3GPP (the Third Generation Partnership Project) has specified User Equipment Category 0 (Cat. 0) technology standards in its Release 12 (R12), the first step to boosting application of LTE technology for the Internet of Things (IoT), according to Digitimes Research.
Cat. 0 in R12 is specifically for machine-type communications, Digitimes Research indicated. In order to lower hardware costs and power consumption for IoT applications, many hardware specification standards are lowered in Cat. 0, such as uplink and downlink data rates of 1Mbps compared to 5.2Mbps and 10.3Mbps respectively in Cat. 1, R8, as well as one RF receiver chain in Cat. 0 compared with two in Cat. 1. Cat. 0 allows semi-duplexing to reduce hardware costs and prolongs the TAU (tracking area update) cycle time to increase the service life of batteries.
Telecom equipment makers and telecom carriers will need to test the technological feasibility and market acceptability of the Cat. 0 standards, and 3GPP is expected to improve standards in R13 to be published in 2016.