Global telecom operators AT&T, KPN, Orange and Swisscom have launched LTE-M roaming services across their respective IoT networks, thus enabling connected low power IoT devices to operate more efficiently on multiple networks in North America and Europe. This collaborative rollout of LTE-M networks is expected to accelerate the growth in the IoT market all over the world.
In a statement, John Wojewoda, AVP of global connections management at AT&T, said, “More and more of our enterprise customers require global capabilities as they deploy IoT devices and applications. These LTE-M roaming agreements help meet that demand and make it easier for businesses around the world to benefit from the power of a globalized IoT.”
Carolien Nijhuis, Director IoT at KPN, added, “The introduction of LTE-M creates many new possibilities for our partners, customers and prospects. Roaming with LTE-M has been one of the most requested features by our customers in the market. We are very happy we’re now able to fulfill their needs and unlock their international IoT-potential.”
LTE-M enables the deployment of diverse IoT applications at lower costs, with more efficient energy consumption and longer battery life, and it also facilitates the ability to access hard-to-reach locations. Moreover, the network operates within a licensed spectrum with carrier-grade security, and is well adapted to supporting moving IoT-enabled objects.
“Enabling access to roaming on LTE-M for our customers is a clear priority for Orange,” said Didier Lelièvre, Director mobile wholesale and interconnection, Orange. “We’re proud to be among the first operators to deliver such a roaming capability to our IoT customers and more widely to our partners across this market.”
According to the statement by Orange, during the last several years, LTE-M network implementation has increased in North America, Europe and globally. Region-wise, AT&T has deployed its LTE-M network across the US and Mexico, KPN has launched their services across the Netherlands, and Orange’s LTE-M network is already available in France and Romania, with Belgium, Slovakia, Spain and Poland to be added this year.
Swisscom has also deployed LTE-M across Switzerland. Julian Dömer, Head of IoT at Swisscom, said, “After offering the first nationwide LTE-M and NB-IoT networks in Switzerland, we are happy to prove our strong position on roaming and be among the first operators that enhance the key technology LTE-M for 2G replacement with international roaming.”
In the coming months, all four carriers expect to add supplemental operators to their roaming agreements so as to expand their cross-border capabilities. The implementation and growth of LTE-M networks has been given a high priority, and the mobile communications industry body GSMA believes that LTE-M will fully cover Europe by the end of 2020.