Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

AT&T, KPN, Orange and Swisscom activate LTE-M roaming

Steve Rogerson
June 18, 2019
 
AT&T, KPN, Orange and Swisscom have activated LTE-M roaming across their IoT networks. This should let IoT low-power devices operate efficiently on multiple networks across North America and Europe.
 
LTE-M enables a host of IoT applications with lower costs, compact modules, longer battery life and the ability to penetrate hard-to-reach locations. The network operates within licensed spectrum with carrier-grade security and is adapted to moving objects.
 
“More and more of our enterprise customers require global capabilities as they deploy IoT devices and applications,” said John Wojewoda, AVP at AT&T. “These LTE-M roaming agreements help meet that demand and make it easier for businesses around the world to benefit from the power of a globalised IoT.”
 
This global collaboration could be an important step in the maturity of LTE-M as a leading IoT technology. LTE-M network deployments have grown in North America, Europe and globally during the past several years:

  • AT&T deployed its LTE-M network across the USA and Mexico.
  • KPN launched LTE-M across the Netherlands.
  • Orange’s LTE-M network is available in France and Romania with Belgium, Slovakia, Spain and Poland coming this year.
  • Swisscom has already deployed LTE-M across Switzerland.
The carriers expect to add additional supporting operators to this roaming arrangement to expand their cross-border capabilities in the coming months.
 
According to the GSMA, LTE-M networks will fully cover Europe by the end of 2020.
 
"The introduction of LTE-M creates many new possibilities for our partners, customers and prospects,” said Carolien Nijhuis, director IoT at KPN. “Roaming with LTE-M has been one of the most requested features by our customers in the market. We are very happy we're now able to fulfil their needs and unlock their international IoT-potential."
 
Didier Lelièvre, director of mobile wholesale and interconnection at Orange, added: "Enabling access to roaming on LTE-M for our customers is a clear priority for Orange. We’re proud to be among the first operators to deliver such a roaming capability to our IoT customers and more widely to our partners across this market.”
 
And Julian Dömer, head of IoT at Swisscom, said: “After offering the first nationwide LTE-M and NB-IoT networks in Switzerland, we are happy to prove our strong position on roaming and be among the first operators that enhance the key technology LTE-M for 2G replacement with international roaming.”