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Verizon and Sequans partner to accelerate Cat M LTE for IoT

Steve Rogerson
February 10, 2016
 
Sequans Communications and Verizon are partnering to accelerate commercial IoT realisation of Category M (Cat M) LTE products based on the coming release 13 of the 3GPP LTE standard. Release 13 defines features such as extended coverage, lower data rate and lower power consumption called for by a new class of LTE applications for machine-type-communications devices, such as wearables, asset trackers, smart meters and industrial sensors.
 
New York-based Verizon and French company Sequans are collaborating to accelerate development of Cat M-capable LTE chipsets. This effort follows the successful collaboration of Sequans and Verizon on Cat 1 LTE technology, which led to Verizon becoming the first to deploy Cat 1 LTE devices commercially.
 
“We led the industry when we introduced our Calliope Cat 1 LTE chipset platform, tested it on Verizon’s network, and introduced it to the market where it is now being deployed broadly,” said Georges Karam, Sequans CEO. “And we are excited to extend our partnership with Verizon to address the Cat M space. Having the support of Verizon will ensure the new Sequans Cat M-capable chipsets currently in development will be ready as quickly as possible.”
 
3GPP release 13 specifications are in development and are expected to conclude early this year. The optimisations in coverage, cost and power consumption aim to expand the addressable market for LTE networks to enable a large, new class of IoT devices.
 
“Verizon was the first in the world to make IoT-optimised Category 1 features available on our LTE network, and we’re committed to continuing our leadership in this space,” said Rosemary McNally, VP of device technology at Verizon. “We are pleased that Sequans is accelerating LTE Cat M-capable chipsets, as this provides more choices for customers interested in leveraging the largest, most reliable LTE network.”
 
Sequans’ Cat 1 LTE chipsets will, for the foreseeable future, continue to address the growing list of devices for higher bandwidth IoT applications such as in security, telematics and digital signage. Meanwhile, the Sequans Cat M-capable chipsets will address an additional list of newer IoT applications, including wearables, asset trackers, smart meters, smart cities and industrial sensors.
 
Sequans Communications is a 4G chip maker and provider of single-mode LTE chipsets to wireless device manufacturers worldwide. The company is based in Paris, France, with additional offices in the USA, UK, Israel, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea and China.
 

• Verizon has certified Gemalto's first Cat 1 LTE M2M module for IoT use. The Cinterion module can now be connected to Verizon’s 4G LTE network in the USA. The module is for industrial IoT applications such as smart metering, tracking and tracing and smart manufacturing tasks that require a small footprint.