NarrowBand-IoT the new black of Industrial IoT

The NB-IoT is becoming a standard in wireless communication of IoT devices, for standalone solutions and complex installations with thousands of units, coordinated with gateways. Will NarrowBand-IoT replace other wireless technologies in industrial automation?

What exactly is NarrowBand?

NarrowBand-IoT (NB-IoT) is a radio technology in the field of LPWAN (Low Power Wide Area Network) dedicated for IoT devices, operating on the licensed frequency band used by telecommunications operators.

The biggest advantages of NB-IoT include:

  • long battery life (up to 10 years),
  • efficiency in the amount of data transferred,
  • intra-building penetration,
  • the ability to connect even tens of thousands of devices in one system,
  • a global standard,
  • a high level of security and low cost

You can build mass solutions and those that until now were considered unprofitable. NB-IoT technology works in the licensed band, so there is no risk of interference and blocking communication by competing networks.

The service life of devices powered by two AA batteries is up to 10 years. However, the devices themselves are constructed in such a way that they can work for many years without the need for technical supervision and recharging the battery.

NB-IoT used in industrial solutions

One of many uses of NarrowBand-IoT wireless modems can be communication of edge devices, dedicated to data management, process control (e.g. with MQTT protocol) and monitoring. Latest ESP32-based eModGATE controller from TECHBASE company is a series utilizing MicroPython environment to provide data management solutions for end-points applications. The eModGATE has built-in Wi-Fi/BT modem and can be equipped with additional NarrowBand-IoT modems

eModGATE eqipped with wireless NB-IoT modem are perfect for industrial automation solutions, e.g. data logging, metering, telemetrics, remote monitoring, security and data management through all Industrial IoT applications.

Supported bandwidths:

  • Global-Band LTE CAT-M1:  B1/B2/B3/B4/B5/B8/B12/B13/B18/B19/B20/B26/B28/B39;
  • Global-Band LTE CAT NB-IoT1:  B1/B2/B3/B5/B8/B12/B13/B17/B18/B19/B20/B26/B28;
  • GPRS/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900Mhz Control Via AT Commands

Supported data transfer:

  • LTE CAT-M1(eMTC) – Uplink up to 375kbps, Downlink up to 300kbps
  • NB-IoT – Uplink up to 66kbps, Downlink up to 34kbps
  • EDGE Class – Uplink up to 236.8Kbps, Downlink up to 236.8Kbps
  • GPRS – Uplink up to 85.6Kbps, Downlink up to 85.6Kbps

Arduino ESP32 Serial Port to TCP Converter via WiFi

TECHBASE posted new class, in which you will create serial port to TCP converter using Arduino code running on ESP32 processor. We will use one of device which uses such processor: Moduino X ESP32. For TCP communication WiFi module will be used.

You will need:

  • Moduino X2 (may be also X1) ESP32 device (check this website to find out more)
  • PC with Linux operating system
  • socat application
  • RS-232/RS-485 port in your computer or USB to RS-232/RS-485 converter (for programmming and testing)

Introduction

In example, data sent to serial port (which is used as terminal port in regular Micropython ESP32 device) will be send via WiFi using TCP protocol. It also decodes incomming TCP packets and writes them to serial port. Then virtual serial port can be opened for that TCP packets and perform serial communication. We will use socat application for that.

You can read the complete tutorial at Hackster.io:

SIMCom SIM7000G

TECHBASE’s Industrial IoT devices, ModBerry & Moduino series supports latest SIMCom global-band SIM7000G eMTC & NB-IoT Module. Now the latest SIM7000G as well as 7000E / 7000A versions of modem are available at IIoT-Shop.

SIMCom SIM7000G

Our ModBerry / Moduino devices equipped with latest SIM7000G modem are perfect for industrial automation solutions, e.g. data logging, metering, telemetrics, remote monitoring, security and data management through all Industrial IoT applications.

Supported bandwidths:

    • Global-Band LTE CAT-M1:  B1/B2/B3/B4/B5/B8/B12/B13/B18/B19/B20/B26/B28/B39;
    • Global-Band LTE CAT NB-IoT1:  B1/B2/B3/B5/B8/B12/B13/B17/B18/B19/B20/B26/B28;
    • GPRS/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900Mhz Control Via AT Commands

Supported data transfer:

    • LTE CAT-M1(eMTC) – Uplink up to 375kbps, Downlink up to 300kbps
    • NB-IoT – Uplink up to 66kbps, Downlink up to 34kbps
    • EDGE Class – Uplink up to 236.8Kbps, Downlink up to 236.8Kbps
    • GPRS – Uplink up to 85.6Kbps, Downlink up to 85.6Kbps

You can browse wireless modem category here: https://iiot-shop.com/product-category/modems/

Various data connection protocols & MQTT data management solutions

To take full advantage of the TECHBASE’s Industrial IoT Ecosystem’s capabilities, you can build your own installation, depending on project requirements, choosing from variety of Gateways (Gateway Layer) to control data collected from an array of Moduino edge devices (Sensor Layer). Moduino can be programmed in one of open software platforms, e.g. MicroPython to gather the data and send it, using MQTT standard protocol, further to Gateway and/or cloud service.

Both Moduino ESP32 and Pycom-based Moduino supports open & free libraries, shared by Pycom, tested and approved by constantly growing ESP32/Arduino community. TECHBASE company has plans to provide an open-source platform for managing services & remote configuration and control of endpoint Moduino devices using MicroPython.

MQTT Data Management

Wide range of protocol support

All TECHBASE’s solution can be empowered with iMod software incl. protocol support for industrial interfaces, e.g. M-Bus, Modbus, SNMP, MQTT. iMod software works seamlessly with Node-RED using MQTT protocol, allowing use of bacnet and direct control over devices I/Os with Google’s platform-neutral protobuf – extensible mechanism for serializing structured data and zeroMQ controls to connect the code in any modern language, on any platform. The protocol drivers library can be expanded with CODESYS development system to support PROFIBUS, CANopen, EtherCAT, PROFINET and EtherNet/IP.