Sprint announced that by the end of July this year it will have completed its deployment of LTE Cat 1 technology across its nationwide network. Speaking today at IoT World 2017, the world's largest Internet of Things (IoT) event, Mohamad Nasser, the General Manager of Sprint’s IoT Business Unit said that “IoT, along with wireless and wireline, is one of the three critical business lines for the Sprint Business portfolio. We are investing effort and capital to make sure that Sprint is well positioned to capitalize on the incredible growth that IoT will experience globally.” At the same time, they also said that they will start to roll out LTE Cat M technology in the middle of next year, as well as LTE Cat MB1.
LTE Cat 1 technology has been found to be the ideal option for many low-power IoT applications, including devices that are idle or asleep most of the time. Devices such as ATMs that have a CCTV surveillance system are the perfect example. This technology has a throughput speed capped at 10 Mbps, meaning it requires less power than Cat 3 or 4 technology. LTE Cat 1 technology is also supporting industrial IoT applications, as well as vehicle telematics. It is thought that when Cat 1 technology is fully deployed, along with NB1, they will be used for many different purposes. In addition, it has been pointed out that LTE Cat 1 and LTE Cat NB1 technology could also be used to power devices that deliver a small amount of data to the user and then go back into sleep mode, such as wearables and industrial sensors.
The communications services giant who is based in Overland Park, Kansas, is currently the seventh largest provider of IoT devices, and say that they continue to expand their portfolio. They are well-known for developing innovative technologies, and currently own a large part of the 2.5GHz spectrum which will give them a huge advantage over other companies when the time for 5G comes, although they are currently only using approximately a quarter of the available spectrum. As of March this year, they stated that they serve 59.7 million connections and were the first company to provide a wireless 4G service in the United States. In addition to working towards completion of LTE Cat 1 deployment on their network Sprint has also recently provided some details about their plans for 5G deployment using the 2.5GHz spectrum