New Cellular Modules for IoT Market Supports LPWA Technology

Sierra Wireless has introduced AirPrime HL and WP Series cellular modules for Category-M1 (Cat-M1) and Category-NB1 (Cat-NB1) LTE networks. The Sierra Wireless solutions support the 3GPP standard for low-power wide-area (LPWA) technologies, which were designed specifically to enable new IoT services that promise to improve everyday life.

For businesses developing IoT applications for markets such as energy, transportation and smart cities, Sierra Wireless’ LPWA solutions will:

  • Simplify wireless integration and system development with cloud-connected modules;
  • Lower the cost and power consumption of devices; and
  • Enable reliable and resilient connectivity links for locations with coverage challenges, such as deep indoors and in rural areas.

LPWA technology is a brand new category of wirelss that will connect more objects to improve the safety, efficiency and resource management of our planet by delivering on the 3C's (Cost, Current & Coverage) demanded by many IoT applications. LPWA technologies eliminate many of those challenges that businesses face in deploying IoT services, because they allow cellular to address a broader range of use cases, making it cost effective to connect billions more devices. Sierra Wireless’ essential and smart application processing LPWA module options make it easy for existing customers to expand their deployments and for new customers to begin designing connected IoT products in applications where cellular previously wasn’t a fit.

Sierra Wireless has been working with the 3GPP, a global cellular standards development organization, since 2010 to develop a cellular standard for IoT. With the commercialization of Cat-M1 and Cat-NB1 LPWA technologies, cellular is now a superior option for many IoT applications that were previously restricted to short-range technologies due to cost and battery life. LPWA technologies now combine lower cost, broader coverage and better battery life with the globally available and secure cellular infrastructure. They are expected to connect more objects in cities, homes, hospitals and stores, and on roads and remote infrastructure, enabling a more connected world.

According to Dan Shey, Managing Director and Vice President at ABI Research - LPWA will greatly expand cellular’s IoT market because it was specifically designed to meet the cost, power and coverage requirements for not only traditional markets but also new, untapped markets for IoT applications. Sierra Wireless is well positioned to help their customers execute on the new business models and opportunities that LPWA will bring.

The AirPrime HL and WP Series modules are the smallest embedded modules (22 x 23 mm) 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.

The GSMA’s Mobile IoT Initiative quickly aligned the mobile industry behind common and complementary LPWA technologies in licensed spectrum that were published by 3GPP. Bringing cellular standards to LPWA is key to expanding its footprint in the developing IoT.