NB-IoT & location tracking

  • Deutsche Telekom IoT

    Hi IoT friends!

    A frequently asked question is the possibility to provide location services for NB-IoT to avoid the necessity of GPS. (Since GPS is reducing the battery life).

    There are several ways to provide NB-IoT location services. And there are also several use cases which require location services.

    I’d like to learn more about how our users want to apply location services.


    • To track your devices
    • To see if your device is moving
    • To get a notification if your device has moves

    Would you like to share here what you want to use location services for? Please also tell us more about the accuracy and if you need the information real time, a couple of times per day, every 5 minutes etc.


  • Our products are used mostly as remote reading units on gas, water, electricity meters, with stable position, transmitting normally 1 message/day. But some clients are asking to receive alarm message when somebody will try to remove our unit from measuring point = demand to built-in accelerometers or something like that = decrease of battery life. In next 2 years we could speak about 5.000+ new units in service.

  • Deutsche Telekom IoT

    Thanks for sharing your use case! It’s really helpful.
    We will gather some more feedback this month and then we will announce some next steps at the end of september!

  • @afzal_m We will be deploying our water flow sensing stations at multiple locations. Sometimes they will be moved, so it would be nice to know where they are. Accuracy should be within some 10th of meters, and a daily update would be sufficient.

  • We will use our devices for various stationary applications. However, in most cases we send the devices to customers who then are responsible for deployment themselves. We expect cases where customers ask us if we know where the devices are located because of shipping mishaps or gaps in deployment documentation. For these cases, a cell tower ID based location would be the least we should be able to tell the customer. Also, a shipping history based on that precision level will be helpful. The built-in sensors will be able to tell us, when a device has been moved or gone through a change in environmental conditions.

  • Hi All,

    We would like:

    • Accuracy of 3 to 5 meters latitude / longitude
    • Correct altitude measurement(up to 1 meter, for certain use cases even more important than lat and longitude). This is for height measurements in building so that floor levels can be determined accurately
    • We would like secured connections to the service, preferably a VPN
    • A process that clients can be checked if they are to be trusted(we don’t want to deliver this sensitiedata to bad people with sinister plans)
    • Adjustable frequency of positioning, higher frequency means paying more. High frequency is refresh every second(for emergencies for instance)
    • Possibility to cross reference/compare the data with GPS data out of the field
    • A way to determine which radio’s on which cell towers are used, this will be important if the target is moving.
    • A service which checks the availability of the positioning service and availability of data


    • Is the data available on all networks(2G, 3G, 4G - NB-IoT/LTE-M enabled devices). My / Our assumption is that it is, as long as three cell towers/radio’s can be connected to.
    • Are changes necessary in the firmware of cellular modules to use the service?
    • Is the data available as a service, so do we receive aggregated data. Or do we receive lang, long and altitude plus data where the data is retrieved from(cell towers and radio’s plus the signal strength data which comes with it?
    • Is the service strictly available on the network of T-Mobile? Or is the data still available when roaming takes place to other networks?
    • How reliable is the service, especially on moving targets, when roaming is necessary?
    • How accurate is the service? Or how accurate can you get?
    • To which height is the service still available(we have gone up to 2,5 kilometers on NB-IoT). Ewout Karel has done about 300 - 500 meters on a relatively fast moving target