To meet the new connectivity requirements of the emerging IoT segment, 3GPP has taken evolutionary steps on both the network side and the device side. A single technology or solution cannot be ideal to all the different potential IoT applications, market situations and spectrum availability. As a result, the 3GPP standardizing several technologies, including Extended Coverage GSM (EC-GSM), LTE-M and NB-IoT.
LTE-M, NB-IoT and EC-GSM are all superior solutions to meet IoT requirements as a family of solutions, and can complement each other based on technology availability, use case requirements and deployment scenarios. The evolution for these technologies is shown in figure #5. Technical studies and normative work for the support of Machine Type Communication (MTC) as part of 3GPP LTE specifications for RAN began in 3GPP Release 12 and are continuing with the goals of developing features optimized for devices with MTC traffic.