Gemalto announced today (9 May 2016) that it has introduced voice capabilities over LTE to industrial applications using single-mode LTE Cat.1 Internet of Things (IoT) module. At its IoT World pre-event in Santa Clara, USA, the company demonstrated its Cinterion Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Category 1 (Cat.1) module, which enables the combination of simultaneous voice and data capabilities using LTE.
It describes the module as ‘ideal for solutions migrating to LTE that want to keep the flexibility of cost-effective audio capabilities’. This includes security and alarm systems, mHealth monitoring and smart home and building applications.
The Machine Type Communication (MTC) module joins Gemalto's growing family of LTE Cat 1 modules offering the reliability, longevity and power efficiency of 4G. Delivering simplified end user control and voice capabilities, the solution benefits from greater cost efficiency and improved connection speeds compared with traditional VoIP services.
"The integration of voice into industrial IoT applications offers a versatile method for optimising human interaction and control in IoT solutions," said Andrew Brown, executive director - Enterprise and IoT Research at Strategy Analytics.
"Gemalto's Cinterion VoLTE Cat.1 solution is well positioned to provide developers, device makers and end users alike with a more flexible and cost effective experience than traditional interaction practices such as data input and touch screens."
"With the sunset of 2G and 3G networks on the horizon, the industry is quickly transitioning to LTE to ensure longevity of IoT technology investments", said Axel Hansmann, vice president Portfolio and Strategy for M2M at Gemalto. "VoLTE is thus expected to become the standard of choice for enabling power efficient IoT voice capabilities."
Cat.1 LTE is the latest commercially available IoT standard in the developing family of MTC 4G LTE standards for LTE. The next category, Cat.0 is expected this year, and LTE-M in 2017. Each category reduces the cost and complexity of the modules.
The standards are being written by international standards body 3GPP, which is also writing the alternative approach to enabling LTE to be used cost effectively for IoT – this is known as Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) which is due to be ratified next month (June 2016).