The LENA-R8 and LARA-R6 modules from u-blox connect devices to LTE networks, helping to minimize the impact of 2G and 3G shutdowns.
Wireless carriers are shutting down 2G and 3G networks all over the world. While that means some mobile users need to replace their phones, it’s a bigger problem for connected IoT devices. Two LTE Cat 1 (10 Mb/sec DL, 5 Mb/sec UL) modules from u-Blox let you design IoT devices with LTE connectivity while sill providing 3G and 2G connectivity. In many cases, there’s no need for 5G network connectivity and the higher BOM cost that goes with it.
u-blox claims that its LARA-R6 series (24 mm × 26 mm × 2.6 mm) is the smallest LTE Cat 1 module on the market today. Available in three versions based on location of service — global, North America, and multi-region — the LARA-R6 features security root-of-trust and secure boot.
In addition to supporting 18 LTE bands, the LARA-R6 supports UMTS/HSPA and GSM/GPRS for locations where LTE isn’t available. The LARA-R6401 North America version supports AT&T, Verizon, FirstNet, and T-Mobile carriers. It also supports IPv4 and IPv6. GNSS positioning is available through an external GNSS receiver.
The LENA-R8 comes in two versions, one of which includes an integrated GNSS receiver. The GNSS receiver increases its size to (27 mm × 30 mm × 2.6 mm). u-Blox notes that the LENA-R8 modules are still in development without an announced target date so far. The LENA-R8 operates on LTE frequency-division duplex (FDD) bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 20, and 28. Time-division duplex (TDD) bands include 38, 40, and 41.
For connecting to a host processor or embedded computer, all modules support UART, USB, I2A, DDC (I2S compliant) interfaces plus nine general-purpose I/O ports.