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Selecting the right M2M modem for your IoT application

23/07/2015M2M modems3g modemsgprs modemsselection guide

Machine to Machine (M2M) cellular modems connect IoT devices to the internet using 2G/3G/4G celluar network

Machine to Machine (M2M) cellular modems form the bridge between Internet of Things (IoT) device and the internet using the 2G/3G/4G network. The modems typically connect with other systems including remote monitoring, vehicle telematics and other systems via RS232 serial connection (2G/GPRS) or USB (3G/4G modems) and connect to the internet over TCP/IP.

Where will it be deployed?
M2M modems are built around a GSM module which, for 2G/GPRS, will be developed for dual-band (900/1800MHz) or quad-band (850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900MHz) operation. Dual-band modems have limited coverage (e.g. Europe only) whereas quad-band devices will operate worldwide. Note also that some countries are already phasing out 2G in favour of 3G. For 4G, the number of available bands is 44 worldwide which makes manufacture of world-wide supported 4G modules uneconomical. Manufacturers must therefore select the right modem for the intended location.

What will be powering it?
For automotive applications the supply voltage may be nominally 12 or 24V DC but this could drop slightly and will increase with the engine running. Modems deployed for automotive therefore need to be able to operate with a wide input voltage range. The modems should also filter any noise on the DC line such that modem performance is not degraded. Modems can operate in lower power modes whilst in a ‘sleep’ mode of operation, but may consume up to 2A peak during transmission periods requiring careful consideration of power supply to the device.