A few years ago, it seemed abstract. But as technology progresses, we can now see how a plethora of objects are being connected to the cyberspace to improve environment monitoring processes, optimize tracking possibilities and establish smart cities, all thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT)

The Internet of Things is a network of physical objects or ‘things’ ranging from typical household objects to more complex mechanical machines that are embedded with sensors, software and other technologies for the purpose of connecting and transferring information with other devices using the internet.

But as the Internet of Things becomes one of the most essential technologies that allow devices to communicate with each other, potential challenges in connectivity may arise.

This is where the concept of NB-IoT and LTE-M comes in.

What is NB-IoT

NB-IoT, which stands for Narrow Band Internet of Things, is a connectivity protocol that allows multiple IoT devices to conduct wireless data transmission over long distances at low cost and with lesser battery life consumption.

NB-IoT offers a number of benefits for business organizations, including: 

  • Energy Efficiency

When it comes to IoT devices, energy efficiency is critical. Devices powered by NB-IoT can work up to 10 years using one, single battery. This is because the amount of data being transmitted is small, thus the energy being used is less. 

  • Cost-Efficiency

NB-IoT modules have simpler waveforms and consume less power. Low power consumption results in higher cost savings. Additionally, NB-IoT chips are easier to develop and are available at a more affordable rate. 

  • Excellent Coverage

NB-IoT offers long-range coverage and can penetrate places where conditions are not the easiest: remote areas, indoor environments, muddy areas, under the floor and under the ground.

  • High Mobility

Narrow Band IoT can be positioned in locations where communication modules or devices are required to transfer from one area to another.

LTE-M Defined

LTE-M or Long Term Evolution for Machine is an extension of the 4G cellular network. It operates under the LPWAN technology that lets users connect devices with minimal data rate requirements. It enables longer battery life and outstanding building coverage as compared to standard cellular connectivities such as 2G and 3G, and just like the NB-IoT, LTE-M offers its users the following benefits:

  • Wide Range of Devices

LTE-M supports different cellular devices used for smart monitoring, metering, vending machines and tools used for medical operations.

  • Improved Coverage

LTE-M offers deep signal penetration capacities that can even support environments where the use of IoT devices was previously not possible.

  • Longer Battery Life

LTE-M minimizes maintenance costs due to its low energy requirements.

The effectiveness of the Narrow Band-IoT and LTE-M can cross various service categories. Practical applications include:

  • Waste management, street lights and smart city infrastructures
  • Facility management services
  • Smart metering (gas, water and electricity)
  • Welding machines, air compressors and other industrial equipment
  • Appliances and devices measuring health parameters
  • Smart trackers used for people, animals and objects
  • Building alarms (fire alarms and intruder alarm systems) used in business and household establishments
  • Indoor air quality monitoring solutions

uHoo: Collecting Accurate Indoor Air Quality Data Using NB-IoT and LTE-M Technology

The uHoo Aura indoor air quality sensor is designed to determine the condition of the air and the location’s vulnerability to viruses and harmful pathogens through measuring the rise of different indoor air quality parameters such as Temperature, Humidity, Carbon Dioxide, Dust, VOCs and more. The indoor air quality data being presented by uHoo can help occupants in establishing tactics to alleviate potential issues and safeguard everyone from the unwanted effects of poor indoor air quality.

To be able to meet the growing demand for IAQ monitoring and cater locations with specific connectivity requirements, uHoo Aura boasts its ability to transmit data through the NB-IoT and LTE-M networks. The device works intelligently—set up and use uHoo Aura in your workplace, in hospitals and other indoor locations as quickly as possible, just simply insert the SIM card and expect it to work effortlessly without complex configurations and Wi-Fi network dependency. The plug&play concept and the connectivity technologies integrated with the uHoo Aura ensure longer, wider coverage range and seamless indoor and underground penetration- making it feasible for connecting and transmitting data in hard-to-reach, more challenging locations and in various field conditions.

The Narrowband-IoT and the LTE-M connectivity offering longer coverage, extended battery life, data security and the ability to maintain devices at an economical cost than others make it a great vehicle for indoor air quality devices  such as the uHoo indoor air quality sensors to provide accurate data at regular intervals.

And since both operate on a license spectrum, data processing and distribution is guaranteed to be safe and are less prone to data breaches.

Data is king, but for data to achieve its true purpose, reliable and resilient connectivity are simply a prerequisite.