One of the biggest changes was when the GSMA released 13, which is a new release of the LTE standard where they introduced both LTE-M and narrowband IOT.
I think that the biggest change was when the GSMA released 13, which is a new release of the LTE standard where they introduced both LTE-M and narrowband IOT.
This was really the game changer. It effectively created “IOT modules” because before that all we were doing was taking chipsets that were for low-end smartphones and we were repurposing them as M2M modules. It was with this release of GSMA 13 that we started to really purpose-build the technology for IOT applications.
I mean when I was at Telit, we used to sometimes test our modules at AT&T against voicemail support. There is never going to be a machine that’s going to call voicemail, right! But that was the way they were testing. Their certification testing of modules back then were tests like “does it work with the AT&T voicemail system?”
When we launched LTE-M and a narrowband IOT, that was a real important moment in the IOT industry. There were a lot of benefits to this new technology as well. It’s much more powerful. It’s much more battery efficient. The range is much better. There are ways that you could change the amount of time that it would take to report back, whereas with a smartphone it’s just pinging all the time.
Since that LTE-M and narrowband IOT launch, I’ve seen that a lot of electric utilities, in particular, have changed their technology direction because before they were using a lot of private cellular type of solutions. Recently they’ve really pivoted to go to more public cellular network options using LTE-M, primarily, with some narrowband IOT.