Quectel's BG95-S5 Is a Drop-In Satellite Communications Upgrade for Your IoT Projects

With LTE, eGPRS, GNSS, and satellite connectivity in one compact module, Quectel's latest BG95 is a tempting upgrade for more rural work.

Internet of Things (IoT) specialist Quectel has announced the launch of the BG95-S5, a 3GPP non-terrestrial network (NTN) module designed to link devices to satellite communication networks for connectivity where standard cellular simply won't reach.

"This versatile module enables use cases that rely on ubiquitous connectivity to utilize NTNs or LTE Cat M1, Cat NB2, eGPRS, or GNSS depending on availability in the deployment location," says Norbert Muhrer, president and chief sales officer at Quectel, of the company's latest communications module. "The small size and low power consumption offer designers maximized options and we expect to see the BG95-S5 deployed in devices from wireless point of sale equipment to asset management, heavy industry, and wearable devices."

Measuring just 23.6×19.9×2.2mm (around 0.93×0.78×0.09"), the Quectel BG95-S5 is designed for both terrestrial and non-terrestrial connectivity. In areas where cellular networks can be relied upon, there's 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) and eGPRS; where suitable networks are not available, the module can switch to its NTN mode to communicate with satellite networks. Where positioning and timing data is required, it also serves as a Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) receiver.

For those who have already designed a board around earlier models in the BG95 range, Quectel has confirmed that the new BG95-S5 is pin compatible with the rest of the family — making it a drop-in upgrade for those wanting to add satellite connectivity to existing projects. It's also claimed to be suitable for industrial applications, boasting an extended temperature range of -40°C to 85°C (-40°F to 185°F).

More information on the chip, announced today at Embedded World 2024 in Nuremberg, is available on the Quectel website, though full specifications are available only on request; the company had also not publicly announced pricing for the part at the time of writing.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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