Minimal set of specifications of the NB-IoT network
To enable high-end product development based on the NB-IoT technology it is essential to know and clearly understand the minimal set of common specifications that the global / multi-MNO NB-IoT network will deliver. Despite searching and asking for such minimum set of specifications, I have not yet found any decent definition of what to expect from NB-IoT. The information so far is limited to the general marketing buzz; e.g. low battery consumption due to extra power safe modes, increased coverage due to extra link budget, etc. At the same time I notice (no proof, just a feeling):
- MNO’s asking customers what they would like to be implemented
- an agile approach to implement various features without clear roadmap indicating what to expect when and with what performance
- a trend that features are implemented without global / multi-MNO coordination on common features and performance to ensure proper interoperability (which goes beyond roaming)
This is likely to cause serious product development risks; e.g. will products developed and launched “today” will still work in exactly the same way in the years to come (most products have a life time of at least 7 years), and will products developed and tested in the Netherlands will work in the same way when used outside the Netherlands. The danger is that this approach will lead to “50 shades of NB-IoT”.
I would like to see clear specifications from MNO’s on what to expect from NB-IoT. At the same time, to answer requests from the MNO’s I created a preliminary list of minimum features that I think are important for ‘every’ NB-IOT based product. See below. I invite other developers to comment on this; either make corrections or provide additions. Hoping for an interesting treat .
- Device shall be able to send small packages (e.g. with measurement data) on a regular interval, e.g. every minute, hour, day, etc.
- Device shall be able to send occasional alerts, which always is a small package. Delay of transfer towards our cloud is very critical (asap, tbd).
- The device shall be able to send large files (few MB, e.g. with aggregated measurement data). This happens occasionally (e.g. once a week/month/year).
- The device shall be able to receive medium size packages (<100kB), e.g. for device settings. This happens occasionally (e.g. once a week/month/year).
- The device shall be able to receive large size packages (<10MB), e.g. for firmware updates of modem and/or product. This happens very occasionally (e.g. once every quarter/year).
- The network shall support UDP and allow direct connection our preferred cloud
- The network shall support interoperability. I.e. a device tested and released in the Netherlands should perform equally when abroad and when connect to the various NB-IOT roaming partners. E.g. wrt speed, QoS performance, battery consumption, …
- It shall be publicly listed what requirements a device must fulfill to be allowed to connect to the (global) NB-IOT network, e.g. GCF, PTCRB, operator certifications, etc.
- It shall be publicly listed which modules (brand, type and FW version) have been approved/certified to connect to the (global) NB-IOT network
- It shall be publicly stated that all (new) NB-IOT features that will be added shall be backward compatible without loss of performance
- Same NB-IOT features as specified by 3GPP that are not in this list yet ?
Note: unless stated otherwise, all data transfers shall be:
- with minimum delay, at least within 3GPP NB-IOT spec
- at highest possible speed, as defined by 3GPP NB-IoT spec
- with minimum power consumption for long battery lifetime
- with good QoS, so no loss of data
- feature set: will all these requirements be supported by default. And if not, which requirements need additional SLA’s ?
- roadmap: when will all these requirements be supported ?
- performance: for each feature, what’s the minimum performance that we can expect ?
nless stated otherwise, all data transfers shall be:
with minimum delay, at least within 3GPP NB-IOT spec
Some suggestions to add:
- clarity on 3GPP release version that is formally implemented and forecast for new releases
- best practice suggestions regarding settings related to security and low energy
- formal supported & tested chipsets (or boards)
What would be nice:
- section with IoT products and solutions from partners that work with NB-IoT (gateways, specific sensor solutions, modules with MCU, comm. module en security IC/secure element & libraries to enable fast solution development in C or Python or …)
- guidance for large deployments and use with leading cloud solutions like MS Azure and AWS
- eSIM support
Hi Felix, PBM_NL
Ik heb de “requirements / opmerkingen” geregistreerd in een excel.
En ik ga hier intern de antwoorden verzamelen.
Ik ben ook heel benieuwd naar de antwoorden.