EMEA's first Industry 4.0 modem developed

Thursday, 16 November, 2017

ercogener, a manufacturer of industrial modems and member of Groupe ZeKat, has developed its first Industry 4.0 modem using u-blox LTE Cat M1 cellular technology.

The modem — the first to provide LTE Cat M1 cellular connectivity in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (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 for Industry 4.0.

Anticipating the launch of one of Europe’s first commercial LTE Cat M1 mobile networks, u-blox and ercogener 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 wide range of applications including asset trackers and fleet management systems.

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.

“This partnership confirms our technological lead in IoT,” said Pascal Denoël, CEO of Groupe ZeKat. “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.”

“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 Center 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 10 years.”

The LTE Cat M1 industrial modem is the latest in a series of ercogener products to feature u-blox technology. In the past, 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 was crucial in enabling the rapid integration and validation that led up to this latest success.

ercogener and u-blox are pleased with the progress of their collaboration and plan to expand their activities involving LTE Cat M1 in EMEA.

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