Our newest product, Monarch Go, a unique LTE-M connectivity solution co-developed with and certified by Verizon, is creating quite a stir.

It is making IoT businesses cases viable that weren’t before and it has already won an IoT Innovations Award from Connected World Magazine. Following are your questions answered.

What is the difference between Monarch and Monarch Go?

Monarch is the name of the Sequans’ platform dedicated to LTE-M. The naming applies to the chipset itself (Monarch chip), to the module embedding the chipset (Monarch GM01Q module), and by extension to any platform embedding the chip or the module. Monarch Go is an all-in-one modem component that comprises the Monarch GM01Q module and all other components necessary for a complete modem system. Monarch Go goes far beyond traditional module solutions and integrates an optimized LTE antenna, a pre-installed Verizon ThingSpace SIM, and comes already certified by Verizon as an end device. The Verizon-certified Monarch Go eliminates months of design and testing effort and eliminates the requirement for any further certification testing by Verizon. Monarch Go offers the lowest total cost of ownership, and the shortest possible route to market for IoT devices launching on Verizon’s LTE-M network.

What is the difference between Monarch Go and Monarch GM01Q and which should I use?

Monarch GM01Q is a traditional module, whereas Monarch Go (based on Monarch GM01Q) embeds the LTE antenna, resulting in a complete modem system or modem component. Deciding which one to use is a function of cost and time. Monarch Go targets customers with estimated volume of less than 50k units, while Monarch GM01Q targets customers with volume above 50k units. All Monarch Go customers can transition to Monarch GM01Q as volume increases above 50K units.

What is the difference between a traditional M2M/IoT module and a modem component?

A standard M2M/IoT module does not include an embedded antenna and is not certified as an end-device. We refer to Monarch Go as a modem component because it comprises the entire data pipe, including the antenna. IoT devices using a standard module require the customer to conduct antenna design and also pass certification of their finished products in Verizon’s lab before they are allowed on Verizon’s network. Monarch Go includes an embedded antenna and has already passed Verizon’s demanding certification tests.

What is the difference between Monarch Go and Monarch Go-GPS?

Monarch Go comes in two versions: 1) without GPS: Monarch Go; and 2) with GPS: Monarch Go-GPS. Which one to choose, depends on your application. While Monarch Go-GPS is needed for certain applications requiring very fine location accuracy, Monarch Go without GPS, using LTE-only positioning techniques, is sufficient for most applications.

How does Monarch Go without GPS provide location service?

Monarch Go without GPS provides accurate positioning using LTE techniques alone (like those based on Cell-ID) with sufficient accuracy for most IoT applications. Monarch Go can be used in underground installations, such as gas and water meters where GPS is not effective.

Are starter kits available for Monarch Go and Monarch Go-GPS?

Yes, both Monarch Go and Monarch Go-GPS have available starter kits (Monarch Go STK and Monarch Go-GPS STK) that enable users to start development and testing with Monarch Go or Monarch Go-GPS. A user simply plugs the STK into a laptop with a standard USB cable and follows the straightforward instructions. Most customers use the STKs to prototype and/or develop and test software systems prior to deployment.

Can I use Monarch Go on other carrier networks?

Currently Monarch Go is available only in the USA for Verizon network. We are working to certify Monarch Go with other carriers outside the U.S. Please contact us for updates.

Does Monarch Go have an integrated microprocessor for customer programming?

Monarch Go requires the customer to control the device via an external processor. Many customers have their preferred microprocessors and, using the UART connector found on Monarch Go along with the supplied scripts, customers can continue to build on their existing developments and investments. Sequans and Avnet are collaborating with MCU providers NXP and Microchip, and development kits incorporating these leading MCUs will be available in Q3.

Does Monarch Go include the SIM or do I need to get one from Verizon?

Monarch Go comes with an integrated Verizon SIM card. Simple activation instructions are provided, including the IMEI, to enable customers to buy a data plan easily online without ever having to talk to a Verizon representative.

Who are the typical Monarch Go customers and what are the ideal Monarch Go applications?

Monarch Go is primarily targeted at IoT companies with little or no knowledge of cellular hardware or 3GPP standards and processes. Monarch Go comes with pre-configured scripts and an abundance of help and resources to enable new IoT device makers to launch their IoT devices quickly on Verizon’s network. Monarch Go also targets larger companies with annual volume of less than 50K units. The cost of designing PCBs with M2M/IoT modules or chipsets (both of which are also provided by Sequans) along with the extended cellular operator mandated certifications that can easily cost $250K per operator can be avoided by using Monarch Go. Monarch Go is an ideal connectivity solution for many types of IoT applications including appliances (washers, dryers, refrigerators), home electronics (alarm panel upgrades, smoke detectors), office equipment (printers, copiers), and industrial equipment (vending machines, remote monitors, sensors).

What is certification and why is it needed?

In order to operate on any cellular network, a multitude of operator tests, including protocol, RF, and data level tests, must be passed before a device is allowed to operate on the network. Some of these tests, such as those needed to secure approval from FCC, GCF or PTCRB, are performed by third party testing companies. In order to move to massive deployment and to gain full access to operator networks on an extended basis, one needs to demonstrate conformance with all of the many rules of network operators. All major operators mandate certification of end devices before any device is allowed to operate on their networks. Achieving certification is expensive and ranges from $50K to $250K or more per operator.

Do I need to go to Verizon’s lab for certification of my product?

No you do not need to go to Verizon lab for certification if using the Monarch Go. The Monarch Go is certified by Verizon as an end-device which allows you to bypass this requirement. Such is not the case for using chipsets or M2M/IoT modules.

Do I need to get FCC certification?

An FCC certification is required for all electronic products manufactured or sold in the United States which certifies that the electromagnetic interference from the device is under the limit approved by the Federal Communications Commission. Monarch Go is FCC certified. You can use the FCC reference of Monarch Go for further accreditation of your device. Furthermore, your end device is not required to get its own FCC ID, but it needs to bear a label explaining that it contains FCC ID 2AAGMGMQGOA, which is the FCC ID of Monarch Go, assuming the end device meets some conditions and has been tested according to the EMC testing – 47 CFR Part 15b. More details on how to re-use Monarch Go FCC ID are found in Sequans documentation: Sequans Monarch Go Datasheet and Hardware Integration Guide.

Where can I purchase Monarch Go?

Monarch Go is available exclusively from our distribution partner, Avnet.

How can I purchase a data plan for Monarch Go?

Once you acquire a Monarch Go device or starter kit, you will be provided with an IMEI number. All you need to do is go online to Verizon ThingSpace, enter the information, chose your data plan and you are ready to go.

Where can I find application notes on how to work with Monarch Go?

Our distribution partner Avnet provides Monarch Go documentation that includes application notes.

Do you supply examples and scripts for managing the device and the connectivity?

Our distribution partner Avnet can provide the Monarch Go documentation that includes scripts to seamlessly connect to the internet, making it easy and fast for customers to get on the cellular network, establishing either PPP, socket or cloud connections.

How can I develop my hardware using Monarch Go?

Monarch Go connects to the main application board of the end device using a standard connector. Our distribution partner Avnet can provide the Monarch Go documentation that includes Monarch Go’s data sheet with hardware integration guidelines.