Wireless Industry News

Carriers and their associations disagree on whether the wireless industry is competitive. CTIA and Verizon say it is while the Competitive Carriers Association says it’s not competitive nationwide. The issue is important because the agency has to file reports to Congress each year, detailing where competition exists, whether there’s enough or if an additional provider would boost competition.

CTIA calls the market “robust” and “thriving” in comments filed with the Commission. It notes the adoption of 395.9 million wireless devices in the U.S. by the end of 2016, and says wireless penetration is at more than 100 percent of the U.S. population. 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