LTE networks

Although the 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project) Release 15 has officially commenced the distribution of the 5th Generation of Telecommunication (5G) networks, the adoption of legacy mobile technologies that long reigned in the market such as LTE (Long Term Revolution) is still continuing to gain momentum.

Ever since its release in 2010, several Mobile Network Operators (MNO) across the world have heavily invested in the LTE network rollouts, towards the transition from 2G/3G to 4G. Large scale global deployment of LTE networks has contributed towards improved network coverage, easily available and affordable high-speed devices.

LTE-M networks on a global scale

Figure: LTE subscriptions forecast 2016-2020 Image Source: GSA

As reported by the GSA, the contribution of LTE to mobile subscribers has steadily climbed up the ladder over the years. The source reported that the end of 2016 witnessed a massive increase in the number of global LTE subscribers that reached up to 1.52 Bn. It has also forecasted that the number of 4G connections is expected to double by 2020 moving from 23% in 2016 to 45% in 2020. GSA predicts that the number of LTE subscribers would hit 3.8 Bn by the end of 2020.

LTE-M, the industry term for LTE MTC (LTE - Machine Type Communication), which refers explicitly to LTE-M1, is an abbreviation for Long Term Evolution (4G) category M1 or Long Term Evolution of Machines. The radio technology is a standards-based protocol that offers extended indoor and subterranean coverage and is apt for Low Power Wide Area IoT applications, supporting a battery life for smart devices longer than 10 years.

Applications and Use Cases of LTE-M

LTE-M supports several low power IoT applications such as sensor monitoring, asset tracking, fleet tracking (Fleet Management Solutions), applications that real-time communication, industry 4.0 applications, etc. Use cases include Smart Utility Metering, Fleet Management Solutions, Patient monitoring systems, Asset management solutions, Preventive Maintenance, etc. A total of 32 countries around the world have LTE-M1 coverage through 45 Mobile Network Operators (MNO) as of April 2020.

Fleet Management Solution

Fleet Management Solution

Fleet Management Solutions enable SMBs & Enterprises to optimize schedules and routes for their logistics department - be it for vehicles that are traversing interstate or heavy engineering vehicles that move within predefined geo-fences. With LTE-M coverage, be able to remotely optimize vehicle routes, monitor driver behavior, increase productivity, cost-efficiency, and obtain the efficiency of your fleets.

Smart Utility Metering

With the need for intelligent and sustainable environments, smart city projects are today gaining much traction. Energy distribution authorities can remotely monitor and control the distribution and consumption of resources at any given location with Smart Utility Metering solutions.

Smart Utility Metering
Predictive maintenance

Predictive maintenance

In environments like factories and industries, heavy machines and equipment would require a timely inspection to detect signs of wear or tear. IoT-enabled techniques are designed to help determine the condition of in-service equipment in order to estimate when maintenance should be performed. The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is making this easier for the user by using Predictive Maintenance solutions to forecast and detect anomalies before fault incidents.

Read more about LTE-M and its key features


Micromobility services offer an eco-friendly, cost-effective answer to hectic traffic congestion. They bring together a diversity of stakeholders such as traffic authorities, product manufacturers, platform operators, and government agencies to make transportation safer, cleaner, efficient and reliable.


Unleashing the true power of LTE-M networks for IoT applications

With a motive to democratize IoT for everyone and unleash the true power of LTE-M networks, Cavli Wireless and Orange Business Services are coming together to offer seamless LTE-M connectivity for IoT applications through Hubble99.

C-Series IoT modules, C42QM and C42GM, as part of Cavli’s flagship IoT hardware- SaaS bundle, the Hubble99, bundled with LTE-M connectivity services offered by Orange Telecom will be able to power innovative use cases in smart city applications, smartwatches, critical asset & fleet tracking, and other industry 4.0 applications.

Cavli’s Hubble99 is the world's first truly subscription-based IoT offering with ZERO hardware cost. For an irresistible package price of $0.99/month/device, IoT solution players get the eSIM integrated connectivity hardware of their choice of technology ( on LPWAN/LTE technologies - NB IoT, LTE-M, CAT 1, CAT 4, 2G, 3G), pre-loaded IoT data subscription (ranging from 5 MB - 30 MB), and a robust Connectivity-Device management cloud platform- Cavli Hubble all bundled into one single package. This plan enables Cavli’s enterprise customers to avail the cellular IoT modules, global connectivity, and device management platform, without an upfront CAPEX, while providing extended battery life for their IoT devices.

Cavli Wireless already has access to LTE-M networks in Europe and North America. By collaborating with Orange Business Services, our C42QM and C42GM LTE CAT M1/NB-IoT module will have seamless LTE-M connectivity, globally. Cavli’s partnership with Orange Business Services will witness the onboarding of approximately 200k devices live on Hubble99 in the next 12 months. Cavli Hubble through the Orange LTE-M network will move freely across regions without hitting connectivity or power issues.

Uninterrupted LTE-M network access coupled with a cost-effective IoT adoption plan can accelerate IoT use cases worldwide, thereby unleashing the true power of LTE-M networks.

“IoT can finally achieve true mobility with LTE-M. Devices can move unrestricted over a wide range, opening up new application opportunities that would otherwise be impossible using 3G or 4G. LTE-M is the best low power solution for tracking applications, and Orange has been a pioneer in LTE-M across Europe along with the best reach through roaming coverage,” said John Mathew of Cavli

The decline of 2G

The decline of 2G

Originally designed for voice calling in mobile communications and for applications requiring small amounts of data, 2G networks are popularly known for its reliability but sadly infamous for being among the slowest cellular connections in the market. This makes it difficult to achieve stable connectivity in hard-to-reach areas. With the bandwidth levels reaching its peak in the frequency range allocated for 2G, a new standard technology for its replacement is inevitable given the large adoption of smart connected devices/products in the years to come.


The 2G Sunset has set technological constrain on enterprises hugely dependent upon the 2G network. Access the use case document to learn how to transit from 2G to existing networks without major device changes or field recalls.

Access the Document Now

When compared to 2G, LTE-M networks offer a better solution in terms of remote coverage, data speeds, higher bandwidth & network capacity, longer battery life, and low device cost. While the transition remains challenging in several regions where IoT use cases such as Light Vehicle/Asset Tracking relies on 2G, it's about time that regulators and IoT product makers alike need to realize why LTE-M is the future of connected things. In most cases, simply adding a new modem to the existing infrastructure could be an easy solution. Although an entire replacement of the outdated infrastructure could potentially increase device functionality.


Tarun Thomas George

Tarun Thomas George

Co-founder, Chief Operating Officer
Cavli Wireless

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