Massive IoT is one of three principle 5G use cases, alongside critical communications and enhanced broadband, that will enable developments such as smart cities and industrial automation.
Leading operators including AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, KDDI, Orange and Vodafone are committed to deploying these networks as part of their future 5G massive IoT strategies.
Mobile operators, in collaboration with global vendors and developers, are launching Mobile IoT networks today to support applications such as smart metering, smart logistics and smart environmental monitoring, but also as a core component of their long-term strategy and commitment to 5G IoT standards.
Licensed Mobile IoT networks are standardised by 3GPP and are designed to support cellular IoT applications that are low cost, use low data rates, require long battery lives and often operate in remote and hard-to-reach locations such as industrial asset tracking, safety monitoring or water and gas metering. To date, 24 mobile operators have commercially launched 48 Mobile IoT networks worldwide across both NB-IoT and LTE-M technologies.
According to GSMA Intelligence forecasts, by 2025 there will be 3.1 billion cellular IoT connections, including 1.8 billion licensed LPWA connections.
3GPP is set to complete Release 15 in June, which will include NB-IoT and LTE-M as 5G Mobile standards. 3GPP will also not include any additional LPWA requirements in its next release, meaning that NB-IoT and LTE-M will coexist with other 3GPP technologies and fulfil long-term 5G LPWA requirements. NB-IoT and LTE-M networks will deliver connectivity to billions of new devices and provide comprehensive IoT connectivity in the 5G era, said GSMA.