One of the many whiz-bang features promised in 5G is a new way of connecting millions of small, low-powered IoT devices. But there’s no need to wait: Two forms of LTE tuned for IoT have entered a market that’s already heating up with rapidly expanding specialist networks.
The new standards, LTE-M and NB-IoT, were completed last year and will share the spotlight at Mobile World Congress next week with an array of network technologies envisioned for the next generation of cellular, due for commercial launches in 2020.
As major carriers now upgrade LTE to serve IoT applications, more companies are likely to find available LPWANs (low-power, wide-area networks) in the areas where they want to deploy IoT. The new technologies add to a list of options some enterprises can already buy. They’re here just in time for enterprises to start comparing networks.