LTE / NB IoT information



  • I am new to these technologies and I'm having a hard time finding any real, concrete information on LTE CAT M1 / NB-IoT on the internet. It would really help me (and hopefully others) if anyone can provide any first-hand, concrete answers to the questions below, concerning the state of these technologies today.

    I'm principally concerned with deployment in the UK, but information on other countries would be useful too.

    1. Availability:
      1.1 Which carriers currently provide LTE CAT M1 or NB-IoT services?
      1.2 Are they generally available, to Joe Bloggs off the street?
      1.3 If not, what requirements must be met?
      1.4 Is it true that a special SIM is required?
      1.5 If so, where do you get one? (Tesco? Brick and mortar carrier store? Customer services?)

    2. Pricing:
      2.1 Are these services available pay-as-you-go, or only by contract?
      2.2 Are the charges flat-rate, or metered by data usage? Any actual figures that people have been charged would be really useful!
      2.3 If you cannot answer the above two questions, is it because you are prevented from discussing it? By the carrier?

    3. Technical:
      3.1 Which settings (APN, CID, etc) are required for your carrier?

    A lot of questions, I know, but I would really appreciate any answers. I currently have two FiPy modules on my desk which a begging to be played with, and I have literally no idea how to get started with them!

    Thanks in advance,
    Chris



  • Hi @jmarcelino
    Can you update a post or website somewhere with info about which NB-IoT flavours you do support? Better still a plan for support of various network types?

    That will allow developers to manage their clients expectations.
    This information rules out the T-Mobile NB-IoT network in the Netherlands for a few months for example, and i wish i had known that earlier.



  • @spacedandy
    Almost all carriers are running some trials, in the UK perhaps Vodafone is the most accessible since as I mentioned they run an open lab where you can take a device and test against their NB-IoT test setup.

    For the UK there is no word on public deployments other than "in 2018".

    I suggest getting in touch with the operators themselves, since they also need to see there is interest, maybe prioritise your region etc.



  • @jmarcelino said in LTE / NB IoT information:

    We plan to have that eventually but almost all of the questions you put have a case-by-case answer depending on which mobile operator you're dealing with.

    I understand that. I was hoping to start an evolving country/operator matrix, which will grow as people provide what answers they have. I know it will be very sparse to start with and I know that the information will change and quickly be out of date, but at least it will be something. At the moment I have no information, and any information is better than none at all.

    Also LTE-M/NB-IoT deployments are trials and many are still closed trials. For the UK there's isn't any public deployment yet, to get access you need to book a test at the operator lab (such as Vodafone IoT Open Lab in Newbury https://www.vodafone.com/business/iot/nb-IoT ) That said we won't be able to support the "flavour" of NB-IoT (Huawei) used there for a another month or two.

    That sounds like an off-hand remark, and I think you underestimate just how valuable that information is -- it's the most useful piece of information in your post. You've just told me that, as a member of the public, LTE-M/NB-IoT is not available yet, so there's no point even trying. I have two FiPy units on my desk and I've spent the better part of a day scratching my head, wondering how to get started because I didn't have that information. I could have used that time to play with SigFox or LoRa instead.

    Following up your comment, do you have any information at all regarding which carriers are trialling which protocols? Is there any indication, any hint at all of when the carriers expect to roll out to the public?



  • Hi @spacedandy,

    We plan to have that eventually but almost all of the questions you put have a case-by-case answer depending on which mobile operator you're dealing with.

    Also LTE-M/NB-IoT deployments are trials and many are still closed trials. For the UK there's isn't any public deployment yet, to get access you need to book a test at the operator lab (such as Vodafone IoT Open Lab in Newbury https://www.vodafone.com/business/iot/nb-IoT ) That said we won't be able to support the "flavour" of NB-IoT (Huawei) used there for a another month or two.


 

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