IoT and Wireless

Wireless IoT

IoT Systems require signaling, communications and data exchange, which may occur over great distances or within close proximity to a given object.

Wide Area Networks

At the longest distances there is a nee for a Wide Area Network (WAN) approach.

One of the important areas for wide area communications is Low Power WANs (LPWAN), which consist of cellular and non-cellular LPWAN approaches. Developing cellular IoT WAN technologies include:

  • LTE-Machine-to-Machine (LTE-M): This technology provides LTE-based low cost IoT communications. Also known as LTE Machine Type Communication, LTE-M includes a few different IoT WAN categories including Cat-1 and CatM1.
  • Narrowband Cellular LTE (NB-LTE): This technology represents a new narrowband radio access solution.
  • Extended Coverage GSM (EC-GSM): This technology is a LPWAN approach to IoT communications based on eGPRS. This approach can be activated through new software deployed over existing GSM networks.

Many IoT applications require a combination of nationwide coverage, battery life of up to 10 years, endpoint hardware costs less than $5 USD, and data rates ranging from hundreds of bits per second (bps) to tens of kilobits per second (kbps). Cellular Wide Area Networks WAN have historically been technically and operationally challenged to support IoT apps and services due to a variety of factors including relatively low bandwidth, low battery life, low hardware and operating cost, and high connection density.

Non-cellular LPWAN technologies and solutions include 6LoWPAN, LoRa, SIGFOX, and others.

Local Area and Personal Area Networks

Wireless also supports IoT solutions in the local and personal area for various proximity applications.  Examples include reader-tag interactions that occur via Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) solutions involving Near Field Communications (NFC), Bluetooth or other methods.

WiFi is a very important technology used for local area IoT communications, which is used for many in building solutions with a business or home environment.  Another close range technology is ZigBee, which supports low-power consumption, low-data-rate solutions. 

Other IoT Technologies

In addition to the wireless technologies that make connecting different things possible, there are wide number of technologies that gain benefit from the IoT and/or support it.

There will be many IoT Technology areas involved in the deployment and management of IoT Systems including core Operational Support Sytems (OSS), Billing Support Systems (BSS), and the key areas of IoT Identity, IoT Preference, IoT Discovery, security and privacy. These technologies will become increasingly important as IoT evolves to become more main-stream across various industry verticals.

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