Use Case Example
To illustrate, let us consider a hypothetical IoT device manufacturer, FitWear Inc., who wants to build a fitness band that features a small form factor and a low selling price.
FitWear intends to offer its fitness band as a product competitive to the high-powered and expensive cellular smart watches of leading manufacturers. In addition to health monitoring functionality, FitWear wants to offer features such as real-time messaging and music streaming. FitWear wants its fitness band to have ultra low power consumption so the user will be able to use the device for several days before needing to recharge it. Most importantly, FitWear wants no requirement for the fitness band to be tethered to a smartphone via Bluetooth, so it can operate seamlessly and continuously anywhere the user goes.
FitWear can consider three approaches:
1) FitWear can design multiple SKUs of the LTE-M internal function, limiting it to certain bands, in order to keep the cost down. The disadvantages of this approach include the complicated logistics and design challenges of building multiple SKUs, with the main drawback being that users traveling abroad will not be able to use their fitness bands, unless they compromise and use the Bluetooth fallback option.
2) FitWear can design a multi-band solution based on a traditional architecture that can ship worldwide. The obvious disadvantage here is the higher cost and larger device size needed to accommodate the additional hardware required to have the fitness band operate on multiple LTE bands—the cost, size, and complexity increase with each band added.
3) FitWear can use Sequans’ Single-SKU, SAW-less LTE-M solution, Monarch, that enables a single hardware design to operate anywhere in the world. With this approach, FitWear can achieve far better margins, a design process simpler than any other approach, and a solution that perfectly supports FitWear’s stated design objectives, namely a small form factor, very efficient power consumption for long battery life, and a device that can be shipped and operated worldwide with a single hardware design.
Option 3, utilizing SAW-less architecture enabling a single SKU for global deployment, is by far the most cost-effective solution.
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