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Monday, October 02, 2017

First Sigfox cellular hybrid IoT chip

By Nick Flaherty at www.flaherty.co.uk

GCT Semiconductor has developed the first single chip that will support both LTE Category M1/NB1/EC-GSM and the Sigfox wireless low power wide area technology.
The development highlights the need for hybrid solutions that can operate with either network, particularly for tracking applications that may not always be in range of a Sigfox network, especially if the node breaches a goefencing application (by going outside the network).

Several OEM customers are designing solutions using GCT’s GDM7243I SoC to develop various IoT devices for applications such as tracking, wearables, security, agriculture, healthcare, industrial, and consumer applications.

The hybrid device enables ultra-long battery life tracking devices to connect using the Sigfox wireless IoT network for several years without the need for frequent battery re-charging.

“We’re pleased to be working closely with Sigfox to bring this unique capability to market and support ultra-long battery life and global coverage for our IoT customers,” says John Schlaefer, CEO of GCT Semiconductor, Inc. “Adding the hybrid mode Cellular connectivity + Sigfox to GCT’s GDM7243I further enhances our leadership position by enabling IoT devices to connect to the global Sigfox network during typical operation and switch to LTE Cat M1, NB1, or EC-GSM networks on-demand.”

“Telefonica announced its support for Sigfox wireless IoT connectivity as complementary to our cellular networks, at MWC in February 2017,” saidAndres Escribano, New IoT Connectivity Director of Telefonica, “The GDM7243I with hybrid mode Sigfox and Cellular connectivity is an innovative solution that aligns with our partnership with Sigfox and will enable innovative devices and novel usage models to accelerate the growth of the IoT market”.

“GCT provides a single chip innovative solution that further proves that Sigfox and Cellular (LTE Cat M1/NB1/EC-GSM) are complementary technologies by leveraging the best of both worlds – ultra-long battery life using Sigfox and high throughput cellular connectivity. We look forward to a successful launch of the GDM7243I by Sigfox operators and mobile network operators worldwide,” says Ludovic Le Moan, CEO of Sigfox.

Hybrid devices can connect to the Sigfox wireless IoT network and operate in low-power mode to send and receive notifications-only. The Sigfox network can also provide backup connectivity to hybrid devices in case of cellular network coverage limitations, congestion, breakdown, or jamming of security/alarm systems. Hybrid devices enhance device security by providing the ability to globally locate and deactivate stolen phones, and provide emergency alert and beacon capabilities.

www.gctsemi.com

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