Massive IoT

Massive IoT = trusted IoT

Massive IoT refers to low power wide area (LPWA) 3GPP standardised secure operator managed IoT networks in licensed spectrum. In particular, LPWA networks designed for IoT applications that are low cost, use low data rates, require long battery lives and often operate in remote and hard to reach locations. Existing cellular networks have evolved to deliver service to billions of new devices providing complete IoT connectivity.

Massive IoT technologies are also inherently more secure than alternative solutions. This is because Massive IoT networks use dedicated spectrum bands to avoid interference and because SIMs contain highly secure integrated circuits, but also because mobile operators are supplementing these inherent capabilities with additional security features.

The GSMA Massive IoT Initiative is designed to accelerate the commercial availability of low power wide area solutions in licensed spectrum.

Why are Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN) needed?

To support the further growth and development of the Internet of Things (IoT), the mobile industry together with 3GPP has standardised a new class of GSM technologies in record time. LPWA networks will support devices requiring, low power consumption, long range, low cost and security.

LPWA networks will play an important role in connecting up the billions of new devices making up the IoT. LPWA technologies are expected to serve a diverse range of vertical industries and support a range of applications and deployment scenarios, which existing mobile technologies may not currently be best placed to connect.

Complementary technologies using licensed spectrum

Due to the diversity of IoT application requirements, a single technology is not capable of addressing all of the LPWA use cases. For this reason the mobile industry has focused on two complementary licensed 3GPP standards: Long-Term Evolution for Machines (LTE-M) and Narrowband-Internet of Things (NB-IoT). LPWA technologies in licensed spectrum can be deployed in a simplified manner, without sacrificing key customer requirements, such as battery lifetime security.

The reasons for licensed spectrum solutions

Mobile operators already provide reliable, end-to-end secured IoT platforms that allow customers to scale and manage their business requirements. They also have unrivalled global network coverage as well as technical and business support to react to a customer’s changing needs. As trusted providers of reliable solutions, operators and their ecosystem partners are therefore best placed to extend their reach to serve the full range of IoT applications.

Solutions deployed in licensed spectrum will:

Support very low in power consumption – a battery life measured in years, in excess of 10 years for some applications

Be optimised for brief messages – about the length of an SMS

Have a very low device unit cost – the connectivity module will eventually cost a few dollars

Have good coverage both indoors and outdoors in previously unreachable locations, often beyond power sources

Be easy to install on to current networks, reusing existing cellular infrastructure wherever possible

Be scalable by being able to support large numbers of devices over a wide geographic area.

Deliver end-to-end secure connectivity and support for authentication appropriate to the IoT application

Be able to be integrated into a mobile operator’s unified IoT platform

Commercial deployments have started in 2017 and are expected to increase significantly in the second half of the year. To find out more about the commercial deployments, view the IoT Deployment Map.

Market opportunities for Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN)

As LPWA networks are designed for IoT applications that have low data rates, require long battery lives, are low cost, and operate in remote and hard to reach locations, they will be easy to deploy across a number of different verticals such as utilities, smart cities, logistics, agriculture, manufacturing, and wearables.

5G IoT Forum

The 5G IoT Forum is to provide all industry and wider ecosystem stakeholders with market representation to accelerate the wide-spread adoption of 3GPP-standard 5G technologies including Massive IoT (LPWA), LTE-M and NB-IoT technologies. In the Forum we will discuss issues facing the IoT Industry and make proposals to the 5G IoT Strategy Group. Members are encouraged to participate in the Action Groups. The work of the Action groups will be disseminated to the Forum and members encouraged to adopt the work. Members can also agree to work on Concepts together for the GSMA Foundry.

Visit 5G IoT Forum for more information.