LTE vs NB-LTE | Difference between LTE and NB-LTE or NB-IoT

This page compares LTE vs NB-LTE and describes difference between LTE and NB-LTE (i.e. NB-IoT) technologies.

Specifications LTE NB-LTE or LTE-NB or NB-IoT
Specification 3GPP Release 8/9 (Basic LTE),
3GPP Release 10 (Advanced LTE)
3GPP Release 13 .. (Cat-NB1)
3GPP Release 14 .. (Cat-NB2)
Abbreviation Long Term Evolution, General term for all 4G LTE Narrow Band LTE
Device cost Costlier Cheaper, 5 to 10 $ per module, 10% less compare to LTE-M
Bandwidth Supports various ranges of BW ( i.e. 1.4MHz, 3.0MHz, 5MHz, 10MHz, 15MHz, 20MHz) Narrower BW (180 KHz)
Latency Higher than LTE-M , about 1.5 to 10 sec Lower, about 50 to 100ms
Battery Life Short Long, +10 Years, depends on use case
Maximum Data rate 300 Mbps Downlink(DL) with 4x4 MIMO and 20 MHz configurations , 75 Mbps Uplink (UL) < 100 Kbps (i.e. 30Kbps or 60Kbps)
Service costs or deployment costs Higher Lower
Coverage About 2 to 10 miles 7 times of LTE
Voice support Yes No (only data is supported)
Mobility support Yes Limited
Frequency Bands Bands include 1 to 12, 13 to 25, 33 to 43. Refer LTE Frequency Bands >>. LTE in-band, LTE guard band and GSM repurposing
Module size Not suitable as wearables Suitable as wearables
Duplex support Both half duplex and full duplex Half duplex

NB-IoT Related Stuff


This tutorial section on LTE basics covers following sub topics:
LTE tutorial  LTE features  LTE terminologies  Frame  TDD FDD  Channel types  PHY  stack  throughput  CA   cell search  network entry  Timers  PSS vs SSS  Security   LTE Bands  EARFCN  Hotspot  router  What is VoLTE  VoLTE originating call flow  VoLTE UE attach and registration procedure 

Difference between LTE Advanced vs LTE Advanced Pro vs 5G Links

Article on LTE Advanced>>   LTE-a vs LTE-a Pro>>   5G vs LTE Advanced Pro>>  

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