Wireless Industry News

Vendors of small cells expect that market to ramp up significantly over the next few years as carriers look to densify their networks. But traditional tower companies say they’re not threatened by that growing market.

That’s the takeaway from Wells Fargo Securities, which last week co-hosted a conference in New York focusing on issues regarding 5G.

“In summary—a quick definition for 5G is a bit hard to find and—depending on who you speak to—you can get many different answers!” Jennifer Fritzsche of Wells Fargo wrote in a note to investors summarizing the meeting. “But one thing is clear to us—the 5G architecture and infrastructure is in full swing ‘prep and prepare’ mode and that should benefit many of the infrastructure on our coverage list. Names on this list include: American Tower, Crown Castle, Dycom Industries, SBA Communications and Zayo.” Read More

Verizon Wireless activated its Category M1 LTE network, making it the first U.S. carrier to launch a nationwide LTE network dedicated to the internet of things. The carrier said it will offer IoT data plans for as little as $2 per month per device, with customized options available for bulk activations and volume purchases.

Category M1 LTE is very different from the higher categories of LTE that smartphones use. Uplink and downlink speeds are both capped at one megabit per second, and bandwidth is capped at 1.4 megahertz per device. This is said to enable low-cost connectivity chipsets for devices that do not need constant communication with the network. Category M1 modems are roughly 75% less complex than Category 1 modems, which are currently used to connect IoT devices to LTE networks