Orange pre-installs cellular connectivity to aid IoT growth

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Orange has partnered on what it claimed is the first Internet of Things module with integrated cellular connectivity and launched a programme aimed at growing the cellular IoT ecosystem.

The French operator is working with distributor EBV Elektronik on producing the module, which combines an integrated SIM, pre-paid data bundle and connectivity across 33 countries and is targeted at manufacturers. Orange will offer four data bundles starting at 10MB, which it said would cover the lifetime or long-term usage of a connected device.

The first module, offering 2G connectivity and named Heracles, will be launched this month, with further modules, including with LTE-M connectivity, to follow through to the end of 2018. Orange said the product offers out of the box connectivity without the need to involve an operator in connecting devices.

[Read more: Orange doubles down on LTE-M at MWC as Ericsson, AT&T complete trials]

Heracles measures 15.8 x 17.8 x 2.4mm, which Orange said would suit for "ultra-small" design requirements and deployment in automotive, wearables, tracking and metering use cases.

It said the quad-band GSM/GPRS module's low-power System on Chip would aid energy efficient requirements.

Heracles is part of a Live Booster project that Orange has launched and which aims to deliver a range of modules to manufacturers in order to help them deploy IoT networks. 

Yves Maitre, Executive Vice President, Connected Objects and Partnerships at Orange, said: “Orange recognises the multiple obstacles that object manufacturers face today to get their products to market. As a long-standing champion of cellular connectivity in the IoT market we are driven to break-down these barriers. By embedding cellular connectivity from the outset and making the pricing simple and attractive we hope to deliver a much-needed boost to the market.

“Our long-standing partnership approach sees us partnering with a leader in the field of electronics. With EBV Elektronik’s know-how in electronics and Orange’s expertise in cellular, we are confident we can successfully address the needs of object makers with this ground-breaking solution.” 

Eckart Voskamp, Director Product Innovations, EBV Elektronik, added: “The combination of the best-in-class hardware module with Orange’s very innovative IoT connectivity solution will enable our customers to bring their products much faster to market.

“With the certified and pre-paid Heracles module, the manufacturers can focus on their applications and don’t have to deal with any connectivity setup.”

In June, Tele2 worked with Telit to introduce new cellular technology embedded in modules which it hopes would replace the SIM card in IoT deployments.