In mid-2017, the 3GPP R14 version froze, and injected a number of performance enhancement technologies into NB-IoT and eMTC, while the two technical standards began to approach each other. In the R14 and R15 versions, NB would be able to support higher transmission rates, while eMTC would be further aligned with NB in its coverage capabilities. Similar to the alignment of technical standards, since 2017, more and more countries and operators have begun to choose to provide two networks at the same time, in order to meet the needs of different applications. For example, the United States and China, the world's largest mobile communications markets, have chosen the road of construction and application.
With the determination of technical standards, the acceleration of network construction and the gradual development of the entire industry chain, a large number of LPWAN applications, such as Smart Metering, Smart Street Lighting, asset positioning, and health monitoring, have been implemented and begun to mature. The original vague requirements of LPWAN technology have also become increasingly specific in these exploration practices. For example, for the most mature field of Smart Metering in the current applications, cost is an important consideration, while in smart door lock applications, power consumption is an important issue, and in the field of motion location tracking, volume is a key element.
As a global leader in cellular communication modules, SIMCom is actively exploring the rapidly changing and rapid development of the IoT world, trying to contribute its own strengths to the further maturity of the industrial chain and the development of the IoT application. During this year's MWC exhibition in Barcelona, SIMCom will launch a new generation of LPWAN modules equipped with Qualcomm's new 9205 chip.
The new module enables all the features of the 3GPP R14 version, and supports Cat. M1 and Cat. NB2, bringing more coverage enhancements to both technologies. This will greatly facilitate the migration of existing 2G terminals to LPWAN.
Modules using the 9205 chip will also be smaller in size, thanks to a significant reduction in the chip volume of approximately 50%. SIMCom’s new core module has the same volume as both the SIM800C and the SIM7020C, but is able to support NB, eMTC, GNSS and even VoLTE. For the emerging 2C applications, such as the elderly/children’s bracelets and pet tracking, the smaller size means a more sophisticated, more dexterous and more convenient core competitiveness.
Another big boost is energy saving, which is the core focus of LPWAN. The 9205 chip saves 70% energy in the PSM state, compared to the previous generation, and 85% in the eDRX state. This greatly extends battery life in products that do not require frequent network interactions, such as Smart Metering.
Finally, the chip of the new core module of SIMCom will be equipped with RAM and Flash, can support Ali OS, and have new security enhancements, such as FIPS certification. This will facilitate a more convenient and efficient connection between the module and the cloud, which is also a new step for SIMCom in the innovation and adherence to the "cloud module" concept.