NEW YORK - For the first time, Verizon's LTE network carried a live over-the-air LTE Cat M1 VoLTE call - laying the foundation for the next generation of IoT connectivity.
By proving CAT M1 VoLTE technology works on a production network, Verizon, along with Ericsson and Qualcomm Technologies Inc., demonstrated that the reach of Cat M1 can extend across Verizon's U.S. LTE network, fostering growth opportunities for IoT companies and developers, whether they are focused on data-only or voice-enabled products.
"Extending VoLTE technology on Verizon's nationwide LTE Cat M1 network is the natural next step in the evolution of IoT," said Rosemary McNally, vice president for corporate technology at Verizon. "By proving that voice services can be delivered on a production LTE Cat M1 network, we're paving the way for new types of IoT applications and services."
In addition to its ubiquity, Cat M1 brings efficiency, extended coverage and security advantages to the market. Cat M1 is designed for devices that require extended battery life, which enables a variety of applications from water meters to wearables to asset trackers and consumer electronics. This technology also allows signals to better penetrate walls and floors to reach devices located in remote locations. Cat M1 is a 3GPP-based technology that is deployed on licensed spectrum, owned and operated by one entity, which means IoT traffic traverses a more secure network.
For the trial Verizon used Ericsson's commercial network infrastructure deployed on the Verizon network and incorporated the Qualcomm® MDM9206 global multimode LTE modem, whose chip is enabled for Verizon's ThingSpace IoT development platform.
"Qualcomm Technologies is pleased to have worked with Verizon and Ericsson to prove that voice services are possible on a commercial LTE Cat M1 network," said Joe Glynn, vice president, business development, Qualcomm Technologies. "Our MDM9206 global multimode LTE IoT modem, designed to support LTE Cat M1 with VoLTE, Cat NB-1 and E-GPRS, brings many enhancements and optimizations to LTE that can help reduce IoT complexity and supports leading operators such as Verizon to quickly commercialize new types of applications and services that require voice."
Eric Parsons, head of Product Line 4G and RAN Mobile Broadband at Ericsson, said, "We are very pleased to have successfully demonstrated live VoLTE calls over Verizon's commercial LTE Cat M1 network, together with Qualcomm Technologies. The IoT space offers new revenue-generating services for operators and adding voice capabilities to IoT devices takes use cases such as alarm panels and medical alert systems to the next level of functionality."
Verizon has been a leader in Cat M1 technology. In 2017, the company was the first operator to deploy Cat M1 nationwide and in 2016, Verizon was the first service provider to launch a commercial Cat M1 network.