Lora or NB-IOT?

2022-05-18 10:50:08 admin

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Since 2015, LPWAN has become a hot topic in the field of IoT. According to the data of IoT Analytics, a well-known research institution in the field of Internet of Things, NB-IoT and LoRa have obvious leading advantages. Specifically, NB-IoT leads with a 47% share, while LoRa has a market share of 36%.

NB-IoT and LoRa have different technical and commercial characteristics, so how should we choose? The following will analyze the suitable application scenarios of NB-IoT and LoRa through several specific application examples.

l Smart meter

The field of smart meters typically requires high-rate data transmission, frequent communications, and low latency. And it is necessary to monitor the wire network in real time so that hidden dangers can be dealt with in time. Since the meter is powered by the mains, there is no need for ultra-low power consumption and long battery life. ClassC of LoRaWAN can achieve low latency, but NB-IoT is a more suitable choice for smart meters for high transmission rates and frequent communication requirements. And electricity meters are generally installed in fixed locations in densely populated areas, so it is also easier for operators to deploy their networks.

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l Smart agriculture

For agriculture, low-power and low-cost sensors are urgently needed. The application of temperature and humidity, carbon dioxide, salinity and other sensors is of great significance for agriculture to increase production and reduce water consumption. These sensors need to upload data regularly. LoRa is very suitable for such scenarios. And many remote farms or arable land are not covered by cellular networks, let alone 4G/LTE, so NB-IoT is not as suitable for smart agriculture as LoRa.

l Automated manufacturing

The operation of factory machines requires real-time monitoring, which can not only ensure production efficiency but also improve labor efficiency through remote monitoring. In automated manufacturing and production in factories, there are many different types of sensors and devices. Some scenarios require frequent communication and ensure good quality of service (QoS), then NB-IoT is a more suitable choice. In some scenarios, low-cost sensors with low-power and long-life batteries are required to track devices and monitor status. At this time, LoRa is a reasonable choice. So for the diversity of automated manufacturing, both NB-IoT and LoRa are useful.

l Smart buildings

For the renovation of the building, sensors such as temperature and humidity, safety, harmful gas, water flow monitoring are added and the monitoring information is regularly uploaded, which is convenient for managers to supervise and more convenient for users. Generally speaking, the communication of these sensors does not need to be particularly frequent or guarantee a particularly good quality of service, and portable home gateways can meet the needs. So LoRa is a more suitable choice for this scene.

l Point of Sale (POS)

Point-of-Sale (POS) systems tend to require more frequent and high-quality communications, and these devices usually have dedicated power supplies, so there is no requirement for longer battery life. At the same time, the timeliness and low latency of communication are required to be high. Therefore, NB-IoT is more suitable for this application due to the above considerations.

l Logistics tracking

An important requirement in the tracking or positioning market is the battery life of the terminal. Logistics tracking can be a practical example of a hybrid deployment. The logistics enterprise can deploy the network in the required place according to the needs of positioning, which can be in the warehouse or on the transportation vehicle. At this time, the portable base station will come in handy. LoRa can provide such a deployment solution, but for NB-IoT, the laying of base stations with too large tracking range is a big problem. At the same time, LoRa has a feature that the communication is more stable than NB-IoT when moving at high speed. For the above considerations, LoRa is more suitable for logistics tracking.

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In general, there is no undisputed choice in the IoT field, and each application scenario has its own unique needs and considerations. It is believed that both LoRa and NB-IoT will have a place in the IoT market.