Announcing the Nova LTE-M / NB-IoT (“Nova LTE”), a global LPWA development tool
Here at Hologram, we’re very excited for the new Cat-M services that are deploying all over the world. We recently wrote about announcements from our carrier partners and how you can take advantage of the new capabilities. But one hanging question was hardware for getting online. We like the options for embedded applications and wrote about some of the hot boards for the summer. This leaves out the segment of users who are software centric and looking for a simpler option. Since launching our USB modem the Nova last year, we have seen software users transmitting over cellular with ease and decided to extend the capability for these users.
Today, we’re happy to announce the pre-order for the next version of our Nova platform, a global LTE-M & NB-IoT Nova.
What is the Nova?
The Nova accelerates software development by simplifying access to cellular IoT connectivity. It is an open source USB modem that works with single board computers like the Raspberry Pi and BeagleBone. The upcoming global Cat-M1 & NB-IoT Nova combines the capabilities of Hologram’s global cellular IoT connectivity network and platform, flexible open-source hardware, and a Python SDK/CLI.
Customers have integrated the Nova in IoT applications ranging from blockchain-based asset tracking to distributed emergency system communication. There a wide range of projects available to view and use as a starting point on our projects page for the Nova. Starting this September, cellular IoT developers and engineers will be able to build these and new application with the latest LPWA cellular radio access technologies with the global Nova LTE-M / NB-IoT.
What is LTE-M and NB-IOT?
LTE-M (also called Cat-M1) and NB-IoT (also called Cat-M2) are two sides of the same coin. They are low(er) data rate standards that allow IoT devices to get online with less overhead. The ultimate goal is to reduce the power footprint required for small devices.
The global Cat-M landscape is still settling as carriers continue rollout announcements and module providers race to solidify cellular modem technologies and hardware. Amidst this, we’re excited to extend the Nova’s mission to open up early access and development. New LTE-M and NB-IoT technologies will be a key part of the cellular IoT development community. For global roll-out information, check out the current GSMA rollout map.
The new Nova LTE has global band access. LTE-M is a purpose-built IoT cellular technology meant for low power applications. It has improved signal penetration over existing LTE spectrum as a tradeoff for lower bandwidth and throughput.
We had previously released engineering samples of the Nova using the uBlox R404 modem. That device only gave access to Verizon’s band 13 LTE-M network. The new LTE model provides global channel access to both LTE-M and NB-IoT bands. For customers in the US, the Nova LTE is also certified with Verizon’s Open Development program as an approved LTE-M device. Higher bandwidth use cases such as autonomous driving or digital signage should check if our global Nova 3G or other 3rd party compatible hardware list would match use case requirements better.
Due to limited availability for our first production run, we’re opening up pre-orders for the Nova LTE through our store starting today. For additional availability or enterprise sales, please reach out to email@example.com with any further questions.