Light Reading

LTE & M2M: The Odd Couple?

Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes
Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes
Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes
3/22/2013
50%
50%

Is it too soon to begin thinking about using Long Term Evolution (LTE) for machine-to-machine (M2M) applications? After all, most operators have barely begun building their LTE networks, and the technology is still new enough that it carries a hefty price premium over incumbents such as GPRS and CDMA 1X. And that's not even getting into the LTE's speeds, which are far more than most M2M applications need – now or ever.

So some people might be surprised to hear that a few M2M users are already requesting LTE. "I had one today where the customer wanted to run 19.2 [kbit/s] across it, but he was demanding 4G," says an executive at a router vendor that targets applications such as smart grids, ATMs, telemedicine and transportation.

The vendor says these requests are due partly to operators charging the same rates for 2G, 2.5G, 3G and 4G plans: "Why would you want a four cylinder if you can have a V8 for the same price?"

Often the motivation is "future proofing," both from a technological and market opportunity perspective. That's one key finding in the new Heavy Reading 4G/LTE Insider, "LTE for M2M: The Long-Term Opportunity Begins Now."

Residential security is one example. Those systems often remain deployed for a decade or longer, so continuing to use GPRS in new installations runs the risk of having to replace panel modules in four years. At the same time, LTE's speeds enable the possibility of upselling customers on high-bandwidth services that have yet to be developed.

Of course, operators won't shut off their legacy networks simultaneously. So, in theory, M2M users could switch from one legacy network to another operator's legacy network to postpone the cost of upgrading to 3G or 4G. T-Mobile, for example, wants to capitalize on AT&T's GPRS sunset in 2017.

"There's a strong future for 2G with us," says Rusty Lhamon, T-Mobile USA director of M2M. "In M2M, we see this something that's expanding as we look at some of our competitors sunsetting their 2G networks, and they're looking for a soft spot to land."

To make LTE attractive to more M2M users, some mobile operators and vendors are exploring the possibility of stripping down modules to support only one or two LTE bands. Another proposal would produce LTE modules that have lower throughput capabilities and thus lower cost – a plus in a market that's notoriously price-sensitive.

Many operators and vendors also hope that a diversity of both patent holders and chipset makers will help drive down LTE module costs. "The number of LTE chipset providers is much greater than 3G or even GPRS chipset providers," says one major module vendor. "It's more than Broadcom, Qualcomm and Intel."

The bottom line: Don't be surprised to find LTE coming soon to a device near you – and not just in the form of a tablet or smartphone. — Tim Kridel, Contributing Analyst, 4G/LTE Insider


This report,"LTE for M2M: The Long-Term Opportunity Begins Now," is available as part of an annual subscription (6 issues per year) to Heavy Reading 4G/LTE Insider, priced at $1,595. Individual reports are available for $900. To subscribe, please visit: www.heavyreading.com/4glte.

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
More Blogs from Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes
Alcatel-Lucent is close to taking carrier Ethernet switch/router market-share leadership away from Cisco.
Communications network operators need to formulate an IoT strategy and decide if Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) technology has a place in those plans.
The industry faces a learning curve over the next five years. And as NFV and SDN take root in telecom networks, technology suppliers that establish strong partnerships and ecosystems will be in the best position to emerge as NFV/SDN market leaders.
LTE-based public-safety networks are more likely to come about piecemeal.
While the big vendors most closely follow the ETSI's standards for network functions virtualization (NFV), they may not be the big winners in the market.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
The Swedish vendor has undergone a significant transformation during the past few years, adjusting to the demands of next-generation communications companies.
LRTV Documentaries
LTE Paves the Way for the 5G Revolution

4|20|15   |   4:20   |   (0) comments


Håkan Andersson, head of 5G product strategy of the Radio Business Unit at Ericsson, discusses the role of LTE, the US and other industry verticals in building a true 5G ecosystem.
LRTV Documentaries
The 3GPP's Road to 5G Standardization

4|17|15   |   4:43   |   (0) comments


Satoshi Nagata, chairman of the 3GPP's TSG-RAN group and a manager at NTT Docomo, explains the standardization process for 5G, as well as the biggest challenges and opportunities.
LRTV Documentaries
AlcaLu CTO Makes the Case for a New 5G Air Interface

4|16|15   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Michael Peeters, CTO of wireless at Alcatel-Lucent, explains why 5G will require a new air interface to meet its diverse performance targets.
LRTV Documentaries
AlcaLu + Nokia: The New Uber-Vendor

4|15|15   |   2:42   |   (4) comments


Heavy Reading Senior Analyst Gabriel Brown discusses the technological and competitive opportunities and challenges if a merger between Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia comes to pass.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Data Center Power Play

4|15|15   |   6:22   |   (0) comments


Huawei has developed industry-leading energy efficiency capabilities for its indoor and outdoor data center solutions, explains Dr. Fang Liangzhou, vice president of Huawei's Network Energy product Line.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s Routers, Switches Get the Green Mark

4|15|15   |   2:02   |   (0) comments


TUV Rheinland's Frank Dudley explains how Huawei's routers and switches have been successfully tested by energy efficiency experts and have gained Green Mark Certification.
LRTV Documentaries
A Finn, a Frenchman & a Guy From New Jersey Walk Into a Merger...

4|15|15   |   3:17   |   (0) comments


Stop us if you've heard this one before... Light Reading CEO Founder & CEO Steve Saunders weighs in on the technical and cultural implications of a Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent merger.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Accounting for Better Solutions

4|10|15   |   02:31   |   (1) comment


Murad Yousuf, CTO at Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Finance (Dept. of Zakat & Income Tax), talks about the benefits of deploying router technology from Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
What's in Store for Huawei & DataCore?

4|10|15   |   05:44   |   (0) comments


At the CeBIT trade show in Hannover, Germany, George Teixeira, CEO of software-defined storage (SDS) specialist DataCore Software, explains why he has just signed a partnership agreement with Huawei Technologies.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Du Puts Its Faith in Huawei's Routers

4|9|15   |   3:42   |   (0) comments


Adnan Masood, director of Enterprise MS Solutions Marketing at du, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) operator also known as Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company, explains why his company chose to use Huawei's multifunctional AR routers as part of its managed enterprise services.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Gets Active in the Data Center

4|9|15   |   3:17   |   (0) comments


With enterprise users looking to maximize the use of their data center assets, Huawei’s Chief Architect & Technical Director of IT Data Center Solutions, Bruce Su, explains how the company's six-layer active-active data center solution is eradicating the need to deploy passive, redundant data center assets.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Blue Consult & Huawei for a Better Solution

4|8|15   |   4:01   |   (0) comments


Martin Rott, CEO, and Marc Metzler, head of sales virtualization, from Germany's Blue Consult discuss their collaboration with Huawei and TrendMicro to develop a secure, scalable IT platform that can meet the needs of the most demanding enterprise users.
Upcoming Live Events
May 5, 2015, Hyatt McCormick Place, Chicago, IL
May 6, 2015, Georgia World Congress, Atlanta, GA
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
November 11-12, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Network Instruments, a JDSU division, shares results from its 2015 State of the Network, a global survey on security.
Hot Topics
Verizon Scores New OTT Content Deals
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 4/16/2015
What if the Comcast Merger Fails?
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 4/20/2015
Nokia & Alcatel-Lucent: What's Going On?
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 4/15/2015
Nokia + AlcaLu: What the Analysts Say
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 4/14/2015
Huawei P8 Launch: Cue Applause!
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 4/16/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Data Center Interconnect, or DCI, is one of the hottest sectors in telecom currently. Since coming back to Light Reading last year, prodigal-son style, I've ...
LR CEO and Founder Steve Saunders sits down with the head of Qosmos to talk about the changing state of the art in deep packet inspection technology, including its role in SDN and NFV architectures.