Sequans Communications won certification from Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) for two more single-mode LTE modules, the VZ20M and VZ21M, which are both designed to add plug-and-play LTE connectivity to tablets and mobile computers.
The modules are the newest members of Sequans EZLinkLTE portfolio, which the Paris-based chipmaker said benefits device makers because each EZLinkLTE module is integrated, tested and certified to enable the immediate addition of LTE capability to devices, many of which may have never previously been embedded with LTE connectivity. Verizon last month certified Sequans' VZ20Q module, which is designed for use in consumer electronics and M2M devices.
Sequans is targeting single-mode LTE needs, enabling it to avoid messy legacy technology support issues. Therefore, the vendor's LTE efforts are largely focused on markets such as the United States, Japan and South Korea, where LTE coverage plans are ambitious and extensive.
"We're a pure 4G player. That's all we do," Craig Miller, Sequans vice president of worldwide marketing, told FierceWirelessTech. "We used to be focused on WiMAX, but now all of our effort is focused on LTE. That pretty much means we're focused on everything but the smartphone market because smartphones need to be multi-mode for now, at least until VoLTE is fully deployed and LTE coverage is ubiquitous."
Sequans' main intellectual property and R&D efforts remain on semiconductors. But the company concluded that it needs to produce modules in order to seed the developing LTE-only connectivity market, particularly given that the Internet of Things trend is attracting many device categories that have never been wirelessly connected. "This is an accelerant and a time-to-market enabler," Miller said.
Sequans VZ20Q is a QFN module suited for devices that require a surface-mountable module. Miller said those devices fall into two possible categories, emerging devices that include consumer electronics products such as digital cameras and gaming devices, and vertical M2M markets such as automotive, digital billboards, mobile health and security.
The new VZ20M and VZ21M modules each have an M.2 interface for use in the more traditional embedded connectivity market, which includes laptops and tablets. The VZ21M also includes GNSS (global network satellite system) capability for designers wanting to include location services in the devices they are designing.
The three modules include the baseband and all other elements necessary for a complete LTE modem system. All three support both of Verizon's LTE bands, those being Band 4 and Band 13.
Sequans' EZLinkLTE modules are based on its Mont Blanc LTE platform and SQN3120 baseband chip, which is compliant with 3GPP Release 9 and delivers category 4 throughput of up to 150 Mbps in the downlink.
- see this Sequans release
Sequans snags LTE design wins in U.S., other markets
Sequans' fourth-quarter loss spirals to $9.9M
Sequans launches LTE chips for embedded devices despite ongoing losses
Verizon's certification of Altair chipset opens doors for M2M OEMs
Sequans watching costs during transition from WiMAX to LTE