The 3GPP Release 14 specification enhances the NB-IoT protocol and introduces a new device category, NB2. Here is a complete NB1 vs. NB2 comparison table and a brief overview of the new NB-IoT protocol features in R14.
What are LTE CAT NB1 and NB2?
LTE Cat NB1 refers to IoT devices based on the NB-IoT protocol standardized in the 3GPP Release 13 specification. It is a wireless cellular low-power wide-area connectivity protocol for IoT massive machine-type communications.
LTE Cat NB2 refers to devices which are based on the enhanced NB-IoT protocol as standardized in the 3GPP Release 14.
NB1 vs. NB2 comparison table
Here is a comprehensive comparison table to see the differences between the NB-IoT 3GPP R13 and R14 specifications, and NB1 vs. NB2 devices.
|Features||LTE Cat NB1||LTE Cat NB2|
|Channel Bandwidth||180 KHz||180 KHz|
|Max downlink TBS||680 bits||2536 bits|
|Max downlink data rate||~26 kbps||~80/127 kbps (1HARQ/2HARQ)|
|Max uplink TBS||1000 bits||2536 bits|
|Max uplink data rate||~62 kbps||~105/159 kbps (1HARQ/2HARQ)|
|Qty HARQ Processes||1||1 or 2|
|Number of Antennae||1||1|
|Latency range||<10 sec||TBD|
|Data limit||Not defined||Not defined|
|Size of payload in a data packet||Not defined||Not defined|
|Duty cycle||Not defined||Not defined|
|Voice communication support||No||No|
|Positioning||Cell ID||OTDOA, E-CID|
|Standardization organization||3GPP Release 13||3GPP Release-14|
|UE bandwidth||200 kHz||200 kHz|
|Maximum Transmission power||20, 23 dBm||14, 20, 23 dBm|
Main enhancements in LTE CAT NB2
Here is a short introduction on how the 3GPP R14 specification enhances the NB-IoT protocol for NB2:
- NB2 positioning
- The 3GPP Release 14 introduces OTDOA and E-CID positioning methods into NB2 for higher location accuracy.
- Multicast in NB2
- The NB2 devices contain Multicast transmission mode, which the NB1 device does not have.
- Enhanced NB2 mobility
- NB2 devices provide better mobility – Reconnection is now supported also in the device connected mode, as opposed to idle mode only in NB1.
- LTE CAT NB2 peak data rates
- The NB-IoT 3GPP Release 14 specification introduces higher data rates – NB2 devices can maximum data speeds of ~127 kbps uplink and ~159 kbps uplink.
- NB-IOT multi-carrier operation
- NB2 supports a multi-carrier mode with up to 15 non-anchor carriers, which can support up to 1,000,000 connected NB-IoT devices per square kilometer.
- NB2 frequency bands
- Five new FDD frequency bands are introduced for NB-IoT: 11, 21, 25, 31, and 70.
- New NB2 device power class
- 3GPP R14 enhances NB2 devices with a new 14 dBm power class to allow the use of smaller batteries and small form factors.