Wireless Industry News

Thirty four million Americans lack access to broadband and the country is ranked 16th in the world for broadband access, said U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL), without citing a source, according to Broadbandbreakfast.com. Speaking at a hearing last week on improving broadband deployment in rural areas to a House Small Business Subcommittee, Schneider and others discussed how Congress can improve broadband deployment.

Mike Romano, lobbyist for NTCA, the Rural Broadband Association, said providers don’t usually see a ROI for providing broadband in outlying areas.That’s why the FCC’s Universal Service Fund, a public-private partnership, is so important. But the USF has at times, been inefficient with a flat budget since 2011, he said, according to Broadbandbreakfast.com 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