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Over the past 20 years, numerous wireless standards and networks have emerged to meet the demands of an ever-increasing volume of data transmission between people. In recent years, it is devices, not users, that are causing the rapid growth of traffic and are driving the development of new communication standards.

Communication technologies for the Internet of Things (IoT) open new opportunities for companies from various sectors of the economy, significantly improving the efficiency of internal processes and bringing the interaction with customers to a new level. NB-Fi is a Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) protocol that supports secure bidirectional communication for the Internet of Things (IoT), machine-to-machine (M2M), Smart Grid, Smart Utilities, Smart City and industrial applications.

NB-Fi is a protocol that was developed by WAVIoT and designed for secure wireless transmission of small volumes of data over long distances with low energy consumption. NB-Fi is an open standard that describes a format of NB-Fi messages and relevant technical data required for manufacturers to produce compatible NB-Fi devices.


What is LPWAN

Low-power Wide-area Network (LPWAN) is a type of wireless technologies for the transmission of small amounts of data over long distances used in distributed telemetry networks, inter-machine interaction and the Internet of Things. LPWAN can collect data from different equipment, for example meters, sensors or gauges.

Existing wireless data transmission technologies achieve high performance only in two of three communication characteristics at a time: range, data rate and energy efficiency.

LPWAN technologies enables long-distance and energy-efficient data transmission. IoT devices with NB-Fi modules transmit data over a range of 10 kilometers or even more with up to 10 years of estimated battery life.

LPWAN focuses on applications that require transfers of small data packages over long ranges, where network autonomy and independent power supply are important. The main areas of application of LPWAN are wireless sensor networks, automatic collection of meter readings, industrial monitoring and control systems.NB-Fi is one of the leading technologies for IoT and M2M communications because of its high energy efficiency (battery life of devices reaches 10 years), large network capacity (thousands of devices may be connected to a few NB-Fi base stations), high link budget and long signal transmission range. Implementation of algorithms used in the NB-Fi system became possible only in the last decade due to the improvement of the accuracy of quartz oscillators. It enables increased duration of signal stability, making it possible to narrow the transmission band with the existing limitation on signal power set by the regulator.

NB-Fi devices transmit data via NB-Fi radio protocol to base stations, then base stations forward data packets to the NB-Fi server – WAVIoT IoT Platform or on-premises NB-Fi server. Processed data is displayed in the NB-Fi server's frontend and can be transferred to any third-party app via API. NB-Fi server provides bidirectional communication (Uplink and Downlink messages) for end-user NB-Fi devices.

NB-Fi devices operate in unlicensed ISM bands, which are different in different countries. The distinctive feature of the NB-Fi technology is using narrowband phase shift keying, which in combination with interference-resistant encoding can achieve very high level of reception sensitivity, while the total frequency band for simultaneous transmission of a large number of channels remains quite narrow. NB-Fi base stations receive signals from NB-Fi devices with signal power as little as the noise level, and NB-Fi transceivers ensure long operational time of devices on a single charge (more than 5 years from an A-size battery, subject to operating parameters).