Global provider of wireless and positioning modules and chips, u‑blox, has announced that ercogener, the industrial modems provider, has developed its first Industry 4.0 modem using u‑blox LTE Cat M1 cellular technology. The modem – which is supposedly the first to provide LTE Cat M1 cellular connectivity in EMEA – is designed to meet the requirements of the recently announced Orange LTE Cat M1 network, which will be launched across Europe in 2018.
LTE Cat M1 will be a key provider of connectivity in the Industry 4.0. Anticipating the launch of one of Europe’s first commercial LTE Cat M1 mobile networks, u‑blox and ercogener a member of Group Zekat, have been working with mobile network operator Orange to develop the first LTE Cat M1 cellular modem, providing connectivity and secure data transfer for a range of applications including asset trackers and fleet management systems.
“We are pleased to be working with u-blox and Orange. This partnership confirms our technological lead in IoT. In constant research on the industries of the future, we are proud to be the first manufacturer to introduce an industrialised and certified LTE-M solution. As such, ercogener affirms itself as the leader in geolocation, telemetering products, Industry 4.0,” commented Pascal Denoël, CEO, Group Zekat.
To develop the modem, ercogener and u‑blox were faced with the challenge of integrating a mobile technology that is in the early stages of test and deployment in EMEA. The modems, which operate on bands 3 and 20 conforming to requirements by Orange, have since been tested and approved by the mobile network operator.
“We are excited to collaborate with ercogener and Orange on the first deployment of LTE Cat M1 technology in Europe based on our compact SARA‑R4 LTE Cat M1 module,” said Simon Glassman, Senior Principal Strategic Partnerships, Product Centre Cellular at u‑blox. “The module, which is used in the ercogener industrial modem, is configured to support global bands with a single hardware and includes a power-save mode and extended discontinuous reception that give it a battery life of up to ten years."
The LTE Cat M1 industrial modem is only the latest in a series of ercogener products to feature u‑blox technology. Over the past years, u‑blox has provided ercogener with the 2G, 3G, and 4G technology to power several iterations of its industrial modems. Full pin-to-pin compatibility between these successive iterations of the u‑blox cellular modules all the way up the most recent LTE Cat M1 and NB‑IoT variants were crucial in enabling rapid integration and validation the led up to this success.