NB-IoT NB1 vs NB2 -What is the difference

Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) is an LPWAN technology developed to enable many devices to be connected to the internet using mobile networks. The standard is part of both 4G and 5G. Designed to allow for massive IoT, NB-IoT is a low-power, narrowband technology that can support small data packets and bidirectional transmission in an efficient, secure and reliable way. The standard NB-IoT was first presented in 3GPP Release 13.

NB2 -the updated NB-IoT

NB-IoT is released in an upgraded version, although most of us still refer to the first release as NB-IoT. The first version is most often referred to as NB1. NB1 is better known as 3GPP Release 13. NB2 is the successor and is also known as 3GPP Release 14. 3GPP’s enhanced NB-IoT protocol is thus called NB2 and builds on the LTE Cat NB1 standard.


The benefits can be put down in a few points but are very important; NB-IoT 2 supports

· positioning of the device using OTDOA
· better multi-carrier operation with up to 15 non-anchor carriers
· push to talk voice messages
· lower transmitter power class for power saving mode (14 dBm)
· higher speeds

In the past it was problematic to use the devices in moving equipment with NB-IoT. Release 14 brings Radio Resource Control (RRC) connection re-establishment feature to the table. The feature allows devices to transfer their connection from one cell to another cell when the devices move between cells. In the past the devices had to start this transfer process over again if the device experienced a link failure. RRC makes it possible to use NB-IoT devices for all sorts of mobile applications.

Comparision NB1 vs NB2
3GPP release 13 14
channel bandwidth 180 kHz 180 kHz
Duplex half half
Transmitter power modes 20, 23 dBm 14, 20, 23 dBm
Data rate downlink 26 kbps 127 kbps
Uplink data rate 62 kbps 159 kbps
Latency <10 sec
Encryption EPS-AKA EPS-AKA
Device authentication SIM SIM
Voice call No No
Positioning Cell ID OTDOA, E-CID