Verizon’s, www.verizon.com, vow to launch LTE Cat M1 for the IoT (Internet of Things) before the end of this year is a big step closer to reality after the completion in late October of what is believed to be the world’s first live, OTA (over-the-air) LTE Cat M1 data call, conducted on Verizon’s pre-commercial LTE Cat M1 network in south Florida. The call showed a prototype device, using Sequans’ Monarch LTE Cat M1 chip, communicating live OTA to an LTE base station on Verizon’s pre-commercial LTE Cat M1 network.

“This is a big accomplishment,” remarks Craig Miller, Sequans vice president of marketing. “We are working side-by-side with Verizon to support its aggressive, end of year, commercial LTE Cat M1 network launch goal and we are excited that we’ve reached this major milestone.”

When speaking of the importance of LTE Cat M1 to the IoT market, Verizon said in a statement, “Up until now, the cost to connect devices to a WAN (wide-area network) has been a barrier to widespread IoT. By evolving our device ecosystem to include Cat M1, we’re aligning Verizon’s 4G LTE network to the needs of future IoT deployments. We are also taking direct aim at emerging LPWA (low-power wireless access) solutions that do not offer the same level of scale, coverage, and security as LTE.”

When Verizon announced its Cat M1 network plans in September, it touted Cat M1 as “a game-changer for the industry,” stating that supporting chips from chipmakers will lower the costs of developing and deploying IoT devices on a large scale.

Three IoT companies building LTE for IoT devices seem to agree with this and have subsequently announced new products for Verizon’s network, based on Sequans’ Monarch LTE Cat M1/NB1 platform. NimbeLink, www.nimbelink.com, is building a new Skywire LTE Cat M1 modem; Encore Networks, www.encorenetworks.com, has announced EN M-Class Cat M1 routers; and Link Labs, www.link-labs.com, has introduced its Link Labs LTE M-1 Sensor Suite. LTE for IoT development, based on LTE Cat M1 technology, is truly taking off.

About the author

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Kimberly Tassin, director, marketing communications, Sequans Communications. She can be reached at kimberly@sequans.com