Wireless Industry News

U.S. Cellular submitted an application last week for a six-month special temporary authority (STA) to conduct experimental testing in the 3.5 GHz band in parts of Maine and North Carolina.

The testing will involve studying the radio propagation characteristics of frequencies in the proposed Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) spectrum to help determine the applicability of the spectrum to support various future wireless services, according to the application. U.S. Cellular wants to start the STA clock on June 26 and run through Dec. 26, 2017.

Specifically, the locations would be in suburban and rural areas in Penobscot and Somerset counties in Maine and in Buncombe and Henderson counties in North Carolina. Cities include Hendersonville and Candler in North Carolina and Charleston and Skowhegan in Maine. 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