IoT devices with low data rates can use LTE bands around 450 MHz to get long range even when installed inside buildings with the u-blox SARA-R540S module.
IoT devices such as smart electric meters for the power grid increasingly use cellular connectivity to send data to a central location. Module manufacturer u-blox has added the SARA-R540S module to its portfolio, which covers low-frequency LTE bands used in Europe, Asia, and Latin America.
The SARA-R540S module, based on the , operates in LTE 31, 72, 73, 87, and 88 frequency bands. Because these bands cover frequencies from 410 MHz to 450 MHz, they offer long range and robust penetration for devices that reside indoors. It supports of Power Class 3 over the standard LTE bands in the 410 MHz band with 26 dBm maximum output power (Power Class 2) at 450 MHz.
The module supports 3GPP Release 13 LTE Cat M1 and NB1 as well as 3GPP Release 14 LTE Cat M1 Release 14 LTE Cat NB2. The module’s UBX-R5 cellular chipset lets you upgrade it to 5G through one of two module UARTs. There’s also a USB port for diagnostics, I2C for communications with the host, and six digital I/O ports. The chipset itself can operate on frequency bands from 450 MHz to 2.46 GHz.
For battery powered IoT devices, the module draws 0.5 µA when operating on power-saving mode (PSM). Consumption for extended Discontinuous Reception (eDRX) is 130 µA. The module features a “last gasp” function that transmits a message just before it loses power, be that from a dead battery, a loss of external power, or tampering.
Because the SARA-R540S is a Secure Cloud module, it supports u-blox IoT-Security-as-a-Service and includes an internal, hardware-based, secure element and a lightweight pre-shared key management system. Thus, it provides security-based features and services like local data protection, zero touch provisioning, anti-cloning, and secure chip-to-chip communication.
The module measures 16.0 mm × 26.0 mm × 2.2 mm.