Deutsche Telekom eyes mid-2019 for LTE-M launch

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Deutsche Telekom will bring LTE-M into Europe in 2019 with the operator looking to develop new use cases for the IoT technology.

The operator has set up test networks in Berlin and Reutlingen in Germany, Krakow in Poland, Rotterdam in The Netherlands, and Vienna in Austria although it did not formally reveal its commercial launch markets.

It recently held a prototyping program and summit for members of its hubraum incubator, which encouraged 150 start-ups and established companies to produce new solutions.

One example was from UK company Neebo, which produced a health wearable so small that a newborn baby could wear it. Dutch company Babbler developed an industrial asset tracking solution that can locate containers over long distances and connect them to security networks.

Deutsche Telekom said the technology was also suitable for smart city and building solutions, enabling the connection of energy meters or air conditioning.

Ingo Hofacker, Senior Vice President, responsible for the IoT business at Deutsche Telekom, said: “The summit is the highlight of our prototyping activities and will provide most interesting insights into the business opportunities of LTE-M.

“We are concurrently working towards first LTE-M network launches in several of our European markets by mid-2019. These will enable our customers to develop and test their LTE-M-based devices and applications.

“LTE-M is an exciting 5G-ready technology and a natural extension of Deutsche Telekom’s Mobile IoT strategy. It completes the IoT landscape as it offers a whole new set of possibilities where other technologies are limited.”

The summit follows a similar one for NB-IoT, the IoT technology Deutsche Telekom has prioritised up until now and launched commercially last year. Speaking then, Hofhacker told Mobile Europe that NB-IoT was even being used to track the health of bees.