NB-IoT (LTE Cat-NB1)

Narrowband LTE, NB-IoT LTE Cat-NB1 logo

Deployment/Frequency Band(s)

In-Band LTE, Guard-Band LTE, Standalone

Channel Bandwidth(s)

180 kHz

DL Multiplexing

UL Multiplexing

DL Rate (Peak)

50 kbps

UL Rate (Peak)

50 kbps

Duplex Mode


Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) is a 3GPP Release 13 feature that reuses various principles and building blocks of the LTE physical layer and higher protocol layers and defines a new Cat-NB1 UE. The standard leverages a mobile carriers existing LTE base stations permitting rapid time-to-market. NB-IoT has been designed to offer extended coverage compared to traditional networks through the use of an ultra-narrow bandwidth of only 180 kHz. In comparison to a conventional LTE deployment, NB-IoT offers an additional 20 dB of link budget, equating to roughly ten times the coverage of a normal base station. NB-IoT finds its place as a long range, very low data rate service for low cost, non-real-time applications.

NB-IoT can be deployed in three modes:

  1. Within an existing LTE channel by utilising existing resource blocks
  2. Utilising the unused resource blocks within a LTE carrier’s guard-band
  3. As a standalone service, utilising an entirely separate carrier.
NB-IoT Deployment Diagram (Nokia)
NB-IoT Deployment Diagram (Courtesy of Nokia)

NB-IoT can improve UL capacity for users in bad coverage areas through single tone transmissions. New physical layer signals and channels, such as synchronisation signals and physical random access channel, are designed to meet the demanding requirement of extended coverage and ultra low device complexity. Higher protocols, signalling, and physical-layer processing requirements are greatly simplified in order to reduce UE power consumption and complexity, and consequently device cost.

IoT Networks

There are 27 networks using this technology recorded.

Country: Australia
Band: No Data
Status: Testing
Country: Bahrain
Band: No Data
Status: Planned
Country: Belarus
Status: Active
Country: Belgium
Band: No Data
Status: Active | Active
Country: Canada
Band: No Data
Status: Active
Country: China
Band: No Data
Status: Testing
Country: Denmark
Status: Active
Country: Finland
Status: Active
Country: Greece
Status: Active
Country: Turkey
Status: Active
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