Is NB-IoT a 5G technology?
Yes! Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) fits into the mMTC flavour of 5G technology. It is a fast-growing 3GPP cellular technology standard introduced in Release 13 that addresses the LPWAN (Low Power Wide Area Network) requirements of the IoT. It was standardised and classified as a 5G technology by 3GPP in 2016 and it will continue evolving with the 5G specification.
It is a leading LPWAN technology to power a wide range of industrial IoT devices including smart parking, utilities, wearables, and industrial solutions.
Is LTE-M a 5G technology?
Yes, LTE-M is an LPWAN technology embraced by 5G; and like NB-IoT, it fits into the mMTC 5G category.
The 3GPP agreed that both NB-IoT and LTE-M technologies will continue evolving as part of the 5G specifications, meaning that these technologies can be used today and continue for a decade or more as part of the 5G evolution.
NB-IoT and LTE-M will coexist with other 5G standards, and they will become the LPWAN of the 5G spectrum.
Is 5G really all that different?
It sure is!
It’s a revolution in wireless technology that many have likened to the leap to light speed. 5G is faster, it has lower latency, it’s more power-efficient, and it can support many more devices per node than any other technology to date.
How fast is 5G?
It’s fast - really fast.
There’s a lot of hype about 5G speeds and bandwidth, and with very good reason. It delivers up to 10 gigabits per second (Gbps), supporting instant access to services and applications.
That’s 10 times faster than 4G, which delivers up to 1 gigabit per second (Gbps) To put that in perspective, it takes about 13 minutes to download a movie using wired DSL at 50 Mbps and about 39 seconds leveraging top 4G speeds at 1 Gbps.
A 5G-enabled smartphone or laptop can download the same movie in just four seconds! Now that’s fast!
What is 5G low latency?
In addition to speed, another advantage of 5G is significantly reduced latency. Latency is the lag time or short delay between the time it takes a signal to travel from one point to another, for instance, from a sensor in your car to the brakes.
5G networks deliver latency of 1-10 milliseconds compared to 50ms delivered by 4G. To put this into a real-world context, it takes 10ms for an image seen by the human eye to be processed by the brain.
5G can be faster than the human brain!
Low latency is vital for applications like self-driving vehicles, AI-assisted smart medical devices, and manufacturing robots where milliseconds can literally eliminate disaster.
How does 5G achieve greater efficiency?
When the ITU defined 5G requirements, a major consideration was eliminating energy leakage and strengthening sustainability. Traditional mobile networks use only 15-20 percent of their overall power consumption on actual data traffic. The rest is lost through inefficiencies.
Overall power design for 5G networks had to be reimagined and tightened along with the entire ecosystem architecture.
For instance, new power management schemes and reduced latency allow base stations to sleep longer.
And what’s more, higher throughput and reduced latency mean less time for data transmission and more time for sleep.
And more sleep always means less energy burn. Besides, data packets are compressed to improve network traffic efficiency, and transmit and receive traffic is controlled and optimized to extend rest time and reduce overall energy consumption.
Other improvements, including multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) antennas, small cells, spectrum efficiency, Virtual Network Functions (VNFs), Software Defined Networks (SDNs), and network slicing, achieve efficiencies that reduce overall energy consumption making 5G 90% more efficient than its predecessor, 4G.
What is network slicing, and how is it expanding IoT?
To optimize performance, 5G’s unique architecture and software-defined network allow carriers to dedicate bandwidth for specific use cases that share common needs.
In other words, they can create multiple virtual networks offering capabilities and functionality tailored to a particular service or customer group – over a common network infrastructure.
This makes it easier and most cost-effective to deliver services and meet SLAs for customers delivering autonomous driving and simple track and trace solutions. Virtual networks (5G slicing) are tailored to specific IoT use cases.