Future proof your cellular IoT products with the LTE E SoM

Today, we are thrilled to announce LTE for the very first, all-in-one, commercial-grade, IoT hardware platform - the Particle E SoM.

Nick Johnson article author avatarNick JohnsonApril 24, 2018
Future proof your cellular IoT products with the LTE E SoM

For the past few years, LTE has dominated discussion throughout the cellular market. From consumer cell phones to ultra-low bandwidth IoT devices, cellular providers have been hyping LTE and announcing its imminent arrival for years now. In fact, a fair number of the finer details of LTE’s global implementation still remain unresolved.

Meanwhile, far removed from all that over-excitement and opacity, Particle was quietly working on turning all that talk into something tangible. And today, it’s finally paid off.


Today, we are thrilled to announce LTE for the very first, all-in-one, commercial-grade, IoT hardware platform – the Particle E SoM. The E SoM comes with Cat-M1 (LTE designed for sensors), but also includes our fully-integrated Device OS, SIM cards, MVNO service, comprehensive wireless certifications, and access to our expansive library of development tools.
To put it simply, this is much more than just a piece of hardware.

Your Business is So Last Week

Because of Particle’s fully-integrated approach to IoT, your enterprise receives much more than just “the next big thing in a box”. Instead, our tightly-knit platform covers all the aspects of IoT product development to make your path to market much faster.

But why do you even need LTE?

Businesses looking to launch with, or convert to, Particle’s new LTE modules, will benefit in myriad ways; but perhaps the most significant of those is the power of future-proofing.

You don’t have to be a computer engineer to know that the tech world moves quickly. If you’ve ever purchased a personal computer or smartphone, you probably understand that what’s cutting-edge today will be laughable tomorrow. And like it or not, for consumer products, that model is tenable. But for enterprises with thousands of devices already out in the field — rapid obsolescence can be backbreaking.

However, with LTE, businesses can be certain that their means of cellular connectivity will remain both relevant and commercially-viable for at least the next 10 to 15 years.

Why not wait

“Hey, the new 420-51K-LCA T.V.s just hit the shelves!”


No matter how awesome Planet Earth 2 looks on the newest big screens in your local electronics store, I always give the same advice— “Just wait. Next holiday season they’ll be a quarter of the price, and a lot more reliable.”

And although this trend is remarkably consistent across the tech market, there are always exceptions. If you’re building a cellular IoT product, there are some things you should know.

First, most carriers are planning to sunset existing 2G networks in the next 1-2 years to make room for LTE. Second, most US carriers are no longer accepting new 2G or 3G device certifications and won’t allow new 2G and 3G products on the network starting as early as June of this year, even if they’re already certified. These rapid changes mean that it’s critical for product creators to make the jump to LTE, and Particle is here to help.

By adopting LTE now, businesses can avoid the calamitous process of updating devices due to network infrastructure updates and can focus on their product.

What Can LTE Do For Me?

In addition to the aforementioned benefit of future-proofing, LTE technologies come with a whole host of benefits for businesses looking to develop or adapt IoT assets.

First and foremost, LTE-based hardware is less expensive than their 2G and 3G counterparts. Furthermore, LTE devices provide significantly better battery life and superior connectivity range. Together, these three characteristics will allow forward-thinking businesses to both realize new IoT applications and improve upon existing ones. In the case of novel use cases, applications that were once impossible or financially unsustainable will become possible with LTE.

For example, assets that were once too distant or too widely dispersed to bring online can now be connected in functional, and economically feasible ways. Imagine distributed sensor networks deployed across large, widely dispersed agricultural operations, or highly remote resource extraction sites that were once inaccessible. With Particle’s all-in-one LTE for IoT solution, these use cases and many more can now be realized without massive, financially untenable investment.

The Full Suite

The E SoM is more than just a radio module – it’s a fully-integrated IoT solution that professional engineers at established companies are already using to deliver real products. The E SoM builds on the Electron, our industry-leading cellular prototyping kit, to provide a clear hardware scaling path from prototype to production.

The Electron and E SoM modules share the same development tools, run the same code, and have the same hardware peripherals, so transitioning to mass-production is as simple as replacing the Electron in your prototype with an E SoM module on your PCB. And with the Particle’s E SoM fully-certified design (FCC / CE / IC / GCF certified out of the box), enterprise customers don’t have to worry about acquiring extensive, time-consuming, and costly certifications required for connected devices.
In other words, the E SoM provides a faster, and far less complicated path to market by taking care of the many challenges that plague commercial IoT development.

To learn more about LTE technologies, including our own LTE hardware solutions, visit our E SoM page. And continue the evolution of your IoT product.

Particle in the news

Catch up on the latest from Particle – the new mesh-powered hardware, our acquisition of Shenzhen-based R&D organization, the launch of IoT engineering service, Particle Studios, and the latest IDC MarketScape report naming Particle as a major player.

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