LTE Cat. M1 – Long Term Evolution for Machines

Billions of smart devices worldwide, both in the industry field and in the private sector, are already connected to a sensor network. The Internet of Things has become indispensable. Like LTE NB-IoT, the Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) supports LTE Cat. M1 supports the network operators, so they can connect everyday, physical objects to the Internet of Things (IoT).

LTE Cat. M1 represents a long-term development machine, which derives from a third-generation LTE (4G) partnership project, known in short as 3GPP. Further denominations for this supplementary standard are LTE for Machines, Enhanced Machine-Type Communications (eMTC) or LTE-M Release 13.

How does LTE Cat. M1 function?

The mobile communications standard LTE Cat. M1 can be implemented as a supplement within an existing LTE mobile network. Depending on the application scenario, it can play out one of its advantages after the implementation. Among the most important advantages, there are:

– operation and implementation in existing networks
– requires a reduced system complexity
– offers an increased network coverage
– extends battery life to ten years or longer

The LTE Cat. M1 network can be operated with an existing 1.08 MHz carrier, with six channels, each with a channel width of 180 kHz. The limited channel width allows for a maximum data rate of 1 Mbit/s. The standalone LTE deployment allows for an operation with a bandwidth of 1.4 MHz. To maintain the higher range of the Internet of Things, eMTC also offers a link budget of an additional 15 dB. This enables for a LTE network coverage which is seven times bigger.

Mobile devices can be increasingly integrated in the respective mobile network with the help of eMTC. For instance, voice transmission and roaming are available to users as in a normal LTE network. So that a mobile network can use LTE Cat. M1, only a software update is necessary. Therefore, the implementation is relatively simple.

Application examples of LTE Cat. M1

Given its features and advantages, LTE M is suitable for a wide range of applications. Vehicles can be tracked. Container and equipment systems can be tracked and controlled over long distances with the help of this technology. A theft or a damage triggers a security alarm. Voice transmissions via emergency call systems or the alerting in the medical field are made possible. The heartbeat and vital functions of a newborn can be monitored with a wearable.

In the meantime, LTE M networks are supported by the most importan producers of mobile devices or module and chipset manufacturers. In return, manufacturers take advantage of the data protection and security functions of mobile networks.

The LTE network testers of ENQT GmbH can already perform tests for all the current version of 2G, 3G and 4G today, and we also offer innovative measurement solutions for NB-IoT and Cat M1. Are you interested in mobile communications measurements? Feel free to visit our shop, write us an e-mail or call us at +49 40 35 73 20 65! We are at your disposal.

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