LTE Cat-1 technology will be fully up and running across all of Sprint’s network this summer, and more Internet of Things technology updates are scheduled to follow, the carrier said Tuesday.
At IoT World 2017, Sprint said it is on track to complete its LTE Cat-1 deployments by the end of July – but it’s not stopping there. The carrier reported it will begin deploying LTE Cat-M technology in the middle of next year, and Cat-NB1 will be deployed further down the line. Sprint has teamed up with Ericsson to help facilitate the deployments.
The push to get the technology rolled out on the network comes as carriers like Sprint look to capitalize on the current and projected IoT boom. The LTE Cat-1 technology Sprint is putting out now is designed for low-power applications like vehicle telematics and industrial IoT devices – two applications that are hot in the telco space right now. Sprint competitors Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile all already have telematics solutions for consumers on the market, though Sprint’s own options in the space seem to be geared more toward fleet management for businesses.
Sprint indicated it’s currently the seventh-largest provider of IoT devices in the world.
“We’re making great progress on our roadmap in support of the evolution of the IoT standards and Access Technology,” Sprint GM of IoT Mohamad Nasser commented. “IoT, along with wireless and wireline, is one of the three critical business lines for the Sprint Business portfolio. We are investing effort and capital to make sure that Sprint is well positioned to capitalize on the incredible growth that IoT will experience globally.”
The LTE Cat-M1 and Cat-NB1 technologies coming down the pipe at Sprint similarly cater to IoT deployments, but are suited more to other applications requiring ultra-low throughput and power consumption. That includes things like industrial sensors, asset trackers, and wearables.
Though obviously coming soon, Sprint’s Cat-M1 deployment will lag behind those of its competitors. AT&T back in February announced plans to accelerate its Cat-M1 network deployments following successful pilot tests, and said the technology would be deployed across its nationwide footprint by the second quarter of this year. The carrier said it is planning to follow that up with a rollout across Mexico by the close of 2017. And Verizon already has its Cat-M1 network up and running. The carrier launched the technology commercially on its nationwide network at the end of March.
Filed Under: Infrastructure, IoT • IIoT • internet of things • Industry 4.0