December 19, 2016

Overview of narrowband IoT in LTE Rel-13

  • Koskinen J.
  • Mangalvedhe N.
  • Ratasuk R.
  • Robert M.
  • Zhang Y.

In 3GPP Rel-13, a narrowband system, named Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT), has been introduced to provide low-cost, low-power, wide-area cellular connectivity for the Internet of Things. This system, based on Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology, supports most LTE functionalities albeit with essential simplifications to reduce device complexity. Further optimizations to increase coverage, reduce overhead and reduce power consumption while increasing capacity have been introduced as well. The design objectives of NB-IoT include low-complexity devices, high coverage, long device battery life, and massive capacity. Latency is relaxed although a delay budget of 10 seconds is the target for exception reports. This paper provides an overview of NB-IoT design, including salient features from the physical and higher layers. Illustrative results with respect to performance objectives are also provided. Finally, NB-IoT enhancements in LTE Rel-14 are briefly outlined.

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