INTERVIEW: Georges Karam, founder of LTE chipmaker Sequans Communications, warned that fragmentation in the Internet of Things (IoT) market could prove a threat to the segment’s development, as he urged for more “simple” solutions.

Karam, speaking to Mobile World Live, noted that low power wide area networks for IoT, such as LTE-M or NB-IoT, have been built from scratch, and it was actually “easy” for operators to upgrade their networks.

The problem, he believes, comes after the connectivity is in place.

“You see that operators like Verizon and AT&T in the US, in less than six or seven months, they have networks up and running and we’re seeing this on a global basis,” he said. “For me, going further, you need to see things made more simple on IoT because of the fragmentation of the market. You need to allow any developer to use this connectivity, in the same way they would do if they were connecting a device to Bluetooth for example. And so, you have some challenges there related, for example, to the certification, the ease of use, the data plan of the carrier, and adapting the data plan for IoT application.”

Karam also said the true promise of LTE technology for IoT could only be achieved when the price of a single module reduces to a single digit, such as $5.

This, however, also needs to be complemented with a cheap data plan.

In the interview, Karam also opened up on the evolution from M2M, underpinned by 2G connectivity, to IoT. Click below to watch.

Interview: Sequans