As M2M communications typically require low levels of data on an occasional basis, low power, and low cost, the complexity of LTE meant that it was not viable for many M2M communications applications. LTE category 1 was defined in the original 3GPP LTE specifications of 2008, along with categories 2, 3, and 4, but because operators and device makers were focused primarily on the needs of high-speed smart phones and category 3 and 4 technologies, category 1 was overlooked. The rapid spread of LTE networks and the inevitable sunsetting of 2G and 3G networks have completely changed the scene. It is now universally accepted that LTE will be used for nearly everything that requires a wireless connection, including M2M and IoT applications where it was once deemed too expensive and complex — Cat 1 LTE solutions shatter this perception and take on tremendous new importance.
Deploying Cat 1 today is relatively simple. A few networks are already configured to allow Cat 1 devices and more are expected to follow in the next few months. Now that Cat 1 LTE chipsets are available, we will see Cat 1 devices appearing in the second half of 2015 and ramping up steadily in 2016. Configuring existing networks to allow Cat 1 devices involves straightforward software configuration updates to existing network infrastructure, and industry leaders are moving quickly here. Verizon Wireless and infrastructure vendor Ericsson have already conducted a successful device and network trial of Cat 1 technology using a Sequans CAT1 solution, preparing the way for widespread Cat 1 device deployment.
Quectel Wireless Solutions, a leading global supplier of GSM/GPRS, UMTS/HSPA/LTE and GNSS modules, solutions and services, will launch the LTE-Cat 1 module optimized specially for M2M and IoT applications in Q2, 2016.
Samples of this module will be available in Q1, 2016.
- Low-cost, low-power LTE connectivity optimized for broadband IoT applications
- Worldwide LTE and UMTS/HSPA+ and GSM/GPRS/EDGE coverage
- MIMO technology meets demands for data rate and link reliability in modem wireless communication systems
- GNSS receiver available for applications requiring fast and accurate fixes in any environments
- Embedded power management unit (PMU) featuring ultra-low deep sleep current consumption