09.01.2016Enterprise Tech

Verizon to lead in deploying Cat M1 LTE network technology for IoT

By: Janet Brumfield

Verizon today announced plans to deploy Category M1 connectivity solutions on its 4G LTE network using an open source environment. The deployment is part of Verizon’s strategy to make cellular network connectivity simple, reliable and economically viable as IoT adoption increases.

The company is working closely with industry-leading chipset, modules and device partners that include Altair, Sequans, U-Blox, Telit, Sierra Wireless, Gemalto, Nokia, and Ericsson to drive the ecosystem toward the next-generation of IoT use cases. Expected by the end of this year, Verizon’s Cat M1 deployment will make it the first wireless service provider in the U.S. to launch.

“Up until now, the cost to connect devices to a wide-area network has been a barrier to widespread IoT,” said Rosemary McNally, vice president Mobile Devices & OS Technology at Verizon. “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 low power wireless access (LPWA) solutions, which have entered the U.S. market, but do not offer the same level of scale, coverage and security as LTE.”

Widely regarded as a game-changer for the industry, Category M1 (or Cat M1) refers to sensors and devices requiring lower throughput, extended battery life (for some use cases) and better power efficiency than current IoT solutions.

By making these chipsets less expensive to deploy, innovators, developers and businesses have a clear pathway to scale from millions of connected devices to billions of connected devices on 4G LTE at a cost structure that’s competitive with other technologies such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Zigbee, and Z-Wave.

“This technology will enable us to better serve our enterprise clients in the deployment of wide-scale IoT deployments,” said Tony Turni, vice president of professional services for Verizon Enterprise Solutions. “Harnessing the Internet of Things is a top priority for many enterprise and government clients, and Cat M1 technology moves us one step closer to enabling more mainstream IoT initiatives.”

Verizon maintains a strong leadership position in IoT with a history of firsts including; first deployment of LTE, LTE Cat 1 and soon LTE Cat M1. Today’s announcement also follows Verizon’s creation of a new core IoT network within its LTE architecture earlier this year optimized for more advanced IoT applications.