Wireless Industry News

The sudden rush to offer unlimited data plans is taking a significant toll on all four of the nation’s major wireless operators, according to Cowen and Company Equity Research.

Both T-Mobile and Sprint trotted out unlimited data plans last August, and the carriers have sweetened their offers since the competition heated up. Meanwhile, Verizon launched an unlimited plan in February, reversing its long-held opposition to the model, and AT&T made its unlimited offering available to all customers—not just those with DirecTV subscriptions.

The unlimited craze has been a boon for data-hungry consumers, but is already proving costly for the carriers, Cowen said. 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