IoT M2M blog

The home of free hints and tips about wireless IoT / M2M

In which frequency bands will LTE-M and NB-IoT operate in DACH?

Q: I have a question before I start my development. I seem to remember that you mentioned in an email that we need more bands for LTE-M. Are frequency band 8 and 20 not enough?

The answer about frequency bands for LTE-M and NB-IoT in DACH

A: The question about frequency bands for LTE-M / NB-IoT often reaches me. In the webinar, we limit the answer to Germany, Austria and Switzerland plus the rest of EU27 minus 1 plus the USA and Australia. Minus 1 stands for the UK after Brexit. Nothing will change there for the time being and I don’t expect any change in the cellular frequencies. This gives us a good explanation for the antennas and certifications for the German-speaking region, EU26 + the UK and the rest of the world. In Europe, GSM will not be switched off in most countries. Germany was a pioneer in M2M based on GSM. We cannot switch off GSM. 3G (UMTS) is switched off by all network operators in Germany. LTE-M and NB-IoT we get from 3 network operators on band B8 and B20. For the fallback to GSM, band B3 is needed. A multimode module application (NB-IoT, LTE-M, GPRS) in Europe should support band 3, 8 and 20, as of January 2021.

NB-IoT & LTE-M frequency bands

NB-IoT & LTE-M frequency bands

5G Massive IoT in DACH

NB-IoT and LTE-M have been included in 5G Massive IoT. Applications for 5G Massive IoT ( NB-IoT and LTE-M) includes band 1 with network slicing in private networks in Germany. In parallel, private 5G is coming in the band n78 and thus at 3700 MHz. Unfortunately, NB-IoT and LTE-M were forgotten to be specified for n/8. We will get factories with 5G with low latency. For LPWAN in 5G at 3700 MHz = 5G Massive IoT = NB-IoT and LTE-M there are currently no cellular radio modules.

The lowest common denominator in Germany

In Germany, band 8 and 20 is sufficient for NB-IoT plus LTE-M. In Finland and a few other countries, band 3 is used for NB-IoT. However, this is primarily only done by network operators who do not have a licence for SubGHz in Europe. SubGHz means B8 and B20 for the time being. In the new LTE bands in the 700 MHz or even 600 MHz range, no European network operator currently operates LTE-M or NB-IoT. However, this is common practice in the USA and Australia. In the USA, T-Mobile, a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom, operates its network in band 71 with the lowest frequency of 617 MHz. Anyone planning a global deal with Deutsche Telekom or Vodafone should look into their frequency ranges worldwide or contact us for the current status. We will be happy to provide the current list on a cyclical basis.

NB-IoT, LTE-M in use in DACH, USA and AU

Country Operator Barrier Band Remark
GERMANY DT NBIOT 8 National roaming on band 20 with VF
GERMANY VODAFONE NBIOT 20 National roamimg on band 8 with DTAG
USA (T-Mobile) DT NBIOT 2, 4, 12, 71 617 MHz as the lowest frequency
USA AT&T LTE-M 2, 4, 12
USA AT&T NBIOT 2, 4, 12
USA Verizon LTE-M 4, 13
USA Verizon NBIOT 13
AU Telstra LTE-M 3, 28
AU Telstra NBIOT 28

Questions for the NB-IoT LTE-M developer

In which countries should the product be sold? Are private 5G networks to be supported? Are the costs for approval known or should we make a bid? The designated countries and carriers (NB-IoT), LTE-M, GPRS) determine the frequency range of the antenna, the size of the ground plane and the number of measurements required for radio certification.
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