Simulation of NB-IoT coverage in Kirchheim

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        A quick NB-IoT CE Level explnation
        154 dB LB corresponds to Coverage Enhancement Level 1 (CE1). NB-IoT offers a maximum link budget of 164 dB for upload and download. However, the 164 dB figure is not the goal for network development, because at 164 dB the energy consumption of NB-IoT is high. NB-IoT has so-called Coverage Enhancement Levels (CE) 0, 1 and 2. 164 dB is called CE 2. 154 dB corresponds to CE 1 and 148 dB is called CE 0. With CE 1 and therefore 154 dB link budget, the energy consumption with NB-IoT is lower than with other LPWAN technologies. With CE 0 and therefore a link budget of 148 dB or better, NB-IoT reduces the transmission power again, resulting in even lower energy consumption.

        The grey map with the blue triangles shows the cellular base stations in the Kirchheim area. This map is available online from the Federal Network Agency in Germany. In Germany the locations of the cellular base stations are publicly accessible for everybody. The base stations vary in height from about 5 m up to 48 m. In the simulation we simulated a 48 m mast on a hill 322 m in height above Kirchheim. Cellular radio systems generally consist of three sector antennas with an aperture angle of 120°. Three times 120° results in an omnidirectional radiation of 360°. To simplify the simulation, a spherical radiator with 2.15 dBi antenna gain was used. The sensitivity was set to -121 dBm and the transmit power to 2 W (33 dBm). 33 dBm plus -121 dBm results in a link budget of 154 dB. The maximum sensitivity of an NB-IoT module is -129 dBm. -119 dBm and thus 10 dB better corresponds to CE Level 1. -121 dBm is close to -119 dBm and was chosen because -121 dBm was used in the simulations for the private LPWAN in Kirchheim. -121 dBm should simplify the comparison between NB-IoT and LoRaWAN.


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