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A new era has started –

u-Blox NB-IoT solutions

Pasi Alajoki, Area sales manager, u-blox

September 27th, 2017 locate, communicate, accelerate

u-blox at a glance

• Swiss semiconductor company

• Founded in 1997
• Listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange since 2007 (SIX:UBXN)

• Core competencies
• Cellular communications technologies
• Short range radio technologies
• Satellite based positioning technologies

• Product offering
• Integrated circuits – the foundation of our solutions
• Modules – fully implemented, drop-in solutions
• Services – delivering added value to our solutions

• Market focus
• Automotive – robust, automotive grade products
• Industrial – durable components for professional electronics
• Consumer – mass market ICs and modules

• Business model
• Fabless operation
• Commercial, off-the-shelf products

Slide 2 © u-blox AG, Confidential

u-blox view on Narrowband IoT

• Cellular technology evolution and sunset scenarios

• MNO roll out plan ( LTE CAT M1 and NB1)

• u-blox cellular module overview

• Evaluation and testing

Slide 3 © u-blox AG, Confidential

Sunset scenarios - 2G / 3G Network switch Off
• Most MNOs in EMEA have yet to commit to 2G/3G 2G
switch off dates Country Switch
• But pressure for spectrum is high; increasing demand Switzerland 2020
for 4G means many MNOs will have to redistribute Norway 2025
2G and 3G spectrum by 2020
Netherlands 2020
USA Q1 2017
• In Americas, AT&T shutdown 2G network availability Australia Q1 2017
on December 31, 2016 and others are closing down
in the next year or so. Canada Q4 2016
Singapore Q2 2017

Slide 4 © u-blox AG, Confidential

Evolution of cellular technology
5G /
Cat 19
High bandwidth Cat 16
Cat 12
High cost Cat 9
High power Cat 6
Low latency
Cat 3/4

3G Cat 1

Signficiant Cellular LPWAN growth expected, driven by IoT
Cat M1 and replacement of legacy M2M

Cat NB1
Low bandwidth
Low cost Cat M2 / NB2
Low power
Higher latency

Evolution to high speed cellular Time

Evolution to cellular LPWA

Slide 5 © u-blox AG, Confidential

Operator network rollout – Europe

• Cat M1 2017 / 2018 • NB-IoT 2017 / 2018

800 / 900 MHz (B8 / B20)
Multiple Bands 900 MHz (B8)
Unknown 800 MHz (B20)
800 / 1800 MHz (B20 / B3)

Slide 6 © u-blox AG, Confidential

Operator network rollout – MEA & APAC

• Cat M1 2017 / 2018 • NB-IoT 2017 / 2018

Multiple Bands Multiple Bands

Unknown Unknown

Slide 7 © u-blox AG, Confidential

Operator network rollout – Americas

• Cat M1 2017 / 2018 • NB-IoT 2017 / 2018

Multiple bands
Multiple Bands
850 MHz MHz (B28)

Slide 8 © u-blox AG, Confidential

SARA-N211 800 / 900 MHz (Band 20, 8)
SARA-N200 900MHz (Band 8)

NB-IoT 2017 / 2018 network rollout - Europe

SARA-N210 800 MHz (Band 20)

Telenor 2017
Germany 800 / 900 MHz (B8 / B20)
Vodafone 2017 Sweden
900 MHz (B8)
Telia 2017
T-Mobile 2017 800 MHz (B20)
Telefonica (O2) 800 / 1800 MHz (B20 / B3) Russia
Trial 2H2017 Multiple Megafon
Unknown Denmark
Irland TDC
Vodafone 2017 Poland
T-Mobile 2017
UK Czech Republic
Vodafone 2017 T-Mobile 2017
T-Mobile 2017
British Telecom
T-Mobile 2017
T-Mobile 2017
Netherlands Hungary
Vodafone 2017 Magyar 2017
T-Mobile 2017 Switzerland
Swisscom 1H/2018
Belgium Slovenia
Orange Simobil 2017
France Italy
Bouygues Vodafone, TIM 2017
Hrsvatski 2017
Vodafone 2017
NOS 2017 Greece
Cosmote 2017
Vodafone 2017

Slide 9 © u-blox AG, Confidential

LPWA (Low-Power, Wide-Area) & NB-IoT

Slide 10 © u-blox AG
LPWA Definition
Low-Power, Wide-Area (LPWA) network is a generic term for a group of
technologies with the following key characteristics:

• Low power, • Wide area • Limited data • Narrowband

long battery life connectivity and communications operation and
(often in excess coverage throughput reduced system
of 10 years) penetration capacity complexity

LPWA technologies complement existing cellular mobile networks and short range
technologies, enabling wide area communications at lower cost points and
better power consumption characteristics for far greater deployment location freedom

Slide 11 © u-blox AG
Each technology addresses specific use cases & markets

S2 series N2 series R4 series R2 / R3 series L2 series L4 series

RPMA LTE Cat NB1 LTE Cat M1 LTE Cat 1 LTE Cat 4 LTE Cat 6

Highest performance & data rates

Voice / video
Lower complexity, lower data rates, lower power consumption

Smart Metering &

Industrial Automation
Insurance Wearables
Gateways &
Connected Health Routers
Smart City &
eMonitoring Smart Payment
& Vending Auto-Line Fit /
Agricultural & Aftermarket OEM
Vehicle &
Environmental Asset Tracking Telematics

Smart Buildings

Slide 12 © u-blox AG, Confidential

LTE Cat M1
• Geography: North America (2017), EMEA (2017), APAC (2017/2018)
• Key Operators: Verizon, ATT, T-Mobile, Telus, Telstra, Optus, Bouygues,
Orange, Swisscom, NTT DoCoMo, Softbank, KDDI
• Segments: Insurance, Vehicle & Asset Tracking, Smart City & MAC,
Wearables (Trackers)
• Applications: Usage-based insurance, fleet management, crash notifications,
stolen vehicle recovery, vehicle diagnostics

Data rate:
Spectrum: Latency: Battery Range:
375 kb/s
1.4 MHz ms - Sec Life: Basement
UL/DL (Half
Licensed 5-10 Yrs (155.7 dB MCL) 2

Quality of Service Voice3 FOTA Mobility

Full Handover4
11 Mb/s UL/DL (Full Duplex) 3 FutureFW release
2 Maximum Coupling Loss, as 4MNO support initially only in Idle Mode, will
compared to GSM 139.4 dB MCL support Connected Mode in future FW release

Slide 13 © u-blox AG, Confidential

NB-IoT (LTE Cat NB1)
• Geography: EMEA (2017), APAC (2017/18), Americas (2017/18)
• Key Operators: Vodafone, DT, TIM, TDC, Telenor, Telefonica, Swisscom,
China Mobile, China Unicom, China Telecom, LGU+, Telus, TIM Brazil,
Telstra, AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Megafon
• Segments: Smart Metering, Smart City & MAC, Wearables (Trackers)
• Applications: Utility meters, street lighting, parking systems, waste
management, HVAC, access control, white goods, people / animal tracking,
land / pollution / precipitation monitoring

Data rate: Spectrum: Latency: Battery Range:

27.2 / 62.5 180 kHz Seconds Life: Underground
kb/s (DL/UL) Licensed 10+ Yrs (164 dB MCL)1

Quality of Service Voice FOTA Mobility

Limited (No Handover)

1 Maximum Coupling Loss, as compared to GSM 139.4 dB MCL

Slide 14 © u-blox AG
NB-IoT will enable diverse applications

Smart Home & Buildings

Alarm systems, energy mgmt, access control

Smart Cities Consumer

Streetlights, parking, waste mgmt White goods, people / animal tracking

Agriculture / Environmental
Smart Metering Land, noise, rain, pollution monitoring
Gas & water

Slide 15 © u-blox AG
Technology comparison
2G Cat M1 Cat NB1 Ingenu
Feature LoRa SigFox
(GSM / GPRS) (Half duplex) (NB-IoT) (RPMA)
Mobile connectivity / Mobile connectivity /
Application focus M2M M2M M2M M2M
125 kHz (typ) 600 Hz
80 MHz
200 kHz 1.4 MHz 180 kHz ISM Unlicensed 2 ISM Unlicensed 2
Radio Spectrum ISM Unlicensed2
3GPP Licensed 1 3GPP Licensed 1 3GPP Licensed 1 868 MHz (EU) / 915 868 MHz (EU) / 915
Global 2.4 GHZ Band
Quality of Service Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
milliseconds => milliseconds => seconds => seconds => sec's => min's
Responsiveness seconds
seconds seconds minutes minutes (140 Tx / day limit)
Roaming Global Global Global Global Local 3 Single network
Up to 85.6 kb/s (DL) 27.2 / 62.5 kb/s 5.5kb/s (125-bw) 100b/s (UL)
Peak Data Rate 375kb/s (DL/UL) 31 /15.6 kb/s (DL/UL)
Up to 42.8 kb/s (UL) (DL/UL) 50kb/s (500-bw) 500b/s (DL) 4
Yes (broadcast
FOTA No Yes Yes No No
channel) 5
Range / Above ground / Basement / Underground / Underground / Underground / Underground /
MCL 6 139.4 / 144 dB 6 155.7 dB 164 dB 7 167 dB 161 dB 161 dB
Vehicular (300kmh) Vehicular (300kmh) Vehicular (100kmh) Vehicular (100kmh+)
Mobility No No
(full handover) (full handover) 8 (no handover) (full handover)
Yes Yes
Voice Support No No No No
(GSM) (incl. VoLTE) 9
Battery life 5-10yrs 5-10yrs 10yrs+ 10yrs+ 10yrs+ 10yrs+
$ $ $ $+ (currently) $ $
(Module or eBoM)

Notes: 4. UL: Max 140 mssg w/ payload up to 12 bytes; DL: Max 4 mssg w/ payload up to 8 bytes
1. 3GPP Licensed spectrum in 450MHz and 700MHz – 3.5GHz 5. Separate broadcast channel allows multicast of FOTA, etc. to all devices at once
2. ISM (Industrial, Scientific, Medical) unlicensed spectrum 6. GSM has MCL (maximum coupling loss) of 139.4 dB, GPRS of 144 dB
3. LoRa Public and Private networks are operated by entities in specific 7. NB-IoT uses Single-Tone signalling in the UL to ensure reliable operation to the cell-edge
areas, there is no guarantee of cross-network operation
8. MNO support initially only in Idle Mode, will support Connected Mode in future FW rel.
Slide 16 © u-blox AG 9. Future FW release
NB-IoT communication architecture

Slide 17 © u-blox AG
Benefits of Release 13 network architecture for IoT / M2M

Efficient Secure Flexible

Small, infrequent End-to-end security Data protocols


• Highly optimized • Payload only secured • 3 types of data transport

messaging within the cellular supported
• Avoids unnecessary network  Non-IP
authentication exchanges • End-to-end security must  IP
• >50% reduction in be implemented on top  SMS
signaling e.g. TLS/DTLS

Slide 18 © u-blox AG
Cat NB1 Release 13 data protocol options

Non-IP Data* IP Data SMS

Device will not have an IP Device gets an IP address (like

address LTE or 2G/3G now)
Addressing is via IMEI Single packet data connection
“SMS like” interface UDP/IP – Supported
May implement additional TCP/IP – Not supported because
protocol and messaging Optimal power consumption may
formats on top not be achieved
TCP is highly inefficient and may
have issues with high latency in
poor coverage conditions

Slide 19 © u-blox AG * Networks do not currently support non-IP data (starting mid / end 2017)
Is a SIM/UICC needed? What about tariffs?

• To SIM or not to SIM?

• NB-IoT requires a SIM card just as normal cellular
modules would
• SIM provides user authentication and security services
• eSIM/eUICC (chip SIM) can also be used
• For optimal flexibility requires implementation of remote
provisioning to allow changing of operator profile on the fly
• u-blox modules will support interfaces to SIM and eSIM
• Soft SIM is currently not supported by the operators
• Operator tariffs?
• Operators are examining business models
• No guidance on what tariffs could be (monthly, yearly,
per byte are all possible)

Slide 20 © u-blox AG
NB-IoT pilots

Slide 21 © u-blox AG
Water metering
1st pre-standard NB-IoT message
Water Metering, Spain, 2015/2016

• First pre-standard NB-IoT message sent over a live commercial

network in Spain
• Tested typical indoor scenarios without GSM service availability,
proving the in-building / underground range of NB-IoT
• Test location above is in underground supermarket car park.
u-blox test mobile is working with no packet loss and proving
20 dB link budget enhancement over GSM on a live
commercial network
• Aguas Trial Video:

Slide 22 © u-blox AG, Confidential

Smart parking
NB-IoT Smart Parking Trial

Slide 23 © u-blox AG, Confidential

NB-IoT modules and evaluation tools

Slide 24 © u-blox AG
A selection of modules and chips from u-blox
5G /
Cat 19
Cat 16
Cat 12
High bandwidth Cat 9
High cost Cat 6
High power 4G LTE
Low latency Cat 3/4

3G Cat 1 UBX-R3
u-blox modem
Broadband technology


Cat M1 UBX-R5
Cat NB1

Cat M2 / NB2
Low bandwidth 5G
Low cost
Low power
Higher latency

Evolution to high speed cellular
Evolution to cellular LPWA

Slide 25 © u-blox AG, Confidential

u-blox Cellular product portfolio overview

• LTE High Speed (LTE Cat 4+)

• Highest data rates
• Best for video transmission and infotainment

• NB-IoT and LTE Low Speed (LTE Cat NB1, M1, 1)

• Ultra low to medium data rates
• Addresses broad spectrum of data, voice and
video-centric applications

• 2G / 3G Modules (GSM, UMTS, HSPA, CDMA)

• Low to medium data rates
• Legacy network support, including data and

Slide 26 © u-blox AG, Confidential

Product Roadmap – SMD Modules Form-Factor
SARA-N2xx (NB-IoT)

SARA-R4xx (LTE Cat M1, NB-IoT)

16.0 x 26.0 mm

LARA-R2xx (LTE Cat 1)

24.0 x 26.0 mm LARA-R3xx (LTE Cat 1)


22.4 x 33.2 mm


TOBY-R2xx (LTE Cat 1)
24.8 x 35.6 mm 2017 2018 2018/2019

Slide 27 © u-blox AG, Confidential

Product Roadmap – Narrowband IoT modules
Ver. 01 Ver. 02
NB-IoT (R13 Cat
SARA-N200 NB1)
Q2/17Q2/17 Q3/17 900 MHz (Band 8)

SARA-N201 NB-IoT (R13 Cat

Q2/17Q2/17 Q3/17 850 MHz (Band 5)
NB-IoT (R13 Cat NB1)
800 MHz (Band 20)
SARA Q2/17Q2/17 Q3/17

SARA-N211 NB-IoT (R13 Cat NB1)

16.0 x 26.0 mm 800, 900 MHz (Band 20, 8)
Q2/17Q2/17 Q3/17

NB-IoT (R13 Cat NB1)

SARA-N280 APAC, Lat Am
700 MHz (Band 28)

SARA-R410MLTE (R13 Cat M1, Cat

Global (configurable LTE

2017 2018 2019/2020

Production Development In definition Considered Eng. Samples Start of Production

Slide 28 © u-blox AG
Strategic initiative – Leadership in LPWA technologies
The world’s smallest NB-IoT /
The world’s 1st NB-IoT module Cat M1 module
SARA-N2 series SARA-R4 series

Ultra low power consumption, delivering 10+ Band-configurable to reach the whole world
years of battery life on a single cell primary battery with a single hardware SKU
Excellent extended range in buildings and Supports multi-mode Cat M1, NB1 and GSM
underground (MCL of 164 dB)

Extended temperature range and ISO/TS16949 Extended temperature range and

manufacturing ISO/TS16949 manufacturing
Very small 16x26mm SARA LGA form factor for Industry-leading form factor 16 x 26 mm
easy manufacturing

1 Maximum Coupling Loss, as compared to GSM 139.4 dB MCL

Slide 29 © u-blox AG, Confidential
Application board + Evaluation kit

C030 Application Board SARA-N2xx Evaluation kit

NB-IoT and 2G/3G IoT starter kit EVK-N2xx
• ARM® mbedTM on integrated Cortex-M4 host CPU • Evaluation environment to test air interface
• Simple testing of positioning applications with connectivity, RF measurements and u-blox module
integrated MAX-M8C GNSS receiver functionality
• 1 MB FLASH and 256 kB RAM leaves ample space • m-center and u-center access for configuration,
for software development and debugging testing, visualization and data analysis
• Ideal for ultra low power designs and compact • May not exhibit the entire feature set of the
form factors underlying product
• Out-of-the-box international eUICC roaming • Not fully optimized for power consumption
• Easily capture sensor data with Arduino® shields
• Boxed Hardware, manual, evaluation software,
• Compatible with u-blox Bluetooth and Wi-Fi design data, product summary

Slide 30 © u-blox AG - Confidential

Cellular summary

• Market leadership as a supplier of cellular modules

• Only IoT supplier with chipset and module know-how

• Broad portfolio of cellular technologies

• Technology leadership in NB-IoT and LTE Cat M1

• Strategic partnerships with major global cellular


Slide 31 © u-blox AG, Confidential


• For further inquiries, please contact:

Pasi Alajoki

040-5152 911

Slide 32 © u-blox AG
Thank you!

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