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Quectel steps into the LoRa game, partners with The Things Industries

In case you missed it (we did); China-based Quectel Wireless Solutions, the biggest cellular IoT module maker on the planet, is getting into the non-cellular low-power-wide-area (LPWA) IoT game with the launch of a new LoRa-based module, called KG200Z, based on an STM32WLEx series microcontroller from STMicro. It has announced a partnership (which flagged its entry in the LoRa-end of the IoT ecosystem to RCR Wireless) with Dutch LoRaWAN collective The Things Industries, which has integrated encryption and key management on the KG200Z module.

The STM32WLEx is the first LoRa system-on-chip platform, says STMicro, designed for low power usage with LoRaWAN-based IoT sensors. The KG200Z, measuring 12x12x1.8mm in an LGA package, harnesses the STM32WLEx for the same ends, and claims a transmission distance of two-to-five kilometres and 10-15 in urban and suburban areas. It features a power management unit, power amplifier, low noise amplifier, and RF transceiver switch, and runs an Arm Cortex-M4 core. It supports LoRaWAN in the 470–510 MHz and 862–928 MHz bands.

The Things Industries has integrated its ‘Works with The Things Stack’ and ‘Secured by The Things Stack’ certifications into the unit. It stated: “Through collaboration with The Things Industries, Quectel customers are now able to use the KG200Z module in their device design and build, while running additional services through The Things Industries. This partnership empowers users to fully control the end-to-end encryption and key management while leveraging Quectel’s decades-long expertise in module capabilities.”

Quectel, and The Things Industries, flagged the former’s security credentials. The duo stated: “Quectel’s IoT modules are developed with security at the core. From product architecture to firmware/software development, Quectel incorporates leading practices and standards, mitigating potential vulnerabilities with third-party independent test houses. [It has] incorporated security practices like generating SBOMs and VEX files as well as performing firmware binary analysis into the software development lifecycle.”

Norbert Muhrer, president at Quectel Wireless Solutions, said: “In an era where connectivity is the backbone of digital transformation, our module will empower businesses to unlock new possibilities and drive efficiency in IoT ecosystems… By combining… with [The Things Industries] certifications, we are not just offering a product; we are providing a comprehensive solution that meets the highest standards of connectivity and security.”

Wienke Giezeman, chief executive at The Things Industries, said: “With this partnership, users of the Quectel LoRaWAN module can fully integrate end-to-end encryption and key management in-house, while benefiting from the extensive experience and capabilities that Quectel’s modules offer.”


James Blackman
James Blackman
James Blackman has been writing about the technology and telecoms sectors for over a decade. He has edited and contributed to a number of European news outlets and trade titles. He has also worked at telecoms company Huawei, leading media activity for its devices business in Western Europe. He is based in London.