Sierra Wireless Launches Industry’s First LPWA Cellular Router for Commercial and Enterprise IoT Applications

Sierra Wireless Launches Industry’s First LPWA Cellular Router for Commercial and Enterprise IoT Applications

Sierra Wireless Launches Industry’s First LPWA Cellular Router for Commercial and Enterprise IoT Applications

AirLink® LX60 delivers LTE (Cat-4), LTE-M (Cat-M1) and NB-IoT (Cat-NB1) secure, managed connectivity for IoT applications, including building automation, digital signage, taxis, ATMs, kiosks and point-of-sale terminals.

Sierra Wireless today announced the AirLink® LX60, the industry’s first cloud-managed Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) cellular router for the IoT.

The LX60, with LTE and LTE-M/NB-IoT variants, extends the AirLink Networking Solutions portfolio into new applications, including building automation, digital signage, taxis, ATMs, kiosks and point-of-sale terminals for both primary and backup connectivity.

Today’s global businesses are rapidly undergoing a digital transformation by connecting their equipment, offices and stores to deliver service-oriented business models that increase efficiency, revenue and customer satisfaction. The AirLink LX60 is purpose-built to enable this transformation, providing LTE connectivity out of the box, combined with trusted AirLink networking, routing and security. Sierra Wireless also provides a complete portfolio of AirLink Network Management tools, available in the cloud or on premises, for remote monitoring, configuration and control of all connected AirLink routers and gateways. With the LX60, businesses can rapidly and confidently deploy high-volume IoT applications that easily scale from tens to tens of thousands of networking devices.

AirLink LX60 also enables IoT edge programmability, supporting the field-proven ALEOS Application Framework for embedded applications, as well as tightly integrated cloud services and APIs. These features, combined with LTE-M/NB-IoT connectivity and a rich set of I/O options for data acquisition and sensor aggregation, enable critical data to be processed at the edge to drive application insight and create event-driven situational awareness, while optimizing data transmission. LTE-M/NB-IoT support also provides 5 to 10X enhanced coverage in remote locations or buildings, while reducing ongoing airtime costs by up to 60 percent.

“With more than three million routers and gateways deployed, Sierra Wireless is a trusted partner for thousands of customers who rely on AirLink Networking Solutions to provide secure managed connectivity for mission-critical applications in some of the harshest operating conditions on the planet,” said Jason Krause, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Enterprise Solutions, Sierra Wireless.

“The new LX60 provides the same connectivity experience and flexibility as our rugged performance portfolio, but in a new package optimized to meet commercial and enterprise IoT application requirements.”

The AirLink LX60 is part of Sierra Wireless’ new AirLink Essential series of routers and gateways. It is available in two variants:
Sierra Wireless AirLink LX60 LPWA cellular router

  • LTE-M/NB-IoT (up to 300 kbps downlink) for enhanced coverage and LTE Cat-4 (up to 150Mbps downlink) for higher throughput. It features dual Gigabit Ethernet ports, LAN/WAN switchable to support primary and backup connectivity configurations, as well as RS-232, RS-485 and I/O ports, making it easy to connect existing machines without the need for added adapters and converters.
  • The LTE Cat-4 variant is available with optional Wi-Fi and GNSS capabilities, making it ideal for connecting retail and commercial fleet applications.

“Our customers expect Wi-Fi service wherever they are—whether it’s in retail locations or taxis,” said Brian Anderson, VP Products at Colony Networks, a cloud-based provider of Wi-Fi solutions. “The LX60 with Wi-Fi and GNSS offers easy-to-deploy, secure, reliable cellular backhauled Wi-Fi in virtually any location. The device management and reporting capabilities from the AirLink Network Management systems integrate with our Wi-Fi policy management and analytics portal, providing customers control with actionable insights for the business.”

Pricing & Availability

AirLink LX60 models are priced at $ 449 for LTE-M/NB-IoT, $ 499 for LTE Cat-4 and $ 569 for LTE Cat-4 with Wi-Fi and GNSS. LX60 LTE Cat-4 variants are sampling now with commercial availability beginning in April 2018. LX60 LTE-M/NB-IoT samples will be available in May 2018. AirLink Networking Solutions are sold through Sierra Wireless’ authorized channel partners worldwide.

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Sierra Wireless Integrates SIM, Security and GNSS into Industry’s Smallest, Lowest Power Multi-Mode LPWA Modules

Sierra Wireless Integrates SIM, Security and GNSS into Industry’s Smallest, Lowest Power Multi-Mode LPWA Modules

Sierra Wireless Integrates SIM, Security and GNSS into Industry’s Smallest, Lowest Power Multi-Mode LPWA Modules

AirPrime® HL Series supports LTE-M (Cat-M1/eMTC), NB-IoT (Cat-NB1), and 2G global networks in a compact CF3® module for low power IoT applications.

Sierra Wireless today announced the industry’s smallest, lowest power, multi-mode Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) cellular modules targeted at rapidly growing markets in asset tracking and connected industrial equipment, smart city, healthcare, agriculture and wearables.

AirPrime® HL78 modules, featuring Altair Semiconductor’s integrated ALT1250 chipset, deliver best-in-class power performance extending the life of battery operated devices by 5-10X compared to other available LTE-M/NB-IoT modules. This new level of power saving modes, with improved wake-up and sleep mode responsiveness, as well as ultra-low sleep mode power, make HL78 the module of choice for any power-constrained IoT application.

Dan Schieler, Senior Vice President and General Manager, OEM Solutions, Sierra Wireless, said:

“With the HL78 modules, OEMs and system integrators have the most scalable, lowest power module platform to build their global IoT applications on.”

“And to make it even simpler for our customers, we’ve integrated the SIM and cloud, as well as GNSS and security features, to drive down the size of LPWA connected devices while enhancing tamper resistance and security.”

Sierra Wireless Integrates SIM, Security and GNSS into Industry’s Smallest, Lowest Power Multi-Mode LPWA ModulesIn addition to low-power performance unique to the HL78 design, the modules integrate GNSS tracking capability, security and an embedded SIM in a new compact CF3® size (18mm x15mm) that is pin-to-pin compatible with other HL Series modules. Customers have the flexibility to deploy the same device on global LTE-M (Cat-M1/eMTC) and NB-IoT (Cat-NB1) networks, with support for more than 20 LTE frequency bands in addition to optional 2G fallback.

Built-in security, including HTTPS, secure socket, secure boot and free unlimited firmware over-the-air (FOTA) updates from the AirVantage® device management IoT Platform, helps customers ensure HL78 deployments are future proof and secure.

“More than 690 million LTE-M and NB-IoT connected devices are expected by 2022, and the market needs a low-power, compact embedded module to connect their industrial, smart city, smart home and simpler static sensor applications,” said Dan Shey, Managing Director and Vice President at ABI Research. “With the addition of the HL78 product line, Sierra Wireless has amassed a broad portfolio of low power devices to drive the billions of advanced IoT connections we expect in the next decade.”

LTE-M and NB-IoT LPWA networks deliver a new class of wireless technology specifically designed for low-power IoT applications [see infographic here-below]. LPWA technologies combine lower cost, broader coverage and better battery life with globally available and secure cellular networks ready to connect hundreds of millions more things to the Internet.

“The ability to switch seamlessly between any commercially deployed LTE-M or NB-IoT frequency band gives HL78 customers the flexibility to choose which network they want to deploy their low bandwidth application on. And for those regions where LPWAN coverage is not as widely available, optional 2G fallback ensures their devices stay online,” said Ilan Reingold, Vice President, Business Development and Marketing at Altair Semiconductor (A Sony Group Company). “Incorporating Altair’s advanced IoT chipset, HL78 devices will also enjoy an extended life of up to 15 years on a single battery.”

Availability

The AirPrime HL78 modules are fully compliant with the 3GPP Release 13 standard and are Release-14-ready to support NB2 features in the future. Sierra Wireless AirPrime HL and WP Series modules are the smallest embedded modules to be completely interchangeable across 2G, 3G, 4G and LPWA technologies. They use the CF3® form factor, which is footprint compatible across product lines, providing customers with the option to develop smarter by building their connected IoT product or service on a single module. HL7800 and HL7802 modules are sampling with lead customers now, with general availability in Q3 2018.

Infographic: What is LPWA?

Sierra Wireless LPWA infographic

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Riot starts with a claim to industry’s lowest power NB-IoT and eMTC baseband chip

Internet of Things (IoT) newcomer, Riot Micro is claiming that a radical design approach applying BLE/Wi-Fi architecture has delivered a new cellular IoT solution with cost/power levels that are characteristic of short-range wireless systems. Here Peter Wong, CEO, tells  Jeremy Cowan how Riot has reinvented itself as an IoT chipset maker.

Semiconductor start-ups are rare things these days. But Vancouver, Canada-based Riot Micro has made its IoT market debut with what it claims is the industry’s lowest power baseband modem chip for cellular IoT.

The company began life a decade ago working on LTE IP technology to licence to the general market. Then three years ago, in search of faster growth Riot changed direction and brought in Peter Wong as CEO. “We retooled and refinanced,” he tells IoT Now, “grew to about 30 people, and developed a chip for cellular IoT, based on LTE NB1 and eMTC specifications.”

Peter Wong, Riot Micro’s CEO

“Why IoT?” we ask.

“Because that’s where the majority of growth was. If you look at other cellular technologies – you know Cat 3, 4 , 5, 6 – as you go higher and higher for the smartphones and tablets of the world it gets harder and harder for a start-up to compete realistically. The key differentiators are integration and powerful processors with Snapdragons etc., and going up against the Qualcomms of the world didn’t make a whole lot of sense,” says Wong.

“When the standards started to evolve for M2M (machine-to-machine communications) it looked like there could be a significant inflexion point where the requirements changed significantly and where processor technology was not the King of the Game. It was about optimising for more performance and lower power, and of course much, much lower cost.”

“Cost being a huge factor in services with low ARPUs (average revenues per user),” IoT Now suggests.

“Exactly. That drove why we formed the team that we did. LTE is a relatively sophisticated protocol and technology relative to other wireless technologies like BLE and WiFi. But when you break it right down and look at NB1 and eMTC we felt there was a ton of simplification you could do technically and implementatikon-wise and speed-wise. When you’re driving 200kbps or even 1Mb you can take certain design approaches that are extremely power-efficient and really help drive the cost down. The memory is an example. We optimised the LTE protocol stack so that it only does NB1 and MTC. We could minimise the amount of memory required. Our protocol stack operates entirely within the memory within our chip.”

So the Riot Micro RM1000 has been built using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and Wi-Fi architecture techniques to deliver a cellular IoT solution with the low power and cost levels of short-range wireless systems. The RM1000 is now being offered to module manufacturers and OEMs designing narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) and eMTC systems that can include automotive, asset management, home automation, industrial, point-of-sale, smart energy, and vending applications.

Asked who the company sees as its key rivals, Peter Wong tells IoT Now it would be […]

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Semtech Announces Industry’s First Disposable LoRa-enabled Nano-tag for Internet of Things Applications

RF tags

RF tags

New, ultra-low power LoRa-based tag features printed battery technology, enabling real-time, long range tag connectivity for numerous smart IoT applications.

Semtech announced its new nano-tag reference design, a disposable, ultrathin and low-cost tag that can be integrated into disposable systems or attached to assets to communicate a specific trigger of an event.

The LoRa-based nano-tag can be deployed across numerous Internet of Things (IoT) verticals that utilize the event data to enable smarter decision making.

The nano-tag is equipped with an ultra-thin printed battery and is designed to be integrated into products or systems that send messages to the Cloud when a simple event is detected. The LoRa-enabled reference design will work with existing LoRaWAN™ networks and enable the proliferation of completely new types of IoT applications, requiring real-time, reliable feedback including logistics/shipping applications, healthcare and pharmaceutical applications, asset tracking applications, and general-purpose compliance applications.

MachineQ™, a Comcast enterprise IoT service, is the first company to pilot the LoRa-enabled nano-tag with interested third parties on its IoT network in Philadelphia.

“As we continue to work with customers across a wide range of use cases, the innovative service made possible by coupling Semtech’s new nano-tag on machineQ’s dense IoT network opens a whole new set of use cases, across multiple industries, that were not commercially or technically viable using existing technologies,” said Alex Khorram, General Manager of machineQ.

Marc Pegulu, Vice President and General Manager for Semtech’s Wireless and Sensing Products Group, said:

“By offering a lower cost, disposable LoRa-enabled tag, we can expand the current landscape of use cases for Semtech’s LoRa devices and wireless radio frequency technology and allow companies to integrate the technology to drive many more diverse IoT use cases. We believe the number of use cases should expand rapidly as our connectivity and Cloud partners start to leverage the disruptive nature of the LoRa-enabled tag.”

“We continue to introduce leading edge solutions based on Semtech’s LoRa Technology to fully leverage the differentiated capabilities and advantages of the technology’s long-range, low-power and low-cost connectivity.”

The low-cost disposable LoRa-enabled tag will be commercially available in both flexible tape and paper substrates in 2018 and are currently in trials by a number of LoRa Alliance™ members.

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Quectel Receives Industry’s First multimode LPWA Type Approval from Major U.S Operator

Quectel Receives Industry’s First multimode LPWA Type Approval from Verizon

Quectel Receives Industry’s First multimode LPWA Type Approval from Verizon

Quectel Wireless Solutions, a leading global supplier of Internet of Things (IoT) modules, today announced that its BG96 module is the first multimode LPWA module based on Qualcomm modem to receive official Type Approval (TA) from a major U.S. wireless network operator upon conclusion of comprehensive laboratory and field testing.

“The certification is a testament to Quectel’s commitment to delivering high quality and reliable services to our customers. Now customers using our 2G and 3G modules can accelerate their LTE Cat M1 deployment based on the BG96 modules,” said Patrick Qian, Quectel CEO.

BG96, designed for the global market, supports LTE Cat M1, NB-IoT and EGPRS. What’s more, GNSS (GPS, GLONASS, BEIDOU, GALILEO and QZSS) is also supported, which will help customers with location requirement on the compact design and low device cost.

Developed based upon Qualcomm’s multimode LTE modem MDM9206, BG96 features ultra-low power consumption, as well as extended indoor coverage with a 15dB coverage enhancement compared with GSM. Besides, it offers a maximum data rate of 300kbps downlink and 375kbps uplink, and can be applied to vertical segments requesting medium and low data rates.

According to Patrick:

“Quectel BG96 modules along with the LTE Cat M1 network will bring new possibilities for IoT innovators to develop devices for markets requiring low cost, mobility and longer battery life, such as smart metering, tracker, sharing bicycle and emergency alarm panel.”

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