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Thursday, July 26, 2018

2G cellular module offers easy upgrade to LPWAN

By Nick Flaherty

Taking a very different view to faster, low latency links, u-blox has launched a competitively priced 'old school' quad-band GSM/GPRS module featuring optimized power consumption for IoT applications.

The SARA-G450 is aimed at machine-to-machine (M2M) applications such as utility metering and tracking systems but allows developers to migrate to low power wide area networks (LPWAN) susch as NB-IoT and LTE Cat M1.

2G cellular technology offers reliable performance for mobile applications and broad geographical coverage, which made it the technology of choice for M2M. While some regions are currently phasing out their 2G network infrastructure (most notably the USA), 2G continues to be a viable and popular option for M2M solutions in regions still lacking NB-IoT and LTE Cat M1 networks or where coverage is spotty, and this is where the SARA-G450 is aimed.

The pin-compatibility of the SARA modules allows PCB designer to use a range of air interface technologies, including 2G, 3G, LPWA (LTE Cat M1 and NB1), and high speed LTE. This also means that product developers can anticipate future upgrades of their applications to move to LTE Cat M1 and NB1 connectivity as soon as they become available in their target markets.

SARA-G450 is a standard grade quad-band GSM/GPRS module that is power-optimized for IoT applications. It offers the flexibility to combine with a variety of best-in-class u‑blox GNSS or Bluetooth modules for solutions that integrate positioning, short range and cellular communication. An embedded internet suite facilitates the development of a wide range of M2M devices.

“2G technology continues to play a vital role in a broad range of geographical and industrial markets and will continue to do so for years to come. With the SARA-G450, we are offering a cost-effective module that addresses the demands of these markets while offering a clear upgrade path to LPWA technologies once they roll out,” says Rado Sustersic, Senior Product Manager, Product Center Cellular at u‑blox.
Samples will be available at the end of August with production starting end of September.

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