NB-IoT Overview

NB-IoT is a communications technology (part of the 5G standards) designed and built specifically for Internet of Things devices operating on a narrowband frequency.

airport on phones
Ericsson-Logo (1).png

NB-IoT network operators

NB-IoT advantages for you

NB-IoT networks are designed for IoT applications that are low cost, use low data rates, require long battery lives and often operate in remote and hard to reach locations. Existing cellular networks have evolved to deliver service to billions of new devices providing complete IoT connectivity.

NB-IoT is also inherently more secure than alternative solutions. This is because Mobile IoT networks use dedicated spectrum bands to avoid interference and because SIMs contain highly secure integrated circuits, but also because mobile operators are supplementing these inherent capabilities with additional security features.

A network built specifically for IoT devices


Fully managed and standardized

NB-IoT is part of mobile networks with fully managed, standardized systems guaranteeing the integrity of all data running through it


Massive scale

Billions of IoT devices from smart lights, to smart meters and smart locks can connect to the internet on global NB-IoT networks


Advanced security and encryption

NB IoT has passed security protocols by 3GPP/GMSA the organisations responsible for managing mobile networks globally.


No onsite equipment required

NB-IoT devices can be standalone and do not require any supporting equipment or infrastructure. 


Great power efficiency

Devices can run on batteries for up to 5 years as they can remain in a deep sleep mode and woken up when required


Strong coverage

Signals extend 20% beyond normal mobile phone coverage, and it also extends underground and deep within buildings

141 Telco's    

have deployed NB-IoT networks

70 countries

have nationwide NB-IoT coverage

100 M

deployed NB-IoT devices in the field

20% beyond

normal mobile network coverage


NB-IoT partners around the world

Today, about 6.5 billion ‘things’ are connected to the internet. Yet, we are still only connecting less than 1% of what could be potentially connected to the internet.


This is because these items are either too remote, too inaccessible, or there are simply too many to make it economically viable to do so. NB-IoT network operators are changing all that.

How NB-IoT smart access works

NarrowBand-Internet of Things (NB-IoT) is a standards-based low power wide area (LPWA) technology developed to enable a wide range of new IoT devices and services. NB-IoT significantly improves the power consumption of user devices, system capacity and spectrum efficiency, especially in deep coverage. Battery life of more than 5 years can be supported for use in access control. Read below how we use NB-IoT in our smart access control system.

User generates a timed digital keys

A user generates a request for a digital key for a specific lock in a booking calendar inside our cloud-based access management software (or digital keys app) for any future date and time. 

Digital key request arrives at our platform

The Digital Key request arrives at our NB-IoT platform which is hosted in a public cloud at Amazon Web Services (AWS) or your local Mobile Network Operator (MNO). The platform assigns a unique ID for this digital key request and stores in the cloud access management software database. The platform also send the digital key app on the users phone where it appears as an unlock icon button. 

User hits unlock button in app

When the time comes to use the digital key during the period is was created for, the user hits app unlock button in the digital keys app, which sends unlock command into our NB-IoT platform to check validity/time and if the user if authorised/validated the command  routes from our NB-IoT platform into the global NB-IoT network which exists on local mobile networks.


2048 bit

RSA encryption

Developer API- to 3rd party apps/software/platform

Smartlocks include iSIM's + 30MB pre-paid data* & IoT Modules (NB-IoT, LTE-M, LTE, 2G/3G)**

Hosted in public or private  cloud environment for backend, apps/software + routes to Global IoT Network

Digital Keys

NB-IoT Cloud Platform

Global IoT network/platform 

Exists on existing mobile networks - available on 160 Nationwide Mobile Networks in over 60 countries^

NB-IoT smartlocks

Digital Keys app

and Access Management Software

Local unlocking with NFC^^

2 Factor Authentication

256 Bit SSL 


Download apps for free from online stores to control access and unlocking for time-sensitive use 



3GPP Security




Mobile Network




You any also be interested in

Mobile IoT Commercial Launches by GSMA

Link to GSMA website for most up to date info

Unlocking event data extracted

The unlock command arrives at the lock SIM, the lock wakes up, and activates the motor to unlock. The lock sends a message back to NB-IoT platform database and management software about this unlocking event and forwards notification to account owner's mobile phone.

To sum up

  • A user generates digital keys in software/apps which is sent to our platform and stored there

  • The platform encrypts users details and sends the digital key as an unlock icon to digital keys app

  • User hits unlock button in app when time comes that digital keys is valid for and an unlock command is sent over the NB-IoT network to the smartlock

  • Smartlock wakes up and checks date and time and if digital key is valid, and if it is, it unlocks.


Learn more about NB-IoT with GSMA whitepaper

Download the comprehensive report from GSMA to get key learnings about NB-IoT technology. The mobile industry is now establishing NB-IoT as a global coverage solution that enables customers, such as application service providers, to deploy and operate their services worldwide. 


The recommendations provided in this document are based on the input and deployment plans shared by operator members of NB-IoT Forum, which have launched NB-IoT networks in over 40 countries in Europe, Middle East and Africa, South America and APAC, including Japan, China and South Korea