For use cases such as asset tracking our network will eventually support network based localization. This means, for example, that a GPS sensor is no longer needed, which reduces the energy consumption and costs of the device. The localization will be supported in different degrees of accuracy. Knowing the location and coverage area of the antenna with which the device communicates gives the least accuracy, but can already be sufficient for many use cases. For example, in many cases you know in which village or (part of) the city the device is located. A higher accuracy is achieved by localisation based on triangulation between 3 or more antennas. The latter form of localisation can in many cases replace the use of a GPS sensor. It is expected that in about 2/3 of the cases an accuracy of less than 50m can be achieved. The accuracy strongly depends on the density of the antennas.
The beauty of the technology is that it also works if your device would be indoors and wouldn't be able to receive GPS at all. Our network can still give an indication of the location. It is not suitable for indoor positioning (where in the building, which floor does not work with network based localization).
Limiting the amount of data to be sent also has a positive effect on energy consumption. For example, our network will support Non-IP, further reducing the amount of data by 28 bytes (no UDP and IP header needed) and thus reducing the battery usage.
Advanced SIM portfolio
We support multiple SIM cards, different quality and formats. For example, we offer a basic sim and an industrial sim. The formats we offer are 4FF, 3FF, 2FF and MFF2. The latter is a sim-on-chip and only available as an industrial sim.
Although an LPWA network is not optimal for Firmware Over The Air (FOTA) updates due to the low bandwidth it will be possible in the future to send the delta, i.e. the difference in new versus old firmware, to the device and update it. This DFOTA functionality must also be supported by the radio module in the device.
NB-IoT is an international (3GPP) standard and developed in such a way that it can be used by any mobile operator worldwide. Within a few years an NB-IoT network will be active in most countries, so you are assured of a scalable application of your IoT solution.
There are already several initiatives running with different operators and different countries to enable roaming. This will initially be made possible for pilot testing as NB-IoT is not yet fully deployed in many countries. In parallel there are already talks with the GSMA and other operators to standardise the roaming arrangements. Our parent company has already tested positive with NB-IoT roaming between T-Mobile Austria and Vodafone Spain.