u-blox introduces “world’s smallest” LTE Cat M1 and NB-IoT multimode module

According to u-blox, the SARA‑R412M is the world’s smallest multi-mode LTE Cat M1, NB-IoT (NB1), and quad-band 2G solution to offer global configurability in a single hardware version.

The LTE Cat M1, NB-IoT, and quad band 2G (EGPRS) module measures 16 x 26 mm, believed to make the module the smallest yet to provide both LTE and quad band EGPRS support in a single design.

Dynamic system selection, allows it to operate as Cat M1, NB-IoT, and EGPRS in single mode, or as a preferred connection that does not require a module reboot to switch between modes. It is optimised for LPWA (low-power wide-area) IoT applications that require the assurance of 2G connectivity to guarantee broad geographic coverage, even in areas where LTE Cat M1 and NB-IoT are not yet widely available, says u-bloc. New IoT devices deployed in the field today can activate on existing 2G networks and still leverage the benefits of LTE Cat M1 and NB-IoT technology once it becomes available, adds the company.

The SARA‑R4 series covers a range of IoT applications, especially those reliant on long-term, low power use or requiring connectivity deep within buildings. This includes city street lighting, gas, water, and electricity metering, building automation, industrial monitoring and control, telematics, HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning), insurance, asset and vehicle tracking, security systems, alarm panels, outpatient monitoring, and many consumer wearables.

“The u‑blox SARA‑R412M preserves the form factor and the precise pin assignment used for the LTE Cat M1 and NB1 SARA-R4 products. Customers can migrate from other u-blox 2G, 3G, and 4G modules, adds u-blox.

According to u-blox, SARA‑R412M enables global solutions based on a single hardware version, allowing developers to select their own desired frequencies and operator configurations. SARA-R412M ensures data integrity between applications via secure communication protocols, notably including two-way authentication between client and server, a strategy often used with cloud services.     

Critical firmware updates can be delivered with the u‑blox proprietary uFOTA (firmware over the air) client/server solution that uses LWM2M. End-users can continue using the same hardware when features and functionalities are updated, making it suited to critical applications running on devices that may be deployed in the field over long periods of time.

SARA‑R412M provides an extended temperature range of -40 to +85 degree C, and supports power save mode and extended discontinuous reception (e-DRX) for LTE Cat M1 and NB-IoT connectivity, which can extend battery lifetime for up to 10 years.

3GPP Coverage Enhancement allows the module’s Cat M1 connectivity to reach deeper into buildings and basements, and even underground with NB-IoT when compared to other air interface technologies such as GSM or Cat 1.

The module will be available later this year.


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