- This is an excerpt from a story delivered exclusively to Business Insider Intelligence IoT Briefing subscribers.
- To receive the full story plus other insights each morning, click here.
LTE-M IoT devices will function when traveling between Europe and North America, thanks to a roaming agreement between international telecoms AT&T, KPN, Swisscom, and Orange.
Business Insider Intelligence
The agreement will initially only cover networks in the US, Mexico, the Netherlands, France, Romania, and Switzerland, but will expand to at least four additional European countries by the end of 2019.
LTE-M networks are well suited for a range of low-bandwidth IoT use cases, such as smart meters and location tracking, as well as connected street lights and smart appliances. And by using an LTE-M network, which require little power, devices’ batteries can last for as long as 10 years without replacement, according to GSMA.
Here’s how this agreement will benefit the participating telecoms: LTE-M roaming presents a new revenue opportunity for telecoms, as it allows them to offer enterprise clients a wider array of low-power asset tracking and connectivity products that work in more markets.
By opening more LTE-M networks to IoT devices, the telecoms participating in this agreement have effectively increased the number of available use cases for those networks — and the number of devices and services they can sell. For example, they can offer asset tracking and connectivity solutions to customers, like real-time tracking services for shipping containers sent from the US to Europe.
Customers have already shown an appetite for expanded connectivity: LTE-M roaming "has been one of the most requested features" by KPN’s customers, according to KPN IoT director Carolein Nijhuis, as quoted in the joint press release.
Here’s how this agreement will benefit customers: LTE-M roaming streamlines the wider deployment of low-power IoT devices, enabling telecom customers with an international presence to rely on a single connectivity provider.
Companies will now have access to a wider global network without having to ink deals with multiple network operators, something that will continue to grow more burdensome as more low-power wide-area networks (LPWANs) — such as LTE-M and narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) networks — are launched. There are already more than 100 operators in 52 countries with LPWANs deployed around the world.
Global operations will likely become even more seamless if agreements such as AT&T, KPN, Swisscom, and Orange’s are replicated or expanded to encompass more networks. In turn, IoT devices that rely on LPWANs will proliferate — Business Insider Intelligence forecasts that there will be more than 3.5 billion global devices connecting to LPWANs by 2024.
Interested in getting the full story? Here are two ways to get access:
1. Sign up for the IoT Briefing to get it delivered to your inbox 3x a week. >> Get Started
2. Subscribe to a Premium pass to Business Insider Intelligence and gain immediate access to the IoT Briefing, plus more than 250 other expertly researched reports. As an added bonus, you’ll also gain access to all future reports and daily newsletters to ensure you stay ahead of the curve and benefit personally and professionally. >> Learn More Now
- Google’s Cloud outage could cast a pall over the IoT platform
- MediaTek’s new 5G SoC opens the door for cheaper 5G devices
- iRobot has unveiled new in-home cleaning robots with improved features