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IoT rivals tout alternatives to LoRa, NB-IoT and other standards

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Two US companies are proposing new standards for the internet of things, rivalling existing approaches to the internet of things (IoT).

Each of them – Iota Communications and Anterix – have spectrum in the 800-900MHz range and are trying to win industrial customers away LoRa, NB-IoT and other existing standards.

Iota Communications has set up a spectrum subsidiary to consolidate holdings from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Chairman and CEO Barclay Knapp said: “Iota is the only wireless carrier network dedicated exclusively to IoT connectivity that operates with FCC licensed radio spectrum - a significant competitive advantage for us.”

Iota’s rival, Anterix, was called pdvWireless until six weeks ago. Its CEO, Morgan O’Brien, said: “We are poised and ready to transform the way utilities and enterprise operate through the use of broadband technology.”

Anterix has just raised $100 million from shareholders to retune its spectrum by relocating incumbents and to acquire additional spectrum to qualify for broadband licences and to support broadband use.

Iota said that its 800MHz spectrum “is valuable for commercial applications given its long range, ability to penetrate barriers, low power consumption, and inherent reliability and security”. It said it “is developing a robust platform for connectivity that interfaces seamlessly with many types of commercial IoT applications, including our own smart building applications”.

Knapp – who 20 years ago was CEO of UK-based cable company NTL, later restructured and now one element of Virgin Media – said that the new Iota Spectrum Partners operation “is intended to bring together our rapidly expanding portfolio of company-owned and leased 800MHz FCC licence authorisations into a single consolidated entity, which will enhance the ongoing transparency of this valuable asset”.

O’Brien, Anterix’s CEO, is also an industry veteran: he founded Nextel, which became part of Sprint just as Knapp was wrestling with the future of NTL.