Connecting objects to create the massive IoT is the driving force in the evolution of wireless systems today.
With the emergence of low power wide area (LPWA) networks, IoT applications in a wide variety of vertical markets are coming to market with new applications being invented daily. These include smart utility meters, payment applications, automotive devices, wearables, industrial sensors, smart home and business, smart agriculture and environmental monitoring, and trackers of all kinds for everything from pallets to people and pets. See Figure 2.
Figure 2: IoT Applications
Cellular IoT was introduced by the 3GPP as a way to facilitate machine-to-machine communication, or machine type communications (MTC). With the emergence of non-3GPP, proprietary LPWA technologies such as LoRA, Sigfox, and Ingenu, 3GPP became interested in defining low power low data rate technologies for connecting objects. These definitions were standardized in 2016 in Release 13 of the 3GPP LTE standard and in early 2017, the technologies began to be commercially deployed by major operators, beginning with Verizon Wireless.
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