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LTE Category Standard

There are 9 different LTE categories that are defined.  The different LTE categories have a wide range in the support parameters and performance.  The categories below are the most popular for the Industrial IoT and Machine to Machine applications.

LTE category narrow band

Source: Qualcomm

LTE Cat-4: This is the most popular category and mostly used on the consumer (ex. Smart phone) or enterprise level (cellular router/gateway).  The smartphone allow consumer to access all the information on the internet including video stream.  The enterprise cellular router plays a role as network bridge for a local network to the Internet.   These devices aggregate multiple network requests (or devices) and require large bandwidth.   The Cat-4 is able to provide up to 150Mbps download speed.

LTE Cat-1:  Not all the devices are playing as router or download the video stream, but still need a fast network connection.  The bandwidth of Cat-1 is 10Mbps which sufficient for most of the machine applications including ATM, Kiosk, or Health Care monitoring.  The applications are mostly a single device transmitting data over the network.

LTE Cat-M1: As the name “M1”, this category is design for “mobile devices” such as smartwatch, asset tracking or POS terminals.  The devices transmit small size of data to the server.  The data process handle by the server, and then transmit the result back to devices.

LTE Cat-NB1 (NarrowBand): The bandwidth for this category is 250 kbps.  It is ideal for low bandwidth applications such as sensors status monitoring.