OptConnect Debuts Teeny Smart USB Modem For Devices On Network Edges

July 10, 2024 by Dave Haynes

This seems smart and attractive, but I will state upfront I don’t pay much attention to connectivity options for digital signage and DOOH jobs, so I am absolutely not an expert.

Utah-based OptConnect, which is in the managed wireless business and has been nibbling around digital signage as an opportune market because of scale, has debuted what is says is the first smart USB modem.

The ema:USB enables customers to integrate cellular connectivity into their hardware without the delays and complexities of other solutions. At the core of the new ema:USB is an OptConnect ema, a patented smart embedded modem. As a fully certified LTE Category 4 modem, it helps customers avoid the added cost and difficulties associated with developing a low-level embedded wireless design.

With its ultra-compact design, the OptConnect ema:USB can fit into tight environments not suited to large cellular devices. Additionally, its dual-SIM capability easily supports automatic failover if one carrier encounters a network problem, for greater reliability and uninterrupted service.

Each ema:USB includes a proprietary driver, emaConnect, that optimizes compatibility and performance without the need for additional software development. This plug-and-play functionality is particularly critical for connectivity in diverse environments.

The ema:USB also comes with OptConnect’s industry-leading Connectivity-as-a-Service (CaaS) management solution. This CaaS offering helps customers quickly deploy and scale their IoT projects with 24 x 7 x 365 carrier monitoring, one-call tech support resolution, device management, robust hardware warranties, and a full suite of additional services.

“While working to make connectivity both robust and simple for customers to integrate into their solution, we continued to hear that having a plug-and-play USB option would be a game changer for OEMs, operators, and deployers looking to connect their IoT devices,” says Chris Baird, OptConnect president and CEO. “By bringing ema:USB to market, we continue to expand our plug-and-play solutions and support our diverse, ever-expanding customer base with the products they know they can rely on.”

I know from direct experiences that networks that tried to run on USB drive-style modems ran into a lot of reliability issues, and more mission critical networks went with much more expensive, much bigger but also much more reliable connectivity gear that was also used for jobs like the vehicles of first responders.

Part of the argument here is the unit is teeny but industrialized, has remote management and takes away the time and cost of developing an embedded solution to go with something like a media player.


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