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Thread: LPWA LTE-M IoT Network?

  1. #1
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    LPWA LTE-M IoT Network?

    (Definitely not HSPA related but the forum made me pick a prefix and none were really relevant.)

    Can someone shed some light on this network?
    Curious about the technical stuff behind it.

    I first learned about it when I saw it overlaid on the TELUS coverage map.

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    LTE-M, also known as eMTC is a technology that allows an existing LTE cell to be shared with Cat-M IoT devices.

    In the LTE resource grid, 6 RBs will be assigned for this purpose.

    These devices have VERY little functionality. They are not complex, and the intent is for them to be very low cost, good coverage, and long battery life. Some might support VoLTE, but for the most part they are just used for slow data transfers.

    Here's are a few good overviews:
    https://www.sharetechnote.com/html/H...CategoryM.html

    https://www.sharetechnote.com/html/H...TE_NB_LTE.html

    https://www.ericsson.com/en/blog/201...-NB-IoT-CaT-M1

    It's important to note that NB-IoT is a different technology from eMTC.

    NB-IoT is even less complex and less device cost compared to eMTC. VoLTE is not supported on NB-IoT, and I believe the speeds are even slower than eMTC.

    NB-IoT would deploy a standalone LTE cell with a single RB.

    At the end of the day, you need a specific device (Cat-M1 or M2 for eMTC, Cat-NB1 or NB2 for NB-IoT). A regular smartphone cannot use those LTE resources. Not that you would want to use those LTE resources anyway. There would be negligible benefit for broadband mobile users.

    Because these devices need very little spectrum (6 RBs or 1 RB) and good coverage, the networks are usually deployed on low bands like B12.
    Last edited by sheytoon; 11-10-2019 at 09:20 AM.
    Want to learn more about how LTE works?
    https://productioncommunity.publicmo...ls/td-p/130581

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    I noticed that the coverage for this network extends slightly further than the rest of the network into fringe areas, so I was curious how easy it was to access it despite knowing it would be a low bandwidth network. (i.e. specific SIM)
    Slow speed is better than no speed!

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    The reason for the larger coverage is lots of repetition from the network to get the data to the IoT device. Anyway, you can't access it with a regular LTE phone (cat-3 and above). You can only access it with a compatible IoT device (cat-M1 or cat-M2), and a valid SIM.

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