End-Device Certified Modem
The Skywire™ Embedded 2G GSM /GPRS Modem is a member of the Skywire™ family of plug-in cellular products. This 2G GSM modem supports GSM GPRS class 10. It is the lowest cost 2G GSM GPRS module, provides a migration path to UMTS 1xRTT, EVDO & LTE, and has a micro SIM card slot on module.
- Industry smallest
- Speeds capable of 80kb/s Download /
- U.FL port for antenna flexibility
- Future-proof with XBee® Standard form factor
- FCC Certified
- Lowest cost 2G GSM GPRS
- Migration path to UMTS 1xRTT, EVDO & LTE
- Bundled data plans available
- Micro SIM card slot on modem
Skywire™ Embedded Modem Roadmap
Skywire™ Cellular Modems
Created by award-winning developers, Skywire™ plug-in cellular modems are the fastest way to provide cellular connectivity for machine-to-machine (M2M) products and speed them to market. Within months of its introduction Skywire™ was recognized for innovation and named a finalist for the ECN Impact Awards, Boards, Modules and Embedded Systems category.
Skywire™ is the smallest end-device certified cellular modem on the market, making it quicker and easier to deploy than chip-down chipset solutions, external modems, or solder-in modules. It uses an XBee® Standard form factor and its pre-certification eliminates months of delay and tens of thousands of dollars of cost for required certification.
It is easy to deploy, requiring just voltage and a UART connection and is more flexible than other plug-in modules, supporting a wider range of voltages and antenna connections.
Part Ordering Information
Embedded 2G Modems for M2M Applications
Skywire embedded 2G modems are an enabler for M2M, the technology powering the emerging “Internet of Things” that allows systems to independently collect data and transmit it to other systems. This allows systems to make decisions based not just on local input but on input from a far-flung network of sites and sources. Over a short distance it’s easy to connect separate devices either by wire or wirelessly. But for quick, easy communication to just about any fixed or mobile location it’s hard to beat the cellular network. Cellular works almost anywhere and is inexpensive to implement and use, but the biggest advantage of cellular may be the speed with which it can be implemented, both by the product developer and by the end user.
The right cellular technology for your application depends on your application and your location. 2G GSM and 2G CDMA are second generation cellular technologies in which all signals are transmitted in compressed digital form. Digital technology allows multiple messages to be transmitted in the bandwidth that would otherwise be occupied by a single analog call. The original data speed of 2G was around 9.6Kbps but has expanded, in what is sometimes called 2.5G, to speeds of up to 150 Kbps.
2G comes in several “flavors.” 2G GSM and 2G CDMA are competing standards. CDMA is used only in North America, while the rest of the Americas and the world use GSM. CDMA stands for code division multiple access and offers somewhat better range and clarity in voice calling than GSM, but that doesn’t really matter for data communication. GSM stands for global system for mobile communication. Unlike CDMA, GSM stores subscriber and wireless provider information on interchangeable SIM (subscriber identification module) cards, allowing users to switch phones or providers by replacing SIM cards.
Choosing Cellular Access Technology
There are a variety of ways to incorporate cellular connectivity into a product or device. Key issues affecting your choice include location (as a factor in cellular network availability), product size, available expertise, time, cost, and your anticipated technology roadmap.
- Consider the cellular network you will be using. If your product will have to access a range of network technologies, you will need to be able to support a corresponding range of cellular modems.
- If size is an issue (as it is in so many devices today) external modems will not be a viable option; even some internal modules/modems may be too large to be practical.
- Consider what components are built into the modem itself and what will have to be configured separately to make the module/modem work.
- If you have the time and resources you can design a cellular module into your board. Or you can streamline the process by incorporating a ready-made pre-certified modem. Designing in a module will take engineering time.
- Products that access the network must have FCC certification, which can take months. Designing in a pre-certified cellular modem eliminates the cost of obtaining certification and allows your device to be immediately activated on a network, reducing risk and speeding ROI.
- A plug-in modem with a complete development kit will further streamline the process.
- Cost has many components. In comparing cost of various cellular access options, look at development cost versus purchase cost as well as manufacturing and operating costs. Also consider the cost of obtaining certification if your product is not pre-certified.
- The volume in which you will produce your product also helps determine your platform options. Designing a module into your board (as opposed to plugging in a certified modem) can make sense when the cost can be amortized over very large volumes (and when you can support the up-front cost). When your volume is less than huge, however, or when you need to pay as you go, purchasing modems makes more sense.
- Finally, consider the trajectory of your product’s future development. If you expect your cellular needs to change—in speed, in network technology, or in related capabilities such as GPS—consider buying rather than building. It’s easier to change direction when that means buying a different product rather than having to develop a new one yourself. This is especially true if the modems you buy use a standard form factor that allows easy swap-out as generations change.
Skywire Embedded 2G GSM/GPRS Modems make the task of integrating cellular connectivity into your application simple. Contact NimbeLink today for more information about how Embedded 2G GSM/GPRS Modems from Skywire can enable your M2M project.