4G CAT M becomes the new basic supply for the IoT
Hardly a day goes by when politics, trade journalists or various marketing gurus do not fuel the topic of 5G and its promises for the future. However, little is said about the fact that the introduction of this technology will mean that the aging 3G and 2G networks will be switched off. Only 4G still has a guarantee of existence for many years, is currently even getting additional frequency bands and, as a basic service, will take on the main burden of 5G applications, which are not extremely time-critical.
As in other European countries, the 3G network (UMTS) is the first to be dismantled and its infrastructure is stripped. This is planned for 2020 to 2021. UMTS had little time to establish itself and was still replaced by LTE in many places during its development phase. To this day, UMTS is still well represented in metropolitan areas, at train stations and airports - precisely where it was installed first when the network was expanded. As a consolation to all users of UMTS, their modems are usually capable of fallback to 2G, i.e. continue to function as GPRS modems after switching off the networks.
The 2G network is currently the backbone of technical applications, while private users with their smartphones have long been at home in the LTE network. However, the 2G network is also getting old and is being dismantled in order to clear the frequency bands below 1,000 MHz for LTE and 5G.
Side note: Switzerland plays a special role in the concert of the countries of Europe. Here, the UMTS network was set up nationwide at an early stage and therefore the 2G network will initially disappear in Switzerland from next year and 3G will still be available for a long time.
Since the 4G network now exists nationwide and is designed with its frequency bands for coexistence with 5G, this network is future-proof. The network operators are trying very hard not to forget not only the new high-speed applications (e.g. autonomous driving) but also industrial customers with normal requirements for data throughput and speed. This role is assumed by the network structure LTE CAT M (M for mobile), which is now available across all networks.
In the age of LTE and 5G, SMS also remains important for industrial applications. SMS has established itself for numerous data transmission tasks and is integrated into the events in modern networks via services. The big advantage: the transfer runs quickly and smoothly; the delays in transmission that can occasionally be observed with 2G and 3G are a thing of the past.
The GSM expert Wireless Netcontrol is planning attractive offers for the hardware upgrade of its modems and GSM signaling devices to LTE CAT M for 2020.