Erica Flores

Deutsche Telekom conducts tests in four EU countries as it prepares for the launch of the LTE-M market in 2019

Deutsche Telekom (DT) is preparing to launch its LTE-M technology prepared for 5G in 2019 with the accelerated development of LTE-M solutions. The company today presents the finalists of the Hubraum LTE-M Prototyping program at a summit in Vienna, Austria. The initiative was established by the hubraum of the Deutsche Telekom internal technology incubator in cooperation with its ICT services arm T-Systems. It is based on prototyping programs already successfully implemented for NB-IoT solutions.

Almost 150 new companies and companies specializing in IoT from all over Europe and the USA. UU. They presented proposals based on LTE-M to the new program. 18 solution partners from 12 countries were selected covering various industries for greater cooperation in the creation of prototypes of LTE-M use cases.

With the support of Deutsche Telekom, they have implemented LTE-M connectivity and tested the prototypes in Krakow, Berlin, Reutlingen, Rotterdam or Vienna, where local LTE-M test networks are already available. The tests were performed to validate the first LTE-M connections for their prototypes and to further explore the commercial aspects.

The summit is the highlight of our prototyping activities and providing more interesting information about the business opportunities of LTE-M. We are working simultaneously towards the first launches of the LTE-M network in several of our European markets in mid-2019. This will allow our customers to develop and test their devices and applications based on LTE-M, says Ingo Hofacker, senior vice president, responsible of the IoT business in Deutsche Telekom.

LTE-M is an exciting technology prepared for 5G and a natural extension of the mobile IoT strategy of Deutsche Telekom. Complete the IoT landscape as it offers a new set of possibilities where other technologies are limited. "

LTE-M Innovation

The finalists of Hubraum LTE-M Prototyping have developed innovative solutions in various sectors of the industry, especially in the areas of Smart City, Wearables, E-Health and Smart Tracking. Neebo in the United Kingdom, for example, has created a portable miniature device so small that it can be placed around the face of a newborn baby and control its vital signs.

The Dutch company Charlatn has developed a solution for monitoring high value industrial assets. Track cargo containers over long distances and connect them to security alarms to warn of theft or damage. Security is also the focus of Interference in Germany, who have invented smart templates with a built-in alarm sensor that can be activated by putting their feet together. These safety shoes can be worn by professionals in dangerous workplaces or people at risk of being kidnapped.

LTE-M can also support applications from smart cities and smart buildings, such as connecting energy meters or air conditioning, in solutions that require more than the periodic transmission of a single one to be small amounts of data or that need to be mobile. For example, In Estonia, air quality sensors have been developed, which are attached to buses and provide a holistic map of air pollution throughout the city.

The best of both worlds and 5G-ready

LTE-M is a technology designed specifically for IoT connectivity. It allows an extended battery life and is compatible with low-cost modules, while providing fast data throughput and good indoor coverage. LTE-M combines the advantages of NB-IoT and LTE technologies and, therefore, can address a different set of use cases.

When compared to NB-IoT, LTE-M offers higher data rates (up to 1 Mbit / s), lower latency, connected mobility (i.e. the ability of a technology to make transfers between cells), SMS support and , at a later stage, also Voice (VoLTE). Its interior coverage and the expected battery life are almost as good as those of NB-IoT. When compared to M2M (LTE), LTE-M offers much lower energy consumption and better indoor coverage, and a module cost up to 50% lower.

As LTE-M is based on the LTE 3GPP standard, it is prepared for 5G and only requires a software update on the network. 3GPP has agreed that the NB-IoT and LTE-M technologies will continue to evolve as part of the 5G specifications, which means that Deutsche Telekom can already take advantage of investments today and continue as part of the 5G evolution. Therefore, the long-term status of these technologies is confirmed.