Orange brings LTE-M home, eyes Romania, Spain as next steps

News

Orange has launched a LTE-M network in France and is targeting Romania and Spain by the end of this year.

The operator highlighted the likes of logistical and telemonitoring, remote assistance and fleet management as among the potential use cases. It added that the technology also benefits from the security and roaming functionality of 4G.

The technology will complement its LoRa network, which launched in 2015 and is now being used by 250 enterprise customers. The first LTE-M devices will hit the market in France by the end of 2018.

A spokesperson for the operator said: "Following the launch of its first LTE-M network in Belgium, Orange has been undertaking extensive trials of LTE-M in several other European markets throughout 2018 allowing customers, partners and device manufacturers to test and develop different use-cases in different sectors of activity like utilities electricity, gas and water, industry and logistics.

"With the trials concluded, Orange will now also launch commercial LTE-M networks in Spain and Romania by the end of the year. Further pilots in Orange’s remaining European markets continue."

Orange first launched LTE-M in Belgium in 2017 and hit nationwide coverage by the end of last year. The market is a curio for the French telecoms group as it is the only European opco to also offer NB-IoT.

Speaking at Mobile Europe and European Communications' IoT in Telecoms event earlier this year, Ronan Le Bras, Head of Technical Strategy for Wireless Networks at Orange, said NB-IoT failed to deliver on its early promise and Belgium was being used to see if its performance is worth a wider rollout.