In general, other networks such as LoRa and Sigfox are also still in their build-up. NB-IoT has the advantage of being able to use existing LTE base stations, which will allow for sufficiently dense network with good indoor penetration, especially in urban regions.
Most importantly, they differ in standardization and the use of spectrum: NB-IoT is a 3GPP industry standard using existing assets of network operators like sites, base stations, antennas, backhaul and licensed spectrum. Licensed bands can handle a massive number of devices, stable and securely at high transmission capacities and with high reliability.
Sigfox and LoRa are proprietary technologies on unlicensed bands and therefore need dedicated network components. With an increasing number of connected devices, data transmission on unlicensed bands is likely to deteriorate (e.g. by interference) while benefits of using a standardized technology in licensed bands will become even more important.
Deutsche Telekom is confident that NB-IoT is a very high-quality product offering based on an 3GPP industry standard. While there will also be suitable usage scenarios for other LPWA technologies, we think that many IoT applications can be better implemented with NB-IoT (due to its superior performance) than with Sigfox or LoRa.
NB-IoT is an LPWA (Low Power Wide Area) radio technology, being low power (multiple years of battery-powered operation) and wide area (wide signal range and deep indoor penetration). Other characteristics are low data rates and low cost radio modules. LPWA includes NB-IoT, LTE-M, EC-GSM, UNB/Sigfox, LoRa and RPMA/Ingenu.
Our objective as Deutsche Telekom is to offer our customers in all industries M2M/IoT solutions that work worldwide, built on established international standards. They benefit from the typical characteristics of standardized technologies like NB-IOT: reliability, stability, scalability, economies of scale, security and international compatibility. Standards and the use of licensed spectrum will contribute substantially to the success of NB-IoT.
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