Addition to the module family: Worldwide long-term availability and extreme energy efficiency

The impending 2G/3G sunset hangs over the mobile communications world like a sword of Damocles. Increasing requirements in terms of the number of subscribers, data rates and energy consumption are leading to further developments in the mobile communications sector. New technologies such as CAT-M1/NB1 and 5G are replacing 2G/3G and require the frequency bands that will be freed up by the sunset.

Table of Contents

In the white paper on frequency bands, mobile communications and channels, hardware engineer Stefan Lechner explains the basics in an easy-to-understand way. He shows the development and dives into the technical depths for those who want to know more.

How exactly does it work with these frequency bands and how did it all evolve?

The technological development leads to an increase in the module family . The M22x 2G/3G/4G enables future-proof, worldwide availability. The M22x M1/NB1 EU is the right choice for applications that have to get by with little energy for a long time.

Worldwide long-term availability

The M22x 2G/3G/4G World module can be used worldwide. Depending on the country, it books itself into the strongest network. If there is no 2G or 3G network, 4G is used. If, for example, 2G is switched off, the module simply books itself into the 3G or 4G network at the next connection. By default, the modem in the M22x 2G/3G/4G World automatically decides which uplink technology to use.

301269 rapidM2M M22x 2G/3G/4G World

For future-proof applications, the module is excellent because it can also be used with 5G and 5G New Radio (NR).

Energy efficient with new technologies

New technologies bring new technical possibilities. While with GSM (2G) the peak current during transmission is 2A, this has been reduced to 0.4A with modern LTE (4G) technology. This opens up completely new possibilities for battery-powered devices.

The peak of 2A required for GSM transmission can only be achieved with special lithium D cells. Accroding to the size of the D-cells, but also to the price, there are limits for the application and the business model.

Comparison of power consumption for 2G/3G/4G vs M1/NB
Energy required for M22x 2G/3G/4G compared to M22x M1/NB

The M22x M1/NB1 EU transmits data exclusively via CAT M1/NB1. This has the great advantage that it can be supplied with a wide range of available batteries due to the peak current of only 0.4A required. Thus, it can be operated with the significantly cheaper alkaline cells (Mignon AA).

The wide selection of usable batteries gives hardware designers new possibilities.

The new additions

Frequency Bands, Mobile Radio, Channels - Basics & Deep Dive


BLE – little energy, great benefit

BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) or Bluetooth Smart is the particularly energy-saving variant of the Bluetooth radio technology family. Especially in the field of Internet of Things, energy-saving transmission technology plays a major role. Many of the products and devices are powered by battery or rechargeable battery. The supply with a power supply unit can often already be excluded due to the application. Think, for example, of a smart gadget such as a heart rate monitor or even a gas meter that is placed directly in the duct. The fields of application are broad.

NB-IoT from space - Satellite

NB-IoT in space

Only 10% of the world is accessible via terrestrial networks. Yet there is potential for environmental monitoring stations in the world’s oceans and deserts.

So is NB-IoT in space just a good hook for a story or more? Well, at least it’s good for a few new buzzwords and hashtags. But let’s take a look at what this is all about.


NTN…Non Terrestrial Network