The announcement went out last week from Verizon– they are deploying Category M1 connectivity solutions to their nationwide 4G LTE Network.
This availability means an astounding new choice for IoT device deployment. This new network opportunity for battery-powered devices can compete against owner/location-specific area networks, and even Bluetooth Enabled Smartphone Connections.
What is Cat M1?
Category M1 Cellular Network IoT technology is one of several IoT technology categories that has been on the LTE roadmap since LTE was drafted.
Category M1, (think “M” for Machine) is specifically tailored for low data throughput and high energy efficiency. This category was created and drafted to support devices that need to extend battery life- pretty much any mobile IoT case.
M1 outperforms Category 1 LTE IoT deployments (already existing) with up to 75-80% chipset complexity reductions compared to Cat-1.
M1 enabled equipment will operate with a maximum channel bandwidth limited to 1.4 MHz- a limited but often sufficient bandwidth for IoT devices collecting data.
Additionally beyond M1, coverage will increase than 15 dB, meaning higher connectivity behind walls (i.e. indoor coverage) and in low LTE coverage corners, indoors, and in vehicles.
Finally, M1 solves one more headache by existing on the established Verizon network, fully licensed and on a protected spectrum.
What does it pair with in the cloud?
The M1 deployment will leverage Verizon’s new core IoT network which was optimized for IoT applications at launch. Developer Tools and IoT dashboards are available at Verizon’s ThingSpace IoT Development website.
Devices can utilize the network to access additional infrastructure resources deployed by other players including Amazon Web Services, Hitatchi Data Systems, SalesForce and many others.
What does it mean for IoT device design?
This is the exciting part. I mean, I am really, really excited. I won’t use the word giddy, but a “9-year old on Christmas morning” is fairly accurate.
Today the least expensive class 1 LTE radio solutions are in the $20-30(USD) range depending on volume and what is bundled with it (SIM card, antenna, etc). M1 technology will realize a 2x-3x price reduction through complexity reduction. This incredible savings, paired with the removal of gateways, routers, and new IoT oriented data plans is a huge boon for the IoT designs space- making deployment that less costly, less complex and opening up the flood gates of innovation.
These low cost, network-enabled IoT solutions are soon to be available nationwide- and Hallsten Innovations will be on the forefront during this exciting time.
Thank you Verizon for leading the way with affordable coverage for our Machines.