The difference between LoRaWAN and Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT)

As the waste industry moves towards becoming more data-driven, new words and concepts have been added to the industry. Do you want to join the coffee discussion when talking about wireless connectivity?

Firstly, the elevator speach

LoRaWAN and Narrowband IoT are two standards commonly used in IoT applications. They provide wireless communication between devices with low power consumption and wide coverage. Good stuff for the waste industry, then.

What is LPWAN?

LPWAN, which stands for Low Power Wide Area Network, is the collective name for a group of wireless communication standards. The advantages of using LPWAN include operating with long range and long-lasting battery life. Typical techniques that are well adapted to the waste industry's data traffic requirements.

What are LoRaWAN and NBIoT?

LoRa is simply LoRaWAN which is a modulation technology but is also used as a collective name for the systems that support LoRa modulation such as sensor nodes, embedded systems and gateways. You can connect your city with this, without being tied to the major telecommunications operators.

LoRa enables data to be transmitted over long distances and is used to build wireless networks on license-free frequencies over larger areas. The technology is specifically designed to wirelessly connect battery-powered devices, especially sensors to the Internet. The LoRaWAN specification is a network protocol designed for low-power networks that cover a large area (LPWAN). 

Narrowband IoT (NBIoT) is a Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) technology developed to connect devices that send small amounts of data over a long period of time. The technology uses the mobile network and is very energy efficient and can go into sleep-mode when the data is sent or received. This means that battery-powered, connected devices do not have to change batteries as often.

The similarities between LoRa and NB-IoT

LoRa and NB-IoT are the two most popular LPWAN protocols, so they share many similarities, such as wide coverage, long battery life, and low cost. There are also great similarities in how the network architecture and protocol layers are structured.

But what should be chosen?

In practice, in most geographic regions, it stands between two choices: NBIoT or LoRa.

The best thing about this is that you don't really have to choose. Both techniques complement each other well, have their pros and cons, but work differently in different situations.

If you have the right partners, they make the choice for you and make sure that traffic flows in the channels that are most suitable for you. If someone says that one or the other is the best, then you should probably think about whether you have the right partner or not.

Related customer cases

Here you will find customer cases with similar topics and applications described in the article.

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