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In the era of 5G, the wide area IoT ushers in a chaotic war

5g narrowband iot

Recently, the topic of wide-area IoT standards has suddenly become popular.

The debate is undoubtedly about whether NB-IoT is 5g narrowband iotcoming to an end, is LTE Cat.1 going to be king, and will 5G mMTC be available in the Year of the Monkey? If you are not an industry insider, you will be dumbfounded to see these terms.

What is wide area IoT?

Whether it is wired Ethernet, wireless network, Bluetooth, or RFID, a communication technology that connects devices to each other and sends information back and forth can be called IoT.

For example, many young people's Xiaomi series home appliances are now unified and controlled through WiFi access network, so WiFi can be considered IoT at this time.

So what are we wide area IoT? Simple question, wide area is a wide coverage of the meaning, if there is no one IoT technology can be achieved in a large area of influence on the continuous coverage of China, just like 4G network development, then this can be by being called wide area IoT. So for the above-mentioned Bluetooth, WiFi can not be called wide area IoT, at present, in addition to the very few wealthy enterprises in China choose to build their own wide area IoT, the basic situation is the operator to provide wide area IoT services, after all, they have coverage of the country's base stations, server room environmental resources.

In wide-area IoT, there is a sub-category called LPWAN (Low Power Wide Area Network), Low Power Wide Area Network.

Compared with other wide-area IoT technologies such as 2g and 4g, lpwan access devices are very energy efficient and the battery can last for years, but in order to achieve low power consumption, the data rate supported by lpwan can only reach a few hundred kbps or a little higher at the highest level. The network latency is tens of seconds, so it has limited application scenarios. 2.

What technologies are commonly used in wide-area IoT?

NB-IoT (Narrow Band Internet of Things, NB-IoT), which we can often mention in the market, is such a technology with a very important typical LPWAN, which is developed by 3GPP, an international logistics standardization management organization in the field of mobile network communication engineering, which has developed standards from 3G to 5G. In simple issue, NB-IoT is through a self-castrated version of the 4G protocol, the complex technology in 4G is removed, and then it becomes NB-IoT.

In addition to NB-IoT, 3GPP has also developed eMTC (Enhanced Machine Type Communication) IoT standard based on 4G protocol. Compared with NB, eMTC technology is more complex and has higher support rate, but has greater power consumption and higher equipment cost, so it can be said that the compromise and awkward positioning of 4G and NB are not good in domestic development, not to mention.

Nb-iot and emtc, the official lpwan mobile technologies, join some alternative wild technologies such as Lora and sigfox. compared to nb-iot and emtc in the "system", these two technologies are neither developed by 3gpp, nor approved by major operators, nor They have not been deployed by operators.

More importantly, neither of these technologies has a licensed band. What do you mean by that? It means that they can't use, for example, the frequency bands specifically assigned to you by the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, and can only be used on unauthorized bands, so security and interference avoidance are both issues.

So LoRa and SigFox generally speaking are a business development to buy their own equipment for their own construction, and then through their own use, their own maintenance, there is no climate.

In addition to the above LPWAN IoT, there are also some non-low power networks in wide area IoT, namely 2, 3 and 4G networks. Yes, while 2, 3 and 4G were originally built for people, there's nothing that says they can't be used! Devices can also use 2, 3, and 4G networks by simply plugging in communication modules (often called modules) that support 2, 3, and 4G networks.

The advantage of using traditional mobile communication networks as IoT is high speed, the disadvantage is that modules are expensive and consume a lot of power. The latest craze, the lte cat.1, is really just an IoT device that uses a 4G network.

In 4G, or LTE networks, for consumers, we all know that there are expensive and cheap cell phones, and that price determines the performance of the device. But in the 3GPP protocol, of course, there is no price difference between mobile terminals, but a strict classification called cat, not referring to Cat, but Category. generally speaking, the higher the number after Cat, the stronger the terminal capability, the more network technologies it can support, the stronger the communication performance, and so the higher the peak rate it can achieve.

Therefore, Cat.1 is actually the lowest of the 4G terminal systems. However, even if it is the worst terminal for human use, its capability is much higher than NB and eMTC. The most critical rate, Cat.1 can achieve a peak data rate of 10Mbps, and NB and eMTC are not in a different order of magnitude themselves.

More importantly, the network accessed by Cat. 1 terminal is directly a 4G network with no dead-end coverage for human users, and coverage is not much better than the new networks built by NB and eMTC (though also built on 4G sites).

What are NB-Iot and Cat? 1 What is the fight for?

In this context, what technology to adopt as IoT becomes the focus of many companies.

Then, let's compare.

First than network performance.

NB: We don't need to compare, I'm afraid. The network is not as wide as others can cover, the rate is one percent of others, concede.

Secondly, the coverage depth.

Although NB cannot be compared with Cat. 1 In terms of coverage, NB signals can reach very sharp corners (read jijaogala) due to its very strong depth coverage capability (some technology added specifically for depth coverage). Northeast idioms, such as basement ah, weak well ah, elevator ah and what not, while traditional 4G network can't do that.

Next than power consumption.

The stronger the performance, the higher the power consumption, so the power consumption of the first type of terminal is much higher than the nb terminal, but the same principle, its power consumption is lower than ordinary cell phones.

Finally than the module price. The higher the level of communication network technology, the more complex chips and more expensive modules are needed for natural development, so the module price of Cat.1 is naturally higher than that of NB-IoT. For a business management, there are many issues of IoT system equipment are to be purchased by a large number of governments (such as China's smart tourism cities, smart factories), so unlike individuals who buy cell phones are not so sensitive to price, the price of IoT modules, so to speak, is one of the key important factors theory in China's business decisions.

However, the current price issue of Cat.1 module is already not much more expensive than the price of NB module, coupled with the network security performance of enterprises that are a big step above the country, so Cat.1 to replace the NB voice as well as only recently more and more the bigger the more.

Having said that, the conclusion is clear.

These two technologies cannot replace each other, because the application scenarios are completely different.

NB module is cheap, power-saving, strong depth coverage, but slow, high latency, suitable for water meters, meters, manhole covers and other devices, ubiquitous, often placed in very awkward places, can not change the battery, and occasionally report some packet data scenarios.

And Cat.1? Naturally, it is a suitable scenario that can often change the battery enterprise or carry out charging and have requirements on the rate, such as China Mobile pos machine ah, police pass ah, digital technology guideline sign ah such devices.

Especially after blowing NB some time ago, many enterprises found NB this network, they simply can not use, so turn to the cat. 1 camp one after another, which is why now the cat. 1 module well-spring into the market.

So I think NB and Cat. 1 do not exist in the competition, are completely complementary, and it is not difficult for enterprises to choose at once. It can also be seen from the data that so far, class 1 terminals and nb class terminals are the same in the market now, and there is no significant gap.

As for why when 5G is rapidly deployed in the country, IoT does not need 5G bearer?

Because 5G presses no now we don't support IoT!!! And they may lead to long term unsupported IoT!!!