Integrating LTE for the IoT

Integrating LTE for the IoT

By | March 2nd, 2017
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The transition of cellular networks from primarily serving people to

linking billions of Internet of Things (IoT) sensors and associated gear is

complicated because the needs of each differs.


Emerging 5G technology will find heavy use, but that doesn’t mean that the current predominant cellular format, LTE, will not also play a role. Indeed, two emerging standards LTE-M and NB-IoT suggest that the role will be significant.

The two standards will join an ecosystem of technologies and approaches to IoT networking. LTE-M is the faster of the new cellular variants, capable of megabit speeds, and it’s designed for mobile use. NB-IoT is slower, at around 250Kbps upstream, but allows for longer battery life. Both have longer range than regular LTE and are better at penetrating walls and floors.

Sequans Communications SA introduced the Monarch SX, a system-on-a-chip (SoC) that teams the company’s Monarch LTE-M/NB-IoT platform and ARM’s low-power Cortex-M4 processor. Earlier this month, ARM bought Mistbase and NextG-Com. The main product from Mistbase, is a Valkyrie-NB. It is a physical layer hardware and software device that includes an operating system (OS), a radio and a processor for NB-IoT implementations. NextG-Com, a British firm, designs Open Systems Interconnect (OSI) layer 2 and 3 software for both NB-IoT and LTE-M.

IoT networks are unique in that they will be worldwide and be required to function in areas, such as deserts and oceans, in which no established network exists

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Nisheeth Bhakuni