Japanese mobile operator NTT DOCOMO has completed interoperability testing on Gemalto’s Cinterion LTE Cat.1 specific M2M modules. The ELS31J and ELS51J wireless modules provide the communication links between a wide range of IoT devices, such as consumer wearables, smart meters, and remote sensors to the enterprise back-end enabling new services and new business models.
The module's ruggedized and future-proof design further offers manufacturers a highly efficient and cost-effective LTE connectivity, as well as easy migration from existing to future telecommunication standards, according to Gemalto.
LTE Cat.1, also referred to as enhanced Machine Type Communication (eMTC), is the latest commercially available M2M/IoT standard to be evolved from standard LTE technology. LTE Cat.0 and LTE Cat.M, which use less power and less spectrum, will follow.
Other 3GPP standards for use in licensed spectrum bands include the new standalone NB-IoT (Narrowband IoT), which can be deployed in existing LTE bands, LTE guard-bands or as a standalone option. The other option is Enhanced Coverage GSM-IoT (EC-GSM-IoT), which utilises narrowband technology within the GSM (2G/EDGE) bands.
Japanese companies are investing heavily in the IoT sector. Last year, an estimated 624 million (source: Statista) IoT devices were deployed across the country, contributing to US$103 billion (source: Statista) in market revenue.
By 2020, these figures have been forecast to reach over 1 billion units and 176 billion, respectively. The transformative impact of IoT is evident in all industries, from connected cars to smart factories.
"We continue to collaborate with Gemalto, a trusted and long-time partner, to deliver LTE connectivity to our M2M and IoT enterprise customers," said Toshiyuki Futakata, vice president and senior manager of Radio Access Technology Group, Communication Device Development Department at NTT DOCOMO.
"Given that this wireless module has already been successfully deployed in the US, we are confident that businesses and consumers in Japan will also enjoy the same highly efficient LTE connectivity, harnessing Gemalto's field-proven expertise."
"Gemalto and NTT DOCOMO share the same vision of accelerating IoT and LTE adoption and innovation in Japan," said Thothadri Sashidhar, VP M2M Sales APAC at Gemalto. "Our Cinterion family of wireless modules is the world's first to support LTE Cat.1, and being qualified, means device manufacturers can shorten the time-to-market for their products."