u-blox unveils SARA‑R410M, its quad-band LTE Cat M1 module, aimed at multi-regional IoT and M2M applications

u‑blox announced Monday SARA‑R410M, its smallest quad‑band LTE Cat M1 module. By enabling remote devices to connect directly to 4G networks, the u‑blox SARA‑R410M will aid the rollout of Internet of Things (IoT) and machine‑to‑machine (M2M) applications, from smart metering to connected healthcare, and from industrial control and monitoring to smart buildings and cities.

The SARA-R4 module series is available in variants to support single and quad-band LTE-FDD Cat M1 operation in the world’s smallest LTE Cat M1 LGA package. The modules offer low power consumption by utilizing the fea- tures of Power Save Mode (PSM) and Extended Discontinuous Reception (eDRX). Both of these features together can extend battery life to 10 years, depending on use case.

The modules feature Coverage Enhancement, which provides better indoor service to reach beyond thick walls and into basements. LTE Cat M1 provides 15 dB coverage enhancement compared to GSM. With many interface options and an integrated IP stack, the SARA-R4 modules are targeted to a range of data-centric applications. Due to the unique combination of performance, security and flexibility, these modules are ideally suited for M2M applications, such as smart metering, smart energy gateways, telematics/asset tracking, remote monitoring and telehealth.

The SARA-R4 modules target high volume, cost sensitive applications, and provide communication functionality while minimizing the customer’s total cost of ownership. The ultra-compact LGA package enables straightforward automated manufacturing. The SARA form factor follows the u-blox nested design principle and is compatible with u-blox SARA, LISA, LARA and TOBY module families, which facilitates easy migration from u-blox GSM/GPRS, UMTS/HSPA, and LTE modules. This also maximizes the investments of customers, simplifies logistics, and enables very short time-to-market.

The temperature range of –40 to +85 °C guarantees opera- tion in harsh environments and in very compact designs. The module is manufactured in ISO/TS 16949 certified sites, with the highest production standards and the highest quality and reliability. Each module is fully tested and inspected during production.

Innovations included in the SARA‑R10M design allow customers to use a single hardware version globally.  Depending on the installed software, SARA‑R410M broadens the market to multi‑regions. Thanks to its quad‑band support, this device reaches all of North America to include not only the USA and Canada but also Mexico (B2/B4/B5/B12), or can also service markets in South America, Australia and New Zealand (B3/B5/B8/B28).

Operators and customers can deliver future firmware updates over‑the‑air with u‑blox’s uFOTA client/server solution that uses LWM2M, a light and compact protocol that is ideal for IoT applications. This will enable them to continue using the same hardware for new band configurations, operator certifications, features and functionalities, which can be added to the module over time.

With IoT and M2M devices required to operate for long periods of time on a small battery, the u‑blox SARA‑R410M includes power‑save mode (PSM) and extended discontinuous reception (eDRX) that together deliver battery life of up to 10 years. And with manufacturing in ISO/TS 16949 certified production sites and an extended operating temperature range of –40°C to +85°C, it is ideal for industrial applications.

The 16 x 26 mm form factor enables designers to keep device sizes to a minimum and is the same as u‑blox’ existing 2G and 3G modules. This means designers can migrate from earlier modules to take advantage of LTE Cat M1, without changing their circuit board designs. The module also boasts extended range, meaning it can operate within buildings or even basements. Its maximum coupling loss (MCL) of 155.7 dB is 15 dB better than GSM or LTE Cat 1.

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