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LTE is making a full-court press for the Internet of Things

Stephen Lawson | Sept. 2, 2015
There are multiple special versions of the technology coming for low-speed, low-power devices

After Category 0, the 3GPP is expected to craft yet another system with even lower speed and power needs.

There's a place for low-power networks like these, but their success isn't guaranteed.

There are other low-power, wide area technologies already on the market, like the system that's been deployed in several countries by French network vendor Sigfox. To truly become cheap, a technology has to reach large scale, and neither of LTE's special IoT categories has proved itself as a big hit yet, said analyst Peter Jarich of Current Analysis. They will need to hold their own against the alternatives.

Also, the string of technologies coming from the LTE industry could compete against each other as vendors and carriers wonder whether to adopt one or wait for the next. And looming over those decisions is the prospect of 5G, which is expected in 2020 and will have its own provisions for IoT.

The LTE industry may need a consensus on timing that it hasn't yet reached, Jarich said. "Someone needs to make that gutsy decision."

 

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