Sequans adds cloud positioning to Monarch chip, intros Verizon-approved IoT tracker
French IoT chipmaker Sequans has announced it will embed ‘cloud location over cellular’ (C-LoC) software to its LTE-M and NB-IoT Monarch platform, creating a IoT location solution that does not require GPS/ GNSS, or other radios for positioning. It has worked with C-LoC Polte Corporation on the initiative.
In tandem, it has confirmed a new IoT tracker for monitoring supply chain assets, running its Monarch platform, has been approved by Verizon and made available to logistics and IoT providers. The new tracker by Netherlands based Polymer Logistics is pending approval by other operators, too.
Polymer Logistics, which describes itself as a provide of ‘retail-ready’ packaging solutions, is offering LTE-M connectivity, a temperature sensor, an accelerometer, and Polte’s network-based geolocation with the new tracker. The unit is tailored for use with Polymer’s own CleanPal plastic pallets, fitting between the slats of a CleanPal pallet without overhang, so forklifts do not cause damage.
The tracker also works as a standalone tracking device for other IoT applications, however. Sequans quoted analysts stats in its press announcement that the addressable market for smart pallets is ore than 10 billion units.
With the Monarch LTE chipset enabled with Polte’s C-LoC technology, the need for additional radios and the additional cost and power they require is eliminated, it said. The Polte C-LoC solution provides indoor location capability where GPS/ GNSS cannot.
The technology offers higher indoor accuracy, and brings a 70 per cent reduction in energy consumption on IoT devices, at least, said Sequans, affording major cost savings
Georges Karam, chief executive at Sequans, said: “Polte’s cloud-based positioning technology on Monarch provides great value to our IoT customers, especially asset tracker device makers who need low-cost, low-power solutions for outdoor and indoor locations, such as inside warehouses.”
Ed Chao,chief executive at Polte, said: “The launch of Polte’s positioning solution on Monarch will enable an entirely new category of use cases, which will help drive adoption of IoT across every vertical from asset tracking to manufacturing.”
Meanwhile, the new Monarch-enabled IoT tracker from Polymer features an IP66 enclosure, suitable for extreme weather conditions, and uses AA batteries, reducing fire risk of lithium ion batteries.
The Monarch platform supports power saving mode (PSM) and extended discontinuous reception (eDRX) to enable the long battery life needed for many IoT solutions.
Danny Kedar, vice president of IoT at Sequans, said: “The addressable market for the mobile tracking of pallets numbers [is] in the billions of units, representing a very real opportunity.”
Ohad Perry, chief technology officer at Polymer Logistics, said Sequans’ Monarch LTE-M/NB-IoT platform is “mature, reliable, and power-efficient”, and was easy to bring to market. “Its total solution approach to IoT includes not just the hardware, but also the necessary software to reduce the complexity of IoT device development,” he said.
Meanwhile, IoT manufacturer GeoTraq has selected the Monarch platform for its new GeoTraq NB-400 series of IoT modules. The NB-400 series uses non-IP data delivery (NIDD), which GeoTraq reckons offers fatser, more secure LTE connectivity. The NB-400 module footprint is 12×16 mm, including connectors for sensor, battery, and antenna.
“As a company focused on delivering ROI to our customers through simple cellular IoT solutions that can be deployed with seamless global coverage for one low price, we found what we were looking for in Sequans’ Monarch technology,” said Gregg Sullivan, chief executive at GeoTraq.
Kedar at Sequans commented: “GeoTraq is delivering the creative solutions the IoT industry needs. Its NB-400 modules offer a low-cost solution with a data plan that is ideally suited for sensor-based applications.”