Not necessarily a bad idea
The higher the data rate (within reason), the less time the Thing's transmitter needs to spend on air, so reducing power consumption and freeing the channel for other Things.
Mobile operators are quite comfortable with NarrowBand Internet of Things and hope it will funnel more and more IoT customers into their arms – but not all of them understand the market, it seems. Speaking at last week's Huawei Mobile Broadband Forum, the GSMA's Graham Trickey, the mobile talking shop's "head of connected …
Broadly speaking, higher bandwidth needs higher power to be seen above the noise floor. In fundamental terms it's a case of swings and roundabouts, i.e. there's no such thing as a free lunch.
You can thank Claude Shannon among others for that.
For IoT (gawd I hate that acronym!), producing RF typically costs orders of magnitude more in terms of power requirements compared to any processing requirements. The main exception I can think of is always-on real time video applications, which will innevitably be power hungry in the processing department, and you're likely to need wide bandwidth anyway to make it a viable product.
Hiroshi Tsuji, of Japanese telco KDDI, got it right by saying that the IoT "doesn"t need high specifications, high speed or high performance", which in relative terms is what the NB-IoT spec achieves for IoT.
The hackers won't like this. The Botnets that use IoT devices need full speed access to make an effect.
The Carriers will love it. They can add a $20/month charge + $5/month (for the bill) for this 'extra' functionality (if you are in the USA and called AT&T or Sprint or Comcast)
This will be on top of the extra $50/month for using 5G. (sorts like EE did when they introduced 4G)
Lovely jubbly if you are a mobile carrier.
Which is of course bullshit.
If the carriers want to have a piece of the cake, they better price their stuff reasonably. 1 dollar per device per month and no bandwith cost for such "low-bandwidth" operations sounds reasonable.
Not in that category? Mesh networks on free frequencies, here we come.
400-600kbps with latest kit, low power, high range. Also has reserved spectrum worldwide so no issues with finding frequencies, and no interference.
400-600 is good enough for fairly decent video for things like door bells and security cameras, which will always be the biggest bandwidth hog.
The "Wide Area" they're talking about when they talk about LPWA (which emcompasses NB-IoT, LoRa, Sigfox, and far too many more...) usually means a hell of a lot farther than the 300-ish meters that ULE can provide. These techs can do low power (but high latency) transmissions over about 10km.
NB-IoT will be on the licensed spectrum, and there's been noises that LoRa will soon be available on licensed bands too,
Door bells and security cameras can be left to Zigbee, 802.11ah, and those. LPWAs cover a wholely different set of use cases.
My connected solar controller does quite nicely on a 9600baud software serial link, admittedly to a local subnet. You can transfer oodles of data to a monitoring daemon on a narrow band stream. The problems are undoubtedly going to be:
a) Carrier grade NAT these monkeys use;
b) Lack of IPv6 support in IoT kit so that's not a solution to a) either;
Not necessarily in that order.