Feb 16, 2017
iSocket Systems is reconsidering the use of cellular technologies in their products with a focus on future LTE CAT-M standards for IoT (Internet of Things) and announces that their IoT portal – CECOHOME (Cellular Connected Home) – will be adapted to use these new 4G networks.
iSocket Systems UK announced their plans to supersede all their current GSM products for home monitoring this year. These products include their flagship model – iSocket HomeGuard – a smart plug that has been used by customers in the UK for basic monitoring such as power cuts, temperature, break-in, smoke, water leak and others since 2010. This plug is still available for orders in some countries, but will not be manufactured anymore. Their simple GSM smart switch – iSocket EcoSwitch – has been obsolete since early this year and is no longer available to order. iSocket 3G plug, the model announced in 2015 that support two main features – power cut notifications and temperature alerts - will be offered to the UK and other countries until further notice, since 3G networks will continue to be supported by cellular operators in many countries for quite a long period of time.
As more operators expressed their strong support for the new LTE standards for IoT, such as low bandwidth CAT M1 standard, which aims to reduce both the cost of hardware and mobile subscription services, iSocket Systems began to develop products for these future networks. However, according to the CEO of the company Denis Sokol, they do not expect these products to be ready for mass markets before the end of 2018.
Denis Sokol says: “The new LTE-M standards are definitely a huge step towards helping cellular providers who have all infrastructures to cover needs of IoT fast and be competitive with other technologies such as LoRa. But we do not believe that the mass market will really be ready to adopt these new standards earlier than the end of 2018. I personally think it will be even later. The main problem here is the rural areas. Traditionally telcos focus on urban areas first – which is easy to understand, because they have more customers in such areas, and can make more money. However, when it comes to applications like power cuts monitoring, as with our customers, this application is more popular in rural areas where we can expect slow integration of the new standards.”
iSocket Systems will update all products in their recently announced CECOHOME ecosystem to support LTE-M standards. And for this reason the company decided to postpone the developing of CEOMODULE – the IoT cellular module for the DIY smart home enthusiast – that is supposed to be 3G based. This development will be renewed once suitable hardware components, such as modules and MCUs are available on the market.