Security systems will be among the first Cat M IoT panels arriving.

Dan Jones, Mobile Editor

August 30, 2018

1 Min Read
Look Who's Talking Too! Verizon Gives Voice to 4G IoT

As more voice-controlled Internet of Things (IoT) devices start to arrive in homes and commercial environments, Verizon is enabling voice traffic on its nationwide LTE Cat-M IoT network.

Verizon is initially enabling fixed IoT voice services -- providing voice access to IoT units such as alarm units -- with the carrier adding mobile hand-off capabilities during the coming months. (See Verizon Takes IoT Network Nationwide.)

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), like AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), has started its 4G IoT deployment with Cat-M, with NB-IoT to follow. T-Mobile US Inc. has started with NB-IoT and with deploy Cat-M later. (See US Carriers Place Bets on Cat M & NB-IoT and AT&T Buckles Down to Deploy NB-IoT in 2019.)

Verizon's deployment of voice, however, illustrates one of the major differences between Cat-M and NB-IoT -- it's all down to the data packet sizes supported by the LTE variants.

"NB-IoT is designed for such small packets it does not support voice," a Verizon spokesperson told Light Reading. "That's why having voice on Cat-M is such a great addition, so that smaller IoT solutions have an option for voice now."

NB-IoT delivers 20 Kbit/s over 180KHz LTE, in the guard channels used to divide traditional 4G consumer services, while Cat-M supports up to 1 Mbit/s over 1MHz channels. Both Cat-M and NB-IoT use much less battery power than standard 4G LTE.

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Dan Jones

Mobile Editor

Dan is to hats what Will.I.Am is to ridiculous eyewear. Fedora, trilby, tam-o-shanter -- all have graced the Jones pate during his career as the go-to purveyor of mobile essentials.

But hey, Dan is so much more than 4G maps and state-of-the-art headgear. Before joining the Light Reading team in 2002 he was an award-winning cult hit on Broadway (with four 'Toni' awards, two 'Emma' gongs and a 'Brian' to his name) with his one-man show, "Dan Sings the Show Tunes."

His perfectly crafted blogs, falling under the "Jonestown" banner, have been compared to the works of Chekhov. But only by Dan.

He lives in Brooklyn with cats.

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