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Smart devices that are connected to each other will help make your business run more efficiently. LTE-M is an important technology for connecting devices via the internet. What are the advantages and the most common applications?
From smart cars to water meters that can be read remotely, the Internet of Things has a wide range of applications, each with its own connectivity requirements.
An important class of technologies used to connect everyday devices to the internet is known as Low Power Wide Area (LPWA). It was designed specifically for applications that:
- have low power consumption;
- only need a low transfer rate;
- have to cover a wide surface area.
Orange rolled out two LPWA technologies on its mobile network in 2017: Long-Term Evolution for Machines (LTE-M) and NarrowBand IoT (NB-IoT). Because these technologies use the mobile network to make the Internet of Things available, they are referred to as Mobile IoT. Mobile IoT makes it easy for you to use information from smart devices to make your business more efficient.
The advantages of LTE-M
1. Coverage everywhere
Your IoT devices are connected are connected wherever there is 4G coverage. And the Orange network currently covers the whole of Belgium!You will even have perfect coverage inside buildingsLTE-M signals penetrate even more deeply than 4G.
2. Energy-efficient and inexpensive
The low power consumption of the LTE-M radio module means that the battery of your IoT device will easily last ten years. The radio modules for this type of technology are also cheaper than the radio modules for 4G. This has resulted in a wide range of new applications.
LTE-M technology uses officially recognised 4G frequency bands. This eliminates any risk of interference from other signals and ensures you have a reliable connection for your IoT devices.
Using a SIM card, your IoT device establishes a secure, password-authenticated connection. All data your device sends over the network is encrypted.
5. Two-way communication
Two-way communication between the network and your IoT device is possible. This allows you to make over-the-air updates to your devices’ firmware.
When your IoT devices are located abroad, they will remain connected by roaming to other operators’ networks.
Typical LTE-M applications
- Track & trace to monitor the location of your vehicle fleet or machines that are susceptible to theft.
- Wearables in the consumer market, such as smart watches and activity trackers.
- Sensors in the logistics chain, such as temperature sensors for food in refrigerated trucks.
The technology is perfect for collecting measurement data from buildings or moving vehicles and for sending it over the mobile network. If you are still using 2G M2M SIM cards, LTE-M is the logical successor.
The other LPWA technology on the Orange network is called NarrowBand IoT. It was designed specifically for applications such as smart meters, smart waste management, smart lighting, smart homes and smart car parks.
The technology has been optimised for use inside buildings with poor coverage. It is even effective underground.It is the perfect connection for relatively static situations in which a smart object moves very little if at all. The transfer rate via NarrowBand IoT is lower than that of LTE-M.