​Altair to launch dual-mode chipset for IoT transition

Altair Semiconductor's dual-mode FourGee-1210 Cat-1/Cat-M chipset will allow carriers to retain CAT-1 use and move to CAT-M for the Internet of Things (IoT) networks.

LTE chip maker Altair Semiconductor will launch its dual-mode FourGee-1210 Cat-1/Cat-M chipset that will help telcos' uninterrupted transition of IoT networks to next-generation technology.

The 1210 chipset will allow networks to fall back to Cat-1 until they fully move to Cat-M, which will take somewhere between a year to 18 months.

Cat-M offers extended coverage and better power consumption, both important for telcos to offer price-competitive IoT networks.

South Korean telco SK Telecom commercialized its nationwide IoT-dedicated network earlier this week, which uses LTE-M network that utilizes Cat-1, Cat-0, and Cat-M. It will be a test whether the telco's business model for IoT will be sustainable.

The telco offers price plans as cheap as 35 cents per month for limited use for meter-reading, while it costs around $1.75 for 100MB.

Rival KT is also servicing LTE-M for IoT use and is extending coverage and distributing modules.

Altair co-founder Eran Eshed told ZDNet that cost-effective modem chips will be important for wide distribution of an IoT network.