Sierra Wireless Extends 4G Leadership with Introduction of Second Generation of LTE Embedded Modules
Sierra Wireless has introduced its second generation of 4G LTE AirPrime™ embedded wireless modules for notebooks, ultraportable notebooks, and tablets. The six new additions to the AirPrime EM Series and MC Series support 4G LTE networks worldwide and are compatible with the Windows® 8 operating system.
Sierra Wireless first launched embedded modules for LTE networks nearly two years ago, at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show. Since then, the company has delivered LTE-enabled products on networks around the world, shipping over 2 million LTE products to date. Sales of AirPrime embedded modules to notebook and tablet manufacturers have enjoyed strong growth in 2012, up 66 percent in the first three quarters of the year, compared to the same period in 2011.
“This new lineup of embedded wireless modules offers notebook and tablet manufacturers a leading edge connectivity solution for a wide range of devices, with expanded support for both LTE networks and Windows 8 packaged into some of the thinnest modules we’ve ever produced,” said Dan Schieler, Senior Vice President, Mobile Computing for Sierra Wireless. “The continued deployment of LTE networks and the launch of Windows 8 have driven solid growth in our sales to device manufacturers this year, and our expansion of the product line demonstrates our continued commitment to this key market.”
All of the new MC and EM Series modules are optimized for low power consumption, to enable longer battery life in their host devices. In addition, all of them are compatible with 2G and 3G network technologies for use in areas where LTE is not yet available.
Multi-operator support on LTE networks provides manufacturers with an efficient solution for inventory management. With each module covering multiple LTE network operators within its targeted geographic region, manufacturers can address markets worldwide with fewer variants. End customers also have the flexibility to select and change their network service provider without having to purchase a new device.
The AirPrime EM7355, AirPrime EM7305, and AirPrime EM7330 are the first AirPrime modules built to the new PCI Express M.2 module standard, making them even thinner and smaller than the AirPrime EM7700 module, which was introduced earlier this year as the thinnest 4G module available. Each module offers multi-operator LTE support with sets of frequency bands for specific regions – one for North America, one for EMEA and Australia, and one for Japan.
The AirPrime MC7355, AirPrime MC7305, and AirPrime MC7330 are PCI Express Mini Card modules designed for use in notebook computers. Like their EM Series counterparts, the AirPrime MC73xx modules offer multi-operator LTE support and differ in the set of frequency bands supported on each.
The first of the new EM and MC Series modules are expected to be commercially available in the first quarter of 2013, and they will continue to roll out over the first three quarters of the year. Sierra Wireless has multiple design wins for the new modules and is working with leading manufacturers to integrate them into devices that are expected to launch in 2013.