Sequans, Gemalto, and Ericsson conduct live demo of LTE Cat M1 technology using a fleet management industrial IoT example at GSMA Mobility Live

At this week’s GSMA Mobility Live in Atlanta, held November 1-2, Sequans teamed up with Ericsson and Gemalto to conduct a proof-of-concept live demo of LTE Cat M1 technology.

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Truck with sensors and prototype sensor board device with Gemalto LTE Cat M1 module powered by Sequans.

The demonstration, designed by our friends at Ericsson, depicted how a trucking company would use LTE Cat M1 technology to track its trucks on the road and manage its fleet operations. A miniature semi-truck was fitted with three sensors to monitor the status of three particular conditions onboard the truck: one to monitor the cargo door (open/close), one to monitor the truck’s internal temperature, and one to monitor the truck for accidental tip over.

The sensors on the truck were connected to a Raspberry Pi single-board computer. The sensor status was communicated to a remote management dashboard via a Gemalto LTE Cat M1 module prototype over a Cat M1 link to a live Ericsson eNodeB base station. The Gemalto module was powered by Sequans’ Monarch LTE chip, the world’s first genuine LTE Cat M1 chip solution.

Demo device prototype with the Gemalto Cat M1 module with Sequans LTE Cat M1 Monarch chip inside

Demo device prototype with the Gemalto Cat M1 module with Sequans LTE Cat M1 Monarch chip inside

A large video monitor displayed the management dashboard, showing a map of the truck’s travel area and position of the truck on the road, and three status indicators corresponding to the three sensors. Watching this, one could envision exactly how a fleet manager would be able to track in real time his fleet of trucks on the road over a wide area, with the security and reliability of LTE. The demo was surely the most exciting thing on the networking floor, judging by the surrounding crowd of people wanting to take a look.

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LTE Cat M1 Industrial demo, with an Ericsson engineer on the far right in front of the Ericsson eNodeB.

In the video below, which was recorded live from the networking floor, Sequans’ Xavier Lesage presents the demo, showing the viewer how the live communication is occurring between the Ericsson base station and the Sequans-powered Gemalto Cat M1 module, and how the sensors are reporting their status in this representative industrial IoT enactment. As Xavier changes the condition of the truck by tipping the truck over or opening the cargo door, the viewer sees on the dashboard display the sensor status indicators changing to red, instantly notifying the operator of an alarm situation.

The demo not only shows the readiness of LTE Cat M1 technology, which is expected to be commercially deployed by major operators before the end of the year, but also shows it in a relevant IoT application where the power of LTE as an extremely efficient, low cost and low power replacement for 2G, and cost-effective alternative to other LPWA technologies, is clearly in evidence.