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Digicom and U-Blox partner on NB-IoT

Steve Rogerson
March 9, 2017



Swiss wireless module company U-Blox is partnering with Italian IoT ecosystem firm Digicom to offers hardware and software with cellular connectivity in narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) products.
 
Both were among the first to carry out a series of field trials of NB-IoT technology. This agreement reflects both companies’ eagerness to meet pent-up demand for low-power wide area  connectivity, as delivered by NB-IoT technology, standardised by 3GPP in June 2016.
 
The benefits of NB-IoT over other cellular radio technologies include lower device complexity, low power operation and support for more than 50,000 devices per single cellular cell.
 
As NB-IoT operates on networks within the licensed spectrum, it also offers security and freedom from interference. It is therefore suitable for IoT and M2M applications requiring low power consumption and better coverage even in shielded areas.
 
The collaboration is driven by a complementary business relationship between the two companies. Digicom offers products for industrial markets using NB-IoT, with a particular focus on connectivity for smart cities, smart buildings, Industry 4.0 and the automotive industry. Its platforms are designed for the protection of vehicles, people and pets, with low power consumption and several years operation in battery mode.
 
“We have collaborated with U-Blox for a long time and the quality and innovation of their modules enable us to develop cutting-edge products,” said Stefano Galzignato, business line manager at Digicom.
 
Embedded in Digicom's products is, for instance the U-Blox Sara-N2 NB-IoT module, which was announced in June 2016 as the world’s first cellular radio module compliant with 3GPP Release 13.
 
Release 13 defined the NB-IoT cellular air interface standard, specifically targeting devices that need to communicate small amounts of data over long periods of time in hard-to-reach places.
 
“We are excited to be part of this partnership, which showcases U-Blox as a global leader in developing NB-IoT solutions for IoT applications,” said Stefano Moioli, U-Blox director of cellular product management. “The partnership is expected to grow steadily alongside a rising demand for Digicom solutions for IoT markets.”