NB-IoT in India

NB-IoT in India has arrived and things have never looked this great for the IoT industry here. Because IoT is all about connectivity and wireless is the only way to connect billions of Things. While there are many wireless communication technologies around that are great for specific use cases. A cellular IoT (CIoT) technology, that can actually deliver on the promise of LPWAN was needed. Lo and behold, NB-IoT has arrived and it shall take India to the promised neverland of wireless connectivity nirvana. (Exaggeration? – Read On!!)

Why is NB-IoT key for India specifically?

CIoT technologies (NB-IoT and LTE Cat M1) are globally crucial for the next exponential leap in the IoT industry. However, NB-IoT in India is more crucial than any other country or market of comparable size. Primarily because of the bandwidth limitations in the license free bands in India. While other countries have non-cellular LPWAN IoT technologies (eg: LoRaWAN), the very same technologies are bandwidth constrained in India. In a way NB-IoT is the first LPWAN technology in India that can scale to the magnitude of the Indian IoT demands.

What is the current status of NB-IoT in India?

For a technology like NB-IoT to be viable multiple pieces have to be in place for market adoption. Following are the key factors

  1. NB-IoT ready mobile networks

At the time of this writing limited deployments of NB-IoT networks have started in select cities in India. Meaning MNOs (Mobile Network Operators) are ready and serious about rolling out NB-IoT for real.

  1. NB-IoT hardware and module vendors

NB-IoT has arrived rather late in India when compared to other countries and hence there are dozens of NB-IoT modules available from every major cellular module manufacturer. Many are in the process of rolling out their second generation (cost optimized) modules over the next few months.

  1. Operational CostNB-IoT in India

The operational cost or connection cost will be a make or break factor for NB-IoT in India. However, We hear from credible sources inside MNOs that the prices in India will be among the lowest globally, and possibly even in the price band of $0.2 to $0.5 /device/month. Which is a viable cost band for most IoT application.

  1. Network Coverage

Network coverage will be another major reason for fast scale up of NB-IoT and if most of the cities are covered by the end of the year, NB-IoT product manufacturers will be scrambling to meet customer demands next year.

  1. Design and Development companies that are NB-IoT ready

Design and development with NB-IoT is moderately different from other cellular technologies. Not so much in the hardware design, but in the way the limited bandwidth of NB-IoT is used effectively for communication. Also, the restricted mobility of NB-IoT devices, unlike the traditional cellular IoT devices, and the communication latency limitations of NB-IoT. A developer must be knowledgeable of these and know how to manage applications to ensure robust and reliable operations. We at Ensemble Tech are ready and are already delivering products and projects based on NB-IoT.

By |2018-03-29T18:52:02+00:00March 15th, 2018|Internet of Things - IoT, NB-IoT|2 Comments

About the Author:

Deepak is Co-Founder and Managing Director at Ensemble Tech. He has more than 15 years of experience working with embedded systems and wireless technologies. His present focus area is IoT and low power wireless communication technologies.


  1. Paresh Patel June 24, 2018 at 8:51 pm - Reply

    I have been exploring LoRa for gas utilities in the US. I came across your company and am interested in your expertise, product, and service for wireless technology for connecting instruments used in natural gas industry.

  2. Abhijeet Nagarnaik September 18, 2018 at 4:54 am - Reply

    Short and informative article about the NBIoT in India. Everyone in industry is looking for the cost effective and scalable technology with minimal maintenance cost for IoT purpose, that is where NBIoT will play a big part. I would like to know more about what we can do in agri sector.

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