“Advances in IoT Communications”Technologies, Markets and Applications
This report addresses novel technologies and related markets designed for IoT/M2M communications.
Due to multiplicity of factors that should be considered in the developing IoT networks (applications, battery requirements, and traffic specifics, etc.) there is only a very remote possibility that a single technology will resolve all IoT communications issues. So far, the picture is very fragmented with multiple organizations developing specific technologies.
There are two main tracks to wide-area public-network connectivity. The first is the evolution of LTE (and some other cellular technologies) to support IoT applications: longer battery life, longer range, lower cost in exchange for lower throughput. The second track includes narrow-band (NB) and ultra-narrow band (UNB) technologies promoted as a clean slate solution for IoT connectivity.
Mesh technologies (typically based on ZigBee) and Wi-Fi extensions (e.g. 802.11ah) have typically been used in private networks and have a separate evolution path (as examples, the report addresses 802.11ah, Bluetooth Mesh and Thread). Bluetooth Mesh is bringing many important to IoT communications features utilizing well established hardware platforms.
New proprietary technologies, such as LoRa, SigFox and other came into the market before standardized technologies; and they have already gained the sufficient market share. 3GPP standards are being approved gradually in Releases 12-14.
Despite of this, it is expected that modified LTE and GSM will be able relatively fast to gain power– for these techniques, vast amount of cellular infrastructure is ready, and adaption to IoT communications requirements can be done usually through software upgrade. The report compares advantages and weaknesses of each method.
For the purpose of this report analysis, we distinguished the following groups of technologies:
1. Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) communications (Sub-1 GHz):
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