On Wednesday, Sierra Wireless announced a new addition to its series of embedded wireless modules. The AirPrime Q2698 adds support for 3G  HSPA+ on five frequency bands, along with support for 2G  GSM /GPRS/EDGE on four frequency bands, making it compatible with networks worldwide and ideal for global deployments.
The Q2698 is also programmable, which means that customers already using AirPrime Q series modules can migrate from 2G to 3G, using the same hardware platform design and embedded applications they had developed for earlier products, says Sierra Wireless (British Columbia, Canada).
"The AirPrime Q2698 is designed for customers seeking an M2M embedded module that can provide 3G cellular network connectivity in any international location,” says Didier Dutronc, senior vice president, M2M Embedded Solutions for Sierra Wireless. “Because it also offers the Open AT Application Framework, embedded applications using the new AirPrime Q2698 module can be customized to meet business-specific M2M service needs."
The AirPrime Q2698, which will begin shipping in the second half of 2012, can be used in a wide variety of fixed or mobile M2M deployments in segments such as industrial, energy, sales and payment, transportation, or healthcare. It provides network access nearly anywhere in the world, including Australia, North America, Europe, Middle East, Africa, Latin America, China, and Japan, says Sierra Wireless.
The AirPrime Q2698 module includes GPS technology, which is essential to fleet management, asset tracking, and other location-based applications. It also features analog and digital audio capabilities and a large set of interfaces to ease integration.
According to Sierra Wireless, the AirPrime Q2698 module simplifies the development of M2M applications due to its Open AT Application Framework. Open AT allows developers to access the powerful processor of the Q2698 and embed their application software within the wireless module, which eliminates the need for external runtime units to perform logic functions.
The Open AT Framework uses industry-standard C language programming, streamlining software development, says Sierra Wireless . Open AT also provides connectivity with the Sierra Wireless AirVantage M2M Cloud Platform to enable remote device and asset management, as well as subscriber management in collaboration with global network operators.