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Exploring Low-Power LTE the Fun Way: Without Knowing Anything!

Joshua Wise

June 25, 2023 1:30-2:25 PM

Location: FMH Room 230

A few years ago, I was tasked with determining whether it was possible to build an IoT device that used a cellular data connection to periodically upload data, on an extremely limited power budget. I had just learned about LTE Cat-M and NB-IoT, but I didn't have an intuition for how they actually achieved their low power consumption, and what factors influenced it. Rather than guiding my research with impenetrable 3GPP specs, I had a very successful -- and enjoyable! -- experience exploring how LTE Cat-M works by using a power analyzer! For the first time, this technology is accessible in low volumes to hobbyists and makers. I'll walk you through the process I went through to figure out how to build an energy-efficient, LTE-enabled IoT device.