What is LTE-M?

LTE-M (LTE-Machine) is a cellular network dedicated to the IoT, with technology that has been standardised by 3GPP. Orange has been marketing the network since the end of 2018.

There is a significant difference between LTE and LTE-M. The latter is a development of the former, optimising the use of radio frequencies. LTE-M is an LPWAN (Low Power Wide Area Network). These technologies enable the manufacturers of connected objects to transmit data over long distances with low energy consumption. LTE-M covers many use cases with high speeds and a large amount of data. It is very important for numerous IoT (Internet of Things) solutions.


In addition to all the services provided by LTE, LTE-M brings many benefits:

  • Optimised energy management for objects, thanks to standby and sleep phases that extend battery life and so reduce maintenance costs.
  • Better radio coverage, extended by + 8 dBm, which is useful, for example, for indoor and deep indoor uses, because it can pass through an additional thick wall or similar.
  • Excellent mobility: an LTE-M connected device on the move can switch from cell to cell (area of cover) without signal loss. The handover (requiring a shift from one antenna to the next) is imperceptible.

Finally, internationally, objects benefit from the simplicity of roaming on the LTE cell network, with additional energy saving functions: PSM and eDRX.


LTE-M and LoRaWAN®: excellent complementarity

In a rare example among operators, Orange offers two of the main LPWAN technologies, with dense deployments and excellent complementarity.

  • LoRaWAN® is a long-distance network with very low energy consumption and reduced speed, enabling the intermittent transmission of short messages and occasional reception.
  • LTE-M is an LTE network with high bandwidth and high speeds that can send and receive long messages while on the move.

LTE-M is the new service that offers the best compromise between speed and battery-life, making it ideal in several areas: smart city, industrial sector, logistics, etc.