Increasingly, our customers want to be connected at all times. Yet, as every smartphone user knows, despite the widespread coverage provided by mobile networks, there are still places that don’t get signal, for example deep indoors or within some lifts.
Vodafone was the first operator in the world to launch NB-IoT, a Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) network technology which provides an opportunity to resolve this issue.
LPWA is a network layer designed to transmit limited amounts of data. It offers increased coverage in remote, rural areas and underground through the adoption of techniques that enhance radio signal propagation compared to GSM.
CAT-M, another LPWA technology, could in future be used to provide better voice coverage as well.
We can add LPWA technologies that use licenced radio spectrum deep in the protocol stack and enable chat apps to adapt their software to use them. Doing so could complement other network technologies and enable chat apps to continue working, even when it is not possible to use voice and internet data.