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5G and satellite evolution in the wings to extend NB-IoT’s reach

The development and deployment of cellular machine-to-machine networks will lag that of mobile broadband by at least five years. The two families of LTE-based IoT-centric specifications, NB-IoT and LTE-M, are only being commercially deployed at scale now, so although they will have 5G upgrades standardized in 2021’s 3GPP Release 17, most MNOs will wait for some years to roll these out. If they are deploying NB-IoT and/or LTE-M now, they will not want to implement another new technology, even one that is mainly a software upgrade to the main RANs, until they see return on investment, or until compelling use cases emerge that really require 5G. The lag between broadband and low power M2M is unsurprising. When the 4G standards…

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