Huawei and Qualcomm Technologies announce completion of their first LTE TDD Category M1/eMTC air interface call at Huawei’s TDD IOT laboratory in Xi’an R&D institute using Qualcomm Technologies’ MDM9206 global multi-mode LTE Category M1/NB1 modem.
Cat M1 technology significantly improves the power efficiency and coverage of cellular connectivity for the Internet of Things (IoT), and enables field devices to connect directly to a 4G LTE network without the need of external cellular gateways.
This test is an important industry milestone for LTE TDD Cat-M1/eMTC following major global efforts on technology development and verification, and it represents a major step towards commercialization of this technology. Huawei and Qualcomm Technologies completed satisfactory tests specifically for ModeA coverage enhancement, power saving capabilities and other basic functionality.
IoT was one of the hottest topics at Mobile World Congress 2017, in which vertical industry players, technology companies and operators exhibited multiple IoT products and applications.
Based on ‘ Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) Complete Forecast for 2015 to 2020‘ forecast: Globally, M2M connections are calculated to grow nearly three-fold from 4.9 billion in 2015 to 12.2 billion by 2020, representing nearly half (46 percent) of total connected devices. Connected home M2M connections will increase from 2.4 billion in 2015 to 5.8 billion in 2020, accounting for nearly half of total M2M connections worldwide. Cellular is one of the most important technologies aimed at connecting billions of IoT devices due to its ubiquitous coverage, security and reliability, helping operators benefit from opportunities in new vertical segments and augment their current wireless offerings.
LTE Cat-M1/eMTC Cutting Edge Technology
Cat-M1/eMTC (enhanced Machine Type Communication) is an important, less complex variant of LTE focused on communications for IoT devices. The technology was specified in 3GPP Release 13 in Q1 of 2016 and designed for long battery life (up to 10 years for certain IoT devices), low-cost, extended coverage (approximately 15 dB gain compared to traditional LTE), and variable data rates up to 1 Mbps for peak throughput.
4G LTE base stations can support Cat-M1/eMTC through software upgrade. With no requirements for additional spectrum bands or new hardware, operators can reuse their current sites, spectrum, radio resources and hardware resources to enable connectivity for virtually everything.
In addition, Cat-M1/eMTC technology delivers the high data rates, mobility, position-location and support for voice (VoLTE) that is not possible to support with other low-power wide-area network (LPWAN) solutions.
Examples of Applications Well-suited for LTE Cat-M1/eMTC
Elevators: Elevators can contain over 700 integrated sensors, which data can be reported through an LTE TDD Cat-M1/eMTC modem to the elevator management platform to help manage elevator safety. Elevators maintenance department can be managed more efficiently while the public can ride feeling safe, and operators can benefit for enabling an application with high value. Elevators are also suitable for deployment of value-added services such as on-board advertisements, video surveillance and VoIP service. Huawei together with CMCC have trialed this application in Hangzhou, Chongqing, Shenzhen and Xi’an.
Smart Bus-stop sign: Smart bus-stop signs can provide users with real-time information such as bus locations, weather forecast, public news and updates, advertising, video monitoring and even watch out for pedestrian safety. Smart bus-stop signs can improve travel convenience and efficiency while enabling government to build a safer city. This application has been deployed on a large scale in Rizhao, China.
Smart Logistics: This application utilizes the security-rich connectivity, ubiquitous coverage and mobility delivered using LTE TDD Cat-M1/eMTC to increase efficiencies and reduce costs for both shipment companies and their customers, allowing management departments, for instance, to track the location and condition of their packages and drivers real-time, also smart logistics can improve transportation efficiency base on big data analysis, it can instruct drivers to select the best path to destination.