Sequans to demo LTE Cat M1/NB1 chip at CTIA show

Internet of Things

As the race to deploy LTE-based Internet of Things (IoT) technologies heats up, Sequans Communications said it will demonstrate the world’s first LTE Category M1/NB1 chip at CTIA’s Super Mobility 2016 this week in Las Vegas.

According to Sequans, its newest chip, dubbed Monarch, is the world’s first purpose-built and most highly optimized Cat M1/NB1 chip and it will be shown in live communication with an LTE eNodeB base station emulator in Sequans’ meeting room at the show. Monarch is an LTE Cat M/NB1, LTE Release 13 solution designed specifically for narrowband IoT applications, including sensors, wearables and other low-data, low-power M2M and IoT devices.

Just last week, Verizon announced plans to deploy LTE Category M1 by the end of the year, claiming it will become the first U.S. operator to launch the new technology. AT&T and Sierra Wireless said they plan to conduct a pilot of next generation LTE-M, previously referred to as Cat-M1. The Sierra Wireless LTE-M module will support the AT&T pilot with several technology leaders in the San Francisco Bay Area in November. AT&T plans to make the technology commercially available in 2017.

Sequans last week also announced that T-Mobile has certified Sequans’ Calliope LTE Cat 1 chipset for use by its M2M and IoT customers. The Calliope chipset supports VoLTE and enables industrial and consumer IoT applications such as asset tracking, alarm systems, telematics devices, retail applications and smart utility meters. AT&T approved the chipset in May, and Verizon certified it one month earlier.

Indeed, U.S. carriers are very aggressive in pursuing IoT and Sequans wants to stress its time-to-market advantage, Sequans CEO Georges Karam told FierceWirelessTech. The Paris, France-based company is working closely with major operators, eNodeB vendors and technology partners to address deployment plans for Cat M1 and NB1 networks, beginning in the United States. Karam said the company believes it is nine to 12 months ahead of its nearest competitor.

“Narrowband LTE technology is of crucial importance to the M2M and IoT markets as many use cases will require nationwide and carrier-grade connectivity,” Karam said. “Our Monarch chip is an ideal solution to address this demand.”

Cat M1 used to be called Cat M, and Cat NB1 used to be called NB-IoT. 3GPP officially adopted the new naming convention in June via Release 13.

For more:
- see the press release

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