The terms “narrowband” and “wideband” refer to the actual radio channel bandwidth. A common definition (ETSI) of narrowband is when 25 kHz or less is used for the radio channel. The benefit of using a narrow channel is the lower noise bandwidth and hence better sensitivity and range. The advantage of wideband is the capability to transfer higher data rates. Because of the high radio performance associated with narrowband, the term is being misused as seen from an industrial radio point of view. Unfortunately LTE NB-IoT use the “narrowband” term even for a 180 kHz bandwidth, which in terms of industrial radio is understood as wideband. Even LoRa is not a narrowband technology as it is based on a frequency chip spanning over more than 100 kHz. When discussing LPWAN it is only Sigfox that use true narrowband technology.
Last Update: August 8, 2017