NB-IOT Wins Biggest Achievement in IoT Communication with LoRa

[China Instrument Network Instrument Industry] With the freeze of the NB-IOT standard in June, it is expected to be commercially available in 2017. Let's look at the game between NB-IOT technology and LoRa technology.

A thriving LORAWAN

In August 2013, Semtech released a new type of chip based on ultra-long-range low-power data transmission technology (LoRa for short) below 1GHz to the industry. Its sensitivity to accept a staggering -148dbm, compared with the advanced level of the industry's other sub-GHz chip, the highest receiver sensitivity is improved more than 20db, its power consumption is very low and does not require the use of expensive temperature-compensated crystal oscillator (TCXO), Caused great concern. Since the product uses a special spread spectrum technique, the terminals of different spreading sequences do not interfere with each other even if they are transmitted simultaneously using the same frequency. The Concentrator/Gateway developed on this basis can receive and process data from multiple nodes in parallel, greatly expanding system capacity. The ranging and positioning functions based on this technology will promote its large-scale application in the field of Internet of Things.

Do not know NB-IOT

Cellular-based narrow-band Internet of Things (NB-IoT) has become an important branch of the Internet of Everything. NB-IoT is built on a cellular network and only consumes about 180KHz frequency bands. It can be directly deployed on GSM networks, UMTS networks, or LTE networks to reduce deployment costs and achieve smooth upgrades. NB-IoT is an emerging technology in the IoT space that supports low-power devices in cellular data connections over wide area networks. NB-IoT supports efficient connection of devices with short standby time and high network connection requirements. The battery life of NB-IoT devices is said to increase to at least 10 years while providing very comprehensive indoor cellular data connection coverage.

NB-IoT technology PK LoRa technology IoT technology is increasingly fierce 2016 is expected to have 6.4 billion devices worldwide. By 2020, this number will grow to 20.8 billion units. Many market research agencies in the industry have given similar pre-judgments: Networked devices will grow several times in five years. The lack of communication standards has always been an important constraint to the development of the Internet of Things. From the chipset to the operating system, from the gateway to the application, all walks of life and individual national standards are their own. This leads to the terminal and the network can not be truly "interconnection ". In the field of the Internet of Things, everyone knows the importance of the unification of communication standards. This requires strong companies to promote.

NB-IoT confrontation pattern formation is a 3GPP standard defined LPWA (Low Power Wide Area Network) solutions, aimed at overcoming the main things cellular standards setting and a high power distance limitation, in one of the unlicensed spectrum technology.

NB-IOT faces competition from existing LPWA technology on the market. The most compelling of these LPWA competitors are Sigfox (a French company that said it is launching networks in 17 countries) and LoRa (a more "open" system whose proponents include French operators Orange and Bouygue Telecom). Vodafone believes that the emergence of the NB-IoT standard will lead to the demise of its competing technologies Sigfox and LoRa, which rely on the use of unlicensed spectrum to support services.

Vodafone Group, on the other hand, has increased its support for NB-IoT technology through an NB-IoT laboratory open to Huawei at its UK headquarters in Newbury. The operator has long been one of the key members of the NB-IoT Forum, which was established in the second half of 2015 to promote the development of NB-IoT technology. Developers and organizations that are exploring the use of NB-IoT technology to support commercial services will be able to test their applications in the Vodafone lab.

LPWAN counterattacks The supporters of Sigfox and LoRa pointed out that NB-IoT has not yet been commercialized and that the cost of technology will remain high for several years to come. However, its proponents believe that mobile operators supporting NB-IoT have a larger customer base than operators using Sigfox and LoRa technology, and that NB-IoT device manufacturers will be interested in NB-IoT technology based on the market. Increase to price. In addition, the pre-investment issues are also more optimistic. Vodafone 80%-90% of base stations use single RAN technology, so only software upgrades are required to support NB-IoT.

Even so, ensuring that the network can support NB-IoT may still be a relatively expensive expense for operators who operate legacy base stations. There are some voices that, NB-IoT standards do not contain as expected in June this year, as published in 3GPP Release 13, but will slow down to future Release 14, which may make the development of NB-IoT frustrated. According to industry sources, the current roadblock for the development of the NB-IoT standard is an intellectual property dispute between Sweden's Ericsson and Huawei. The 3GPP hopes to avoid a “high-pass situation,” which is to avoid the situation in which a company occupies a dominant position.

Although NB-IOT proponents expect that NB-IoT will lead to the demise of Sigfox and LoRa, it is also possible that the market position of Sigfox and LoRa technology will become more stable, while NB-IoT will continue to be unattractive - especially as its standardization process has been repeatedly delayed. if. The LoRa Alliance stated that NB-IoT's downlink communications are not as efficient as LoRa. This may make NB-IoT technology less suitable for use in scenarios where it is necessary to send communications from the network to device sensors. LoRa Union refused to competition between LoRa and NB-IoT is equivalent to unauthorized (Spectrum) technology and licensing (spectrum) battle between the technology, telecom operators are seeking to avoid interference problems often occur in the former. LoRa can now be deployed in licensed bands, but doing so can lead to increased usage costs (because the cost of the licensed spectrum is there).

Although Vodafone never seems to be able to switch to LoRa or Sigfox technology, the operator is indeed also focusing on other technologies supported by 3GPP for the IoT market, including EC-GSM and LTE-M. These technologies can also be used in certain scenarios. effect.


It seems that there is only time for the debate on the two technologies to give an answer, but there is no doubt that the Internet of Things will be the trend of the future of communications technology.

(Original title: NB-IOT VS LoRa, they will eventually meet the plan of deployment)

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