Sequans, Gemalto, Ericsson demo LTE Cat M1 technology

Article By : Vivek Nanda

The demo was a proof-of-concept for the use of LTE in the industrial IoT space with the companies claiming it to be an efficient, low cost and low power replacement for 2G.

At the recently held GSMA Mobility Live in Atlanta (Nov. 1-2, 2016), Sequans, Ericsson and Gemalto together demonstrated a proof-of-concept of LTE Cat M1 technology.

The demonstration, designed by Ericsson, depicted how a trucking company could use LTE Cat M1 to track its trucks on the road and manage fleet operations. A miniature semi-truck was fitted with 3 sensors to monitor the status of 3 conditions on board the truck: cargo door status (open/close), the truck's internal temperature and the truck itself for accidental tip over.

The sensors on the truck connected to a Raspberry Pi single-board computer. The sensor status was communicated to a remote management dashboard via a Gemalto LTE Cat M1 module prototype over a Cat M1 link to a live Ericsson eNodeB multi-standard base station, RBS6000. The Gemalto module was powered by Sequans' Monarch LTE chip. The final setup was capable of supporting over 10 LTE frequency bands from the single hardware device, allowing for global coverage. The companies said that dynamic power management technology would enable more than 10 years of battery life for standard IoT devices.

[Gemalto Cat M1 module with Sequans Monarch Chip (cr)]
Figure 1: The Gemalto Cat M1 module with Sequans LTE Cat M1 Monarch chip.

At the event, a large video monitor displayed the management dashboard, showing a map of the truck's travel area and position of the truck on the road and the 3 status indicators corresponding to the 3 sensors.

The LTE Cat M1 technology is expected to be commercially deployed by major operators before the end of the year. The demo was aimed to show how LTE can be an efficient, low cost and low power replacement for 2G and a cost-effective alternative to other LPWA technologies.

Samples of Gemalto's LTE Cat M1 wireless module are expected to ship in Q4 2016.

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