GCT Semiconductor, Sigfox unveil initial hybrid (cellular + Sigfox) offering for Internet of Things


GCT Semiconductor, a designer and supplier of advanced 4G mobile semiconductor solutions, and Sigfox, provider of connectivity for the Internet of Things (IoT) announced on Tuesday their partnership. GCT’s highly integrated single chip GDM7243I will support LTE Category M1/NB1/EC-GSM and Sigfox wireless IoT connectivity – making it a “hybrid” solution offering superior connectivity options for IoT applications with zero bill of materials (BOM) cost increase.

Several OEM customers are designing solutions using GCT’s GDM7243I SoC to develop various IoT devices for applications such as tracking, wearables, security, agriculture, healthcare, industrial, and consumer applications.

The hybrid (Cellular + Sigfox) mode operation enables several innovative use cases that will transform both the traditional cellular as well as the fledgling IoT markets. GDM7243I enables ultra-long battery life tracking devices to connect using the Sigfox wireless IoT network for several years without the need for frequent battery re-charging.

GDM7243I based tracking devices operate on the Sigfox network for location tracking but switch to the cellular network for live asset recovery in case of a geo fence breach. Hybrid devices can connect to the Sigfox wireless IoT network and operate in low-power mode to send and receive notifications-only.

The Sigfox network can also provide backup connectivity to hybrid devices in case of cellular network coverage limitations, congestion, breakdown, or jamming of security/alarm systems. Hybrid devices enhance device security by providing the ability to globally locate and deactivate stolen phones, and provide emergency alert and beacon capabilities.

“We’re pleased to be working closely with Sigfox to bring this unique capability to market and support ultra-long battery life and global coverage for our IoT customers,” says John Schlaefer, CEO of GCT Semiconductor, Inc. “Adding the hybrid mode Cellular connectivity + Sigfox to GCT’s GDM7243I further enhances our leadership position by enabling IoT devices to connect to the global Sigfox network during typical operation and switch to LTE Cat M1, NB1, or EC-GSM networks “on-demand.””

“Telefonica announced its support for Sigfox wireless IoT connectivity as complementary to our cellular networks, at MWC in February 2017”, says Andres Escribano, New IoT Connectivity Director of Telefonica, “GDM7243I with hybrid mode Sigfox and Cellular connectivity is an innovative solution that aligns with our partnership with Sigfox and will enable innovative devices and novel usage models to accelerate the growth of the IoT market”.

“GCT provides a single chip innovative solution that further proves that Sigfox and Cellular (LTE Cat M1/NB1/EC-GSM) are complementary technologies by leveraging the best of both worlds – ultra-long battery life using Sigfox and high throughput cellular connectivity. We look forward to a successful launch of the GDM7243I by Sigfox operators and mobile network operators worldwide,” says Ludovic Le Moan, CEO of Sigfox.

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