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MWC: Will cablecos be the savior of unlicensed LPWANs, now LTE-M is here?

It seems that the idea of LPWANs (low power wide area networks) in unlicensed spectrum consuming the low-hanging IoT fruit, before the cellular providers could catch up, has failed to materialize. But while new LTE-M standards are poised for significant growth, there is one reason not to lose faith in an unlicensed alternative – the cable industry. At Mobile World Congress, LPWAN specialist Sigfox posted encouraging growth to 13-14m subscribers as of the end of 2016, but during last year Jasper (now owned by Cisco) grew the cellular M2M subscriber base that it manages from 17m to 40m, and it expects its growth rate to be even faster in 2017. As the 3GPP argued about a low power, M2M-optimized implementation…

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