Announcing General Availability of Twilio Narrowband

November 11, 2019
Written by
Twilion

General Availability Twilio Narrowband

We are excited to announce: Twilio Narrowband is now Generally Available (GA). 

Twilio Narrowband is the first developer platform in the United States that provides access to the T-Mobile Narrowband (or NB-IoT) network. T-Mobile USA is the first network to deploy NB-IoT in the U.S. and today its network is operational nationwide. The Twilio Narrowband platform includes narrowband SIMs, a developer kit, and a breakout SDK, all designed to work with the T-Mobile NB-IoT network.  

What is Narrowband IoT (or NB-IoT)?

NB-IoT is a Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) network technology that is purpose built for IoT, which means it can handle massive numbers of connected devices and is able to achieve deeper penetration of cellular coverage. It is specifically designed for the majority of IoT devices that don't need a lot of bandwidth, are insensitive to latency and need to conserve battery power for a long period of time.  

The growing NB-IoT opportunity

There is a global phenomenon happening that is changing how we interact with physical objects. And NB-IoT is fueling this transformation.

Since our pilot release in October 2018 at the Twilio SIGNAL conference, developers have used Twilio Narrowband to connect everything from pet trackers to blood pressure monitors to motion sensors. They’ve even connected trash cans in cities to monitor fill level and use the information to optimize trash pick up routes.

Read more about how one of our customers Sensoneo, a smart waste management company, is creating Smart Cities by disrupting waste management.  

Introducing annual rate plans

As we worked with our pilot customers, we learned that production Narrowband deployments need to be metered differently than other M2M deployments. Narrowband devices are designed for longer operation (months and even years) and use data infrequently due to the nature of the use cases. NB-IoT devices typically consume a fraction of the battery power compared to traditional cellular IoT devices. They remain in idle or sleep mode for the majority of their life. NB-IoT devices therefore need a data metering plan that can support these characteristics.

We are excited to rollout a per SIM Data Metering plan that is charged annually and provides a set amount of data that can be consumed during the 12 months from the date of activation. If you exceed the set amount of data during the course of the year, worry not, your SIMs will continue to stay connected and overage charges will be accrued. Check out our updated Narrowband pricing plans.

Support for power optimization

As NB-IoT devices intermittently send data, they can optimize battery power usage by turning off their radio when they can. NB-IoT supports two power optimization modes:

  • PSM (Power Save Mode)
  • eDRX (extended discontinuous reception).

Both these modes are available on the T-Mobile Narrowband network and you can take advantage of these capabilities. Read this article to learn more.

Narrowband production readiness

As a Generally Available product, NB-IoT is covered by Twilio’s standard SLAs, including API availability of 99.95%. Developers will receive full support from our globally distributed customer support team.

Thanks again for your support during the NB-IoT pilot. NB-IoT presents a massive opportunity for developers to connect any physical objects and invent new services and business models. We are excited about the next phase of NB-IoT and most of all, we can’t wait to see what you build.

Additional Narrowband resources

Kedar Toraskar is a Sr. Product Manager on the Twilio IoT team. He can be reached at ktoraskar [at] twilio.com.