Telit has unveiled a new IoT module based on Altair chipsets designed to support LTE Category 1 enhancements for Machine-Type Communications (MTC). Telit claims the LE866 is currently the smallest LTE module in the market with an LGA footprint of just 15 x 25mm.
It’s a user equipment (UE) Category 1 device with maximum data rate of 10Mbps downlink and 5Mbps uplink. According to Telit, the module employs Altair’s FourGee-1160/6401 IoT-optimised chipset that provides extremely low power consumption, which results in a significant increase in battery life, while reducing cost/complexity compared to traditional high-performance LTE devices.
The LE866 is software upgradable to support the power-saving mode (PSM) that 3GPP has specified for MTC in Release 12, which will be demonstrated in partnership with Altair and Ericsson during CTIA Super Mobility 2015 in Las Vegas on 9-11 September. To see the demo visit the Ericsson booth #4322, which is close to the Telit booth #5032 in the adjacent M2M section.
The LE866 will be first released commercially for the US market, with additional regional variants to follow.
Release 13 of the 3GPP LTE standard, which is foreseen for March 2016, will bring further improvements on power consumption, cost/complexity and coverage for IoT and M2M applications. However, with the LE866, Telit and Altair said they are extending today the addressable market via power, size, and cost combination that is a significant game-changer.
Ultra-small modems that support the lower categories are needed for numerous applications, including wearable devices, smart homes and smart metering, fleet management, point-of-sales and health monitoring among others.
“The decision to partner with Altair was an easy one to take,” said Felix Marchal, Chief Product Officer, Telit. “We expect LTE low-category devices to catalyze billions of dollars in spending by the M2M and IoT industry, and Altair is a leading vendor in this space.”
“Not all CAT-1 chips are created equal,” said Eran Eshed, Co-Founder and VP of Marketing and Business Development at Altair. “The great market potential for CAT-1 draws many players to try to compete. However, most are simply rebranded higher-category chipsets that are functionally compatible with CAT-1, but fall short on power consumption and die size. Our close cooperation with market leader Telit brings the first truly IoT-optimised module to the market, unlocking new use cases and expanding the IoT market.”