IoT Connectivity: Enabling Deployment Everywhere
The information and intelligence that emanates from IoT data is increasingly delivered by wireless media. Not just regular cellular — 4G and 5G — but also LoRa (Long Range Radio), Wi-Fi that employs a cellular infrastructure, and Satellite which is inherently international. In the consumer sector there are Zigbee and Bluetooth, both of which are short-range technologies. 5G’s role in IoT connectivity is all over the Net, for both B2B and B2C, but no single technology addresses the diverse range of IoT use cases. There is no one size fits all. Given the diversity of IoT deployments that isn’t possible. Instead for each technology there are various performance trade-offs such as range, power consumption and bandwidth.
5G comes in different flavours and operates over licensed spectrum. LoRaWAN (Long Range Wide Area Network) uses open-source technology and transmits over unlicensed frequency bands. Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi E, significant upgrades over previous generations, have boosted the technology’s IoT credentials. They are faster and latency is 75% lower. Satellite is very wide area and being international means that it is not constrained by national roaming issues.
You get the idea. IoT connectivity is a confusing topic. Different vendors have different agendas: twas ever thus. Developments such as edge computing, which delivers information and intelligence close to the source of the data, can skew the use case. And last but definitely not least, is the fact that IoT deployments are on a roll and end user requirements are getting more and more demanding. For example, they might involve machine learning, artificial intelligence, private networks and cloud-native applications.
Beecham Research has been studying and analysing IoT from its inception. A series of 100 page plus reports have been produced that cover specific aspects of this multi-faceted topic. They can be downloaded from the site here; there is no charge.
The latest report, “Connecting Wireless Data: Deploying IoT Everywhere” examines where the different connectivity types are being deployed to best effect and some of the key challenges this creates.