Sierra Wireless joins Verizon, Altair to offer Category M1 wireless module on Verizon’s 4G LTE network



Sierra Wireless announced Thursday AirPrime modules for Verizon’s LTE Category M1 (Cat-M1) wireless network. Sierra Wireless’ solutions support the 3GPP standard for low-power wide-area (LPWA) technologies, which is designed to enable more connected objects and new IoT services.

Cat-M1 LPWA technology now combines lower cost, broader coverage and better battery life with the globally available and secure LTE infrastructure, which is expected to enable more connected objects and a more connected world.

Sierra Wireless AirPrime HL and WP Series modules are the smallest embedded modules (22 x 23 mm) to be completely interchangeable across 2G, 3G, 4G and LPWA technologies. They use the CF3 form factor, which is footprint compatible across product lines, providing customers with the option to develop smarter by building their connected IoT product or service on a single module.

The AirPrime HL Series and WP Series of embedded modules for Cat-M1 and Cat-NB1 cellular networks are fully compliant with the 3GPP Release 13 standard. The first modules will be the HL Series, with the WP Series following in 2018 providing customers the option of building their entire IoT application within the WP module.

The HL77xx module series are currently trialing with many network operators, and will be used in commercial deployments this year. Several customers are designing now with 4G LTE Cat-1 modules in the CF3 form factor so they are ready for the LPWA revolution in 2017/18.

The Sierra Wireless Cat-M1 module is based on the Altair ALT-1210 LTE platform. The ALT-1210 is one of the first chipsets supporting LTE Cat-M1 connectivity. The ALT-1210 enables greater than 10 years of battery life for many use cases, and features Release 13 Cat-M1 extended coverage and IoT-optimized throughput. The result is a more versatile, higher-performance solution than proprietary LPWA solutions.

“With the commercialization of Cat-M1 LPWA technology, LTE is now a superior option for many IoT applications that were previously restricted to short-range technologies due to cost, coverage and battery life,” said Dan Schieler, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Embedded Solutions at Sierra Wireless. “Our Cat-M1 module provides another CF3 form factor option for our customers operating their devices on Verizon’s network, allowing them to quickly and cost-effectively migrate their connected IoT products or services from 2G, 3G, or 4G to Cat-M1.”

“We are thrilled to be working with Sierra Wireless to accelerate the development of IoT applications and connected products that will operate on Verizon’s 4G LTE Cat-M1 network,” said Chris Schmidt, Executive Director Device Technology at Verizon. “Sierra Wireless’ Cat-M1 modules simplify wireless integration and system development for device OEMs, enabling them to connect to Verizon’s network with all of the power, coverage, and cost benefits that come with Cat-M1.”

“Altair continues to spearhead wireless IoT semiconductor development, with the latest Cat-M1 standards,” said Eran Eshed, Vice President of Worldwide Marketing and Sales at Altair. “The cooperation with two innovative ecosystem partners enabled us to take our technology from the lab to the field, and is an important milestone in the maturity of Cat-M1 development and commercial readiness.”

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