IoT-focused LTE Products Begin to Emerge at CTIA Super Mobility 2016

Following standardization milestones this summer, a number of cellular industry stakeholders and suppliers have revealed their product roadmaps for Category NB1 and Category M1 cellular devices.
By Mary Catherine O'Connor

• French chipmaker Sequans demonstrated its Monarch dual LTE Cat-M1/Cat-NB1 chip at the event, communicating with a base station emulator.

Telit, a company that makes IoT modules, unveiled its plans to introduce five discrete modules: four Cat-M1 modules operating unnamed U.S. carrier networks and one Cat-NB1 module for the European market. It said the modules will be available in small quantities later this year, with commercial availability slated for early 2017.

• Another IoT module manufacturer, u-blox, announced plans to launch a Cat-M1 module, dubbed SARA-R4, during the fourth quarter of this year. But it also announced a partnership with Ingenu in which u-blox will develop and manufacture products supporting Ingenu's RPMA technology, which employs a proprietary RF modulation scheme and transmits data via the 2.4 GHz band. These products are also expected to be available during the fourth quarter.

Sierra Wireless, a manufacturer of embedded electronics and gateways, announced that it will launch a pilot with AT&T in November in San Francisco, the purpose of which will be to evaluate Sierra Wireless's new Cat-M1 module, called AirPrime. The companies did not reveal any details about the pilot, however.

Senet, a New Hampshire company that is deploying a public LoRa-based LPWAN across the United States, announced this week that it has partnered with digital security provider Gemalto, whose Trusted Key Manager service allows end users to provision and authenticate keys in order to secure data that they transmit across Senet's network.

If these types of rollouts keep coming, it seems likely that by this time next year, end users of IoT technology will have more connectivity options and products to choose from.

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