Thalwil, Switzerland and Overland Park, Kansas, USA – Sprint, the U.S. telecommunications provider, and Switzerland-based u-blox, a leading provider of cellular modem modules and positioning technology, announce their expanding collaboration in support of Sprint’s commitment to the 2G (1xRTT) CDMA network.
As a carrier committed to network choice, Sprint believes M2M customers should be able to choose or combine 2G, 3G and 4G LTE capabilities, depending on their particular requirements. Sprint expects to maintain its 2G network capability for the long term as part of its overall Network Vision strategy. Both companies believe 2G remains an important network option for business customers, including those that deploy M2M solutions as part of their service or product offerings.
This collaboration will allow business customers to extend the product lifetime of their existing 2G M2M devices by seamlessly migrating to the CDMA network with minimal effort. Those customers concerned about the continued availability of 2G GSM networks in the U.S. can now select from a variety of affordable u-blox modems tested for compatibility on Sprint’s CDMA 1xRTT network. The u‑blox FW75-C200 modem, a pin-compatible replacement for widely used GSM modem MC75i and its variants, is well suited to continue on 2G without having to migrate to much more expensive 3G and 4G modems.
“Now is the opportune time for any customers migrating off GSM or designing new products for telematics, telemetry, automotive, and security applications to take advantage of Sprint’s 2G platform,” said Wayne Ward, Vice President, M2M Group, Sprint. “Sprint’s Network Vision strategy enables ongoing 2G connectivity with the security and performance advantages of CDMA, while also supporting a smooth path to CDMA 3G and LTE 4G for customers who choose that transition. We are pleased to collaborate with u-blox to bring these options to 2G-embedded M2M customers.”
Network Vision supports network choice for customers nationwide. As with 3G, Sprint Network Vision is expected to improve Sprint 2G coverage, capacity and reliability. M2M and other emerging solutions can involve widely varying data transmission speeds. Sprint expects to be able to provide all these network platforms for the long haul as part of a continuing portfolio of technology options.
“We are proud to have been selected as the preferred provider by Sprint. It will allow customers to leverage Sprint’s impressive CDMA coverage in the US. Forced migration from 2G GSM to HSPA can now be avoided, given Sprint’s commitment to 2G longevity of the CDMA network,” said Nikolaos Papadopoulos, president of u-blox, America. “Should customers still want to offer their devices in 2G and 3G, we at u-blox have already prepared for this parallel track with our nested-design module philosophy for 2G/3G platforms, where customers can select the inexpensive CDMA SMT modem LISA-C200.”
u-blox CDMA module series consists of the FW75 CDMA 1xRTT module in an industry-standard package, as well as the popular LISA and PCI-express form factors. In addition to technical support, reference designs, evaluation kits, firmware and free module samples, Sprint and u-blox will soon announce nationwide hands-on seminars focusing on GSM to CDMA modem migration.
Switzerland-based u-blox is the global leader in positioning and wireless semiconductors for the consumer, industrial and automotive markets. Their solutions enable people, vehicles and machines to locate their exact position and wirelessly communicate via voice, text or video. With a broad portfolio of chips, modules and software solutions, u-blox is uniquely positioned to enable OEMs to develop innovative personal, professional and M2M solutions quickly and cost-effectively. With headquarters in Thalwil, Switzerland, u-blox has offices in Europe, Asia and the USA.
Sprint’s M2M leadership has earned prestigious third-party validation, including the ‘Connected World’s 2013 CW 100’ list of the most important and influential providers of M2M services for the ninth straight year, and the Machina Research M2M Leaderboard, where Sprint ranks ninth among the top 20 global mobile network operators (MNOs). Sprint also was honoured as a key technology enabler in two Connected World Value Awards in 2012.