Verizon says it has launched what it calls “the first nationwide commercial 4G LTE Category M1” (or Cat M1) network, which spans 2.4 million square miles. According to the company, this is the “first and only” Cat M1 network providing scale, coverage and security for customers seeking wireless access solutions for IoT.

Verizon’s Cat M1 network is built on a virtualized cloud environment which enables rapid and agile IoT solution deployment and nationwide scaling aimed at increasing IoT adoption for developers and businesses with new and more economical IoT data plans, the company said.

Cat M1 is a new class of LTE chipset that is designed for sensors. They require less power, offer extended battery life and support an array of use cases ranging from water meters to asset trackers to consumer electronics.

“As the natural shift from CDMA-based IoT solutions to the more robust and cloud-based LTE technology occurs, it’s important we stay ahead of that technology evolution for our customers so we can continue to provide them service on the best and most advanced wireless network, said Mike Haberman, Network Vice President at Verizon.  “Our commercial deployment of the nationwide LTE Cat M1 network does just that.”