Frequently Asked Questions
On this page we answer various terminology around topics like IoT and connectivity.
If you miss an explanation, feel free to let us know.
Second-generation mobile communications network (2G)
2G is the digital successor to the first analog mobile communications technology. However, this network technology is already in its final phase or shutdown in many countries.
2G achieves a data throughput of up to 14.4 kbit/s gross or 9.6 kbit/s net.
Third-generation mobile communications network (3G)
The third-generation 3G mobile communications network, often referred to as UMTS (UMTS Universal Mobile Telecommunications System), is a high-performance successor to the 2G network.
3G / UMTS achieves a data throughput of up to 14.4 Mbit/s in download and up to 5.76 Mbit/s in upload.
4G is the fourth generation of broadband mobile network technology, replacing 3G and preceding 5G. In the field of data transmission, it is also referred to as LTE.
For more information, see LTE
5G stands for the fifth generation of mobile communications. Theoretically, a data throughput of up to 10 gigabits per second should be possible.
LTE (Long Term Evolution) was already introduced with the 3G mobile communications standard, but did not become established until the 4G standard. LTE is divided into different categories. The possible data throughput is graded accordingly.
LTE Cat. 4: Download max. 150 MbiTs | Upload max. 50 Mbits/s | MIMO max. 2×2
LTE Cat. 6: Download max. 300 MbiTs | Upload max. 50 Mbits/s | MIMO max. 4×4
LTE Cat. 9: Download max. 450 MbiTs | Upload max. 50 Mbits/s | MIMO max. 4×4
LTE Cat. 12: Download max. 600 MbiTs | Upload max. 150 Mbits/s | MIMO max. 4×4
LTE Cat. 15: Download max. 800 MbiTs | Upload max. 225 Mbits/s | MIMO max. 4×4
LTE Cat. 16: Download max. 1000 MbiTs | Upload max. n.a. Mbits/s | MIMO max. 4×4
LTE Cat. 18: Download max. 1200 MbiTs | Upload max. n.a. Mbits/s | MIMO max. 8×8
LTE Max is not an official mobile communications standard, but a term used by various mobile communications providers. In most cases, LTE Max refers to a higher, contractually guaranteed data throughput. Most providers specify a data throughput of 300 Mbit/s or more.
LTE-M or LTE-MTC is a low-power wide-area network radio communications technology standard designed for M2M machine-to-machine and IoT Internet of Things applications.
Long Range Wide Area Network is a low-power wireless network protocol at the network layer. LoRaWAN specifications are defined by the LoRa Alliance. They are freely available and basic software modules are available as open source software
LEO (Low Earth Orbit) is a satellite-based communication in the near-earth environment. This is provided by Starlink, for example, and can also be used for IoT.
IoT & M2M
IoT – Internet of Things could also be translated as Internet of Devices. Basically every device around router, sensor or e.g. display that is connected to the internet is an IoT device.
M2M stands for machine-to-machine communication and is close to the term IoT. With M2M, machines exchange data with each other. This can be machines in a factory, or even the parking machine that releases the opening of the barrier after payment.
The theoritically possible data throughput of 5G is 10 gigabits per second.
A public 5G network is an infrastructure provided by a mobile network provider. A private 5G infrastructure is an internal network for companies, e.g. for controlling machines in the IoT environment.
SIM & eSIM
The eSIM or embedded SIM is an embedded SIM function as a permanently soldered-in chipset. Like the replaceable physical SIM card, the eSIM serves as a secure element for identifying the user in the mobile network.
An eUICC SIM refers to a specific type of UICC software that enables physical or electronic SIM cards to host multiple provider profiles. Crucially, eUICC also facilitates over-the-air (OTA) provisioning, allowing you to update your IoT applications remotely. eUICC SIM cards are ideally managed by independent enterprise network operators.
OTA stands for Over-the-Air-Update and means in connection with a corresponding eSIM card that the provider profiles of the SIM card can be changed over-the-air. This enables a provider change without replacing the physical SIM card. (The eSIM functionality is also available in corresponding physical SIM cards).
An enterprise network operator combines the best features of an MNO and an MVNO to put ownership of the network in the hands of the enterprise and offer fully customized IoT connectivity.
While MVNOs offer flexible, IoT-specific connectivity without the network control that IoT enterprises need, and MNOs offer reliability and visibility at the expense of lock-in to unfavorable contracts and consumer-oriented connectivity, ENOs manage their own network and IMSIs designed from the ground up for high-speed, high-volume IoT communications.