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What does cellular IoT technology mean?

Viewed 46 times4-12-2023 02:04 PM

Everyone is talking about 5G, especially cellular IoT technology. According to Google's "5G Internet of Things" strategy, 5G could unlock highly sought-after applications in the IoT,cellular module such as automated lifecycle management, network slicing, software-defined networking, and cloud-optimized distributed network applications. Qualcomm recently predicted that 5G could unlock up to $12 trillion in new IoT products and services.

Where did cellular IoT originate?

The ubiquitous development of IoT technology devices has led to the rise of a low-power as well as wide-area network, including NB-IoT, SigFox, LORA and Weightless.

Traditional cellular technologies such as LTE networks consume too much power.lte module In addition, they are not suitable for applications that transmit very small amounts of data. For example, an instrument that reads water levels, gas consumption or electricity usage. The rise of low-power cellular networks has brought technical support for this application.


Cat-1 is the only fully available cellular IoT technology. Although its performance is not as good as 3G networks, it is still a good choice for IoT applications that require a browser interface or voice services.The main attraction of Cat-1 is that it has been standardized and, more importantly, switching to a Cat-1 network is very simple. Experts predict that with the end of 3G and 4G technologies, Cat-1 and Cat-M1 networks will take their place.


For successful LTE-based IoT connectivity, Cat-0 requires the following characteristics.

Long battery life, low cost, support for a large number of device connections, enhanced coverage (e.g., better signaling through walls), and remote broadcasting.

Cat-0 is analytically optimized for cost management because it eliminates features that can support the high data carry rate development requirements of Cat-1 (dual receiver chain, duplex mode filter). While CAT-1 is gradually replacing 3G, CAT-0 is the lower cost connectivity information technology after CAT-M replaces 2G.


Cat-m (officially known as LTE Cat-M1) is often considered the second generation of LTE chips produced for IoT applications. It reduces the cost and power consumption of the initial Cat-0 installation phase. By limiting the maximum system bandwidth to 1.4 MHz (instead of 20 MHz Cat-0at-0), Cat-M has specific use cases for LPWANPWAN applications, such as smart measurements that require only a small amount of data transmission.

The real advantage of Cat-M over other technologies is that Cat-M is compatible with existing LTE networks. This is good news for operators like Verizon and AT&T because they don't need to rebuild antennas. Verizon and AT&T would argue that Cat-M is the best option available. Given Cat-M's backward compatibility, it's almost certain that 5G and LTE technologies will coexist in the 2020s.


Nb-iot (also known as Cat-M2) has similar effects to Cat-M, but it uses DSSS modulation. As a result, NB-IoT cannot operate on the LTE spectrum, which means higher upfront costs for vendors to deploy NB-IoT.

However, NB-IoT is considered a cheaper technology because it does not require a gateway. Other infrastructures typically have gateways that aggregate sensor data, and then the gateway communicates with a master server. However, with NB-IoT technology, sensor data will be sent directly to the main server. As a result, Huawei, Ericsson, Qualcomm and Vodafone are all actively investing in commercial applications of NB-IoT.Sierra Wireless predicts that by the end of 2018, NB-IoT and LTE-M base stations will be rolled out in several regions around the world.

EC-GSM (formerly EC-EGPRS)

EC stands for Extended Coverage.EC-GSM is an IoT-optimized GSM network, the wireless fidelity used by 80% of the world's smartphones. As the name suggests, EC-GSM can be deployed in existing GSM networks and has great advantages in terms of usability and modularity. A simple software enables EC-GSM connectivity for 2G, 3G, and 4G networks.EC-GSM is also used in non-Western regions such as Malaysia, Africa, and Middle Eastern countries. Ericsson, Intel and Orange are said to have completed field tests of EC-GSM earlier this year. But EC-GSM hasn't had as much buzz as Cat-M or NB-IoT.

Related articles:


What is cellular mobile communication?

Cellular Technology to Fill the IoT Gap, CatM Networks

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