Sierra Wireless has introduced four new AirPrime embedded modules, the first to support LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) networks worldwide, according to the company. 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).
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.