Wireless Industry News

As expected, the FCC moved forward with plans to make it easier for wireless carriers and their partners to deploy small cells in municipalities across the country.

The Commission approved "an examination of the regulatory impediments" at the state and local levels that can slow the rollout of small cells and other transmitters in an effort to streamline zoning, permitting and siting challenges. The agency is seeking comment on ways to improve rules and processes at the local, state and federal level, and will examine FCC rules for procedures for historic preservation and environmental review.

All four major wireless carriers in the U.S. are looking to small cells to improve coverage and increase capacity in advance of 5G buildouts. The antennas, which can be as small as a lunchbox, can be placed on “street furniture” such as lampposts or traffic lights as well as on the sides of buildings or other private property. 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