Verizon on Friday reported it successfully made a Voice-over-LTE call live over-the-air on its LTE Cat-M1 network, a feat it said sets the stage for “the next generation of IoT connectivity.”
According to Verizon, the test was carried out in collaboration with Ericsson and Qualcomm. The trial utilized Ericsson’s commercial network infrastructure deployed in the carrier’s network, and used Qualcomm’s MDM9206 multimode LTE modem.
Verizon said the success of the test opens new doors for IoT developers to offer voice-enabled products alongside data-only devices.
“Extending VoLTE technology on Verizon’s nationwide LTE Cat-M1 network is the natural next step in the evolution of IoT,” Rosemary McNally, Verizon’s vice president of corporate technology, commented. “By proving that voice services can be delivered on a production LTE Cat-M1 network, we’re paving the way for new types of IoT applications and services.”
Verizon noted the 3GPP Cat-M1 technology offers extended battery life, as well as better signal penetration, and operation over more secure licensed spectrum.
The test comes a few months after the carrier launched its nationwide LTE Cat-M1 network in March. Verizon at the time called the deployment a “game changer,” and touted the IoT ecosystem it was creating via its ThingSpace developer platform.
But Verizon isn’t the only carrier pushing hard on IoT.
AT&T in May debuted its own nationwide LTE-M network in the United States. The carrier said it’s currently working on rolling out the same in Mexico by the end of this year. Sprint, too, is working on IoT network deployments. The carrier last month said LTE Cat-1 technology will be fully up and running across all of its network this summer, and LTE Cat-M deployments are on tap for the middle of next year. More on Sprint’s IoT deployment plans here.
Filed Under: Infrastructure, IoT • IIoT • internet of things • Industry 4.0