u-blox has extended its industry-leading SARA-R5 LTE-M and NB-IoT communications family with the launch of a module that supports the 400-450MHz LTE spectrum bands available in Europe, Asia, and Latin America.
The u-blox SARA-R540S communicates on LTE bands 31, 72, 73, 87, and 88. These lower-frequency bands have good propagation properties, assisting customers in the smart meter, smart grid, public safety, and smart cities markets meeting strict indoor and outdoor coverage demands that may otherwise be challenging to reach over standard cellular connectivity options.
The module is being launched, in part, to service a developing trend to install dedicated communications infrastructure for IoT ecosystems assuring high levels of availability and resilience. For example, the shift to smart energy grids will necessitate close coordination of distributed renewable power plants and millions of demand-management controllers installed at customer premises. Therefore, it requires a robust communications infrastructure to facilitate it.
The device is based on the company's UBX-R5 cellular chipset and takes advantage of many of the options already engineered into the family. This vertical ownership of the module’s hardware and software signifies that the company can guarantee long-term device availability and offer lifetime support for the whole platform for decades to come – an important factor in many IoT deployments.