Many large-scale wireless applications that are deployed in harsh environments require the use of industrial-grade devices. While the business benefits of LTE are obvious, companies choosing an LTE solution must also factor three key considerations into their migration plans: extreme temperature, power and radio isolation, and reliable cellular connectivity.
Cellular devices deployed outdoors are exposed to extreme temperatures that vary with the seasons and daily temperature changes. At high temperatures, there is risk of device failure due to overheating, while at temperatures below -30°C, devices may fail to start. An LTE solution that meets the extreme temperature requirements in harsh environments is critical to maintaining business operations.
Currently, most commercial LTE solutions offer a standard operating temperature range between -25 and 60°C. What industrial applications need is an LTE solution that features an extended operating temperature range, preferably between -30 to 70°C. Such a solution ensures reliable device operation and network connectivity for mission-critical applications.
Electromagnetic Interference (EMI)
How could EMI affect a cellular device? When there is a sudden change in voltage difference, harmful electrical interference can gain entry into the cellular device through the antenna or the power port, thus, degrading antenna sensitivity and damaging internal electronic components.
A common approach to safeguard cellular devices is to install a DC block on the antenna port and a DC/DC power isolator on the power port. However, this approach is not cost effective for large-scale industrial applications.
The more cost-effective approach is to choose a cellular device with built-in power and antenna isolation. This all-in-one solution eliminates the need for installing additional components and is effective in fending off unwanted interference.
Maintaining a reliable cellular network connection is a constant challenge for industrial M2M applications, especially for mission-critical applications such as real-time remote monitoring in the oil fields, along pipelines, and in traffic safety control centers.
Dual-SIM support enables a cellular device to automatically switch to another carrier network when a base station fails to respond or when the quality of the existing connection deteriorates to below an acceptable level. Although this method ensures cellular connection to a base station, it does not guarantee connection beyond the base station.