IoT has been quickly gaining traction among users over various continents. According to the latest Mobility Report from Ericsson, by 2025, the internet of things connections will be close to 25 billion. IoT devices are being adopted in industries like agriculture and production, increasing device interconnectivity. Such connectivity allows data sharing between various IoT devices. In this post, we will look at various mechanisms for IoT device connectivity and why it is crucial to get it right when selecting a method for IoT device connectivity.
What is IoT device connectivity?
IoT device connectivity refers to the connections between devices in an IoT ecosystem, including gateways, sensors, platforms, routers, applications, among other systems. It refers to various network solutions based on range, power consumption, and bandwidth consumption. Many IoT projects have different requirements like connectivity depending on their needs. Several communication technologies are used to connect the IoT devices. Before looking at each of these technologies, let us consider why it is right to select the right technology.
Why is it crucial to select the right IoT Device connectivity?
There is much at stake in IoT connections. IoT is a monster technology that combines virtual and material to provide a smarter future. It continuously attracts market players and investors with its limitless potential. Because of the increase in the competition between industrial and commercial-driven IoT, there will be a need for innovative market differentiators that can give an added edge to the company in the competing IoT world.
While the areas of improvement can be in any aspect of IoT deployment that involves interfacing the information and operation technologies, most people forget the connectivity bit. Because of the existing wireless technologies like Wi-Fi, cellular, and Bluetooth, various actors overlook the essence of having proper IoT connectivity. Thus, project failures abide because of their inability to handle the increasing amounts of data.
Therefore, ensure that you make the right choice when selecting the IoT device connectivity plan or technology. Making the right choice can be critical to the success of the IoT project because it enables you to take complete control of your smart data streams. Ultimately, it can turn out that having an efficient, interoperable, and effective means of connecting various IoT devices is the difference that shifts success to your favor.
Types of IoT device connectivity
It is the most prominent connectivity solution. It covers all the areas because the uses of cellular technology are vast. While its cost is higher than other technologies, it is the best option for long-range IoT device connectivity. As a user, you would need to get a license from the authorities or enlist the services of a cellular service provider.
Though costly, the benefits of a cellular IoT device connectivity system compensate for the price. A classic example of a cellular network is LTE. IoT technology is going to develop swiftly as the adoption of 5G technology gains traction.
In cellular IoT device connectivity, the last link is always wireless. This means that the device is connected with the network wirelessly. It has high battery-draining power. Therefore, it is not suitable for applications that involve remote sensor networks that are battery-powered. Through the emergence of cellular solutions like Cat-M1, LoRa, and NB-IoT, the cellular landscape is constantly growing.
Though based on cellular communication, LPWAN is different and thus should be treated distinctively from cellular communication. LPWAN is an acronym for Low-Power Wide Area Network. It solves a distinct set of IoT Device connectivity requirements. It is a worldwide connectivity standard dedicated to using smart systems with resource constraints and low power consumption. As a result, global network operators have developed proprietary solutions like LoRa, LTE Cat-M1, Sigfox, and NB-IoT.
LPWAN offers impressive coverage and provides enhanced battery life for sensors and devices that consume low power. This IoT device connectivity plan matches industrial uses like intelligent buildings, smart metering, agriculture, and many others. With proper geolocation abilities, LPWAN can identify the location of IoT devices using radio signals instead of GPS. Hence it offers an option for tracking and localization capabilities.
No technology can compete with satellite connectivity in range. Satellite connectivity is the ideal solution location where it is challenging to find any other network. The advantages of this IoT device connectivity solution are not limited to coverage. It is because of this reason that companies have used in their efforts to conquer space. If a locality has a network connectivity challenge because of budgetary limitations, logistics, and geographical limitations, the solution lies in using a satellite. Satellites’ ability for global connectivity is specifically attractive for IoT device connectivity because it can change environmental monitoring in remote places. Satellite connectivity will be a game-changer in the entire IoT device connectivity.
Wi-Fi is the next wireless system that is widely used in IoT devices connectivity and provides internet access. In this solution, you do not depend on a hard-wired system, and all the communications are wireless. It is faster compared to Ethernet. However, when you use the Wi-Fi system, there is a lot of power consumption and security concerns. In IoT device connectivity, you need to be highly skilled because the security, costs, and power consumption are all maintained in the same system.
From this solution, you can connect many devices and other systems connected to the internet. Because of its capabilities to transmit at 5GHz and 2.4GHz, it can transfer more data at a higher rate. Thus, there has been extensive use of Wi-Fi in short-range applications that are not highly consuming power like various home automation. However, new Wi-Fi standards are IoT-oriented like HaLow (802.11ah) and HEW (802.11ax). They address power-related and range challenges in industrial IoT applications.
Ethernet is used to connect wired Local area networks (WLAN) and allow communications between various devices. It works as a protocol for controlling processes of data transmission over the local area network. It defines how the devices can format and transmit the data packets to other devices on the same network. When you use the Ethernet for IoT device connectivity, connect the devices using cables.
If you care about upload and download speeds, Ethernet is the best connectivity technology for IoT devices. Using Ethernet, you eliminate the problems like fading of signals and declines in the data transfer rates. Ethernet plays a crucial role in video transmitting devices like cameras. Other applications include medicine, autonomous vehicles, and robotics because of their low latency and high bandwidth.
With the ever-growing IoT deployments, there arises an urgent need to develop connectivity solutions for various devices. Unfortunately, many companies often overlook this critical aspect of IoT. As we saw earlier, there is a tremendous benefit in choosing the right IoT device connectivity technology if you plan to succeed. There are many technologies like seen above that a business can use to power its IoT deployment.