LTE-M future for lower power and better coverage in the Internet of Things
4G LTE is fast becoming the technology of choice for M2M deployments. In North America alone, mobile network operators are phasing out 2G and 3G CDMA networks as early as 2017 and transitioning into 4G LTE networks. As 4G LTE networks grow in the Internet of Things, more and more OEMs will be looking for a secure, energy-efficient, and cost-effective option that ensures device operability on LTE networks. Could LTE-M (LTE for Machines) be the answer?
Sierra Wireless is reportedly investing hard to increase the role of cellular-based solutions in IoT. The potential for Wireless Wide Area Networks, according to Machina Research, is 17.5 billion connections, whereas the potential for Personal Area Networks is only 2.5 billion connections by 2022.
Technologies that leverage existing networks therefore make the most sense. According to the company, 4G/LTE is becoming the technology of choice for M2M deployments. There are global standards with CDMA and GSM converging in LTE, 2G and 3G networks are being ‘re-farmed’ to enable long-term LTE deployments, and there is the emergence of public/private LTE networks for critical applications in areas such as public safety.
In addition 4G/LTE offers high bandwidth, low cost per megabyte encouraging new enterprise applications. Low latency and high quality of service also meet the demands of critical applications. Finally, research and development in LTE-M (LTE for M2M) is leading to greater cellular involvement in the Internet of Things. 4G in M2M is already happening in automotive, smart homes, digital advertising and connected health.
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