u‑blox has claimed the world’s smallest quad‑band LTE Cat M1 module. By enabling remote devices to connect directly to 4G networks, the u‑blox SARA‑R410M, the firm says, will aid the rollout of Internet of Things (IoT) and machine‑to‑machine (M2M) applications, from smart metering to connected healthcare, and from industrial control and monitoring to smart buildings and cities.
The 16 x 26 mm form factor of the module is the same as u‑blox’ existing 2G and 3G modules, allowing designers to easily migrate from earlier modules to take advantage of LTE Cat M1, without changing their circuit board designs.
A notable benefit of the module is that a single unit is applicable for multi‑regional use depending on the installed software. Customers can use the module’s single hardware version globally. Quad‑band support allows the module to reach all of North America to include not only the USA and Canada but also Mexico (B2/B4/B5/B12), or can also service markets in South America, Australia and New Zealand (B3/B5/B8/B28).
Operators and customers can deliver future firmware updates over‑the‑air with u‑blox’s uFOTA client/server solution that uses LWM2M, a light and compact protocol that is ideal for IoT applications. This will enable them to continue using the same hardware for new band configurations, operator certifications, features and functionalities, which can be added to the module over time, the firm stated in the announcement.
The SARA‑R410M includes power‑save mode (PSM) and extended discontinuous reception (eDRX) that together deliver battery life of up to 10 years. This is an important requirement for IoT and M2M devices which should operate for long periods of time on a small battery,
And with manufacturing in ISO/TS 16949 certified production sites and an extended operating temperature range of –40°C to +85°C, the module is ideal for industrial applications.
The module’s extended range enables it to operate within buildings or even basements. Its maximum coupling loss (MCL) of 155.7 dB is 15 dB better than GSM or LTE Cat 1.
Patty Felts, Product Manager Cellular at u‑blox said: “From industrial asset tracking to smart homes, we’re seeing increased global demand for connected devices that can operate for years in hostile environments without physical intervention. This is precisely what the u‑blox SARA‑R410M is designed to enable: it gives device‑makers the convenience of a single hardware version that can be used across a number of markets. This, combined with its ultra‑compact size, quad‑band support, extremely low power usage and u‑blox’s over‑the‑air update solution, mean it’s the perfect future‑proof IoT and M2M communications module.”
For more information, view the full Press release.