Qualcomm unveils lowest-power IoT-optimised LTE modem

Integrated terrestrial positioning support to the fore as Qualcomm launches IoT-optimised LTE modem with integrated positioning support for greater connectivity, location and compute processing capabilities on device and at the edge

Aiming to tap into demand for internet of things (IoT) technologies, Qualcomm Technologies has unveiled its latest IoT modem designed to offer greater computing capabilities, connectivity and location-based technologies to enable a new generation of fast, powerful, high-performing IoT solutions.

Research released by Kaleido Intelligence in September revealed a profound change around the benefits derived from the internet of things in the past 12 months, with as many as 86% of respondents from senior IT positions being more focused on operational efficiencies, reducing costs and increasing revenue and profit turning to the IoT for stability.

The Qualcomm QCX216 LTE IoT Modem is designed to enable users to track assets and provide additional computing capabilities for IoT devices that need to process data. The integrated solution delivers IoT-optimised speeds without excessively impacting battery life, which is critical for expanding IoT applications such as smart utility meters, trackers, e-mobility, parking meters, home automation and security, and other location-based solutions among many verticals.

The modem is described as a cost-optimised Cat.1bis modem that can work globally on existing LTE cellular infrastructure that is almost ubiquitous in major economies. Despite 5G, a key driver of connectivity, being added to a plethora of devices, LTE-based technologies will dominate the IoT until well beyond 2026.

According to Kaleido Intelligence’s IoT roaming: Market strategies and forecasts 2022 report, outbound IoT roaming revenue will exceed $21bn in four years’ time. The study predicted that there will be a 27% average annual growth in permanent roaming IoT connections between 2021 and 2026, as market demand for sensing, monitoring and telemetry applications grows following the pandemic.

“Cellular IoT is rapidly evolving to meet diverse IoT requirements and use cases, and we are driving a rich roadmap of system innovations for continuing IoT expansion,” said Jeffery Torrance, senior vice-president and general manager of Connected Smart Systems (CSS) at Qualcomm Technologies. “Our latest IoT modem is an exciting step forward in the proliferation of the cellular IoT ecosystem, and will help create long-lasting, power-efficient devices and promote growth and expansion in the IoT industry.” 

The new modem also supports multi-technology scanning capability utilised in conjunction with features supported by the Qualcomm Terrestrial Positioning Service to enable customers to develop ultra-low-power applications for a variety of industries. Qualcomm is confident that such capability will also enable manufacturers to build affordable IoT devices in smaller form factors.

“The Qualcomm QCX216 LTE IoT Modem being a highly integrated and low-power LTE Cat1.bis chip is going to pave the way for massive IoT device deployments and will help device manufacturers to easily migrate from 2G to 4G network at a lower total cost of manufacture,” said John Mathew, chief executive officer of OEM Cavli Wireless.

“4G availability being worldwide and no roaming restrictions is also going to boost the penetration for use cases that require global cellular access,” he added.

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