VoLTE Call over Commercial Network Moves Cat-M1 Forward

July 11, 2017 — 

This year has seen a lot of firsts when it comes to Category M1 (Cat-M1), a technology that marries Voice over LTE (VoLTE) with the Internet of Things. From a phone call across the Verizon network to demonstrations of use cases at the Mobile World Congress in Shanghai, technologies from Qualcomm and Ericsson are pushing Cat-M1 forward.

By J. Sharpe Smith

Senior Editor, AGL eDigest

Verizon has successfully transmitted its first live Voice over LTE (VoLTE) call over its commercial Category M1 (Cat-M1) network with the help of Ericsson and Qualcomm Technologies, which is said to be an important moment in the evolution of IoT connectivity. Cat-M1 is a 3GPP-based technology that is designed to allow low-power Internet of Things devices to communicate over licensed spectrum

Cat-M1 can extend the reach of an IoT device across Verizon’s LTE network, whether it is a data-only or voice-enabled product.

In April of this year, Verizon launched the first nationwide commercial 4G LTE Cat-M1 network, which spans 2.4 million square miles, designed to provide scale, coverage and security for customers seeking wireless access solutions for IoT.

Verizon’s Cat-M1 network is built on a virtualized cloud environment, which enables IoT deployment and nationwide scaling. Cat-M1 is a new class of LTE chipset that is designed for sensors, which requires less power and supports an array of use cases ranging from water meters to asset trackers to consumer electronics.

The low bandwidth use cases for Cat-M1 chipsets demand new types of data plans, including low rate, multi-year plans to match the longer useful life of devices.

In 2016, Verizon launched a limited commercial Cat-M1 network.

AT&T Shows VoLTE Call on Cat-M1/LTE-M Network in Demonstration

At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February of this year, AT&T demonstrated a VoLTE call on Cat-M1/LTE-M technology using technology from Qualcomm Technologies and Ericsson’s radio and core network.

AT&T plans to extend the technology into its mobile network to enhance existing and new IoT use cases requiring voice services. The demonstration shows that the technology is mature and ready for commercial deployment in operator networks.

The demonstration used Qualcomm Technologies’ MDM9206 LTE modem, designed to support Cat-M1/LTE-M, as well as Ericsson LTE Radio Access Network, Ericsson IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS), Ericsson Evolved Packet Core (EPC) and Ericsson User Data Management network infrastructure and new software.

 

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