According to leading wireless chip manufacturer, SIMCom, adoption of LTE-Cat 1 technology has been rising quietly. While the recent technical developments have been doing rounds, around the latest NB2 or Cat-M1 IoT technologies in LPWA, or even 5G, the demand for LTE-Cat 1 has slowly and steadily been gaining pace. To support this demand, SIMCom has introduced a new line up of LTE Cat 1 modules that help customers quickly upgrade from legacy 2G/3G technologies while meeting multiple cost demands/requirements in application market segments.
One reason for the rise of LTE-Cat 1 is that IoT product developers are always looking to “future proof” their solutions by anticipating their bandwidth requirements down the road, and Cat 1 is the clear successor to Cat-M1. Since the cost of product certifications is another important consideration, many customers prefer to go down this road only once to avoid the headache of later having to do it again with a different (faster) module. When you also consider that Cat 1 module prices have been dropping and some network operators are starting to support power saving mode (PSM) for Cat 1, it’s no surprise that the demand has been on the rise.
Some of the Key Advantages LTE Cat 1:
- Network Construction: Deployments of global 4G LTE carriers are all based on the minimal 3GPP Release 8 protocol, so SIMCom LTE Cat.1 can seamlessly connect to existing LTE networks, the cost of network coverage is very low.
- Reduced Costs: After system optimization, the integration is higher, the hardware architecture of modules is simpler, and the cost of peripheral hardware is lower.
- Time lag & Latency: SIMCom LTE Cat 1 modules are comparable to LTE Cat.4 modules in terms of millisecond time lag in transmission. They also support movement speeds above 100KM/H, while the cost is nearly 30% lower than Cat 4.
According to a recent research report from Counterpoint Research, 50 billion devices will be connected to the Internet by the end of this year. On one side, you have 10% of those scenarios requiring high-speed connections to support autonomous vehicles or telemedicine applications. On the other side, you have 60% of the scenarios with the low-data rate speeds of NB and Cat-M1 to support metering and smart city deployments. That leaves about 30% in the middle that can be serviced efficiently with Cat 1 and the flexibility afforded by 10 Mbps downloads and 5 Mbps uploads.
SIMCom’s first LTE Cat 1 module (SIM7500CE) was launched in 2015. Since that time the company has expanded customer options with a comprehensive portfolio of Cat 1 solutions for every major region and carrier around the world.
SIMCom is now further expanding their family of Cat 1 modules to support developers in the IoT community in different markets:
EUROPE & CHINA
It has one of the smallest footprints for Cat 1 at 24*24mm, supports FOTA, Audio, TTS and LBS. It is pin-to-pin compatible with the SIM800, SIM7000X family and SIM7070G.
This is a cost-effective LTE Cat 1 module in a standard 30*30mm LCC+LGA Package. It is pin-to-pin compatible with SIMCom’s SIM7600X Cat 1 family, as well as the SIM7600X-H Cat 4 product line.
The SIM7600NA is designed with the North America market in mind, available in a standard 30*30mm LCC+LGA Package and equipped with all the LTE bands for the North American carriers including specialized frequencies like B14 for FirstNet, all of AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint frequencies. It is pin-to-pin compatible with SIMCom’s SIM7600X Cat 1 family, as well as the SIM7600X-H Cat 4 product line.
It is designed for all major regions of the world in mind, available in a standard 30*30mm LCC+LGA Package and equipped with over 21 LTE bands, 7 different 3G bands and 2G fallback. The SIM7600G will be certified on major carriers in the US and around the world. It is pin-to-pin compatible with SIMCom’s SIM7600X Cat 1 family, as well as the SIM7600X-H Cat 4 product line.