Sierra Wireless, the leading provider of fully integrated device-to-cloud solutions for the Internet of Things (IoT), and KDDI Corporation, a Japanese telecommunications and system integration provider, today announced that KDDI has selected Sierra Wireless AirPrime® HL78 cellular modules for LTE-M IoT applications. KDDI will be the world’s first MNO to provide its customers with HL78 modules operating on its LTE-M network, beginning in mid-2018 with one of the leading LP gas smart meter companies in Japan. KDDI expects more LTE-M IoT applications in diverse markets to follow, including logistics and wearables.
“Sierra Wireless’ modules provide exceptional low-power performance, allowing smart gas meters to consume so little electricity that they will be able to perform two-way telecommunication for about 10 years on three 2,400mA industrial batteries,” said Hiroyuki Kimura, Deputy General Manager, IoT Business Development Division, KDDI. “The extended coverage provided by our LTE-M network will allow LP gas service providers to reach more of the Japanese market.”
The HL78 modules, featuring Altair Semiconductor’s integrated ALT1250 chipset, deliver best-in-class power performance extending the life of battery operated devices by up to 10X compared to other available LTE-M/NB-IoT modules. This new level of power saving modes, with improved wake-up and sleep mode responsiveness, as well as ultra-low-power sleep mode, make HL78 modules the ideal choice for any power-constrained IoT application.
“Sierra Wireless’ HL78 modules give system integrators like KDDI the most scalable, lowest power module platform for LPWA designs,” said Dan Schieler, Senior Vice President and General Manager, OEM Solutions, Sierra Wireless. “We’re excited to be working with KDDI on this large-scale LTE-M deployment in the utility market and to support them as the first MNO in the world to complete interoperability testing with HL78. We are planning to start delivering HL78 to KDDI in July 2018.”
In addition to low-power performance unique to the HL78 design, the modules integrate GNSS tracking capability, security and an embedded SIM in a new compact CF3® size (18mm x15mm) that is pin-to-pin compatible with other HL Series modules. Customers have the flexibility to deploy the same device on global LTE-M and NB-IoT (Cat-NB1) networks, with support for more than 20 LTE frequency bands in addition to optional 2G fallback. Built-in security, including HTTPS, secure socket, secure boot and free unlimited firmware over-the-air (FOTA) updates from the AirVantage® device management IoT Platform, helps customers ensure HL78 deployments are future proof and secure.
“The utility meter market in Japan is very advanced and has ultra-low power consumption and stringent security requirements”, said Ilan Reingold, VP of Business Development and Marketing for Altair. “Sierra’s HL78 modules are excellently suited to meet these needs.” KDDI currently doesn’t support 2G fallback, and an embedded SIM of HL78.
 Interoperability testing with HL78 on KDDI NB-IoT Network is still undecided.