u-blox’s cellular modules with own LPWA chipset pass US certifications and enter production

Thalwil, Switzerland – October 20, 2020 – u-blox (SIX:UBXN), a global provider of leading positioning and wireless communication technologies and services, has today announced that its SARA-R5 LTE-M and NB-IoT cellular series is now in production and LTE-M certified with several North American Tier 1 operators. The SARA-R5 series is the first product family based on the UBX-R5, u-blox’s own low power wide area (LPWA) chipset, to achieve North American operator certification.

The UBX-R5 chipset had already achieved MNO certification earlier this year and was also the first IoT chipset to be certified by Global Certification Forum (GCF).

The SARA-R5 series is aimed at LPWA IoT applications, such as industrial automation, sensor applications, connected health, metering, asset and vehicle tracking, as well as telematics. Secure by design, the series offers robust cloud connectivity. Each module offers built-in Secure Cloud functionality with a unique and immutable identity derived from a hardware-based robust root of trust – hosted inside a Secure Element – that forms the basis for a trusted set of advanced security features including the management of encryption keys. Available as       u-blox IoT Security-as-a-Service (SaaS), this functionality solves the longevity and safety imperatives of IoT devices for sensitive or confidential applications.

By bringing all the technology building blocks in house and having full hardware and software ownership with its SARA-R5, u-blox can guarantee long-term device availability and provide lifetime support of the entire platform, down to the chipset level. The fact that the SARA-R5 is 5G-ready also means that customers will be able to software upgrade their deployed devices once 5G LTE has been rolled out by mobile operators, greatly improving end-product scalability and lifetime.

“We are thrilled to see our SARA-R5 with our own LPWA chipset now LTE-M certified in the US and entering production,” said Samuele Falcomer, Senior Product Manager, Product Center Cellular, u-blox. “The SARA-R5 series is unique for the level of security it brings with a root of trust embedded in a hardware-based Secure Element and a key management system (KMS) that is highly optimized for low bandwidth LPWA applications.”

The SARA-R5 series has three product variants, all featuring u-blox Secure Cloud functionality and supporting u-blox IoT SaaS. The SARA-R500S offers LTE connectivity, while the SARA-R510M8S includes an integrated u-blox M8 GNSS and a separate GNSS antenna interface, providing highly reliable and accurate positioning data simultaneously with LTE communication. This makes it ideal for mobile applications such as fleet management, tracking, and telematics. The SARA-R510S, on the other hand, is specifically designed for ultra-low battery-powered applications like metering, smart city, connected health, security and surveillance, and remote monitoring.