Promised: 10 year battery life;, very low power; 15 km reach; 50-meter ground penetration; not stopped by seven walls; doesn't need a spectrum allocation. It's also darned cheap. The performance is a dismal 0.3 kbps to 50 kbps but it still sounds impossible.
Little chipmaker Semtech seemed to be tilting at windmills until Bouygues turned on Grenoble and Paris. Bouygues plans 20 cities in France by the end of this year. France Telecom responded they will cover "the entire nation" by the end of next year. Now Tata, a $100B conglomerate, announced they will serve 400M people in India's cities. Swisscom and KPN have announcements.