GPRS designs phased out in favour of LTE
For decades GPRS has been the go-to communications choice for low cost, low bandwidth long-distance comms. However, with GPRS shutdown now on the horizon in many territories, it makes sense for future product designs to use an alternative communications technology.
Cat M is a new narrowband category of LTE [long term evolution] which is split between two releases - Cat M1 and M2. M1 is aimed at higher bandwidth applications such as HD video streaming and security apps, while M2 chipsets have been designed to support low-power IoT applications including asset trackers and industrial sensors. Its proponents say this protocol is right at the top of the IoT tree – citing a host of benefits such as:
- Cost-effective connectivity;
- High node density;
- Reliable, secure communications;
- Flexible integration options.
Until the Cat M2 network infrastructure is rolled out, designers will need to consider carefully product field life, power consumption and unit cost to decide whether to use GPRS or a higher bandwidth modem.