Since 2003, when machine-to-machine was but a nascent concept and “Internet-of-Things” had barely been coined a term, KORE has been advising customers to always use the network that best fits their unique needs. For many, even most of our customers, that has meant tapping into lower-cost 2G GSM or CDMA networks to achieve the best match between technology and economics. M2M was indeed synonymous with the small data packet.
Now M2M is but a subset of the expanding Internet of Things (IoT) market—a market that IDC projects will have 212 billion devices online by 2020 i —and operators would be remiss to ignore the opportunity they have to transition into the LTE world of faster data speeds and a more efficient use of spectrum. More importantly, as we look towards the future, the use of LTE technologies quite simply provides the longest possible deployment lifetime for our customers, and in the long run can save them the most money.
Now is the time to change. Market events have forced almost every M2M stakeholder to reconsider their thinking – AT&T will decommission all 2G technologies (GPRS, EDGE) from its network by the end of 2016. 2G “mini-sunsets” have begun already; many of AT&T’s roaming partners in rural areas have already turned off 2G services in preparation for the full shutdown later this year.