The GSMA welcomes the 3rd Generation Partnership Project’s (3GPP) decision to standardise three Low Power, Wide Area (LPWA) technologies in licensed spectrum in Release 13. The specifications which were completed, address the growing IoT market and include a new technology called Narrow-Band IoT (NB-IoT), as well as pre-existing evolved technologies, EC-GSM-IoT and LTE MTC Cat-M1, that will cover all LPWA use cases, ensuring customer choice and helping the Internet of Things (IoT) market to flourish.
“The GSMA established the Mobile IoT Initiative with the specific purpose of aligning the mobile industry behind common and complementary LPWA technologies in licensed spectrum and we are pleased that the industry has moved so quickly to adopt them and that they have now been ratified by 3GPP,” said Alex Sinclair, Chief Technology Officer, GSMA. “Mobile operators have already started a number of pilots around the world and this agreement over common standards will help accelerate the development of commercial solutions and ensure they are in market much faster, providing customers with more choice.”
LPWA networks are an emerging, high-growth area of the IoT that complement and extend conventional wide area networks that make use of 2G, 3G and 4G cellular technologies. These new standards will allow operators to optimise their existing high-quality mobile network infrastructure through an upgrade to EC-GSM-IoT for 2G networks and LTE-MTC for LTE networks, while NB-IoT can use both 2G and 4G spectrum to deliver a secure, reliable and robust performance.
The GSMA Mobile IoT initiative is backed by 30 global mobile operators, device makers and chipset, module and infrastructure companies and has helped the industry align on common technology standards in licensed spectrum for the emerging LPWA market. LPWA networks are designed for M2M applications that have low data rates, require long battery lives and operate unattended for long periods of time, often in remote locations. They will be used for a wide variety of applications such as industrial asset tracking, safety monitoring, water and gas metering, smart grids, city parking, vending machines and city lighting.
For more information, please visit the GSMA corporate website at www.gsma.com.