Until relatively recently, the narrative that dominated the discussion of the Internet of Things was about its potential—with everything connected, what is possible? But as the underlying technology developed, the IoT narrative has evolved from potential to action. Industries, governments, and enterprises around the world are evaluating how IoT potential can be applied, right now, to help streamline operations, reduce risk, and ensure continued revenue growth.
Today, Qualcomm Technologies announced the 9207-1 modem—a purpose-built IoT focused solution designed to be flexible, scalable, and cost-optimized, with long battery life. Featuring Cat 1 support with advanced power savings capability, robust hardware and software security, global band support for LTE and support for adding Wi-Fi, including customizable options, the chipset will help organizations around the world execute on IoT applications with a single module.
The 9207-1 is targeted toward smart metering, security and automation, tracking, wearables, point-of-sale transactions, and more. It is engineered to bring the benefits of LTE to IoT, for devices that require low power and reliability—for both persistently connected devices, as well as those that require infrequent communication to the network. For enterprises, manufacturers, and governments equipping devices with connectivity capabilities, this can translate to cost-savings, reduced risk, and an expansive, global scope that can run with little hassle for years to come.
With many previous IoT solutions, a variety of discrete components would have to be separately purchased, and systems integrated, to ensure connected devices were functioning compatibly with the latest sensors and processors. This exposed the devices to risk: Installation and compatibility issues put resources and cost pressure on device makers and system integrators, and companies were forced to shell out more for each individual component, adding to their overall bill of materials (BoM) costs. The 9207-1 is designed to replace a long list of line items with one comprehensive, integrated chipset. This solution is designed to minimize the need for additional discrete processors, microcontrollers, and location components, which means it occupies less space and further reduces the BoM.
Device makers, systems integrators and developers can also realize reduced time to launch and development cost from utilizing a single software code base across all implementations of the flexible chipset platform.
And since the 9207-1 allows for a global connection to major cellular networks, enterprises don’t have to rely on proprietary network solutions, which are limited and often don’t interoperate smoothly across geographical boundaries. This significantly increases the availability of everything from software update pushes to tracking, keeping the technology monitors happy and their operations teams up and running. For companies that require heterogeneous network support, the 9207-1 has pre-integrated support for adding Qualcomm VIVE Wi-Fi (1x1 801.11ac) and BT 4.1 BLE. Global, national, or local, the modem is designed to be adaptable and scalable with any solution that an enterprise deems appropriate.
The 9207-1 also boasts the same core LTE modem technology deployed in hundreds of millions of devices. “LTE is here for the long run,” says Andy Wood, director of business development at Qualcomm Technologies. “We’re looking at a long future with LTE as many operators are already in the process of phasing out their 2G networks to make room for LTE. While LTE is fairly mature in North America, parts of Asia, and Europe, the multimode capability of the 9207-1 is designed to allow customers to seamlessly and cost effectively connect their devices on LTE and legacy networks during this transitional phase.“ For the growing number of multinational companies increasingly utilizing IoT across their business, for example, knowing that the likelihood of connectivity problems is negligible reduces their risk and helps ensure that expected operations happen the way they’re supposed to.
So what does it look like in context? Imagine a deployment in water meters, which have to be long-lasting in order to be a worthwhile investment. The chipset allows for low-data rate and low-power, and the meter would be able to sense when it’s not sending information, putting itself in a mode that conserves power while constantly connected. With the 9207-1, it’s engineered so a water meter could reasonably continue to transmit water usage information for a period of 7 to 10 years.
The 9207-1 brings together the important LTE connectivity and IoT features needed to support a feature-rich, scalable, global IoT solution. It doesn’t rely on layers of discrete additions, it’s cost-optimized, and it fundamentally supports systems that will remain paramount in global networking for decades. So for decision makers at OEMs looking to outfit their electric meters, point-of-sale devices, connected street lights, wearables, trackers, and more with a comprehensive technology basis, the 9207-1 is the way to go.
Qualcomm VIVE is a product of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.