IoT devices and smart objects use several different types of IoT connectivity such as PAN (Personal Area Network), LAN (Local Area Network) and WAN Wide Area Network.
IoT devices that use PAN will often use a smartphone as a gateway to connect to the internet, or they use GSM/3G/4G sim cards in each device to connect to the WAN. For devices connected within the house or building they will often use a LAN to connect to the internet.
For IoT applications that requires operation over longer distances the best connectivity option is GSM/3G/4G cellular communication, which is supplied by network providers. Cellular is ideal for sensor-based low-bandwidth-data projects which send very low amounts of data over the Internet. Data rates for typical download are 35-170kps (GPRS), 120-384kbps (EDGE), 384Kbps-2Mbps (UMTS), 600kbps-10Mbps (HSPA), 3-10Mbps (LTE).
Looking at applications that need to be optimized for low-power consumption and support large networks with millions of devices, would require LoRaWAN which uses data rate ranges from 0.3 kbps to 50 kbps. LoRaWAN support low-cost mobile secure bi-directional communication in IoT, M2M and smart city and industrial applications.
Other low-powered wide-area network (WAN) technology include Sigfox which uses the ISM Bands that are free to use without the need of a licence to transmit data. Sigfox uses Ultra Narrow Band (UNB) technology and is only designed to handle low data-transfer speeds of 10 to 1,000 bits per second, ideal for M2M applications that use small battery with low levels of data transfer.
A similar concept to Sigfox is Neul that operates in the sub-1GHz band, by using very small slices of the TV White Space spectrum to deliver high scalability, high coverage, low power and low-cost wireless networks. Data rates can be anything from a few bits per second up to 100kbps over the same single link, providing low battery use for devices.
Find out how JT M2M can assist you in developing your IoT connectivity by contacting us today.