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If you can't see the content, please view the online version here.  March 2020
How to choose the best IoT connectivity for your M2M applications?

Overview

In the past few years, there have been many connectivity options available in the market that have boosted many IoT deployments. With many possibilities around, researching and finding the most suitable one for your specific demands may be a challenge. Here, we provide an overview of connectivity options for your reference.

Why is it so important to choose suitable IoT connectivity?

There are many solutions available on the market. However, customers don't usually know what is available and what the benefits are, and this is a barrier to selection.

Selecting the most suitable connectivity technology is one of the critical decisions that customers need to make in their IoT launch strategy, as connectivity is an important component in an end-to-end IoT solution. The main question to ask is how the connected product and the data generated are going to be used, and how they deliver value to the enterprise and its customers. < read more >

Technical

  • Coverage
  • Energy efficiency
  • Data rate & Data delivery frequency
  • IoT Protocol (MQTT/HTTP)
  • Security/Bidirectional communication
  • Monitoring & Reporting

Commercial/Business

  • Cost
  • Scalability

Ecosystem

  • Solutions
  • Interoperability

Typical IoT connectivity solutions, Now and Beyond

In general, the IoT landscape or rather the machine-to-machine (M2M) communication has been dominated by radio technologies such as ZigBee, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi for short range local area networks, and traditional cellular such as GSM (2G), UMTS (3G), and LTE (4G) for wide area networks. In the near future 5G will be also considered into the list. < read more >

LPWA goes further

LoRa, NB-IoT, LTE-M
Low Power Wide Area technology is a kind of distinct IoT connectivity technology that is also spread over a wide area and requires low power consumption. There are a number of LPWA connectivity solutions such as LTE-M, NB-IoT, LoRa and others. They are truly helping and growing the IoT market. They provide huge coverage of up to 20km and enhance the battery life for sensors and edge side devices. LPWA technology is good for many applications in smart cities, smart agriculture, and smart sensing. < read more >

 

LTE-M

NB-IoT

Also as known

eMTC, LTE Cat-M1

LTE Cat-NB1

Bandwidth

1.08MHz

180KHz

Max. Thoughput

375kbps

32kbps (DL)/70kbps (UL)

Network deployment

Relatively easy for operators to add to existing LTE networks

Easier for operators with GSM networks to incorporate

Frequency deployment

LTE in-band

LTE in-band, LTE repurposing and GSM repurposing

Voice/Data support

Voice and data

Data only

Mobility

Yes

No

 

Before your project deployment

After defining both strategic and budget objectives and risk, the customer can proceed to identifying technology requirements and selecting the most suitable technologies. As illustrated as below, deploying IoT entails securing an end-to-end technology solution that includes hardware (device, components), connectivity technology, platform and applications (software, SaaS), often brought together with the help of a system integrator/technology consultancy. < read more >

Preliminary Thinking 1

Application (Software)

Platform

Predictive, Analytics (SaaS)

Control Management

Connectivity

Traditional Cellular (3G/4G-LTE), LPWA

Devices (Edge Node)

Smart Meters, Smart Sensing, Fleet Trackers

Components

Sensors, Meters, Battery Legacy Device

Preliminary Thinking 2

Monitoring & Reporting

  • Live Dashboard (Visualization)-SCADA or Cloud
  • Status Report
  • Alerts & Notifications
  • Data Analytics & Analyze Connectivity
  • Remote Control

Network Selection

  • Range
  • Bandwidth
  • Power Consumption
  • Budget
  • Traditional Cellular (3G/4G)
  • LPWA (LoRa/NB-IoT/LTE-M)

Field Site M2M Requirement

  • Device (Include Legacy Device) list & Qty.
  • Device interface (Analog/Serial Modbus..)?
  • Data rate? How often to send out the data?
  • Coverage?

There is no perfect technical solution that satisfies all requirements in the market. Thus, just focus in choosing the best IoT connectivity that has to be placed on the specificity and requirements of your application/project. Hopefully, the above illustrations about the choices for best IoT connectivity can make your deployment smarter.

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