Digi XBee3 Cellular Selection Guide

Digi has updated its cellular modules offerings and now all XBee3 Cellular modules are available for deployment across the globe. However, with multiple options to choose from, it might get confusing to figure out the Digi XBee3 Cellular modules best suitable for your application.


Let us take a look at each of these options and determine it suits your application's requirement:


1. Digi XBee 3 Global and Low-Power LTE-M/NB-IoT


The Digi XBee 3 Global LTE-M/NB-IoT- module is best suited for low cost, low power applications. With deep sleep current requirement of 2.65 μA and power save mode at 20 μA, it is the least power consuming option. These modules support half-duplex transmission and also support 2G fallback option when the LTE-M/NB-IoT network is unavailable.


These devices are ideal for low data application that requires typically under 5 MB per month and where latency is not critical. A few examples of such applications could be utility meters or sensor devices on an agriculture land.


2. Digi XBee 3 Global LTE Cat 1


If the Digi XBee 3 Global LTE-M/NB-IoT- module does not meet your application's bandwidth requirement, then you may look at the Digi XBee 3 Global LTE Cat 1 as a possible option. These modules supports upto 10 Mbps of downlink and 5 Mbps of uplink speed over USB connection. The Digi XBee 3 Global LTE Cat 1 are Full-duplex modules i.e. it can send and receive data over cellular network simultaneously. They support both 3G and 2G fallback option for reliable data connectivity.


These devices are ideal for low-cost IoT applications with moderate bandwidth applications that typically require less than 25 MB per month of data consumption. They can used in applications that requires audio or data streaming.


3. Digi XBee 3 Global LTE Cat 4

Digi XBee 3 Global LTE Cat 4 operates on LTE Advanced standard that supports downlink speed of upto 150 Mbps, which is 15 times that of Digi XBee 3 Global LTE Cat 1 modules. These modules also support a higher uplink speed of upto 50 Mbps and offers 3G & 2G fallback option with full duplex connection.


These devices are ideal for applications that require variable bandwidth usage between 100 MB and 1 GB per month. They can be used in M2M (machine to machine) applications that requires faster speed and low latency.


Still not sure, here is a matrix to better compare these cellular options:


Specification Digi XBee 3 Global LTE-M/NB-IoT Digi XBee 3 Global LTE Cat 1 Digi XBee 3 Global LTE Cat 4
TRANSMIT POWER Up to 23 dBm (LTE-M/NB-IoT), up to 33 dBm (2G) 23 dBm (4G LTE), 23.5 dBm (3G), 30-33 dBm (2G) 23 dBm (4G LTE), 23.5 dBm (3G), 30-33 (2G)

Up to 588 kbps downlink, up to 1 Mbps uplink (LTE-M)

Up to 120 kbps downlink, up to 160 kbps uplink (NB-IoT)

10 Mbps downlink, 5 Mbps uplink (USB) 150 Mbps downlink, 50 Mbps uplink
DUPLEX MODE Half-duplex Full-duplex Full-duplex
SUPPLY VOLTAGE 3.3 to 4.3 VDC 2.8 to 5.5 V 2.8 to 5.5 V
PEAK TRANSMIT CURRENT (with Bluetooth enabled) 610 mA 1090 mA 1090 mA


Last updated: Sep 07, 2023

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