What is Cat M1 Cellular Service and Why Should I Care?

What is LTE CAT M1
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Saving energy is good business.

In homes, cars, and personal devices it cuts costs and enables growth. It drives the development of new products and even new industries. Cat M1 modems are the energy savers of the cellular IoT (Internet of Things).

Until now, devices connecting to the Internet of Things via the cellular network have had to use modems originally made for voice and smartphone applications. They are costly and made to accommodate the high bandwidth that smartphones need.  They’re also power-hogs, which is why we all spend so much time looking for places to recharge our smartphones.

The cost of operating and powering those “repurposed” modems put them out of reach for many IoT device developers, whose products typically have relatively modest bandwidth requirements. And because many IoT devices need to function unattended, sometimes at remote locations where the power grid is unavailable or unreliable, there was no effective way to keep them powered.

Cellular network providers responded by developing LTE Cat M1. The service uses a tiny sliver of bandwidth on the secure, reliable LTE network, which is already available virtually everywhere. Because the corresponding Cat M1 modems need to support less bandwidth, they cost less to operate, while taking advantage of the modern features of the LTE network. That is particularly important because while most of us own just one smartphone, IoT applications will typically involve dozens, hundreds, or thousands of devices. And because Cat M1 modems require far less power, they will let devices operate on solar power or batteries, in some applications for years without a recharge.

Skywire LTE-M Embedded Modem for Verizon

The IoT won’t impose limits on any application’s bandwidth demands, but for those who need lots of small slices of bandwidth, Cat M1 is going to blow away barriers to entry and fuel massive growth. For information on Cat M1 requirements, capabilities, and specifications, check out our LTE-M modem for the Verizon Network.