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O2 launches first UK LTE-M network to boost business IoT

Written by Wed 12 Feb 2020

O2 launches LPWAN IoT network to boost business adoption

O2 claimed it will become the first carrier to bring LTE-M to the UK when its new network is rolled out in 2020. 50 sites are already live and national rollout is scheduled to complete this year.

The 4G-based LTE-M (Long Term Evolution M1) network is a Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) designed to facilitate uptake of IoT business applications like asset tracking, connected traffic lights, parking sensors, soil monitoring and assisted living.

LPWAN technology can deliver a speedy 1Mbps through 1.4 MHz of bandwidth and there are plans to increase the speed in an upcoming release standard.

This kind of power is more than what is necessary for most simple IoT devices, which do not require more than 0.1 Mbps.

But as the network allows businesses to share small amounts of data between devices at low power consumption, it will “help unlock” adoption of long-life IoT battery devices in the field, O2 claimed.

Battery life is an important factor in driving industrial IoT in locations where power is unavailable or unreliable. In theory, IoT sensors could last for up to 10 years on one charge with LPWAN.

“IoT technology has the potential to transform the way the UK does business, so to become the first UK network operator to roll out an LTE-M network is a major milestone for us here at O2,” commented Paul O’ Sullivan, Director of Wholesale & Commercial at O2.

“We know that businesses looking into IoT solutions want answers now, not in five to ten years. Introducing a nationwide LTE-M network in 2020 will help unlock low-power use cases we haven’t seen before: from asset tracking and public sector applications like sensors on signage and traffic lights, right through to parking sensors and soil monitoring. We’re looking forward to partnering with UK businesses to bring these use cases to life.”

Vodafone launched a narrowband IoT network across Europe in 2019 and Three is piloting LPWAN in the UK.


Written by Wed 12 Feb 2020


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