Everyone loves a good surprise: that birthday party you didn’t expect, the extra $20 found in your jeans pocket, the surprise visit of a beloved friend.
But life is filled with unwanted surprises as well: all those hidden fees in your most recent cable bill, the flat tire on your way to the airport, the break-up you didn’t see coming.
Many surprises can’t be avoided, but many surprises can. As companies and groups have worked to fill the need of wide-area connectivity with low-power needs, the Third Generation Partnership Project, or 3GPP (standards body of LTE), has produced its own set of candidates. One of 3GPP’s chief low-power, wide-area (LPWA) technologies is narrowband IOT, or NB-IOT for short (though it has several others names, we’ll use this one as it appears most frequently in the press and publications).
As NB-IOT’s specifications have been developed over the last year, many assumptions and tradeoffs have, necessarily, been made. We’ll explore some of these design decisions today and how they may impact those implementing IoT solutions.