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March Madness – LoRaWAN vs. NB-IoT | KORE

3 minute read

Low-Power Wide-Area Network (LPWAN) technology presents a host of advantages for IoT applications, particularly in deployments that require numerous devices in remote locations. LPWANs transmit small data packets and only require periodic interaction with the network, making them perfect for applications such as smart lighting, asset monitoring and tracking, smart cities, precision agriculture, livestock monitoring, energy management, manufacturing, and industrial IoT deployments – to name a few; however, not all LPWAN technology is created equally.

While Long Range Wide Area Networks (LoRaWAN) and Narrowband Internet of things (NB-IoT) are both LPWANs that offer interchangeable functionalities, specific use cases may favor one over the other. Take a look at the below descriptions, comparisons, and use cases to decide which is right for your IoT deployment… 


Originally created with the 4G LTE standard in mind, NB-IoT operates within an extremely narrow bandwidth of 180 kHz. NB-IoT boasts extensive coverage capabilities and robust signal penetration, rendering it suitable for deployments in diverse environments, including indoor, outdoor, and subterranean settings.

NB-IoT performs exceptionally well in dense, urban environments, demonstrating the ability to penetrate walls and buildings with minimal impact on service quality; therefore, it is preferred for applications like:

  • Smart street lighting
  • Monitoring water and electric systems
  • Smart parking solutions


LoRaWAN harnesses chirp spread spectrum (CSS) technology and leverages unlicensed radio frequency bands to facilitate extensive-range communications. LoRaWAN networks support larger data payloads, and its modulation approach allows for broader bandwidth consumption, enabling concurrent data transmissions from multiple devices.

Leveraging LoRaWAN's extended battery life allows users to deploy outdoor IoT devices with minimal maintenance requirements. While it can function indoors, it's advisable to avoid dense environments for optimal performance. LoRaWAN excels in supporting stationary outdoor devices, suitable for applications such as:

  • Smart agriculture
  • Smart homes and buildings
  • Monitoring warehouse environments

What is the better choice? 

So, which should you choose to optimize your IoT deployment? Well, maybe both. Occasionally, NB-IoT or LoRaWAN will get the job done. These applications include…

  • Utilities and smart metering systems
  • Logistics and asset tracking solutions
  • Connected health wearables and pet tracking devices

No matter what your needs are, KORE has you covered. Reach out to KORE to learn how we can help connect you to the fastest, most reliable technology for today and the future. 

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