The Internet of Things landscape (IoT) has exponentially expanded over the last decade, and 20 billion connected devices are expected to be deployed worldwide by 2020. Despite the growth of IoT technology in recent years, its future market potential is impressive. Falling prices for mobile data and the development of ESIM, EUICC, and soft SIMs have made the transition between mobile operators more dynamic and easier. This led to opening up more and more business opportunities for the emerging Internet of Things (OEMs) manufacturers.
Users of IoT solutions looking for connectivity as a service solutions can select from more than 30 different connectivity options with various bandwidth ranges, costs, reliability, and network management features. These include manufacturers of wireless chipsets, platform providers, device manufacturers, and industries that buy IoT-enabled products for their own use or for public sale.
The future of IoT connectivity demands flexible solutions that can address various IoT applications, use cases, and device types. The massive IoT connectivity landscape is fragmented, and no single solution offers ubiquitous coverage to cover all use cases.
Although 5G is not the only option, there are a number of alternative technologies that offer flexible, low cost, high performance, and low bandwidth solutions for IoT deployment in production facilities. The connectivity, networking, and communication protocols used by devices depend on the specific IoT application deployed. IoT applications can benefit from a wide variety of available connectivity technologies and should choose based on a variety of factors, including network technology characteristics, business environment, business model, and implementation environment.
The IoT advantages are industry-specific but applicable to multiple industries. As such, the IoT is one of the most important technologies in daily life and will continue to gain momentum as more and more companies recognize the potential of connected devices to keep them competitive.
The sad truth is that due to the inherent heterogeneity of use cases for the Internet of Things, there is no future communication protocol that will be able to accept all kinds of smart applications and not compromise on the key IoT connectivity factors mentioned above. In Manufacturing, plants could benefit from a simple solution that works by providing a seamless connection between many devices both indoors and outdoors.
The connectivity layer of the IoT technology stack is currently tied to mobile network operators offering standard mobile connections. The capacity of classic connectivity protocols is beyond expectations, and the first IoT networks for smart home projects have emerged in recent days. A small number of well-funded start-ups target the IoT connectivity layer and are making progress in sub-segments such as low-power and large-scale connectivity.
Connectivity technologies occupy a growing market and influence the international standardization of the technology layer. Let’s examine them and not lose the choice to choose the best IoT connectivity options for your business. IoT platforms and technology offers new opportunities for innovation to solve problems and bring about global economic and environmental change.
IoT connectivity drives progress in a variety of vertical industries implementing connected solutions including utilities, connected vehicles, agriculture, healthcare, transportation, security, businesses, and households. In order to exploit the potential of IoT, entire industries are working on developing device connectivity solutions that enable communication between devices within an ecosystem.
However, the network technology landscape remains complex and fragmented when it comes to connected devices, and there is no unified protocol that can address all IoT use cases.
The potential applications of sensors and devices for the Internet of Things (IoT) span a wide range of industries, and IoT technologies can accelerate the growth of connected industrial technologies including smart cities, autonomous vehicles and autonomous vehicles. The IoT providers themselves have the potential to radically improve connectivity and scalability. Cellular IoT functions can meet the basic requirements of the massive IoT market as well as the specific and sensitive requirements of complex environments and applications.
IoT connectivity technologies are defined as the connection between a physical device (such as a sensor) and the second point in an IoT system, be it an IoT sensor gateway or an IoT cloud platform. These technologies differ in their power consumption, bandwidth capacity and latency characteristics. This technology is widely used as a wireless solution and is used in countless applications that require high communication and data rates between devices that are only a few meters apart.
Wide-area low-power networks meet a different need for IoT connectivity than traditional mobile networks. Mesh technologies such as Z-Wave and Zigbee use systems of connected nodes to transport small data packets over short to medium distances. These networks are based on cellular communication and highlight them as independent IoT connectivity technology.
The following three IoT connectivity landscapes transport data between things over small distances (less than 150 meters): collect, process and send data from hubs and gateways to the Internet or cloud platforms for processing. Low-Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) is a generic term for networks that enable communication over long distances (at least 500 meters) and range signals between gateway devices and endpoints with minimal power consumption. IoT NB-IoT supports a large number of low-throughput devices that are able to penetrate floors and thick concrete walls to ensure better indoor coverage.
Device access, identity, control, and network capability considerations cover the connectivity requirements of each device on the network. These are important considerations that help companies develop new IoT devices and implement connectivity options suitable for long-term sustainability and growth. In the R & D phase, these considerations are crucial to ensure that future networks are scalable.