University of Oulu

Coverage measurements of NB-IoT technology

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Author: Sanaullah, Md1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, Department of Communications Engineering, Communications Engineering
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 3.8 MB)
Pages: 59
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Oulu : M. Sanaullah, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-02-10
Thesis type: Master's thesis (tech)
Tutor: Mikhaylov, Konstantin
Reviewer: Posti, Harri
Mikhaylov, Konstantin


The narrowband internet of things (NB-IoT) is a cellular radio access technology that provides seamless connectivity to wireless IoT devices with low latency, low power consumption, and long-range coverage. For long-range coverage, NB-IoT offers a coverage enhancement (CE) mechanism that is achieved by repeating the transmission of signals. Good network coverage is essential to reduce the battery usage and power consumption of IoT devices, while poor network coverage increases the number of repetitions in transmission, which causes high power consumption of IoT devices. The primary objective of this work is to determine the network coverage of NB-IoT technology under the University of Oulu’s 5G test network (5GTN) base station. In this thesis work, measurement results on key performance indicators such as reference signal received power (RSRP), reference signal received quality (RSRQ), received signal strength indicator (RSSI), and signal to noise plus interference (SINR) have been reported. The goal of the measurement is to find out the NB-IoT signal strength at different locations, which are served by the 5GTN cells configured with different parameters, e.g., Tx power levels, antenna tilt angles.

The signal strength of NB-IoT technology has been measured at different places under the 5GTN base station in Oulu, Finland. Drive tests have been conducted to measure the signal strength of NB-IoT technology by using the Quectel BG96 module, Qualcomm kDC-5737 dongle and Keysight Nemo Outdoor software. The results have shown the values of RSRP, RSRQ, RSSI, and SINR at different locations within several kilometres of the 5GTN base stations. These values indicate the performance of the network and are used to assess the performance of network services to the end-users.

In this work, the overall performance of the network has been checked to verify if network performance meets good signal levels and good network coverage. Relevant details of the NB-IoT technology, the theory behind the signal coverage and comparisons with the measurement results have also been discussed to check the relevance of the measurement results.

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Copyright information: © Md Sanaullah, 2022. Except otherwise noted, the reuse of this document is authorised under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC-BY 4.0) licence ( This means that reuse is allowed provided appropriate credit is given and any changes are indicated. For any use or reproduction of elements that are not owned by the author(s), permission may need to be directly from the respective right holders.