IoT Network Certified: Fueling Innovation Through Cellular IoT

July 25, 2023

By: Tom Sawanobori, Senior Vice President & Chief Technology Officer, CTIA

It is an exciting time in network evolution. The Internet of Things (IoT) is enabling the rapidly expanding market of network-connected devices that are revolutionizing consumers’ lives, improving business efficiencies, and making our communities safer.

CTIA Certification’s recent report providing an overview of our IoT Network Certified™ program explains how IoT networks, and the certification of the devices that run on them, are crucial for a secure, reliable, connected future.

Certifying IoT Devices to Work on Cellular Networks Improves Reliability

By 2030, there will be an estimated 25.4 billion IoT devices globally, with many powered by cellular networks. Wireless networks will connect utilities, lifesaving healthcare devices, industrial robotics, agricultural sensors, asset trackers, and more. This connectivity will lead to cost savings, greater efficiency, higher reliability, and enhanced safety for consumers and enterprises alike. Additionally, connected devices can help lower carbon emissions and address climate change.

To achieve these benefits, the wireless industry created the IoT Network Certified program to certify that IoT devices connecting to wireless networks meet 3GPP standards to ensure safety, security, reliability, and interoperability among wireless devices. Subject matter experts from across the industry developed the program’s testing and certification processes, which network operators and companies rely on to verify an IoT device’s readiness to connect to global cellular networks.

How Certification Works

IoT Network Certified testing is conducted by multiple authorized test laboratories worldwide, testing for compliance with 4G and 5G network standards maintained by internationally recognized organizations. Once all requirements are met, the device is granted a mark by CTIA Certification™ certifying that the device meets industry standards.

CTIA Certification is the cellular industry’s certification authority. Since 1991, it has developed and operated certification programs for everything connecting to cellular networks, from phones to smart streetlights, building a global network of over 100 authorized test labs and certifying over 100,000 devices. It has also recently launched a program to certify phone repair technicians and retail repair shops.

The IoT Network Certified program, crafted by CTIA Certification to meet the specific needs of the IoT community, simplifies and streamlines the device certification process, providing an efficient and affordable pathway for manufacturers to make sure their devices can reliably connect to the benefits offered by wireless networks.

Benefits of Certification

An IoT device is made up of numerous components, including a wireless module that enables it to connect to cellular networks. By designing new IoT devices around a certified wireless module, manufacturers can easily certify their new devices using a process that takes advantage of the rigorous testing and certification already performed on the module. High-bandwidth wireless modules for integration into security cameras and routers, as well as low-power wireless modules for use in smart meters, trackers, and sensors, are among the hundreds of options available.

The wireless industry’s efforts to establish technological best practices and bring together diverse stakeholders have resulted in smoother transitions between generations of wireless, providing manufacturers with expectations of interoperability that they can rely on in markets around the world.

Device certification through trusted, industry-backed programs like IoT Network Certified ensures that devices meet the standards and expectations enabled by all the capabilities our next-generation wireless networks have to offer.

To learn more about IoT Network Certified, visit The full IoT Network Certified overview is available here.