LTE-M: The future for IoT and M2M devices
From medical wearables to fleet tracking, LTE-M is going to make IoT devices cheaper to manufacture and operate, more efficient and more dependable than ever
The Internet of Things (IoT) might still seem a bit nebulous to some people, but with more than four out of five medium- and large-sized Canadian organizations actively benefitting from IoT technology, it's become a significant factor in modern business. And with the imminent roll-out of new LTE-M networks, it's becoming both easier and cheaper for companies to take advantage of IoT at scale.
An LTE-M – Long Term Evolution for Machines – network is a low-power wide area network ideally suited to IoT and machine-to-machine (M2M) technologies. It facilitates the use of simpler and less expensive IoT devices and modules, uses less power, and will allow devices deployed today to be used for many years to come. It can deliver improved range for devices indoors and in rural areas, and has potential to greatly extend device battery life, meaning reduced maintenance and operation costs. It will help make Massive IoT – connected devices on a tremendous scale – a more affordable reality.
Or, in terms that anyone in business can understand and appreciate: An LTE-M network saves time and money for companies looking to get the most out of IoT.
It's improving tracking of mobile assets, from shared cars to shipping containers
If your assets are mobile, they need to be tracked. Transport and shipping companies, car sharing services, and even public electric scooter start-ups depend on wireless networks to provide real-time updates on the location of every inventoried asset.
But these assets don't require the same sort of high-bandwidth, power-intensive network that more traditional connected devices – phones, tablets, and laptops – demand. They need a simple network that's:
- Reliable and never overloaded by ebbing and flowing traffic
- Extensive, capable of reaching deeper within structures and further into rural areas than standard networks
- Requires minimal device power to establish connection so that batteries last longer and reduce the risk of lost assets
Put simply, they need an LTE-M network. LTE-M meets all of these criteria, affording more dependable and improved tracking coverage while saving money at the same time.
It's letting healthcare wearable makers design better products for patients
Wearable devices and monitoring tools are poised to disrupt certain parts of the healthcare industry. But one of the greatest technological hurdles faced by companies creating these devices is battery life. The bigger the battery, the bigger the gadget. And big, bulky gadgets are neither practical nor comfortable for patients to wear.
LTE-M helps with this problem by requiring minimal power to connect to networks, meaning improved life from smaller batteries. What's more, LTE-M's extended coverage range and penetration ability are perfectly suited for highly mobile devices, ensuring a strong connection in places where traditional network coverage can decrease or even fail altogether, such as deep inside buildings, underground and between heavily populated areas.
Smart use of LTE-M will allow healthcare professionals to deliver improved care via reliably tracked information while simultaneously improving the comfort of patients who wear medical devices.
It's helping more utilities providers adopt smart city solutions
In the past, monitoring utility meters required companies to send technicians out to visually inspect individual sites on a regular basis – a time-consuming and costly task. IoT gave birth to smart meters, helping utility companies remotely track customer usage via transmitted data. And now LTE-M is evolving this process even further.
The hardware and connection costs of smart meters used with traditional cellular networks has been an obstacle for some utility companies, but the low-power requirements of LTE-M networks facilitate less expensive chips and reduce connection costs. What’s more, LTE-M is designed as a future-proof technology, reducing the need to worry about hardware replacement expenses for years to come.
LTE-M is exactly the sort of nudge many utilities companies need to take their place within the modern smart city.
It's enabling superior building automation
Companies that manage automated buildings or manufacture and sell office automation products use a variety of IoT technologies, from automated climate control and lighting to sensors that detect when supplies are needed and when trash and recycling need to be collected. All of these devices transmit data via networks, and some of them rely on batteries to do their jobs – functional aspects that an LTE-M network can make more efficient.
Simpler devices with lower power requirements mean lower hardware and operating costs, resulting in savings for both manufacturers and customers. And an LTE-M network's ability to penetrate deeper into structures, including basements, elevators, and parking garages, ensures dependable connectivity.
LTE-M is a major step forward in the evolution of IoT and is accelerating adoption within the business community. Plus, it's being designed so that the connected solutions you use or manufacture today will be supported for years or even decades to come.
The Rogers LTE-M network will play a major part in the evolution of IoT and M2M devices in Canadian business. If you're an IoT solution provider interested in working with Rogers, click here to get started.