Since that we’ve seen a bunch of operators move to help standardise alternative narrowband IoT forms, such as LoRA of Sigfox. BUT, now Dutch incumbent KPN claims to have made the first European trial of LTE-M, in partnership with Qualcomm and Ericsson.
The trial focussed on utilising cellular connectivity for low data rate IoT applications. According to Qualcomm’s chest puffing, it’s LTE IoT modem delivers applications more efficiently by using narrowband tech to provide a wide range of new business opportunities within IoT, like smart energy, building security, infrastructure, retail, healthcare, and loads of other ones.
LTE-M is a little bit less narrow than proper narrowband tech, like LoRA. Whereas LoRA focuses on data transmission rates of up to 50 Kbps, LTE-M is tailored for slightly higher data speeds, up to 1 Mbps, but a shorter battery life is the trade-off. Therefore, you’d say LTE-M sits somewhere in between LoRA and standard LTE being used to M2M.
“Qualcomm Technologies is pleased to have been involved in this project with KPN and Ericsson,” said Roberto Di Pietro, VP of Business Development at Qualcomm. “This is a significant milestone in the development of machine type communication. The MDM 9206 modem is part of a family of products that have been designed to support a new generation of LTE commercial device capabilities with low-cost, low-power, low-bandwidth and greater coverage for the next-generation of IoT products’ and services, while also enhancing battery life as compared to previous LTE generations.”
It’s good to see Europe catching up with its American cousins as AT&T announced earlier this year that it is sitting firmly in the LTE-M camp.