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Intercel’s range of 4G Cat 1 Serial Modems is designed to provide connectivity to devices that operate using a Serial or USB Interface. They accept standardized 3GPP AT Commands or can be set to operate in a ‘smart’ serial pass-through mode. These two modes provide the maximum flexibility and compatibility to the end user. These 4G industrial Serial modems are designed in Australia and are designed to suit Australian cellular networks and certification requirements.
Both the SAM4T and the SAM4Q are designed for serial communications. Both modems provide a single RS-232 port for communication, but the SAM4T also provides a USB port to interface with a computer over the USB interface using a virtual COM port.
4G Serial modems are controlled using AT commands (also referred to as 3GPP or the Hayes command set). This interface makes the SAM modems broadly compatible with SCADA systems, PLC’s, standalone software and meters from a range of manufacturers. This same interface is also used to configure the modem and its onboard software. This makes the SAM modems broadly compatible with other manufactures 4G CAT1 industrial serial modem with minimal software differences.
For more information on AT Commands, please see here: https://www.intercel.com.au/at-commands/
The SAM4T operates across the most popular Australian 4G cellular Bands. SAM4T supports Band 1 (2100Mhz), Band 3 (1800Mhz), Band 5 (850Mhz), Band 8 (900Mhz) and Band 28 (700Mhz) for 4G connectivity. This includes support for Telstra’s 4GX (band 28). The SAM4T also supports 3G band 1 (2100Mhz), Band 3 (850Mhz) and Band 8 (900Mhz). This means that the SAM4T will continue to work reliably in areas where 4G coverage is not available and will instead revert to the 3G network.
The SAM4Q variant covers the same frequency bands as the SAM4T, excluding 3G Band 5 (850Mhz) and offering coverage for Band 7 (2600Mhz) instead of Band 8 (900Mhz). Both modems are widely deployed in both urban and remote areas across Australia and have achieved excellent coverage in a wide range of environments.
The SAM4T provides a single antenna port, while the SAM4Q provides a second Diversity antenna for improved reception. This means the SAM4Q can deliver improved reception in some situations, but it does not offer a USB port for connectivity.
The SAM modems are 4G Cat 1 Serial Modems. This indicates that they are capable of Cat 1 speeds, which are more than enough for serial applications. Cat 1 allows for 5Mbps upload and 10Mbps download.
For more information on 4G coverage and frequency bands, please see here: https://www.intercel.com.au/4g-modems-and-frequency-bands/
The SAM 4G Serial modem is designed to act in one of two modes: Smart mode (SAM mode 1) or Dumb mode (SAM mode 0).
In the dumb mode, all data sent to the modem is treated as an AT command. The modem passes these commands to the on-board 4G module and processes them according to 3GPP standards. Most applications use the modem in this mode and rely on the device connected to the modem to provide the required application logic. In this mode, the modem is considered as a ‘dumb’ modem, because it does not perform any on-board functions beyond being a modem. In this mode, the modem offers maximum compatibility with pre-existing software solutions like Clear SCADA and SCADA phone.
In smart mode, the modem uses its own on-board processor to run a TCP/UDP server. The modem is then able to expose its serial port using TCP or UDP. This makes it possible for a dumb device, such as a serial sensor or serial meter, to be accessed over the internet from remote locations. The modem then takes over the handling of the 4G dialing and acts as the server.
The SAM 4G CAT1 industrial serial modem is intended to be used in industrial applications. To this end, it has a wide input voltage range of between 5V and 32V. This means it can be integrated into a pre-existing 12V or 24V system without needing its own power supply. The device is also designed to handle a wide temperature range of between -30C and +85C. This ensures the long-term reliability of the modem when it is installed in a remote site and exposed to temperature fluctuations over many years. The modem also has an ABS enclosure with recessed electrical contacts. This makes the device safer to perform maintenance on in the event of a ground fault, as there are no exposed conductive surfaces once the modem is installed.
Intercel’s SAM4 series of modems is designed with the same footprint, same connections, and same core functionality as our older 3G and 2G modems. This means that if you have a 3G modem deployed to an area with limited reception or deployed to an area where 3G is being phased out, you can instead install a SAM4 4G Serial modem with little or no change to your software.
if your application is using CSD (Circuit Switched Data), or relies on AT commands that are supported only by 3G modems, you may need to modify your software to make it compatible with the 4G cellular network.
If you have another model of 3G or 4G industrial Serial modem, then there may be a requirement to change your software configuration or programmed AT commands to make it compatible with the SAM modems.