CAT-M1 or NB-IoT? The polls say go for both

As the adoption of the next generation of cellular IoT networks continues, it seems no one technology will ultimately dominate.

The US, Korea and Australia have spearheaded the rollout of CAT-M1. This process is motivated by the relatively straightforward upgrade of existing CAT-1 networks, as well as voice support, lower latency and improved power consumption to address a potentially larger subset of IoT applications.

Concurrently, China and Europe have opted to begin with the simpler and ultimately lower cost Cat-NB1 (NB-IoT) networks, ideal for those more basic metering and sensor applications which do not require mobility or voice.

Regardless of where they begin, it now seems inevitable that most markets will be employing both M1 and narrowband networks in the near future. For this reason, Altair has prioritized the development of highly integrated dual-mode chipsets, compatible with both technologies.

This prediction was corroborated in the second poll conducted during our recent webinar. Out of almost 600 industry professionals, nearly 43% confirmed their intention to employ both CAT-M1 and NB1 for their IoT deployments:

This is exactly what we at Altair have been anticipating. There a limited number of vendors and OEMs that will use just one technology to target specific operators or geographies. However, in the majority of cases, device manufacturers intend to ship products in high volumes and targeted for the global market. Therefore, roaming devices may start out in Europe or Asia, where there are predominantly narrowband networks, and arrive in the Americas, where M1 networks are more prevalent.

Additionally, certain situations may require a temporary change from one technology to the other. For example, with firmware over-the-air (FOTA) updates: downloading a large image in CAT-NB1 will consume a large amount of power, thus impacting the device’s battery life. Switching to CAT-M1 for the purposes of the download (if a suitable network is available) will often be a more efficient option.

Not knowing where a device may eventually end up, it is much simpler (and common business sense) for an OEM to design and distribute for both technologies, safe in the knowledge it will be able to operate wherever it lands, regardless of the predominant network coverage. The overriding concern, therefore, is to select the most suitable dual-mode chipset to address all one’s IoT needs.

The post CAT-M1 or NB-IoT? The Polls Say, Go for Both appeared first on Altair Semiconductor.

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SoftBank has successfully acquired a big stake in Uber in a major victory for both companies

A lot of people are now very rich.

SoftBank and its co-investors have successfully acquired at least 13 percent of Uber, a major victory for Uber’s new CEO and one that will give billions of dollars in cash to some of the company’s earliest investors and employees.

The success of the tender offer, confirmed by a person with knowledge of the process, will have far-reaching consequences:

  • Uber’s board of directors, which had devolved into a power struggle between Uber’s former CEO, Travis Kalanick, and its largest investor, Benchmark, will now likely be calmer. Benchmark is expected to drop its lawsuit against him. And Uber will enact governance reforms that disempower the two warring factions and increase the size of the board to a massive 17 people.
  • A lot of people are now very rich. While we have yet to learn which investors have cashed out for the price of about $ 33 a share, Thursday’s result is the reward for years of drama at a company that nevertheless saw astronomical growth since its founding in 2009. Uber’s earliest employees who sold are now millionaires, and venture firms could see billions of dollars flow into their bank accounts.
  • Uber now has a powerful strategic partner in SoftBank, the Japanese telecom giant that is investing hundreds of billions of dollars in technology. SoftBank, which is heavily invested in other ride-hailing companies around the globe, could help Uber strike more partnership deals, especially in Asia. SoftBank will occupy two seats on the company’s board and will now be an extremely influential player in decisions at Uber.
  • The deal nevertheless sharply discounts Uber’s value, which last year was estimated at almost $ 70 billion. SoftBank and its co-investors are acquiring some of the company at a valuation of $ 48 billion. While a 30 percent discount is not unusual in a transaction like this, it does reflect some concerns about how the company can move forward after a year of upheavel that has not totally abated.

Investors still have until 12 pm PT to submit an order to sell their positions. The deal’s success was first reported by the Wall Street Journal. SoftBank declined to comment.

Known sellers include Benchmark and Menlo Ventures. Several other major Uber shareholders though have been pressed to sell some of their position in the company by Uber’s new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi.


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