designed for the protection of vehicles, people and pets, offer ultra-low-power consumption and several years of operation in battery mode.
Embedded in Digicom’s products are u-blox modules such as the SARA‑N2 NB-IoT.
CEVA Dragonfly. CEVA Inc. and Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute Company Limited (ASTRI) introduced Dragonfly NB1, a comprehensive NB-IoT solution with excellent performance and power consumption. It is easily integrated into a system on chip (SoC).
GMV Add-On for GNSS. Also, CEVA and ASTRI teamed up with GMV to offer integrated GNSS for smart devices with location tracking of logistics, assets, wearables and more.
The GNSS IP is available as an add-on software that runs on the CEVA-X1 together with NB-IoT and leverages ASTRI’s GNSS RF IP embedded in the solution.
GMV’s software IP supports all four GNSS constellations: GPS, BeiDou, GLONASS and Galileo, and allows seamless switching between constellations when required or to run multiple constellations concurrently to improve resolution and offer global asset tracking.
Antenova Latona. Antenova has developed a new NB-IoT chip antenna in the company’s lamiiANT antenna family named Latona. The antenna measures 20 x 11 x 1.6 mm, and is built to a novel design that allows it to perform well within a device while being easy to integrate onto a small printed circuit board (PCB), as with all of Antenova’s embedded antennas.