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NB-IoT (Narrowband IoT) is a communications technology designed for low power, low data devices to connect to the internet via the same carriers that connect your mobile phone.

The coverage for NB-IoT is approx 30km more from the tower than the 4G network, so if your mobile phone works on the site, you can assume NB-IoT devices will work. Additionally due to the lower signal frequency, penetration through buildings and cement tanks is better than 4G.

Every NB-IoT enabled device requires a sim card which looks the same, but is configured differently, to a standard phone or data sim. The advantage of these low data NB-IoT sims is they cost around $100 per year, instead of $30+ per month for the other phone or data sims.

NB-IoT is not as cheap as LoraWAN (which doesn't require a sim in every device), but then NB-IoT doesn't require the potential purchase and installation of a gateway. If you are going to put a few devices in an area not covered by a LoRaWAN gateway, and can get mobile phone coverage at the site, its probably a good idea to go with NB-IoT.

Whatever technology you choose, the data your device sends and the data that you receive is the same. It doesn't matter how it gets there, just that it gets there. So choose the one that can do the job at the lowest cost.

Click on the map below for detail on Telstra coverage:

telstra NB iot coverage map