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u-blox announces SARA-R4 security improvement

​u-blox has announced its SARA-R4 family of LTE-M / NB-IoT and EGPRS cellular modules will include variants with the hardware and software features necessary to enable end-to-end security features and services for Internet of Things (IoT) data, devices, and ecosystems.

“The new SARA-R422 product series offers superior security protection, industrial output power to grant best coverage even in weak signal conditions, and everywhere location using state-of-the-art u-blox GNSS technology”, says Rado Sustersic, Senior Product Manager, Product Center Cellular at u‑blox. “These represent valuable functionalities tailored specifically to the LPWA IoT market.”

Use cases for the SARA-R4 series range of mission-critical IoT solutions include connected healthcare, industrial monitoring, point of sale and vending terminals, tracking and telematics devices, as well as smart lighting solutions and building automation.

Security features include unique and immutable root of trust (RoT) for each device, as well as access to a scalable pre-shared key (PSK) management system. This provides the foundation for a trusted set of advanced security functionalities to enable data encryption and decryption, both on‑device as well as from‑device‑to‑cloud. The choice of PSK based security, rather than the more complex and computationally intensive public key infrastructure (PKI) approach, strikes the right balance between implementation costs and level of security protection for many IoT applications.

All SARA-R422 modules provide 23 dBm output power, allowing the end device to properly operate in all network conditions. This means no issues at cell edges, no coverage issues in weak signal conditions, and, no unwanted re-transmission that shortens battery life by increasing transmit time and overall system power consumption.

The SARA-R422M8S is pre-integrated with the u-blox M8 GNSS (global navigation satellite system) receiver and a separate GNSS antenna interface providing highly reliable, accurate positioning data simultaneously with LTE communications. The module also supports hybrid positioning strategies, in which positioning data provided by satellite constellations is enhanced with data from the u-blox CellLocate service, ensuring that location data is always available everywhere.

Author
Elliot Mulley-Goodbarne

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