5G has launched, while at the same time some of the 2G and 3G networks are being phased out. But while the need for high bandwidth, speed, and reliability is growing, the majority of IoT connections, such as solutions for alarm systems, asset tracking, and smart meters, don’t have requirements for maximum speed and throughput. Instead, they need simplicity and network efficiency. This is where LTE-M comes into play. 

What is LTE-M? 

LTE-M is a low power wide area cellular technology specifically designed for IoT. It prioritizes low power, minimal infrastructure, powerful reach over long distances, and scalability for large or growing deployments, allowing the connection of simple devices that transmit low volumes of data over long periods of time with low power consumption.  LTE-M also supports relatively fast data throughput, mobility, roaming, and voice services.  

Top benefits of LTE-M include: 

  • Long battery life 
  • Better coverage for remote/hard to reach devices
  • Lower power consumption

Why LTE-M? 

From a technical standpoint LTE-M has a number of advantages, and is particularly useful for devices without access to a power supply and thus require a long battery life. With long standby times and at least ten years of battery-powered operation, it is well-suited to remote solutions without easy access to power,  such as underground meters. 

LTE-M also offers significantly better indoor coverage in locations where it is difficult to connect devices using standard GSM technology, which means devices can still upload data in real time. It uses 4G, so when it comes to speed and latency, performance is good, and it also has access to data/voice/SMS communication channels. This is of particular importance when it comes to things like emergency equipment such as elevators and remote assistance devices. Even more importantly, LTE-M will eventually become an integral part of 5G, which guarantees its longevity, so you won’t need to change your device as technology evolves.  

When it comes to costs, LTE-M offers excellent value. Modules are less expensive and with extended stand-alone power, you will see a significant reduction in things like technician call outs, while also limiting the number of devices you need to replace.  

Unlike other technologies LTE-M handles hand-over between cell towers, making it ideal for mobile use cases. For example, if a vehicle crosses different network cells, an LTE-M device behaves just like a mobile phone, never dropping the connection – it doesn’t need to re-establish a new connection. 

Key LTE-M applications:

Smart meters

LTE-M easily enables monitoring utility applications via regular and small data transmissions, while its extended range means better coverage in hard to reach areas

Automotive & transport

Full hand-over between networks makes LTE-M ideal for use cases with medium data rate needs, such as connected cars, asset tracking and fleet management

Smart healthcare

With its extended in-building range, mobility, and voice support, LTE-M is particularly suited for connected health applications, including out-patient monitoring and stay-in-place solutions

Smart cities

LTE-M can facilitate a number of outdoor city needs, such as controlled street lighting, waste management, parking and traffic management, and monitoring of environmental conditions. If we move inside, LTE-M can support building automation, such as controlling access, lighting, and security and alarm systems

If you would like to learn more about what LTE-M can do for your business, please get in touch.

Ever since IoT first hit the scene, everyone has been trying to predict the future: How many billions of devices will we have, when will we all be connected, and what sort of technology will we need? The short answer is that we will eventually have billions and billions of devices connecting pretty much everything, but when it comes to business, many will need technology designed specifically for IoT – in other words, businesses are going to need low power wide area (LPWA) technology. But what are the choices when it comes to LPWA – and what are the differences between them?

Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) technology is not a technology standard, but rather a class of wireless technologies particularly suited to the specific needs of IoT. The majority of IoT devices, such as those in smart city and industrial sectors, don’t require the same bandwidth and speed as consumer cellular devices.  

LPWA Network (LPWAN) technologies offer cost and power-efficient options that leverage existing networks while also having strong built-in security and a global reach, enabling low power consumption and long-range wireless connectivity.  LPWAN technologies also support data transfer of small intermittent data packets ranging from 10 to 1000 bytes. And because they operate with better power and bandwidth efficiency over a larger area, less infrastructure and hardware are required, leading to greater cost efficiency.  

LPWAN technologies also allow IoT devices to reliably operate for up to 10 years on a single battery charge, which is ideal for remote solutions that lack a reliable power source. These include:  

  • Smart city applications 
  • Track & trace
  • Smart agriculture
  • Smart buildings
  • Smart meters 

While both LTE-M and NB-IoT are good connectivity options for industries in need of LPWA technology, and there are many similarities between the two, there are also some key differences.  

LTE-M 

LTE-M (also called eMTC and Cat-M1) leverages existing LTE networks to allow for highly efficient connectivity with extended coverage indoors and underground. It consumes less battery power and allows for cheaper modem costs thanks to design simplification. It supports downlink and uplink speeds of up to 1 Mbps with a latency of 50-100 ms, which makes it very flexible and ideal for real-time communication.  

  • Efficient battery usage
  • Real-time communication
  • High data transfer rates
  • Full mobility: Ideal for both fixed & mobile applications 
  • Supports VoLTE (Voice over Long-term Evolution) 

NB-IoT 

Narrow band IoT features up to 10 years of battery life and the widest possible network coverage and can support a large number of new connections using only a portion of the available spectrum. While it also offers potentially less expensive modules, this comes at a price: latency is 1.5 to 10 seconds – it does not allow real-time or voice communication.  

  • 10+ years battery life
  • High latency
  • Low data transfer rates
  • Ideal for stationary/static devices (no connected mobility)
  • Does not support VoLTE 

Ultimately, the technology you choose will depend on your use case and the challenges you want to address. For asset tracking, data throughput is small, but mobility is needed as objects move. When it comes to smart meters, on the other hand, use-cases typically require data transfer once or twice a day. Understanding the specific requirements and nuances of your use case will help you understand which connectivity option is best for you. 

If you would like to learn more about how which connectivity option is right for your business, please get in touch.

According to the International Water Association, more than 400 billion liters of potable water are lost through leakage each year, largely due to ageing and crumbling infrastructure. Furthermore, while a one-day water mains break will lose roughly 75 thousand liters of water, an unreported service connection break can lose more than 4.5 million liters of water during the six months that, on average, it takes to be discovered. From reservoirs to water mains to indoor plumbing, leaks can spring up anywhere along water’s piped journey, costing time, money, and resources, and it’s never been more critical to conserve water. The UN estimates 2.3 billion people already live in water-stressed countries and globally, water use is growing at more than twice the rate of population increase.  

This is not great news for municipalities and other concerned parties, who are dealing with the double whammy of increasing urban populations and the resulting water stress. So, what can be done to address the challenges around this increasingly scarce resource? This is where IoT can make all the difference.

There are any number of benefits in using IoT to better manage water systems. Here are just six of the top takeaways:

  • Better transparency
  • Fewer incidents
  • Enhanced control
  • Data-based decision making
  • Cost control
  • Improved sustainability

Utility companies are of course already widely using IoT for digital metering solutions, but IoT water leak detection technology can play an invaluable role for facility owners and operators in developing a comprehensive plan for mitigating leakage. Advancements in IoT technologies such as LPWA (low-power, wide area) allow for the efficient management and maintenance of ageing water supply infrastructure through remote monitoring.

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Through the use of IoT, water utilities can plan for and mitigate possible challenges or even prevent them from happening, predicting behaviors in advance or even as they occur, in real time, including pinpointing location.

Advanced IoT sensors allow detailed, accurate, and real-time analysis of water systems, including potable water, wastewater, and waterways. Additionally, IoT technology enables utility companies to monitor various parameters remotely, including:

  • Water quality & pressure
  • Temperature
  • Turbidity & suspended solids
  • Water levels

The reduced visibility of water mains and pipes means monitoring can be challenging. The introduction of small IoT sensors and devices makes leak detection simpler and faster. These sensors and devices, often using LPWA technology, can be used to measure vibrations, pressure, flow rates, and in some cases even sound waves. They monitor water flow patterns and immediately detect when this flow deviates from normal patterns bases on data from the sensors. Early detection of leaks and even the level of damage can be very beneficial in terms of sustainability, time savings, cost estimates, understand the scope of repairs, and thus better use of manpower.

IoT sensors and the data produced can also contribute to decision making by predicting potential leakage. Predictive maintenance allows you to take precautionary measures, as well as direct your resources more precisely, addressing challenges when they are still manageable. In other words, instead of having to deal with a major water main break, which can interrupt service and potentially create gridlock on the roads, you can find and fix a smaller leak with minimal disruption. By deploying IoT technology for predictive purposes, you reduce schedules or time-based checks. Instead, data will tell you where you have a challenge, allowing you to make informed decisions so you can protect your assets by addressing challenges quickly and efficiently and minimizing potential further damage.

Taking a closer look at the cost cutting benefits, while IoT sensors can save time, alleviate stress, and save money by preventing or minimizing challenges, they can also help when estimating damage. Sensors can often detect how much damage has been caused by a water leak and can potentially stop a leak as soon as it starts by sending an alert, which triggers a shutoff valve to close the main supply line. This quick response saves you money in myriad ways and the data will help you understand the scope of the problem and what it’s going to take to fix it.

Ultimately, water is a finite resource and of all the water on earth, only 3% is fresh water. With growing populations combined with water stress, it is critical that the growing gap between supply and demand is addressed. Streamlined water processes and minimizing wastage are key elements to ensuring this. Real time monitoring alerts and maintenance alerts can be key factors in doing this when addressing water leakage. Additionally, an integrated approach can include monitoring reservoir levels and monitoring ground water levels, creating a framework for smart cities, while promoting improved coordination and management of water resources and processes.

If you would like to learn more about how IoT can help you better manage your business and operations, please get in touch.

If Covid-19 has taught us anything, it’s that modern society would have had a much tougher time coping during a global pandemic if it weren’t for technology. In the US alone, individual broadband use has increased 3 gigabytes since the start of the pandemic, and without the internet many of us wouldn’t have been able to buy groceries, work, educate our children, get healthcare, or access entertainment. The health and safety of us all relies on the dependability of the network, and the demand for fast, reliable communication has made it clear that the adoption of 5G and IoT technologies will be critical going forward – but what impact will they have on the environment?

As 5G networks are rolled out, the benefits will be enormous across any number of sectors. An article from Atlantic Magazine – Can 5G save the planet? – describes how international standards for 5G call for reduced energy use, when compared to 4G networks. The goal is to ‘use less power to transmit more data, decreasing the wattage required for each bit of internet traffic’ – something that could be a gamechanger when it comes to environmental impact. That said, there are potentially both positive and negative factors when it comes to 5G and carbon emissions, but because the technology is so complex, there are no simple answers.

There are, of course, any number of steps that that can be taken to offset any negative impact 5G might have on the environment, including decarbonization, biodegradable sensors, more efficient cooling, recycling toxic materials, and network sharing. And there are signs that 5G will support efficiencies across many industries that will lead to the reduction of fossil fuel usage and the resulting carbon emissions. When it comes to IoT technology, we already know it enables things like smart lighting, and has a significant impact on water usage, with sensors monitoring the entire water cycle, from sourcing to treatment to delivery to consumption.

Now, if we marry 5G technology with IoT, there are any number of opportunities to protect the environment, including increased energy efficiency, reduction of greenhouse gases, and the enablement of great use of renewable energy. Furthermore, 5G and IoT will give all infrastructure-related systems, from garbage collection and electrical grids to water and heating systems, an unprecedented level of data access and transparency, which in turn will help reduce air and water pollution, minimize water and food waste, and protect wildlife, while also giving us a greater understanding of weather, agriculture, pests, industry, waste reduction. And all of this will mean overall efficiency and better and faster decision-making.

Reduced energy consumption & emissions

Through the use of 5G-enabled IoT sensors, transportation networks, buildings, factories, streetlights, homes, and a whole lot more will be able to monitor and analyze energy needs and consumption in real time, resulting in optimized energy usage. Devices will be able to power up and shut down automatically, cutting energy usage. Already, smart meters installed in New York City’s Empire State Building have been able to cut energy costs by roughly 38%, while General Electric has been recognized by the Guinness Book of Records for having the world’s most efficient combined-cycle power plant, based on an achieved efficiency rate of more than 62%. And saving energy means you are also cutting greenhouse gas emissions; a study by Ericsson projects that IoT could cut carbon emissions by 2030.

And as we either continue to work remotely or move to a hybrid model, energy is saved, and emissions are reduced due to less commuting and business travel. If travel is necessary, time, fuel, and emissions can be cut by reducing traffic congestion through the use of 5G-enabled sensors and cameras, which monitor in real-time and change traffic lights or perform other actions.

Reduced water & food waste

Water is a limited resource – just 3% of the world’s water is fresh, and only two-thirds of that is accessible, so without improved water management strategies, people around the world could be facing shortages of clean, safe water as early as 2025.

Many of the applications and improvements that 5G will bring will be related to any any device that can be connected to a sensor and thus provide data. 5G technology will mean the ability to connect thousands of devices with robust and reliable connections, and IoT-specific technology such as LTE-M will mean reduced battery consumption. If we look at this from a water conservation perspective, thousands of smart water sensors will be able to detect leaks, water pollution, and contamination, as well as rising water levels in sewage systems and natural bodies of water. This is great news, because in the US alone households waste more than 3 trillion liters of water annually due to leaks alone. Additionally, sensors are already being used to monitor temperatures in lakes, rivers, oceans and other bodies of water, which means quicker action can be taken when rising levels are shown. In other words, when water temperatures rise, marine species and ecosystems can be under threat – and early intervention can make all the difference.

In agriculture, where a variety of factors already negatively impact the industry, the mass deployment of sensors can not only optimize water usage, sensors can also be utilized to monitor and better understand the health of soil, weather patterns, crop conditions, pests, nutrients, and a host of other factors in order to not just improve yield and use of resources, but to also cut back on the use of dangerous chemicals. And with the UN estimating that about one-third of food produced globally going to waste, sensors being used to detect both freshness and spoilage is a big step towards bringing that number down. Sensors can also be used to track the entire food chain, as well as monitor conditions in factories to assess quality and regulatory compliance. All of this reduces food waste, saves on resources, maximizes safety, and allows a faster and more agile response along the entire supply chain.

Network efficiency

The migration from 3G and 4G to 5G will lead to greater efficiency of transmissions. One study, from the University of Zurich and Empa, analyzed the impact of 5G on the emissions of greenhouse gases. They concluded that by 2030, the 5G network should cause around 85% fewer emissions per unit of data transported than today’s mobile networks. Additionally, indirect savings from new uses will come from things like smart grids or targeted use of fertilizers and pesticides in agriculture. And the faster, more reliable, and much larger data transmissions combined with the efficiency of the 5G network will support flexible working and virtual collaboration, thus reducing traffic on our roads and business travel.

There are myriad other ways 5G and IoT will support a more sustainable society, and because 5G is so new, the possibilities are not all known. And while there are concerns about negative impacts, Tele2 has committed to being a leader in sustainability and is the first climate neutral telco in the Nordics and Baltics.

If you would like to learn more about how 5G and IoT can enable your business, please get in touch.

Without connectivity there is no IoT – it is the foundation upon which everything else is built. But connectivity has evolved since the early days of IoT and today there are a wide range of connectivity alternatives, which can make it challenging to understand which one is right for your solution.  

Back in the early days of connecting things, selecting your cellular connectivity technology was pretty simple: you popped a SIM card into your device and used 2G data or SMS. 2G was quite mature and stable and offered a simple way to transport small amounts of data for the high value use cases that were first addressed.  

Today, the number of devices has skyrocketed globally, and the use cases are much more varied, so it makes sense that connectivity would evolve in order to adapt to different needs, including cellular technology. This evolution drives complexity in IoT, both on the device side and the connectivity side, and makes it more challenging for customers to make the right technology choice. Today, it might be 2G and 4G, but tomorrow it will be one of the 5G technologies.  

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When looking at which IoT connectivity technology is right for you and your business, there are a number of factors to consider, including bandwidth capacity, coverage, and power consumption.

You need to ask yourself if you need connectivity right now, or will you need it a year from now and ten years forward. What is your data and latency? How easy will it be to exchange the technology going forward, and what are the basic requirements of your use case?

6 connectivity components

Coverage 

Some IoT solutions need deep indoor coverage, while others regularly move around so that they always will find coverage somewhere. We are used with having cellular networks having 2G and LTE coverage almost anywhere and the technologies LTE-M and NB-IoT allow for even better coverage. If we assume that LTE-M and NB-IoT are activated in the same cells as is currently providing LTE, an extended coverage than what is provided today by the network operators can be expected.

Power consumption

Power consumption may play a critical role in the type of connectivity you choose for your IoT solution. Will your devices have constant availability of a power source or will they run on battery power? Will the batteries be rechargeable, or can they be easily replaced? LTE-M and NB-IoT are conservative on battery power and have battery saving possibilities such as PSM (Power Saving Mode) and eDRX (Extended Discontinuous Reception) that can reduce power consumption by reducing the responsiveness of the device. By securing good coverage where the device is located and limiting the communication, battery power can be saved.

Bandwidth & latency

Does your IoT solution require high data output with low latency, or will you be transmitting small amounts at regular intervals? There is a vast difference between CCTV with its high usage and bandwidth requirements, charging stations that need to be instantly activated, and temperature sensors with regular sensor readings – different factors will affect your choice of technology. LTE and 5G support low latency, high bandwidth, while LTE-M and NB-IoT support low cost and power consumption.

Cost

Total cost of ownership in IoT solutions include multiple cost points, such as subscription and usage fees for connectivity, bill of material for the device, the need to visit the device regularly and, in some cases, even running your own last mile network. The choice of technology affects the cost for your IoT solution. Make sure you are getting the connectivity you need at a total cost that fits your budget.

Most operators today offer a connectivity management platform to manage your cellular connectivity. They should offer smart automation functionality that can help you ensure that your connectivity costs are under control during the lifetime of the device with a limited amount of manual intervention.

Reliability and Security

For almost any IoT solution, reliability and security are crucial. For some, the connectivity is mission critical for providing the service. When selecting connectivity technology, make sure that you select one where there are partners that can provide a reliable and secure network service.

Long-term Support

The business case of most IoT solutions rely on devices that are functional for a long period of time. Depending on the technology and supplier choice, this will affect the long-term support. Cellular operators offer services on licensed frequencies that are backed by GSMA and 3GPP. We see that 2G and 3G networks are being sunsetted, while LTE and 5G will be around for many more years. LTE-M and NB-IoT are forward compatible in 5G and will have long term support in the industry.

As new technologies emerge and others are being sunsetted IoT will continue to evolve.  It is crucial that your connectivity provider is not able to just meet your needs today, but is also preparing to meet them tomorrow.

If you would like to learn more about how Tele2 IoT can meet your connectivity needs, please get in touch..

As LPWA (low-power, wide area) networks come into their own as an IoT technology, it’s important to look at what the different options are and how they can impact your deployment, both now and in the future. There are two main categories of LPWA technologies: those deployed on licensed radio spectrum and those deployed on unlicensed radio spectrum.   

LPWA on the licensed spectrum

MNO’s (Mobile Network Operators) procure licenses to operate within dedicated parts of the radio spectrum. This mean that no one else is allowed to use that part of the spectrum unless the operator allows them to. Since the operator have full control, they can provide high transmission quality, data security, stability, scalability and speed. In addition, they ensure that the quality remains over time, by tweaking the network as the subscriber’s usage patterns evolve. 

There are two key types of LPWA technologies deployed on licensed spectrumLTE-M and NB-IoT Both are acknowledged as the technologies that will be part of the 5G mMTC (Massive Machine Type Communications) standard which will enable massive IoT, with LTE-M in particular emerging as the strongest option for migrating legacy 2G and 3G devices, and also supporting new applications that require higher bandwidth along with lower power consumption and extended battery life. 

LTE-M and NB-IoT are both based on standards set by 3GPP, the organization that defines standard for technologies used within the telecom industry. More than 900 mobile operators around the world support 3GPP standards, covering the majority of the globe where businesses operate. These standards make it easy for devices to seamlessly roam from one network to another, making it possible to create one device that can work on network across the globe. The standard also ensures the longevity of a technology, a very important aspects when deploying an IoT solution that is meant to last for many years. 

LPWA on the unlicensed spectrum

Unlicensed spectrum isn’t owned by anyone and can be used free of charge, without any rules on how to get access at any given time. This allows for a lot of flexibility, but since it doesn’t require a license or fee it can become crowded. Everything from WiFi routers to cordless telephones and other communication devices also use unlicensed spectrum, meaning that IoT solution deployed in the unlicensed spectrum run the very real risk of interference. Technologies such as LoRa and Sigfox are based on unlicensed spectrum.  

While you might see upsides to these technologies, such as deceptively cheap devices, it’s important to consider the whole picture. Basing an IoT solution on these technologies often mean that you need spend money to procure and operate your own radio network, since most countries in the world does not have nationwide LPWA networks on the unlicensed spectrum.  

With the unlicensed part of the radio spectrum open for anyone, it makes it easy for anyone to establish their own private network. However, there is the risk that anyone else can do the same, resulting in interferencebetween networks. This is the same phenomenon that you might have experienced with your home Wi-Fi. When you first set it up it works great and provide high speeds, but 6 months later the neighbor buys a new Wi-Fi router, and all of a sudden you have a hard time getting a reliable connection since you are now (unwillingly) sharing the same part of the unsilenced spectrum.   

Let’s look at it another way

Think of licensed and unlicensed spectrum as the difference between an elegant dinner party at an exclusive restaurant and a party you might have attended back at university. Both start pretty much the same way: people arrive, there is plenty of room to move around, you can hear each other talk, and when the music comes on there’s room to dance. Fast forward a few hours, though, and things have changed: those who are at the dinner party are still able to converse and there’s plenty of elbow room at the table. At the university party, however, loads of people have crashed, everyone is shouting over the music, and if you try to dance there’s a good chance you’ll knock people over the second you break out your moves. Licensed spectrum is the elegant dinner party, where only the people invited are there and things are under control. Unlicensed spectrum is the frat party, where the lines to the bathroom are long and no one can hear what anyone is saying.  

What happens as the parties evolve? If new guests show up to the dinner party at the restaurant it’s not a problem because the restaurant staff are experienced and prepared – they’ll just bring an extra table and some chairs, and things will carry on as before. At the frat party, on the other hand, you don’t even know how many people will show and there’s a good chance endless strangers will crash the party and chaos will ensue.  

So, how does this relate to radio spectrum?  If you use unlicensed spectrum you have no idea who is joining the party – you might be one of the early arrivals but in a year or two there could be all sorts of devices crowding into your space, which would greatly reduce your ability to have efficient and IoT connectivity.  Using licensed spectrum, on the other hand, means you always have a professional taking care of the space your devices are communicating within, so you never have to worry that the service is being degraded.  

If you would like to learn more about how IoT can enable your business, please get in touch.

LTE-M, the low-power, wide area (LPWA) cellular technology, is specifically designed for IoT. It prioritizes a powerful reach over long distances and scalability for large or growing deployments, allowing the connection of simple devices that transmit low volumes of data over long periods of time with low power consumption. 

These features make LTE-M and other LPWA technologies ideal for any number of use cases, opening up the very real possibility of connecting all kinds of assets through a single, secure, and lasting solution. In other words, LTE-M will lead to massive IoT, empowering organizations to work with increased operational efficiency while gaining greater insights into their entire business.

Logistics

LTE-M is ideal for assets on the move because devices need to operate without a fixed power supply or regular recharging. And due to the extensive coverage it provides, LTE-M allows you to track the location and status of assets such a vehicles or containers while still maintaining an excellent battery life. Any number of things can be tracked and recorded, including fuel consumption, stops and starts, toll fees, route taken, driver behavior, etc. You can track the conditions of the goods, looking at things like humidity, temperature or other container conditions that could have an adverse impact on your assets, which allows you to react sooner, rather than when it might be too late.

Industry/Manufacturing

IoT is already being used to improve the safety and efficiency of industrial production, but monitoring things like petrochemical and waste storage or hazardous fluid tanks can be challenging, due to remoteness and dangerous conditions With LTE-M, low-power, low cost sensors enable monitoring of everything from humidity and temperature to impacts and breakages, enabling better use of manpower, keeping safety standards high, and saving money by catching problems early.

LTE-M Benefits

Wider coverage

LTE-M allows you to operate in extremely challenging locations, such as under manhole covers, in underground pipes or in car parks, basements or other remote areas. It is suitable for both static and mobile use cases.

Lower costs

LTE-M-enabled IoT devices are cost effective to produce, and inexpensive to buy. They also cost less to scale up. Longer battery life means no external power supply is needed, while maintenance costs are reduced due to fewer onsite visits.

Enhanced security & reliability

LTE-M networks are secure and reliable, with carrier grade security. Since LTE-M operates on the licenses spectrum, devices are not subject to radio interference or congestion, a risk that unlicensed LPWA technologies face since there is no control of the radio environment.

Future proof

LTE-M is the standard set by 3GPP (Third Generation Partner Project), and is neither vendor nor operator dependent. Instead, it is supported by multiple providers, as well as hardware manufacturers globally. LTE-M is set to become a part of the 5G standard as it evolves, ensuring it will be supported for a very long time.

Smart Cities

In order for a smart city ecosystem to become a reality, there is going to have to be a mass deployment of IoT devices across everything from car parks to street and traffic lights to buildings, public transport, and other public spaces. This mass deployment will be interconnected, making city life easier to navigate in any number of ways, whether that means knowing where you can find a free parking space or when the next bus will arrive, as well as keeping public areas more secure with real-time monitoring of public spaces. Mass deployment brings new cost requirements in order to make projects feasible, thus its support for low-cost devices makes LTE-M a true enabler for these use cases.

Utilities

LTE-M-enabled devices allow you to monitor remote infrastructure and assets, such as underground pipelines and wind, solar, or thermal generation equipment, as well as smart meters. This will improve efficiencies, allow for predictive maintenance (which in turn leads to cost savings), and provide vital information on things like energy consumption, leading to improved sustainability.

In real terms this could mean monitoring ageing water supply systems, which are prone to leakage and other issues but where challenges are difficult to identify before they become a real problem and cost everyone a lot of money. Sensors detect leaks much more quickly, which allows them to be repaired faster.

LTE-M can also enable use cases where actuators in the field need to be triggered with very low delay, thanks to LTE-M’s very low latency characteristics, especially when compared to other LPWA technologies.

Agriculture/Environment

It’s not easy to change a battery on a cow! Because LTE-M provides the required mobility, reliability, and remote coverage, the tracking and monitoring of livestock such as cattle, as well as wild animals is greatly enhanced.  Out in the field, condition monitoring is simplified, giving you the ability to monitor things like soil quality, weather, temperature, humidity, etc. And governmental agencies and scientists can use LTE-M sensors to analyze water levels, predict flooding, and issue early warnings.

If you would like to learn more about how IoT and LTE-M can enable your business, please get in touch.

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