Frequently Asked Questions
NB-Fi network is being rapidly developed by WAVIoT partners, and has already been rolled out in several EMEA countries. Also, some projects are now starting in APAC region.
Typically, our Partners and Customers install their own NB-Fi base stations, which are connected to the global cloud-based WAVIoT IoT Platform. These base stations expand the NB-Fi network coverage.
You can find the actual list of our partners in the Buy section, or you can become one of our distributors to deploy the NB-Fi network in your region.
Low-power Wide-area Network (LPWAN) is a type of wireless technologies for the transmission of small amounts of data over long distances used in distributed telemetry networks, inter-machine interaction and the Internet of Things.
Key features of the LPWAN technologies are a long range of communication, low bit rate and low transmitter output power. LPWAN technologies can operate on either the licensed or unlicensed spectrum and comprise of proprietary, alliance or open standard options.
LPWAN technologies successfully fulfilled the main requirements of IoT and M2M communications – long range, extended battery life and low end-device cost.
NB-Fi is an energy-efficient LPWAN protocol that supports secure bidirectional communication for the Internet of Things (IoT), machine-to-machine (M2M), Smart Grid, Smart Utilities, Smart City and industrial applications.
NB-Fi (“Narrow Band Fidelity”) is a protocol that was developed by WAVIoT and designed for secure wireless transmission of small data volumes over long distances with low energy consumption. NB-Fi is an open standard with a disclosed format of NB-Fi messages and relevant technical data required for manufacturers to produce compatible end devices.
One of the narrowband systems' advantages is the effective use of the radio frequency spectrum. The width of one NB-Fi frequency channel starts from 50 Hz. NB-Fi devices use the 50kHz bandwidth for Uplink messages and the 100kHz bandwidth for Downlink messages, which are only small channels inside the allowed license-free ISM bandwidth. Thousands of NB-Fi channels can be accommodated simultaneously within these bandwidths. The narrowband signal and high energy per bit of transmitted information provide for excellent energy potential of the link budget and high noise immunity.
The most prospective NB-Fi vertical markets are logistics, transport, and industrial IoT solutions, as well as more traditional transmission and distribution utility sectors, and electric power industry companies.
The use of a single standardized IoT technology will allow manufacturers to implement complex projects in various areas with a large product line of compatible devices.
NB-Fi standard provides a great compatibility opportunity for IoT. Developers can test, implement, and integrate NB-Fi in their solutions, expanding the NB-Fi applications universe.
WAVIoT has developed an NB-Fi Transceiver that has exceptionally high sensitivity and enables developers of IoT devices to use all advantages of the NB-Fi technology simultaneously: long range of bidirectional data transmission, high selectivity and low power consumption. for IoT devices.
Together with WAVIoT base stations, the Transceiver allows achieving the best link budget among other IoT solutions. The NB-Fi communications protocol and the WAVIoT system provide the protection of confidentiality and integrity of transmitted data by strong encryption algorithms. NB-Fi technology enables transmission distance of up to 10 km in dense urban environment and up to 30 km in rural area, ensuring minimum power consumption and high resistance to interference.
NB-Fi Transceiver can be used in various countries, operating in the frequency ranges of 430-500 MHz and 860-925 MHz. NB-Fi Transceiver supports data transfer rate from 50 to 25,600 bit/sec.
One of the advantages of the new NB-Fi Transceiver is chip-to-chip connectivity over a long distance (up to 10 kilometers). This allows building decentralized IoT solutions and mesh networks.
NB-Fi Transceiver is fabricated on the basis of the 40-nm CMOS technology, has a low power consumption and allows developing devices that work for a long time (up to 10 years) from a single A-size battery.
The range of applications of NB-Fi technology and the new NB-Fi Transceiver is enormous – from home automation and Internet of Things to industries and Smart Cities.
NB-Fi devices typically operate in unlicensed ISM bands, which vary in different countries according to their national radio regulations. However, the NB-Fi Transceiver can operate in the frequency ranges of 430-500 MHz and 860-925 MHz, that allow using it on either the licensed or unlicensed spectrum.
For example, in Europe, WAVIoT devices work on the 868.1 MHz band (50 kHz band, with Duty cycle of 1% and RX power of 25 mW) for Uplink messages, and on the 869.6 MHz band (100 kHz band, with Duty cycle of 10%, with Adaptive TX Power Control and MAX TX Power of 500 mW) for Downlink messages.
NB-Fi devices use the 50kHz bandwidth for Uplink messages and the 100kHz bandwidth for Downlink messages, which are only small channels inside the allowed license-free ISM bandwidth. The width of one NB-Fi frequency channel starts from 50 Hz, so up to one thousand of NB-Fi channels can be accommodated simultaneously within the operating bandwidth.
The ISM radio bands are portions of the radio spectrum reserved internationally for industrial, scientific and medical (ISM) purposes other than telecommunications.
The transmitting channel bandwidth of NB-Fi devices is between 50 Hz and 25.6 kHz.
NB-Fi standard implemented in bidirectional WAVIoT devices supports the adaptive data rate – if the signal strength is good, devices will automatically switch to a higher data rate. This allows using the spectrum efficiently and reduces the consumption of power necessary for transmitting data.
NB-Fi technology and NB-Fi base stations support full-duplex data transmission.
This is primarily required for end devices like electricity meters, where a Downlink channel allows controlling the meter: time synchronization, tariff schedule update, load relay switch off etc. Also, WAVIoT devices with bidirectional communication support adaptive data rate – if the signal strength is good, devices will automatically switch to a higher data rate. This allows using the spectrum efficiently and reduces the consumption of power necessary for transmitting data.
In NB-Fi technology the DBPSK (Differential Binary Phase Shift Keying) modulation is used.
SNR (signal to noise ratio, the ratio of received signal power to the noise power, expressed using the logarithmic decibel scale, in dB) and RSSI (received signal strength indicator, the total power received by the receiver signal, measured in dBm) are the quantitative indicators of signal quality. These indicators are displayed on the messages page in the WAVIoT HES.
RSSI is the usable strength of radio waves, expressed in decibels between 0 dBm (strongest) and -150 dBm (weakest). Smaller negative numbers represent a cleaner/stronger signal.
The larger the SNR is, the better it is. A stable signal can be considered with an average SNR of 30 dB or higher (for all messages received by the same base station).
|0-20: Signal-strength icon without bars in WAVIoT MDM system||Very weak signal|
|21-30: Signal-strength icon with 1 bar in MDM system||Weak signal|
|31-40: Signal-strength icon with 2 bars in MDM system||Average signal|
|41-50: Signal-strength icon with 3 bars in MDM system||Good signal|
|51-60: Signal-strength icon with 4 bars in MDM system||Very good signal|
The average SNR normalized to the data rate (NSNR) is available at the modem information page in HES.
It takes about 2-3 hours to mount the WAVIoT Base station. Also, it can take a few days to find the right place for the installation in accordance with the user guide for the NB-Fi base station.
One base station covers up to 5-10 km area in dense urban environment. The preferable location of the NB-Fi base station and antennas – the highest place in the area, typically on the roof of the tallest building. The higher the base station is installed – the longer range of wireless communication will be achieved.
So far, the NB-Fi network can be deployed in a city very quickly – within few days.
Battery capacity depends on the battery type. When we select a battery type for a particular device, we take into account the requirements of the specific solution in terms of battery life and the number of messages that should be sent during the lifetime.
For example, the WAVIoT water meter uses an A-size battery with a capacity of 2,700 mAh. This capacity is enough for more than 10 years of operation. For modems and sensors that need to send data more than 2-3 times per day, we use a D-size battery with 20,000 mAh capacity.
The OBIS (Object Identification System) determines the identification of data objects in DLMS/COSEM communication protocol. The OBIS codes are used as Logical names of data objects. The DLMS User Association defines and allocates OBIS codes, and maintains list of valid OBIS codes.
OBIS code is a unique identifier for all data inside the utility meter. It is a numerical combination of six groups of numbers. Each group contains a 0-255 number range. For example, you can find description of OBIS codes here.
If you are interested in NB-Fi technology, want to know about IoT solutions for your business or have any other questions about business opportunities and products – please contact us.