Sierra Wireless has introduced four new AirPrime embedded modules, the first to support LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) networks worldwide. LTE-A is the latest generation of 4G LTE network standards, aimed at improving network capacity, throughput, data speed, and operational cost-efficiency. To date, 49 network operators in 31 countries have begun commercial rollouts of LTE-A systems, according to a recent report from the Global Mobile Suppliers Association (GSA).
The new AirPrime modules are based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon X7 LTE Modem, a product of Qualcomm Technologies (QTI), a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated.
“LTE-Advanced is designed to improve data rates and performance on LTE networks for both network operators and their customers,” said Fram Akiki, senior director of product management, Qualcomm Technologies. “As the Internet of Things continues to grow and more devices are added to cellular networks, the additional capacity and throughput that LTE-A offers is essential to providing a good user experience for a variety of mobile computing and M2M communication. We know this is a priority shared by Sierra Wireless, and we’re pleased to continue our longstanding collaboration to bring LTE-A enabled devices to consumers.”
“The new AirPrime modules allow our OEM customers to deploy solutions for LTE-Advanced networks anywhere in North America and Europe, or anywhere in Asia, with a single module that makes it easy to provision and change networks,” said Dan Schieler, senior vice president and general manager, OEM Solutions for Sierra Wireless. “On-board network switching, unique to Sierra Wireless LTE-Advanced modules, can help customers drive efficiency in their inventory management, manufacturing, and deployment processes, getting them to market with their devices more quickly and cost-effectively – an innovation that is truly valuable as volumes of connected devices go up and they ship to more markets than ever before.”
Designed for mobile computing, networking, and industrial machine-to-machine applications, the new embedded modules are the fourth generation of LTE modules from Sierra Wireless and are offered in two form factors – the AirPrime MC Series (PCI Express MiniCard) and the EM Series (PCI Express M.2) – as well as two variants – the EM7455 and MC7455 for North American and European networks, and the EM7430 and MC7430 for Asia-Pacific networks.
This wide compatibility is enabled through on-board network switching – multiple firmware versions are included in each module, making it easy to provision and re-provision for different network operators as required. Coupled with support for a wide range of currently used LTE frequency bands, on-board network switching allows OEMs to streamline their inventory and operations processes, as each module supports more networks, and modules can be pre-installed and provisioned for their chosen networks when they are deployed.
To enable other upgrade needs, secure, authenticated firmware-over-the-air (FOTA) update capabilities are natively supported on the new modules.
Samples of the new modules are available now to select customers for testing and integration.