Qualcomm Technologies has secured design wins among the industry's leading module original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) based on its MDM9206 LTE modem for Internet of Things (IoT) applications, it announced this week (18 October 2016).
Module OEMs are expected to launch MDM9206-based Cat M1 capable modules in early 2017. A software upgrade for Cat NB-1 is expected to be available shortly thereafter. Module manufacturers looking to use the MDM9206 modem include Quectel, SIMCOM, Telit, u-blox and WNC.
These designs are an addition to the more than 100 designs announced last June using the Company's MDM9x07 LTE IoT modems. Designed as a global connectivity solution for applications such as battery-powered sensors, the MDM9206 modem features a purpose-built design for IoT and offers lower power consumption and longer range connectivity than the Company's previous LTE generations.
The MDM9206 modem is designed to support LTE category M1 (eMTC – enhanced machine type communications), upgradeable to dual category M1/NB-1 mode with an anticipated upcoming software update. This allows IoT products to function in a diverse set of operator deployments worldwide, maximising the products' global reach and scalability.
The simpler narrowband LTE categories help the MDM9206 modem to support low-cost, low-power, low-bandwidth and greater coverage for the next-generation of IoT products and services, while also enhancing battery life as compared to previous LTE generations such as LTE Cat 0, the latest commercially available 4G IoT standard.
With the MDM9206 modem, Qualcomm said it is continuing to expand the capabilities of LTE to accelerate the progress in IoT. Compared to its previous LTE generations, this modem is designed to cost-effectively address cellular connectivity for low data rate IoT applications more efficiently addressed by a narrowband modem, across a wide range of new business opportunities within the IoT.
The kinds of sectors expected to make use of the modem include smart energy and metering, building security, infrastructure, industrial control and automation, retail point of sale, asset tracking, medical, lighting and aftermarket telematics.
The category M1 and NB-1 LTE modes designed in the MDM9206 modem bring many enhancements and optimisations to LTE that will help reduce IoT device complexity, support, multi-year battery life, and provide deeper coverage than the company's previous LTE generations, to reach challenging locations such as deep inside buildings and remote rural areas.
The new technologies also can use existing LTE infrastructure and spectrum, co-existing with today's mobile broadband services, while providing a superior solution to proprietary technologies for low-power wide area networks.
Additionally, backed by 3GPP global standards with a rich roadmap to 5G, LTE IoT technologies will continue to evolve beyond 3GPP Release 13 with new features, such as support for multicast and positioning, establishing the foundation for Narrowband 5G IoT.
"The global IoT opportunity is rapidly expanding," said Serge Willenegger, senior vice president, product management, Qualcomm Technologies. "IoT will be much more than about connecting people to things; they will be extending information management systems all the way to the edge, allowing machines and devices to work with one another and support increasing service opportunities and operational efficiencies across most industries.
“Momentum around our MDM9206 modem for Cat M1 and NB-1 demonstrates demand today for reliable, optimised LTE cellular connectivity to support the new range of IoT applications and services."