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Friday, July 14, 2017

u-blox starts narrowband IoT trials in Brazil

By Nick Flaherty

Swiss communications module maker u-blox is starting trials of narrowband IoT systems in Brazil with Huawei.

The trials are using NB-IoT or Cat NB1 networks in Brazil for metering and tracking applications.

These trials reflect u-blox's focus to meet pent-up demand for low power wide area (LPWA) connectivity using the NB1 technology which was standardized by 3GPP in June 2016. The benefits of NB1 over other cellular radio technologies include lower device complexity, ultra-low power operation, and support for more than 50,000 devices per single cellular cell. As it uses a licensed spectrum-based network, it also offers greater security and high robustness from interference.

"We are excited to partner with u-blox to help our mutual customers migrate to the new, low-power and low-cost Narrowband IoT technology that also offers excellent coverage," said Eduardo Takeshi, senior manager of network operator partner Vivo IoT. 

"The low power consumption of u-blox SARA-N2 and improved coverage of NB-IoT networks in Brazil will bring important benefits to our solutions," said Welson Regis Jacometti, CEO at smart metering company CAS Tecnologia.

Embedded in the test device is the u-blox SARA-N2 NB-IoT module, the first cellular NB-IoT module compliant to the 3GPP Release 13, Narrowband IoT (LTE Cat NB1) standard. Designed for use in applications such as smart buildings and cities, utilities metering, white goods, asset tracking, and agricultural and environmental monitoring, the module will operate for 10+years from a single-cell primary battery. The 16 mm x 26 mm LGA form factor, using u-blox nested architecture, facilitates simple upgrades from u-blox GSM, HSPA or CDMA modules and ensures future-proof, seamless mechanical scalability across technologies.

"Allowing for easy migration across 2G, 3G and 4G, cellular modules from u-blox support a comprehensive set of communication protocols with minimal signalling overhead to conserve power," said Suresh Ram, President u-blox America. "We are working with our partners and customers to introduce products with our modules where longevity of operation and reachability in poor propagation conditions are mission critical."

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