5 reasons the IoT needs its own networks

Last week, AT&T said it would launch a Narrow Band-IoT (NB-IoT) network in the United States and Mexico. And this isn’t the first network dedicated to the Internet of Things that AT&T is working on. The carrier had previously announced an IoT network using the LTE-M standard to cover some 400 million people in the U.S. and Mexico by the end of last year.

Just as important, many other U.S. carriers also have various flavors of low-power IoT networks in the works, including Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, and even Dish Network.

So, what’s the attraction? Why do carriers find it necessary — or at least beneficial — to build entirely new wireless networks to support low-power machine-to-machine (M2M) communications? After all, can’t existing LTE, 4G, and planned 5G mobile networks provide the needed connectivity?

Well, yes. But.

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