AT&T (US and Mexico), KPN (Netherlands), KDDI (Japan), NTT DOCOMO (Japan), Orange (29 countries in Europe, Middle East and Africa), Telefonica (Europe), Telstra (Australia), TELUS (Canada) and Verizon (US) confirmed support for the global deployment of LTE-M at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
These operators are working to ensure that LTE-M supports roaming and standards-based local service delivery so that both enterprise and customer-oriented IoT objects, such as trackers or wearables, can be designed for worldwide markets.
The supporting operators are engaging in several activities including pilots, IoT Open Labs and launches of starter kits to support and accelerate the ecosystem of modules and objects.
AT&T switched on North America's first LTE-M enabled commercial site in October 2016 and plans nationwide U.S. deployment of its LTE-M network ahead of schedule in the second quarter of 2017 and in Mexico by the end of the year. The roll out will ultimately support a North American footprint covering 400 million people in the U.S. and Mexico. LTE-M will put AT&T on the path toward 5G with enhanced features such as low-power, longer battery life, smaller modules and better coverage underground and deep inside buildings.
KDDI plans to introduce this technology in its fiscal year 2017. KDDI leads the Japanese IoT market, serving nine of the 10 utilities in Japan using its nationwide LTE network with advanced metering infrastructure services. KDDI will evolve its LTE network with this technology. KDDI, aiming to transform into a “Life Design Company” in all business fields, will provide diverse and beneficial products and services boosted by IoT for the different stages of our customers’ lives.
As the first operator in Europe, KPN successfully trialled the new Internet of Things (IoT) technology LTE-M in November 2016 (also known as LTE Cat-M1). The LTE-M technology is complementary to the recently introduced LoRaWAN network of KPN as well as to existing Machine-to-Machine (M2M) use cases on 4G. KPN is planning a nationwide LTE-M roll-out by the end of 2017.
NTT DOCOMO provides innovative, convenient and secure mobile services that enable smarter living for each customer and is a leading developer of a 5G network that it plans to deploy by 2020. DOCOMO has already deployed various IoT services via its cellular network and soon will support eDRX for longer battery life. DOCOMO is committed to further enhancement of IoT services by launching LTE-based IoT technologies such as LTE-M.
Orange has primarily chosen LTE-M to be progressively deployed on its 4G networks in Europe, starting with Belgium and Spain this year before the rest of the Group’s European footprint. Orange is also launching Europe’s first LTE-M IoT Open Lab in France in April. Orange is providing IoT Starter Kits to help IoT developers accelerate their discovery of LTE-M and build a functional prototype faster. The Group has also announced two pilots in 2017 – one will be run in the smart metering domain to connect LTE-M-based electric meters to remotely control power consumption and adapt user subscriptions. A second pilot will test LTE-M-enabled wearable devices that can measure an individual’s movement, heart rate, temperature and other health-related information.
Telefónica is fostering all GSMA LPWA technologies in line with its promise to offer the best IoT connectivity. In the space of LTE-M, On 14th of February 2017, Telefónica completed the first live LTE Cat M1 data call in Europe involving major players of the IOT ecosystem. From 2017 2nd quarter onwards, according also to devices availability, Telefónica in Europe will be ready to support the first customer experiences using the new protocol. Telefónica is running a GSMA LTE-M open Lab in Madrid (https://www.5tonic.org/) and has plans to connect it with its entrepreneurs ecosystem accelerator Telefónica Open Future (https://www.openfuture.org/en) to give access to the LTE-M network technology, devices and support from experts. During MWC Telefónica will showcase in Barcelona the first live LTE-M network demonstrating a variety of use cases (waste management, electricity metering and wearables) which leverage on the advanced capabilities of LTE-M.
Cat M1 can enhance LTE coverage for underground and in-building areas that challenge existing coverage. Combined with Telstra’s existing leading LTE coverage, customers can deploy a range of near real time applications in logistics, utilities, medicine, transport, mining, agriculture, manufacturing and many more. As Cat M1 devices and solutions become commercially available, Telstra is set to support their operation across its expansive 4G network which covers over 98% of the Australian population.X www.telstra.com
TELUS is actively involved in developing 5G wireless technology, and is committed to all the foundational pillars of 5G: Enhanced Mobile Broadband (i.e. HetNet, PicoCell, C-RAN, 30 Gbps wireless speeds), Reliability & Latency, and IoT, including Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) Network Technologies. As a result, TELUS is committed to a standards-based deployment of LPWA LTE-M with pilot customers in the second half of 2017. In 2016, TELUS successfully demonstrated a Smart Parking application as part of its LPWA plan.
Verizon became the first carrier in the world to deploy LTE Cat M1 commercially, launched in December 2016. Verizon will complete nationwide U.S. coverage of LTE Cat M1 by the end of Q1 2017. The carrier works with industry-leading partners, and in 2016, certified the world’s first Cat M1 chipset and module. www.verizon.com
Addressing LPWA connectivity requirements of key verticals
LTE-M is part of Mobile IoT solutions based on 3GPP standard release 13 released in June 2016. It introduces a new Category M1 device optimised for the IoT able to address the LPWA connectivity requirements of key verticals.
Thanks to the easy roll-out capability of LTE-M technology (via software upgrade of existing 4G LTE networks), customers will benefit from a coverage in these respective countries at the time of the launch of LTE-M in respective markets.
LTE-M technology will connect, in a secure and scalable way, a wide variety of IoT devices/ objects such as smart utility meters, asset monitoring trackers, vending machines, alarm systems, fleet of vehicles, heavy equipment, mHealth, oil and gas monitoring and control, agriculture and wearables.
AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)
KPN Telecom NV (NYSE: KPN)
NTT DoCoMo Inc. (NYSE: DCM)
Orange (NYSE: FTE)
Telstra Corp. Ltd. (ASX: TLS; NZK: TLS)
Telus Corp. (NYSE: TU; Toronto: T)
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ)