Verizon confirmed plans to deploy Category M1 connectivity solutions on its 4G LTE network to support IoT. Verizon expects to launch Cat M1 connectivity by the end of this year.
Category M1 (or Cat M1) refers to sensors and devices requiring lower throughput, extended battery life (for some use cases) and better power efficiency than current IoT solutions.
Verizon said it is working closely with industry-leading chipset, modules and device partners to drive the ecosystem towards the next-generation of IoT use cases. Partners include Altair, Sequans, U-Blox, Telit, Sierra Wireless, Gemalto, Nokia, Ericsson and others.
“Up until now, the cost to connect devices to a wide-area network has been a barrier to widespread IoT,” said Rosemary McNally, vice president Mobile Devices & OS Technology at Verizon. “By evolving our device ecosystem to include Cat M1, we’re aligning Verizon’s 4G LTE network to the needs of future IoT deployments. We are also taking direct aim at emerging low power wireless access (LPWA) solutions, which have entered the U.S. market, but do not offer the same level of scale, coverage and security as LTE.”
Thingspace, which will leverage an existing ecosystem of more than 1,000 channel partners and revenue from the company's IoT and telematics business, promises to accelerate innovation and adoption of IoT devices. At a press event in San Francisco, Verizon's executives said the industry is poised to move from millions to billions of connected devices and sensors in the coming years. To achieve this, Verizon is creating a new dedicated network core and new connectivity options for the next-generation of IoT use cases in verticals such as agriculture, healthcare, the consumer electronics evolution and the sharing economy.
Verizon has created a core IoT network within its LTE architecture optimized for Cat1 devices. The company is also working with partners to embed LTE chipsets in a wide-range of connected machines to automate the provisioning process and make it faster to deploy IoT devices on its wide-area network
Significantly, Verizon will offer a big data analytics engine tied into its IoT deployments. ThingSpace will provide end-to-end management of IoT environments and related data, from device to network to application. The goal is to offer hundreds of APIs via the Thingspace environment. The data and analytics engine is being developed at the Verizon labs in Palo Alto, California.