ARTICLES — February 20, 2019

NB-IOT: A New Generation of Low-Power, High Coverage Technology

The world of IoT is always innovating, always expanding. Right now, there are more than 8.4 billion devices connecting to each other, clogging the network, and yet we’re still growing in number.

“IoT need a new way to connect that’s lighter in data, over a longer period of time, and more robust to handle a massive number of IoT devices. Telkomsel has that technology. It is NB-IoT and it’s going to transform the world of IoT,”  said the new VP of IoT Telkomsel, Dharma Simorangkir.

What grants such excitement from us at Telkomsel is the fact that NB-IoT boasts the ability to connect to billions of devices while running on optimized power consumption, and maintaining strong wide-area coverage (LPWAN). It uses radio frequencies that is standardized in conjunction with 3GPP to enable a wide range of cellular devices and services, including IoT devices.

An NB-IoT device is so powerful it can run up to ten years without charging thanks to its low complexity design. While cost-effective to produce, at about $5 USD for modules, the device makes no sacrifice in safety with LTE level security. This makes NB-IoT great at handling sensitive information.

“NB-IoT is an effective solution for many industries. It works well indoors through floors and walls. You could cover buildings from top floor to the basement easily. It is energy efficient, so businesses won’t have to worry about charging thousands of devices every day or month or year. It can handle up to 100,000 connections per cell. That is a major industry expansion waiting to happen, and we’ve only just begun,” Simorangkir continues.

Here are 4 areas where NB-IoT can be a valuable asset:

Smart Business
Let’s take the agriculture industry as an example. Farmers need sensors that can operate in large areas with no reliable power access, also sensors that can work well underwater or underground. That is exactly what NB-IoT can provide. And it has been proven effective as implemented in Telkomsel’s latest partnership with eFishery; the automatic fish feeder. Other industries could definitely benefit from NB-IoT’s set of advantages. All we have to do is see the possibility.

Smart City
NB-IoT gives you the ability to digitally monitor and analyzing what’s going on in your city in real time. It equips different sectors of the city with valuable data for effective management, from the government, law enforcer, to ordinary city dwellers. It can be used for smart traffic lights that can lessen congestion, automatic street lights that adapt to current weather conditions, outdoor street parking sensors for hassle-free access, air quality sensors that alert people to wear masks, and more.

Smart Community
Try using NB-IoT as a way to connect people within a community. There are many ways to do it like urban gardening in a housing complex, water management in a rural village, or bike sharing in a university like Spekun. NB-IoT can help create a more sustainable community by keeping everyone connected to the solutions they need.

Smart Home
NB-IoT is a low bandwidth device that allows for just a few bytes of data to be transmitted per device in a day. This is great for stationary home appliances like smoke detectors, or electricity metering device.

Last October, Telkomsel worked together with PLN Disjaya to monitor sub-station meter which provides a more accurate meter reading and faster identification of disturbances for better customer service.

There are many ways to maximize NB-IoT as a low cost, low power, high coverage device. As more products crowd the market, be sure to work with a strong and reliable network to guarantee successful deployment. Work with Telkomsel to better scale your business.

See what NB-IoT can do for your business at

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