The Internet of Things (IoT) will someday connect virtually everything in our world. But what is less appreciated is how disparate industries are also connected by their need for mission-critical technology. So while the taco truck that navigates busy city streets looking for hungry office workers and the LNG pipeline that snakes through remote badlands may not seem to share many commonalities, they are bound by the same technical requirements: the need for a constant and consistent connection.
The taco truck needs GPS access, a way to process customer orders in advance, and a way to process payments. The pipeline needs an array of connected sensors to monitor flow and detect leaks. Both, in very different ways, are part of the industrial IoT, and they, like millions of other businesses and industries, rely upon maintaining connectivity at all times.
But finding a stable connection isn’t always easy. Buildings can block signals, or the signal may be lost when entering a dead spot between coverage areas. Rural or remote areas may have weak signals. That’s why so many companies are turning to LTE-Advanced networking modules, which can maintain a consistent connection to cellular towers, all while staying within the necessary bandwidth.
Global LTE-Advanced networking modules break all barriers for the industrial IoT (IIoT). These modules can be used even in the most challenging conditions.
OnLogic, which makes PCs and other devices that can be utilized in some of the most grueling possible conditions, understands the challenges better than most. That’s why they partnered with Sierra Wireless. Their success shows the need to maintain connections, whether you are feeding a nation’s energy needs, or their (equally fierce) craving for delicious tacos.
OnLogic has some tough customers. It’s not that their customers are challenging, rather, they are quite literally rugged. They work at construction sites, mines and oil/natural gas extraction sites, industrial sites, and other unusual environments. But they need PCs and other devices that must stand up to less-than-ideal conditions while maintaining connectivity to other devices. It’s obvious that in such conditions, a dongle is too risky due to its fragility. So this prompted the development of an internal connectivity module. To create devices with that module, OnLogic joined forces with Sierra Wireless, and they paired our LTE-Advanced EM networking module with their Extrovert system.
OnLogic’s Extrovert 4G LTE Modem is just one piece of technology in its line of Extrovert-equipped systems, which allows users in remote locations to connect to the 4G LTE network where Wi-Fi or wired connections are unavailable.
Murat Erdogan, senior product manager at OnLogic, explained, “We serve customers in a variety of mission-critical industries where uninterrupted, high bandwidth data access is imperative. We chose the Sierra Wireless modules because they can provide these capabilities, including support for LTE Advanced Cat-6.” He added, “The company was also very responsive to us during our initial evaluation and eventual development process.”
Not only that, but Sierra Wireless modules are pre-certified, so that customers don’t need to certify their final product. While this sounds like a simple benefit, certification with regulatory bodies adds a complexity that OnLogic’s customers want to avoid. “Certifying a device to operate on the 4G LTE network requires approval from the PTCRB (PCS Type Certification Review Board), as well as individual cellular carriers, which can take upwards of six months and it costs as much as $50,000,” according to Erdogan. Sierra Wireless’ pre-certification initiative allows OnLogic’s customers to save time and money.
Why would OnLogic and their customers want an LTE-Advanced networking module solution? Well, there are a few reasons:
For the industrial IoT, this is the best of all worlds. LTE-Advanced networking modules allow companies to scale in response to market demands. And this can be achieved without encountering the artificial barriers that can arise from connectivity or security issues. This is what makes the transformative powers of the IoT so very unique. This is what will prompt change and advancement on a global scale.
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