Mission-critical Applications Go Into Cellular IoT Networks

The Internet of Things market today relies on Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) technologies, which transmit in unlicensed frequency bands. As a result, they don’t scale well, and cannot provide Quality of Service (QoS) guarantees, due to potential interference from other nearby networks. The recently released NarrowBand IoT (NB-IoT) standard is the first LPWAN technology to use licensed frequency bands. This avoids interference, resulting in more predictable behavior. The MAGICIaN project aims to exploit this predictability, employing NB-IoT to provide QoS guarantees to mission-critical IoT applications like healthcare and emergency response.

Advantages of a standardized, licensed spectrum

LPWAN technologies sacrifice data rate for a long range and low power transmission, making them cheap to produce and easy to bring to market. Their downside is that they inherently have scalability and capacity issues. As a result, they are not suited for mission-critical applications. However, NB-IoT uses licensed spectrum to overcome these problems, opening the door to mission-critical IoT – which hinges on low latency and extremely reliable data exchange.

IoT networks that perform in all conditions

The MAGICIaN consortium unites network operator Orange with Televic Healthcare, REstore and Citymesh to test the potential of NB-IoT to realize 3 mission-critical IoT applications:

  • a battery-powered health monitoring wearable with localization and bi-directional communication capabilities;
  • a solution for smart boilers that offers low latency and localized control of the many elements that drive them;
  • a monitoring solution for rescue workers that guarantees reliable data delivery and deep indoor coverage.

Bringing IoT to mission-critical applications

MAGICIaN partner Orange will utilize the knowledge gained through the project to support claims about their NB-IoT network performance to convince and attract customers. The project will allow Televic, Citymesh and Restore to create unique solutions to mission-critical IoT challenges, expanding their market segments and portfolios.


“MAGICIaN will explore the potential of NarrowBand IoT, which offers the benefits of scalability, reliability and high data rate, to enable mission-critical IoT applications such as health-monitoring wearables and coordinated emergency response.”


Mission-critical Applications Go Into Cellular IoT Networks.


MAGICIaN is an imec.icon research project funded by Innoviris, Agentschap Innoveren & Ondernemen and imec.

It started on 01.10.2017 and is set to run until 30.09.2019.

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Project information


  • Orange Belgium
  • Televic Healthcare
  • Restore
  • Citymesh


  • IDLab – UGent
  • IDLab - UAntwerpen


  • Project Lead: Tom Sorgeloos
  • Research Lead: Jeroen Famaey
  • Innovation Manager: Dirk Hamelinck

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