Nb-IoT Update – PCO Support

Digital Matter

The emergence of any new technology is not without its challenges. We have recently deployed new device firmware and released a provisioning tool + cable, allowing users to more easily connect our latest range of devices to Nb-IoT networks worldwide.

Teething Problems

Device manufacturers, module manufacturers, and networks all need to quickly adapt when deploying new networks. In the case of NB-IoT, not every network has got it right first try.

The 3GPP standard (standard specification for mobile networks globally) specifies that NB-IoT networks support ePCO (extended protocol configuration options).

Many networks globally instead offer PCO. When a device attempts to connect expecting ePCO, it will not be able to get online. The two messages are different, so the device and the network don’t understand each other properly.

The Solution

We have now developed new firmware and our Wired Provisioning Tool can be used to:

  • Set the device to use PCO
  • Retrieve debug logs from the device, to troubleshoot connection issues
  • Set the APN and 4G band masks for optimum performance

What does it mean for NB-IoT?

There are still advantages and disadvantages to Cat-M1 and NB-IoT – it is about choosing the right network for the application. While it still appears globally that Cat-M1 networks are more mature, more and more NB-IoT networks are being deployed globally – and this firmware update is a big step towards ensuring Digital Matter devices will perform reliably worldwide.

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