Narrowband-IoT, also known today as NB-IoT, is a new kind of low power 4G networking that uses a small bandwidth range. It was designed for use with IoT devices that run on batteries and need to remain connected for long periods of time without being charged. NB-IoT transmits at up to 250 Kbits per second and was recently standardized by 3GPP. Field trials for the new technology are expected to commence some time in 2017. Sounds great, right?

Well, it does, until you encounter the bewildering thicket of names vendors and carriers are giving to NB-IoT. Some in the industry favor Cat-M2; others, Cat-NB. Even 3GPP, the standardization organization, saw fit give NB-IoT a secondary label: LTE Cat NB1. This doesn’t bode well for a technology that will come to market in either late 2017 or early 2018. Here’s hoping that industry leaders come up with a single, descriptive name for NB-IoT before customers become hopelessly confused.

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