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Twilio Narrowband: The First Developer Platform for NB-IoT


Mobile networks have historically followed consumer handset demand: priority has been put on high download speeds and low latency above all else. For a small subset of Machine-to-Machine (M2M) use cases, this also made sense. For the majority of today's M2M use cases, 2G, 3G and LTE were 'good enough'. But for an even larger set of potential use cases, these technologies were too expensive or power-hungry to justify connectivity at all.

Narrowband, or NB-IoT, was designed for the majority of IoT devices don't need a lot of bandwidth, or are insensitive to latency. NB-IoT is optimized for smaller data packets, such as timestamps, GPS coordinates and status updates for a variety of industries, from smart metering to health device monitoring. With the advent of NB-IoT, devices will consume a fraction of the battery power they do with traditional cellular M2M devices, at a fraction of the cost. With the power and cost efficiencies generated by NB-IoT, the market is ripe to open for new categories of lower cost, battery-efficient, internet-connected devices that don’t exist today.

T-Mobile USA is the first network to deploy NB-IoT in the U.S. Today its network is operational nationwide. In the same way that we brought Programmable Wireless to you two years ago, we bring you Twilio Narrowband. Partnering with the first NB-IoT network in the US and bringing you the best developer platform for NB-IoT.

We're starting a Narrowband Pilot program today exclusively for attendees of SIGNAL.

Twilio’s Narrowband Developer Platform is comprised of three components:

  • Narrowband SIMs: Instant self-service onboarding, no contracts required and two-day shipping in the U.S. (not yet available during the Pilot).
  • Twilio Narrowband IoT Developer Kit: A limited supply developer kit including an Arduino-based development board and Grove sensors were specifically chosen for innovative low-powered wide area solutions. It also features the u-blox LTE Cat NB1 SARA‑N410 hardware module, certified for the T-Mobile Narrowband network. Everyone at SIGNAL gets a free developer kit.
  • Twilio’s Breakout SDK: The Breakout SDK handles tasks such as network registration and intelligently optimizes communication between devices and cloud services based on the network capability requirements. It's designed to support IP, Non-IP and SMS transports.

Stay updated on Twilio Narrowband here. If you need more information on how to choose the right network for your IoT use case, we wrote an eBook to help.

Finally, If you are considering Cat-M1 vs NB-IoT, use this fun and informative video to review the requirements of your IoT device against the differences between Cat-M1 and NB-IoT.


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