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u-blox SARA cellular module provides cellular connectivity for Iomote’s professional IoT platform

Iomote

Italian‑based Iomote develops connected solutions for the industrial Internet of Things, offering a programmable and connected gateway, a powerful cloud backend, and a user‑friendly admin dashboard, harnessing the full power of the Microsoft Azure cloud platform.

Use case

Iomote recently launched a new end‑to‑end platform for Industry 4.0 that lets businesses easily connect existing professional machines to the cloud, allowing them to increase their efficiency and augment their service offering. The centerpiece of their platform is their smart, programmable Iomote X400 gateway, which adds cloud connectivity to virtually any industrial application.

Their solution uses the company’s MyMote web dashboard to let IIoT system administrators manage operations such as provisioning, remote software upgrades of devices on the field, system notifications, and many others. It sends telemetry data directly to Microsoft Azure where it is exclusively made available to the customer, with no third parties involved.

Robust reliability and technological flexibility

Ensuring continuous connectivity, even outside urban centers where cellular coverage can be weak, was paramount for their application, as professional IoT solutions require robust real‑time, bi‑directional connectivity to cloud. In these types of applications, cellular connectivity is the only option because the end users, businesses, are increasingly reluctant to open the connectivity to their local network.

Technological flexibility was also key, allowing Iomote to tailor solutions specifically to the each customer’s cellular network environment, enabling them to connect to existing 2G, 3G, or 4G networks, and keep the door open to upgrading to LTE low speed or NB‑IoT networks when they roll out.

The u‑blox SARA solution

Iomote found its solution in the u‑blox SARA cellular module series, which offered both reliable connectivity and a high degree of flexibility in terms of the cellular technologies used. Their X400 gateway is built, in particular, around SARA‑G350, a 2G cellular module, and SARA‑U201, a 3G cellular module with 2G fallback, two automotive grade variants that are certified for use in explosive environments.

“We tested our X400 in remote areas where the cellular signal was very weak and unstable, and the overall performance was robust thanks to the u‑blox SARA cellular modules it uses,” says Claudio Carnevali, CEO of Iomote. “Form factor and pin‑to‑pin compatibility between 2G, 3G, and 4G variants of the SARA cellular module mean that customers have the possibility to choose their cellular communication technology. We really benefit from the possibility of tailoring the technology each customer’s needs,” he says. “In the end, regardless of the cellular technology used, our customers can rely on the u‑blox module to send messages flawlessly to the cloud.”

Future‑proofing designs

The most recent addition to the u‑blox SARA cellular module family, the SARA‑R412M LTE Cat M1 module with quad‑band 2G fallback is designed to help smoothen the transition toward low‑power wide‑area LTE cellular networks for industrial applications as they roll out.