Verizon gives a voice to its LTE M network, but AT&T is still in testing

Australian authority turns to IoT to protect the environment
The internet of things remains a hot topic among wireless network operators. (chombosan/iStockPhoto)

Verizon announced that, after more than a year of operating its LTE M network, the offering now supports voice services.

“Mobile voice service is enabled through a feature called Connected Mode Mobility (CMM), currently being deployed with expected completion within the next month, Verizon said in a release. “CMM improves data transfers and handoffs, allowing for seamless transitions when using mobile voice or latency sensitive data. With the completed deployment of CMM, Verizon’s Cat M network will support IoT solutions requiring less power, extended battery life, and either fixed or mobile voice connectivity.”

When questioned on the same topic, AT&T said in a statement "We continue to test VoLTE services on LTE-M within our network. We feel it is important to ensure that capabilities of VoLTE over LTE-M, including mobility, are supported before making it generally available to the market."

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Verizon more than a year ago announced the nationwide launch of its LTE M network. The network technology is designed to provide slower speeds and longer battery life for internet of things applications. The carrier at the time said the network goes hand-in-hand with its ThingSpace platform, described as a global, web-based IoT platform that enables developers and customers to create new IoT solutions and manage their IoT environments end-to-end from the device to the application level.

Earlier this year, Verizon confirmed plans to build a nationwide NB-IoT network covering 2.56 million square miles by the end of this year. The network will essentially piggyback on Verizon’s existing LTE network and will offer inexpensive, slow-speed data connections for IoT-style devices.

Verizon explained that its various IoT networks address different IoT need. “For small IoT solutions with data rates below 100kbps, NB IoT Guardband technology is appropriate,” the carrier said. “For medium data needs Verizon has a nationwide Cat M network now with voice capabilities. For larger IoT solutions, Verizon’s nationwide Cat 1 network is the right fit. And for IoT solutions with extra-large data needs Verizon has the most reliable LTE network in the industry.”

“A single, one-size-fits-all network for IoT solutions doesn’t give customers the choices they require,” said Bill Stone, VP of network planning at Verizon.

Verizon is just one of many wireless network operators eyeing the IoT space. AT&T said that it to plans to offer both LTE M and NB-IoT networks. And T-Mobile recently announced that its NB-IoT network is now available nationwide, covering 2.1 million square miles and 320 million POPs.

Other players in the low-power, wide area network space include Dish Network, Comcast, Senet and others.

Article up dated August 29th with additional information from AT&T. 

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