Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Deutsche Telekom completes LTE-M rollout across Germany

Steve Rogerson
July 22, 2020

Deutsche Telekom has completed the rollout of its 5G-ready LTE-M network across Germany and is bringing its first commercial services to market.
In Germany, LTE-M is now commercially available in both post-paid and pre-paid IoT offerings, including its Business Smart Connect LPWA and M2M tariffs. To secure interoperability, Deutsche Telekom has already completed first certifications of a handful of LTE-M chipsets and modules, enabling faster user time-to-market and connectivity quality.
“LTE-M gives our customers the opportunity to develop new solutions where previous technologies had their limitations,” said Rami Avidan, CEO of Deutsche Telekom IoT. “The technology is a firm part of our overall IoT network portfolio. It is 5G-ready and therefore future-proof, ideally positioned to drive innovation for the internet of things even further.”
LTE-M is an important IoT technology to bridge the gap between the existing 4G offering and NB-IoT. It is also regarded as a future-proof successor of 2G and 3G as those technologies are gradually phased out across the globe. LTE-M enables new use cases across various industry sectors, most notably in the areas of smart city, wearables, mhealth and smart tracking.
The 5G-ready LTE-M technology is an extension of Deutsche Telekom’s mobile IoT strategy. It is designed for IoT connectivity and combines the power-saving advantages of both NB-IoT and earlier LTE technologies. In comparison to NB-IoT, LTE-M offers higher data rates (up to 350kbit/s), lower latency, connected mobility such as the ability of a technology to do handover between cells, and SMS support.
In comparison to legacy M2M technologies such as 2G, 3G and standard LTE, LTE-M offers optimised energy consumption and better indoor coverage, as well as up to a 50% lower module cost. With these characteristics, LTE-M is in a position to address an entirely different set of use cases.
LTE-M is based on the LTE 3GPP standard. It is therefore 5G-ready and only requires a software update in the network. The NB-IoT and LTE-M technologies will continue evolving as part of the 3GPP 5G specifications. This means all users can leverage existing investments as part of the 5G evolution. The long-term viability of these technologies is therefore secured.
Deutsche Telekom and its roaming partner Orange in France and Belgium have agreed to activate LTE-M roaming across their respective networks, enabling their IoT customers to take advantage of the power-efficient technology across borders.
Roaming is available bilaterally between Germany and France as of this week. Roaming between Germany and Belgium will be added within the next few weeks.