Not only here in Australia but in parts of the USA and other countries, cellular providers are closing down their 2G GSM network to reallocate spectrum to their faster UMTS 3G and LTE wireless networks.
This shutdown will have a great effect on existing cellular M2M applications as a large percentage were designed around inexpensive GPRS modules – or before UMTs was available. Soon all these devices will be rendered inoperable and will need to be redesigned or replaced with radio hardware that can access the newer cellular networks.
There are many chipsets and modules to choose from, and one new example is the Colibri LTE Platform from Sequans Communications – a chipset solution for mobile LTE (commonly marketed as 4G LTE) cellular connectivity, specifically aimed at Internet-of-Things and M2M applications.
Colibri LTE is a part of the Sequans Streamlite LTE family of chipset products for 4G connectivity in IoT applications, designed for use in devices such as embedded Internet-connected sensors requiring wireless cellular connectivity, tablets, mobile routers or other portable devices.
Their LTE chipset is designed to support Category 4 LTE user equipment, providing a downlink rate up to 150 Mbps and an uplink rate up to 50 Mbps, providing plenty of bandwidth for current and future applications.
The Colibri platform comprises dedicated ICs for the RF platform and the baseband processor, an integrated IoT applications processor in the baseband IC that runs Sequans’ carrier-proven LTE protocol stack, an IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) client, and a comprehensive software package for over-the-air device management and packet routing.
Colibri have designed their products with optimisations for IoT and M2M applications in mind – providing low power consumption and high performance at a relatively low cost. This enables an affordable connectivity for mass-market IoT and M2M products.
Furthermore, the high-level integration and highly efficient architecture provide a strong balance of features and performance while achieving very low price points for cost-sensitive M2M and IoT applications.
Colibri’s software suite is based on more than a decade of proven field experience. It is running in major 4G deployments around the world and is one of the most mature solutions in the global 4G ecosystem. It includes the entire LTE Release 10 software stack along with the drivers and host applications required for a complete 4G system.
There is much more than just data – as Colibri supports VoLTE (Voice over LTE) and Wi-Fi SoftAP as well as Active Interference Rejection (AIR) technology – which is an innovative and powerful interference mitigation algorithm implemented on all Sequans LTE platforms.
AIR has been tested and proven at both the system and link levels and has been shown to significantly improve user experience and increase network capacity, especially near the cell edge where signal is weak.
For designers of embedded devices in IoT and M2M applications, the Colibri EZ-Link LTE hardware modules offer complete, single-mode LTE solutions based on the Colibri chipset and platform, simplifying integration and shortening the time to market for the development of hardware devices and products with cellular connectivity.
These modules are ideal for adding LTE connectivity to embedded devices and the ever-expanding array of new types of IoT products now going wireless for the first time. EZLink LTE modules come pre-tested, pre-integrated and pre-certified for easy drop-in integration into your design, with IoT-friendly interfaces, LP-DDR SDRAM, embedded boot Flash and power management included.
These compact hardware modules, available in either the M.2 PC card form factor or an ultra-small surface-mountable LGA form factor, are based on the Colibri LTE chipset platform and include all the other elements necessary for a complete LTE modem system – allowing for a simplified, cost-effective, all-in-one solution for adding LTE connectivity to numerous types of IoT, M2M, consumer electronics and mobile computing devices.
These modules incorporate the Colibri LTE platform along with all the other elements required for a complete LTE modem system, including an LTE-optimised transceiver, a complete dual-band RF front-end for LTE bands 4 and 13, and key peripheral interfaces, all in a single compact package.
Voice and data are supported – including Voice over LTE, Wi-Fi SoftAP, and all major operating systems such as Windows, Android, ChromeOS, Linux and MacOS. Interfacing with hardware is easy thanks to support for a wide variety of hardware interfaces – including USB 2.0, HSIC, SDIO, SPI and high-speed UART.
According to Sequans, the availability of these powerful and compact yet low-cost chipset solutions for 4G LTE, already certified for use with Verizon Wireless in the United States, the world’s leading LTE network, will accelerate adoption of single-mode LTE across the whole spectrum of IoT and M2M applications.
Game-changing efficiencies built into the Colibri platform mean that the costs of embedded LTE modules are now at or below 3G costs for the first time, making the move from 3G to the high bandwidth of 4G/LTE connectivity very attractive in a range of embedded mobile, M2M and IoT applications where the appropriate Telco network infrastructure exists.
Colibri is just one of many UMTS and LTE wireless options available for your new or existing Internet of Things application, and here at the LX Group our team can help you move past the 2G shutdown and enable longevity for your products. Getting started is easy – click here to contact us, or telephone 1800 810 124.
LX is an award-winning electronics design company based in Sydney, Australia. LX services include full turnkey design, electronics, hardware, software and firmware design. LX specialises in embedded systems and wireless technologies design.
Published by LX Pty Ltd for itself and the LX Group of companies, including LX Design House, LX Solutions and LX Consulting, LX Innovations.