First LTE Cat M1 modem for Europe

Louise Smyth

Industrial modem designer ercogener has developed Europe’s first Industry 4.0 modem using a LTE Cat M1 cellular technology from u-blox in Switzerland.

The modem is the first to provide LTE Cat M1 cellular connectivity in Europe using the LTE Cat M1 network from Orange which will be launched across Europe in 2018. 

LTE Cat M1 will be a key provider of connectivity in the Industry 4.0 but is still in development to provide speeds up to 10Mbit/s. This is a fraction of the complexity and power consumption of Cat 3 or 4 technologies with data rates and makes the modem appropriate for designs in the Internet of Things. It uses the SARA R4 module developed by u-blox.

ercogener is a member of French IoT group Zekat and has been working with mobile network operator Orange to develop the modem, providing connectivity and secure data transfer for a wide range of applications including asset trackers and fleet management systems. 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.  

“We are pleased to be working with u-blox and Orange. This partnership confirms our technological lead in IoT. 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. As such, ercogener affirms itself as the leader in geolocation, telemetering products, Industry 4.0,” said Pascal Denoël, CEO of Group Zekat.

Over the last few years, u‑blox has provided ercogener with 2G, 3G, and 4G modules, all with full pin-to-pin compatibility. This allows the modems to provide industrial connectivity all the way up to the most recent LTE Cat M1 and NB‑IoT variants. 

The modem and module will form that basis of further developments in LTE Cat M1 across Europe through 2018.