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Important Wireless Network Protocols for #IoT

  • Backers hope to deploy networks globally, allowing for M2M communication over a power efficient and low bandwidth network.
  • Thread Thread builds on the 6loWPAN protocol, and has some similarities to the ZigBee network.
  • Although the list is by no means complete, hopefully it has helped you to familiarize yourself with the most popular and most important wireless protocols in use for IoT devices.
  • NB-IoT the LPWAN competes with SigFox for the low powered M2M communication that is essential for modern IoT devices and sensors.
  • It is continually being developed and improved by Google, and is targeted at home automation and consumer IoT devices.

As the Internet of Things continues to grow and transform into an Internet of Everything, it is essential that wireless networks are able to support the increasing needs of both low powered sensors, and complex devices with increased bandwidth requirements.

@evankirstel: Important Wireless Network Protocols for #IoT

The Important Wireless Network Protocols for IoT

As the Internet of Things continues to grow and transform into an Internet of Everything, it is essential that wireless networks are able to support the increasing needs of both low powered sensors, and complex devices with increased bandwidth requirements.

The following protocols aren’t all exclusive to IoT, but they are the most important ones for current deployments and upcoming devices.

Z-Wave

Similar to ZigBee, Z-Wave is a consumer focused wireless protocol that uses mesh networking. It can be used to connect a number of in-home sensors and devices, such as climate and lighting controllers, security devices, and other automated devices.

ZigBee

ZigBee is a growing technology used to create local area networks for home automation and consumer IoT devices. It also operates within the popular 2.4GHz range, and uses mesh networking for better connectivity and device discovery.

6LoWPAN

This standard uses a specialized type of internet protocol that allows for efficient communication over networks with modest bandwidth capabilities. It is an open standard and is becoming popular with smart home automation systems.

Thread

Thread builds on the 6loWPAN protocol, and has some similarities to the ZigBee network. It is continually being developed and improved by Google, and is targeted at home automation and consumer IoT devices.

Bluetooth / BLE

Bluetooth is technology that has been heavily focused on small area networks for private user connectivity. It operates within the 2.4GHz range and with the latest specification, is highly power efficient (Especially with Bluetooth BLE). Unfortunately, Bluetooth transfers are relatively slow, however, this could be about to change with the upcoming Bluetooth 5 specification.

WIFI-ah

Traditional Wi-Fi systems are not ideal for outdoor IoT devices because they lack range and are energy demanding. WIFI-ah is a system that has been developed to increase range and allow for low power sensors to transmit small data packages over a low bandwidth link.

2G, 3G & 4G

2G is effectively obsolete and will likely disappear altogether within the next 5 years. However, 3G and 4G are responsible for data transfer on all of the world’s major cellular networks. These cellular technologies are used primarily for consumer devices like smartphones, tablets, and computers, but can also be found in vehicles and devices like smart kiosks, vending machines, and ATMs. While cellular technologies won’t win awards for being low powered, they are capable of high bandwidth, which makes them ideal for voice, video, and internet access.

Within the next five years, it is likely that 5G will be deployed by a major carrier. The new standard will allow for more bandwidth and lower latency, but will likely have the same power requirements as existing cellular solutions.

LTE-M1

LTE allows for a cellular network that can be designed with base hardware, and then developed with new software that increases performance. This keeps costs low as infrastructure will remain the same throughout the lifetime of the network. LTE-M1 is not yet available, but is highly anticipated by IoT device developers, cellular operators, and other industry insiders.

Low Speed LTE

LTE Cat 0, 1, and 3, are all low speed and lower power networks that are ideal for basic IoT applications. Cat 0 in particular shows promise as an important wireless standard for M2M communication.

SigFox

Low power, and ease of deployment could make SigFox an increasingly important protocol in the coming years. Backers hope to deploy networks globally, allowing for M2M communication over a power efficient and low bandwidth network.

NB-IoT

This LPWAN competes with SigFox for the low powered M2M communication that is essential for modern IoT devices and sensors. Devices connecting to an NB-IoT network could be battery powered for up to 10 years, making it perfect for remote stationary sensors in smart cities.

LoRaWAN

Lorawan is another wireless protocol that aims for power efficiency, albeit at the cost of network speed. Although not suitable for low latency and high bandwidth applications, it is perfect for low rate M2M transfers over a wide area network.

Ingenu

Ingenu is a new name for a long established technology. Originally developed to transmit data from utility meters, the protocol is now being marketed as a low data rate LPWAN option that can compete with the likes of SigFox and NB-IoT.

Although this list is by no means complete, hopefully it has helped you to familiarize yourself with the most popular and most important wireless protocols in use for IoT devices.

There are plenty of others to watch, such as Samsung’s ANT and ANT+ mesh protocol, DigiMesh, and even WirelessHART.

Other technologies will also help to drive IoT adoption and innovation, such as RFID for nearfield communication between machines and portable devices or scanners.

With an industry that is developing so rapidly, the networks that facilitate communication will be essential for deployment and adoption of devices in the consumer, industrial, and commercial markets.

Anything missing? Feel free to add your comments below or on twitter @kadenzsearch , we would love to hear your comments.

Global Sales Recruiters and Executive HeadhuntersIOT M2M Connectivity Mobility Cloud