Today I am proud to announce that Sierra Wireless has introduced a new embedded LTE-M and NB-IoT module, the HL7845, that features support for 450 MHz wireless spectrum. With the HL7845 module, Sierra Wireless delivers German, Austrian, and other European electricity and gas utilities the secure, reliable, broad, and affordable IoT connectivity they need to speed their roll-out of smart metering, smart grid, and other next-generation smart energy solutions on bands 31, 72, 87, and 88, all of which occupy 450 MHz spectrum.
The new smart module comes soon after Sierra Wireless’ recently announced membership in the 450 MHz Global Alliance, an industry association that represents the interests of the 450 MHz spectrum stakeholders. As this membership and new module demonstrates, Sierra Wireless is committed to providing utilities with the IoT solutions they need to maximize the benefits of smart energy solutions deployed on 450 MHz spectrum.
The low frequency of the 450MHz spectrum provides utilities with broad coverage over their service areas, along with the ability to penetrate buildings and other obstacles to connect to smart meters and other devices. In addition, utilities that deploy their own private 450 MHz networks can boost the power of these networks from the 23 dBm offered on public networks to 26 dBm, further expanding their wireless coverage and improving building penetration.
450 MHz spectrum is also well suited for LTE-M devices, which provide the low cost, low power consumption and the high device capacity needed for smart energy solutions. In addition, LTE-M also delivers utilities the data speeds they need for real-time monitoring, control, and optimization of energy generation, transmission, and consumption over the grid.
These and other advantages of the 450 MHz spectrum have led countries like Germany, the Netherlands, and Austria to reserve or consider reserving 450 MHz spectrum for the use of utilities for smart energy solutions. These next-generation smart energy solutions offer utilities the opportunity to better balance energy supply and demand on the grid – an issue of key importance to them as they seek to make their operations more sustainable by adding more intermittent renewable energy generation and distributed energy storage systems to the grid. With these smart energy solutions, utilities can carefully monitor the “pulse” of their entire grid, maximizing system reliability while minimizing greenhouse gas emissions and energy costs.
These smart energy solutions can also be used to increase utility revenues through better energy theft and leak detection; enhance customer satisfaction with more accurate billing, service reliability and added value services; and improve utilities’ overall operational excellence with better maintenance, repairs and asset management.
The HL7845 was designed by Sierra Wireless to help utilities accelerate the roll-out of these smart energy solutions, while minimizing the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). In addition to out-of-the box support for LTE-M Release 14, which enables faster data transfer speeds, the HL7845 delivers smart energy device Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), system integrators, and utilities:
• Best-in-Class Power Consumption: Building on Sierra Wireless experience, the HL7845 maximizes the benefits of LTE-M’s low power consumption features. Combined with other unique Sierra Wireless features – like small Firmware Over-the-Air (FOTA) updates that reduce the amount of power needed to install these updates — these capabilities can extend the battery life of smart meters to more than ten years, reducing the number of utility truck rolls needed for battery replacements.
• Multi-Layered Security: Sierra Wireless’ cybersecurity Defense in Depth approach features multiple layers of IoT device, network, and cloud security, including secure boot, secure firmware updates, and access controls. In addition, as a Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) Numbering Authority, Sierra Wireless has been qualified to accept vulnerability reports and coordinate with security researchers to help them quickly remediate any new vulnerabilities if they arise.
• Quick Integration and Deployment: The HL7845, featuring the Common Flexible Form Factor (CF3), is being certified by both the EU’s Radio Equipment Directive (RED) and mobile industry’s Global Certification Forum (GCF). These certifications, along with the module’s support for multiple modes, architectures, and protocols (including HTTP, HTTPS, DTLS, MQTT and LwM2M) accelerate the integration of the HL7845 into smart meters and other devices, while also speeding the deployment of these devices.
• Private and Public Network Flexibility: With some EU governments reserving 450 MHz spectrum for smart energy solutions, many utilities are planning to either build their own private LTE 450 MHz networks, or deploy their smart energy solutions on other organizations’ private LTE 450 MHz networks. The HL7845 supports deployment on these private networks, while offering utilities the ability to connect to Mobile Network Operators’ public LTE-M networks. This provides utilities with greater flexibility as they can connect devices with the HL7845 module to their own private network, and use the same device to connect to public networks in geographic areas where their private network lacks coverage, or is still being built out.
• A Common Module Form Factor: The HL7845 features the same Common Flexible Form Factor (CF3) as Sierra Wireless’ other HL series modules. This makes it easy for OEMs currently using the HL7800, HL7802, other HL series modules to quickly migrate to the HL7845 if they want their devices to connect to 450 MHz networks. This common form factor also futureproofs any new device built for 450 MHz networks, since it allows companies to use other Sierra Wireless CF3 modules to connect these devices to new networks using other types of wireless spectrum.
The new HL7845 reflects Sierra Wireless’ deep IoT solutions expertise and extensive understanding of the smart meter, smart grid, and other smart energy solutions market. Sierra Wireless has more than two decades of experience in the IoT sector and provides IoT solutions to many of the world’s leading smart meter OEMs. In addition, utilities in the Netherlands and elsewhere have deployed smart meters featuring Sierra Wireless modules that use the 450 MHz band to transmit data over older CDMA cellular networks.
With the HL7845, Sierra Wireless expands on this utility industry success, delivering customers an embedded module IoT solution that enables utilities to more easily, securely, and cost-effectively launch new, transformative smart energy solutions.
Start with Sierra and watch our webinar, How to Build a Low Power, Secure, Smart Metering Solution, to learn more on how the HL7845 and our other IoT solutions allow utilities to deploy next generation smart metering, smart grid and other smart energy solutions that allow them to unlock value in today’s connected economy.
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