Particle, a developer of networking hardware and software for connected devices, has released an LTE-enabled module for product developers.
The new device specifically targets folks whose devices were reliant on retiring 2G and 3G networks, according to the company, and include built-in cloud and SIM support.
Even as big telecom companies and vendors move ahead with 4G and now 5G networking equipment, those technologies aren’t necessarily the best for most networked devices, according to Particle .
LTE hardware is cheaper, has better battery life, and ranges that are more appropriate for industrial devices that may need to communicate across distances or through obstacles (like walls, other machines, doors, or floors).
Particularly, Particle sees demand for its devices in hard-to-reach or widely dispersed sensor networks — like industrial factory floors or in an agricultural monitoring setting for a farm or field.
“As US carriers are quickly moving to end 2G and 3G support, and global carriers plan for LTE network rollouts, the timing for an LTE strategy is more critical than ever,” according to a statement Bill Kramer, EVP of IoT Solutions at KORE, which provides managed IoT networks, application enablement, location based services.
The new LTE product is part of a suite of offerings from Particle — including a device cloud, operating system, and developer toolkit, the company said.
By providing a pre-integrated solution, Particle said that its hardware represents a faster, far less complicated path to market.
“We launched our cellular development kit, the Electron, to give our developer community access to the power of cellular,” said Zach Supalla, Co-Founder and CEO of Particle, in a statement. “The following industrial E Series line made go-to-market with 2G/3G scalable for enterprises. Now with our LTE module, businesses will evolve alongside the quickly-changing cellular landscape without missing a beat.”
Particle’s new lineup now includes two LTE CAT-M1 models (LTE B13 and LTE B2/4/5/12) and is fully certified, low profile, surface mountable for industrial environments, and powered by Qualcomm’s MDM9206 IoT Modem and u-blox’s Sara-R410-02B module.
The new LTE hardware evaluation kit ships for $89 with an evaluation board, a sample temperature sensor, and accessories to build out a proof of concept, the company said. Individual modules are priced at $69.
Particle counts 8,500 customers and more than 140,000 developers among its customers building networking technologies for consumer and industrial devices. The company says its customers range from global energy provider Engie and design studio Ideo to indoor crops provider Grow Labs and coffee pioneer Keurig .