News: NB-IoT roll-out underway in Denmark

-Eight IoT standards you should know-

Finally the long-awaited Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) network is ready for roll-out in Copenhagen to begin with, and soon other Danish cities. NB-IoT is the telecommunications companies' bid for wireless technology to be used for the Internet-of-Things (IoT) over long distances.

In recent years, a fierce battle has been fought to come first with the wireless communication standards that can be used to send data from IoT devices and further into the cloud. TDC is the first telecommunications company in Denmark to complete a new LPWA network dedicated to IoT, which is connected to the existing LTE network.

Chipsets and standards

The NB-IoT network offers speeds of up to 200 kbit/s, so images can not be streamed. On the other hand, battery consumption is so low that many devices will have a lifespan of up to ten years, as well as the price of data connections will (presumably) be low.

The new narrowband network also has a significantly longer range than the common mobile network - hence the name of the Low Power Wide Area. For example, TDC can cover the entire Copenhagen with 39 masts for narrowband IoT, while for a similar standard LTE coverage 350 masts will be used. The range is 10-15 kilometers per NB-IoT mast.

In Denmark, Aarhus Municipality has established a network with the open LoRa standard, as well as the energy company Seas-NVE retrieves data from 8,000 sensors on several dedicated LoRa networks. LoRa drives the unlicensed frequencies, and you must your self establish the network with own gateways. NB-IoT is considered to be the standard that becomes dominant in Europe because it is run by large telecom companies like Vodafone, Telia and Orange, which already operate LTE networks, and manufacturers such as Ericsson and Huawei.

More information:

Partner Flemming von Holck,, +45 70 23 50 05.

Positioning technologies currently applied across industries:

Global Navigational Satellite System: Outdoor positioning requires line-of-sight to satellites, e.g. GPS: the tracking device calculates its position from 4 satellites’ timing signals then transmits to receiving network
–    via local data network, e.g. wifi, proprietary Wide Area Network
–    via public/global data network, e.g. 3G/4G

Active RFID: A local wireless positioning infrastructure built on premises indoor or outdoor calculates the position based on Time of Flight from emitted signal & ID from the tracking device to at least 3 receivers or when passing through a portal. The network is operating in frequency areas such as 2.4 GHz WiFi, 868 MHz, 3.7 GHz (UWB – Ultra Wide Band), the former integrating with existing data network, the latter promising an impressive 0.3 m accuracy. Tracking devices are battery powered.

Passive RFID: Proximity tracking devices are passive tags detected and identified by a reader within close range. Example: Price tags with built-in RFID will set off an alarm if leaving the store. Numerous proprietary systems are on the market. NFC (Near Field Communications) signifies a system where the reader performs the identification by almost touching the tag.

Beacons: Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) signals sent from a fixed position to a mobile device, which then roughly calculates its proximity based on the fading of the signal strength. For robotic vacuum cleaners an infrared light beacon can be used to guide the vehicle towards the charging station.

Dead Reckoning: Measure via incremental counting of driving wheels’ rotation and steering wheel’s angle. Small variations in sizes of wheel or slip of the surface may introduce an accumulated error, hence this method is often combined with other systems for obtaining an exact re-positioning reset.

Scan and draw map: Laser beam reflections are measured and used for calculating the perimeter of a room and objects. Used for instance when positioning fork-lifts in storage facilities.

Visual recognition: The most advanced degree of vision is required in fully autonomous vehicles using Laser/Radar (Lidar) for recognition of all kinds of object and obstructions. A much simpler method can be used for calculating a position indoor tracking printed 2D barcodes placed at regular intervals in a matrix across the ceiling. An upwards facing camera identifies each pattern and the skewed projection of the viewed angle.

Inertia: A relative movement detection likewise classical gyroscopes in aircrafts now miniaturised to be contained on a chip. From a known starting position and velocity this method measures acceleration as well as rotation in all 3 dimensions which describes any change in movement.

Magnetic field: a digital compass (on chip) can identify the orientation provided no other magnetic signals are causing distortion.

Mix and Improve: Multiple of the listed technologies supplement each other, well-proven or novel, each contributing to precision and robustness of the system. Set a fixpoint via portals or a visual reference to reset dead reckoning & relative movement; supplement satellite signal with known fixpoint: “real time kinematics” refines GPS accuracy to mere centimetres; combine Dead Reckoning and visual recognition of 2D barcodes in the ceiling.

LoRaWAN: A low power wide area network with wide reach. An open standard that runs at unlicensed frequencies, where you establish a network with gateways.

Sigfox: A low power wide area network reminiscent of LoRa. Offered in Denmark by IoT Danmark, which operates the nationwide network that integrates seamlessly to other national Sigfox networks in the world.

NFC: Used especially for wireless cash payments.

Zigbee: Used especially for home automation in smart homes, for example. lighting control.

NB-IoT: Telecommunications companies’ IoT standard. A low-frequency version of the LTE network.

2-3-4G Network: Millions of devices are connected to a small SIM card, which runs primarily over 2G, but also 3G and 4G.

Wifi: The most established standard, especially used for short-range networks, for example. in production facilities.

CATM1: A low power wide area network, especially used in the United States.