Cellular LTE CatM / NBIoT overview

This page contains application examples, document references, tips and tricks and so on related to the STM32 cellular.

1 What is Cellular LTE CatM and NBIoT


Technologies


The LTE CatM and Narrowband Internet of Things (NBIoT) are the Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) radio technology standard developed by 3GPP to enable a wide range of cellular devices and services.
The NBIoT focuses specifically on the indoor coverage, low cost, long battery life, and high connection density.
The advantage of LTE CatM over NBIoT is its higher data rate, mobility, and voice over the network, but it requires more bandwidth and is more costly.

Check GSMA's NBIoT / LTE CatM world wide coverage information

2 Getting started with STM32 and Cellular LTE Cat M and NBIoT


On hardware point of view, STMicroelectronics offers various possibilities to setup a STM32 with the Cellular connectivity solution:

P-L496G-CELL01: Kit with a screenless 32L496GDISCOVERY Discovery board and a STMod+ board with the Quectel UG96 modem
P-L496G-CELL02: Kit with a screenless 32L496GDISCOVERY Discovery board and a STMod+ board with the Quectel BG96 modem
B-L475E-IOT01A IoT Discovery board and add-on board with the Quectel BG96 modem
B-L475E-IOT01A IoT Discovery board and add-on board with the Sequans® GM01Q modem
32L496GDISCOVERY Discovery board and modem board based on the Sequans® GM01Q or the Quectel UG96 or the BG96 modem



Note that to connect the STMod+ board to the B-L475E-IOT01A IoT Discovery board an Arduino / STMod+ adapter (X-NUCLEO-STMODA1) is needed.


On sotfware side, the X-CUBE-CELLULAR (X-CUBE Expansion Package) provides a software solution to allow customers to quickly and easily develop their own Firmware:

  • Based on FreeRTOS
  • The users can decide to use either the IP stack in the modem or in the STM32 (LwIP)
  • Menu and command line through Virtual COM UART over USB ST-LINK to configure the cellular connectivity parameters (technology selection, bands, APN, and others), and the connection to the cloud IoT platform (HTTP or MQTT)
  • Easy to support a new modem

Several applications are provided as examples: PING, ECHO, HTTP, MQTT ...

For more information check X-CUBE-CELLULAR

New hardware setups and new software features in X-CUBE-CELLULAR will be provided to customers over time.

3 Video related to Cellular LTE CatM and NBIoT


pc videol.png

Zigbee 3.0 mesh to cloud over cat-M with BLE 5.0 user control (MWC/EW 2020)

pc videol.png

ST at CES 2019 - LTE IoT Starter Kits

pc videol.png

STM32 Cellular to Cloud Discovery Packs: 2G/3G and Espruino JS, LTE IoT! Embedded World 2018

pc videol.png

How to get started with STM32 Cellular to Cloud discovery packs (P-L496G-CELL01, P-L496G-CELL02)

4 STM32 compliant with Cellular LTE CatM and NBIoT


X-CUBE-CELLULAR
P-L496G-CELL02
B-L475E-IOT01A
32L496GDISCOVERY
X-NUCLEO-STMODA1
GM01Q

5 Specific tools


STMicroelectronics’ STM32 Power Shield to power and analyze current consumption
Network simulator for both LTE CatM & NBIoT

6 STMicroelectronics Resources

Doc Number Title
DB3582 Cellular connectivity software expansion for STM32Cube
UM2567 Getting started with the X-CUBE-CELLULAR cellular connectivity Expansion Package for STM32Cube
UL2426 X-CUBE-CELLULAR cellular connectivity Expansion Package for STM32Cube