Providing NB-IoT connectivity to critical infrastructure industries

Sequans Communications announced that Puloli, a provider of wide area IoT network connectivity services, has adopted Sequans’ Monarch technology and Pycom’s Monarch-based GPy module to provide NB-IoT connectivity to critical infrastructure industries.

Puloli is providing full turnkey private IoT Network as a Service (NaaS) to its customers and is using Sequans and Pycom technology to connect the end user devices running on its network. Puloli’s network operates on a wide range of frequency bands, including licensed upper 700 MHz A-block spectrum.

Puloli’s end-to-end solution benefits from the flexibility of Sequans’ Monarch technology to customize a band plan specific to this spectrum. The Puloli network is now live in northern Florida in partnership with a leading utility service provider in the region. Puloli’s network elements and devices have been granted certification by the FCC.

“We chose Sequans and Pycom technology because Sequans’ Monarch is a world-leading mobile IoT connectivity solution with proven performance and security and because Pycom’s GPy module is easily integrated into end user devices and open to third party applications,” said Kethees Ketheesan, CEO of Puloli. “Flexibility of Sequans’ Monarch platform enabled us to customize NB-IoT over the upper 700 MHz A-block. The open environment of the Pycom GPy module made it easy to program and as a result Puloli was able to very quickly have devices on our network up and running.”

“Puloli is addressing a very powerful trend in the US utility market and is enabling municipalities and utilities to provide smart energy services and develop new business models, benefitting utilities and their customers,” said Georges Karam, Sequans CEO. “The results of our work with Puloli and Pycom are now visible and we are very excited to see Puloli’s ground-breaking network operational.”

Together with Select Spectrum, a spectrum rights consulting company, and its utility partner in northern Florida, Puloli has launched the world’s first-ever, stand-alone, private NB-IoT network for a critical infrastructure industry. Remote Units based on Sequans/Pycom modules are being deployed to support various applications. At the UTC Telecom & Technology conference taking place this week in Fort Worth, Texas, Puloli and Select Spectrum are presenting details about the new network and the services offered, and will showcase the first FCC-certified product for this spectrum based on the Sequans-Pycom platform.

“The 20 utilities and other critical infrastructure companies that have already purchased upper 700 MHz A-Block licenses did so based on the availability of a range of industrial grade, high capacity and highly reliable radios,” said Robert Finch, president of Select Spectrum. “The addition of the NB-IoT low cost, long range, low power devices based on the Sequans-Pycom platform allows these license holders, and other similar companies, to consider additional applications for these frequencies.”

“For smart energy, Deloitte predicts a ‘period of transformation and profound change driven by technological and competitive forces’ and we can now see that starting to happen in our customer base,” said Fred de Haro, Pycom CEO. “We’re delighted that NB-IoT is gaining such momentum and that Puloli has chosen to work with Pycom and Sequans. It’s the first large-scale test case for Pycom’s utilities vertical using NB-IoT network technology and it’s exciting to be part of that journey.”

Pycom’s GPy was the first and is still the only IoT development platform that combines LTE-M and NB-IoT connectivity with MicroPython in one device. It is the perfect enterprise grade platform for connecting things to the Internet and offers a path to scale with a variety of easy-to-integrate OEM modules. Sequans’ Monarch is fully integrated into Pycom’s GPy module with a complete LTE software stack that is qualified for eNodeBs. Monarch is the world’s most highly optimized LTE-M/NB-IoT Platform, offering ultra-low power consumption for long battery life, accurate indoor and outdoor positioning, and global deployment capability in a Single-SKU™. Monarch is certified by operators worldwide.

The project with Puloli was undertaken by Sequans as part of its “Custom Technology Solutions” initiative where Sequans experts have addressed unusual communications challenges. In addition to this project with Puloli addressing utility markets, Sequans has also adapted its technology for other markets, including aviation, transportation, public safety, and satellite. For more information see CustomTech.