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Pervasive Wireless Networks for Machines

As mobile networks start to adopt LTE as their human users consume Internet on the move, the growth in M2M connections mainly uses GSM, a technology that operators would like to switch off! Communicating machines rarely need broadband, so their communications can be carried effectively using low-cost GSM modems. To really enable the Internet of Things wirelessly, networks capable of pervasive coverage – significantly better than GSM; supporting very low cost modems – cheaper than GSM; and moreover capable of operating for years on a single battery; are needed. LTE, being designed for broadband on the move for smartphones and tablets, meets none of these criteria. There are moves in 3GPP to adapt LTE for new classes of device to meet these needs; whilst other technologies that are either proprietary or “industry standards” are also emerging. This presentation will consider the needs of machine communications from the perspective of a device supplier and discuss the evolution of standards.

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