T-Mobile's DevEdge Enters the IoT Sector with an Open Source Arm-Based CAT-M Development Kit

Featuring a low-power LTE CAT-M modem with a bundled 500MB SIM, this all-in-one kit comes with open hardware and software sources.

Communications company T-Mobile has announced the launch of its first-ever development kit for the Internet of Things (IoT), launched under its DevEdge platform and providing CAT-M cellular connectivity and 500MB of bundled data.

"T-Mobile is opening doors for innovators of all kinds, making building for wireless simple and easy… the way it should be. As the 'Un-carrier,' we're empowering developers, no matter their size or what stage of the development process they're in, to create innovative connected solutions," claims T-Mobile's Rob Roy of the shift into the hardware side, in addition to the connectivity side, of the IoT. "Our IoT Developer Kit, a fully functional out-of-the-box kit that connects seamlessly to our leading network, is our next big step in driving that innovation forward."

The launch comes eight months after the company announced DevEdge, its development platform for the 5G New Radio (NR) cellular ecosystem. The hardware it's launched, however, uses 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) CAT-M, a low-power long-range radio standard designed for machine-to-machine communications that, in T-Mobile's hardware, offers throughput up to 375Kbps with a bundled SIM providing 500MB of data and 200 SMS messages.

Outside the cellular radio, the hardware features a 32-bit Arm Cortex-M4 microcontroller, 2.4GHz Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) radios, a global navigation satellite system (GNSS) receiver, a user-addressable RGB LED, a single button input, a piezoelectric buzzer, and sensors comprised of an accelerometer, pressure sensor, ambient light sensor, and a temperature sensor.

On the software front T-Mobile has partnered with the Zephyr Project to create a software development kit (SDK) based on the Zephyr real-time operating system (RTOS), which it is releasing under an open source license along with the hardware design. "You can freely use our software and hardware designs to develop your own product," the company explains, "no licensing or copyright permissions required."

T-Mobile has launched the development kit this week with a "limited time" pricing of $99 per unit, including the development board, battery, SIM card, and companion web and Apple iOS and Google Android smartphone apps; it has not, however, confirmed when the offer will end nor what the standard pricing will be once it does.

More information, including documentation on the kit and its application programming interfaces (APIs), is available on the T-Mobile DevEdge website.

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