What is LTE-M (Long Term Evolution for Machines)?

What is LTE-M (Long Term Evolution for Machines)?

Time:2023-2-28 Author:Frank Chung

Devices rely on a wireless network to connect to the internet and send data, including the smartphone in your pocket and fleet tracking equipment. Here is where LTE-M comes in. It’s important to understand what the LTE-M network is, especially for fleet-owning companies, even though many of us use it daily and frequently hear the phrase. If your company depends on quick connectivity to conduct operations effectively, the LTE M network and devices connected to it might offer important benefits.

This post will go into greater detail about LTE M, covering what it signifies and the several advantages it can provide for your fleet and other costly equipment.

What is LTE-M?

LTE-M (Long-Term Evolution for Machines) is a low-power, wide-area (LPWA) wireless communication technology designed specifically for Internet of Things (IoT) devices. It is a subset of the 4G LTE standard that uses licensed spectrum to provide reliable and secure communication with extended coverage and better battery life.

How does LTE-M work?

In actuality, the LTE (Long Term Evolution, or simply 4G) Category M1 standard announced by 3GPP in 2016 is known as LTE-M in the industry (Release 13). It is a standard for connecting resource-constrained devices to the Internet that transmit modest quantities of data over extended periods of time while offering good signal penetration and preserving minimal power usage. In comparison to the previous 1Mbps version, the data rate allowed by the standard increased to 4Mbps with 3GPP Release 14. This has led to better network mobility and speech capacity.

What are the benefits of LTE-M?

Here are some of the benefits of LTE-M:

Low Power Consumption

The low power consumption of LTE-M is one of its main benefits. IoT devices using LTE-M technology are perfect for applications that need long battery life and connectivity in remote or difficult-to-reach regions because they can send small amounts of data over a cellular network at low cost and low power consumption. Using a method known as Power Saving Mode, LTE-M devices can go to sleep for prolonged durations while not sending or receiving data. IoT devices may run longer without recharging due to this, which helps conserve battery life.

Extended Range

Depending on the network setup, LTE-M has a range of up to several miles. Compared to competing LPWA technologies with a smaller range like LoRa and Sigfox, this is a big benefit. LTE-increased M’s range makes it the best choice for IoT applications in remote or difficult-to-reach locations where other LPWA technologies might not be practical.

QoS (Quality of Service) 

Since LTE-M provides QoS (Quality of Service), crucial data is sent with the least amount of delay possible. This is crucial for real-time data delivery in applications like healthcare monitoring or industrial automation. In order to ensure that the most crucial data is delivered promptly and effectively, QoS ensures that some types of data are given precedence over others.


To prevent unauthorized access to data transferred across the network, LTE-M contains a number of security features. Data security and protection from hacking and other types of cyber-attacks are guaranteed by encryption and other security features. This is especially crucial for IoT devices that communicate private data, such as financial or medical information.


The low-cost communication technology for Internet of Things devices is LTE-M. LTE-M uses the current cellular network infrastructure, which makes it more affordable than other LPWA technologies like LoRa or Sigfox which need a separate network architecture.


LTE-M, which is very scalable, may be able to support an enormous number of IoT devices. This is essential for applications like smart cities, which require a significant amount of networked devices. A large number of devices can be supported on the network thanks to the scalability of LTE-M without clogging the system or affecting performance in any other way.

Global Coverage

LTE-M is a global communication protocol that is widely used worldwide. Thus, IoT device deployment around the globe is made possible by LTE-M technology without the use of extra networks or communication protocols. Programs that require global connectivity, such as supply chain management and asset tracking, depend on this.

Better Network Performance

Compared to competing LPWA technologies like LoRa and Sigfox, LTE-M offers higher network performance. This is because LTE-M employs a licensed spectrum, which assures the network is not crowded and offers better interference immunity. IoT devices can move easily between various network cells using LTE-mobility M’s capability, maintaining connectivity.

Applications of lte-m

Smart Agriculture

Modern technology is used in agriculture to enhance farming practices. LTE-M technology has the potential to significantly contribute to smart agriculture by providing real-time monitoring of crops, soil, and weather conditions. Farmers that want to track humidity, temperature, and other environmental factors that affect crop growth in their fields might utilize LTE-M to put sensors. Farmers can utilize this information to inform their decisions on pest control, fertilization, and irrigation.

Smart Home

Connected gadgets are used in smart homes to automate numerous domestic duties. Smart home gadgets may be able to interact with the cloud and one another thanks to LTE-M technology, enabling remote monitoring and management of various systems. LTE-M, for instance, can be used to manage appliances like refrigerators and washing machines as well as home security systems, HVAC systems, and security systems.

Asset Tracking

Using technology to track the whereabouts and movement of assets including inventories, equipment, and vehicles is known as asset tracking. Asset tracking devices can link to the internet using LTE-M technology, allowing for real-time tracking and monitoring of assets. For instance, LTE-M can be used to track delivery trucks’ locations and monitor the temperature and humidity of perishable products as they are being transported.


By providing remote patient monitoring and real-time communication between healthcare providers and patients, LTE-M technology can significantly contribute to the healthcare industry. Employing connected devices that can track patient vital signs like heart rate, blood pressure, and temperature is now possible for healthcare providers thanks to LTE-M.

Commercial Automation

Many industrial procedures are automated with the help of connected devices. LTE-M technology can provide the connectivity needed for industrial automation devices, enabling real-time communication between diverse industrial infrastructure components. For instance, LTE-M can be used to monitor equipment performance, control industrial operations, and maintain inventory levels.

Smart Retail

Smart retail refers to the use of technology to enhance client shopping experiences. LTE-M technology can be used to offer the connectivity needed for smart retail devices, enabling real-time communication between various components of the retail infrastructure. Smart shelves, which maintain inventory levels and provide store staff with real-time information, can be made possible due to using LTE-M.


In the upcoming years, LTE-M technology adoption is anticipated to increase as more businesses strive to introduce linked devices to improve productivity. LTE-M is positioned to be a key player in the development of smart cities, homes, and businesses due to its adaptability and dependability. We may anticipate seeing even more cutting-edge applications and use cases emerge in the years to come as LTE-M continues to develop and improve.

Related Cases

If necessary, please contact us!

You can contact us by email for special project consultation, and we will assist you in obtaining ideal products and services.