SHARE



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Gary Audin
Gary Audin is the President of Delphi, Inc. He has more than 40 years of computer, communications and security...
Read Full Bio >>
SHARE



Gary Audin | January 05, 2018 |

 
   

Examining IoT Connection Options

Examining IoT Connection Options This list should help you keep track of the myriad ways to connect IoT devices to network infrastructure.

This list should help you keep track of the myriad ways to connect IoT devices to network infrastructure.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is made up of smart devices that communicate over the Internet. How they connect to the Internet varies depending on the end device and its application, and the number of connectivity solutions is expanding. Some IoT devices rely on short-range wireless, while other use long-distance wireless connections. Others connect over wired Ethernet networks. Some connectivity solutions are designed for consumer networks and others for the industrial Internet.

In this blog I'll be focusing on the network connection requirements, but connectivity also expands into the applications as well. For more on that topic, see my previous post, "Peeling Away the Layers of IoT Interoperability." Or, if you're new to IoT, read my posts "Are You New to IoT?" and "IoT: More Than Just Technology."

Three Considerations
There are three primary criteria for IoT devices:

  • Low power -- These devices are expected operate for years to collect, analyze, and send data. These are most likely powered by batteries. Because of their low power, they probably will communicate either short distances or infrequently, such as hourly or daily.
  • Wide area -- These devices are designed to communicate several hundred meters and more. These devices could be for irrigation systems, propane tank refilling, and on farms -- anything that is widely distributed but has little connectivity through wired connections.
  • Bandwidth -- Some of these devices will have very-low-bandwidth requirements because they'll be sending short messages periodically. Other devices, in vehicles for example, may be streaming continuously. Other devices may send video communications and require higher bandwidth.

Source: "The Future of Connectivity: Enabling the Internet of Things," McKinsey & Company

The Range of Connection Choices
Connectivity options will vary based on which vendor made the endpoints and the platforms. Some IoT devices are for internal use only, while others are available to the public. You might find as many as 30 different connectivity options based on bandwidth, range, cost, reliability, and network management features.

IoT will have an impact on wireless networks, as discussed in the post "IoT Impact on Wireless." One consideration is whether the device will use licensed or unlicensed spectrum. Will the wireless connections be for internal communications, external communications, or extraterrestrial such as satellite communications?

Fog or edge computing, which processes data at the endpoint before feeding the network, will also affect network requirements, especially bandwidth (see "IoT at the Network Edge").

Some Wireless Options
Several IoT groups are producing standards, some covering the networks and others dealing with application interoperability (see "IoT Standards: Many, Not One"). What follows is a list of some wireless IoT network options:

  • Bluetooth -- A low-bandwidth, short-distance (about 10 meters) technology for personal area networks; introduced in 1994 as a wireless alternative for RS-232 cables
  • LoRa -- The LoRa Alliance is dedicated to promoting the interoperability and standardization of low-power WAN (LPWAN) for IoT; it promotes its Long-Range WAN (LoRaWAN) protocol as an open global standard
  • LTE Advanced -- An advanced set of standards and technologies that delivers speedier wireless data transmissions
  • LTE Cat. 0 -- LTE supports a new UE category; LTE Category 0, or Cat 0, devices will significantly save battery life
  • LTE M -- Simplified industry term for the LTE-MTC low power wide area (LPWA) technology standard
  • LPWA -- Low Power Wide Area Network, see "LPWA Live for IoT" and "What 'Low Power, Wide Area' Means for IoT"
  • NB-IoT -- Narrowband IoT, the newest LPWA option developed for the IoT
  • SigFox -- French company that builds wireless networks to connect low-energy objects such as electricity meters, smartwatches, and household appliances that need to be always on and sending small amounts of data
  • Thread -- For connecting home devices from Google
  • Wi-Fi HaLow -- From the Wi-Fi Alliance, for products incorporating IEEE 802.11ah technology
  • ZigBee -- Specification for a group of communication protocols used to create personal area networks that support low-power digital radios based on an IEEE 802.15 standard (see "IoT Meets ZigBee" and "The Next ZigBee, 3.0")
  • ZWave -- A wireless communications protocol used primarily for home automation
  • 4G LTE -- An advanced network speed; it can download data at 5 to 12 Mbps, allowing for smooth streaming of live video and better response times for multiplayer online games
  • 802.11ah -- This wireless networking protocol, also called Wi-Fi HaLow, is an amendment of the IEEE 802.11-2007 wireless networking standard. It uses exempt spectrum to provide extended range Wi-Fi networks, and benefits from lower energy consumption, allowing the creation of large groups of stations or sensors supporting IoT

The Strategy of Choices
You need to develop a strong, cohesive strategy. When you develop a strategy, you should: Except that you must work with multiple IoT connectivity standards; focus on the simplicity of standards and connection choices; and consider new business models and look for ubiquity.

Learn more about IoT at Enterprise Connect 2018, March 12 to 15, in Orlando, Fla. Register now using the code NOJITTER to save an additional $200 off the Advance Rate (expires Friday, Jan. 12!) or get a free Expo Plus pass.





COMMENTS




May 23, 2018

If Cisco is a critical strategic supplier for you, then its vital for you to understand the most recent announcements around Webex Teams, and how to build your migration path for the next generatio

April 25, 2018

Yesterdays simple phone call to a contact center or business location is rapidly becoming todays interactive session, spanning multiple channels and devices. If you need to know how Omnichannel can

March 7, 2018

Video collaboration is experiencing significant change and innovation-how can your enterprise take advantage? In this webinar, leading industry analyst Ira Weinstein will present detailed analysis

March 12, 2018
An effective E-911 implementation doesn't just happen; it takes a solid strategy. Tune in for tips from IT expert Irwin Lazar, of Nemertes Research.
March 9, 2018
IT consultant Steve Leaden lays out the whys and how-tos of getting the green light for your convergence strategy.
March 7, 2018
In advance of his speech tech tutorial at EC18, communications analyst Jon Arnold explores what voice means in a post-PBX world.
February 28, 2018
Voice engagement isn't about a simple phone call any longer, but rather a conversational experience that crosses from one channel to the next, as Daniel Hong, a VP and research director with Forrester....
February 16, 2018
What trends and technologies should you be up on for your contact center? Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center & Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2018, gives us the lowdown.
February 9, 2018
Melanie Turek, VP of connected work research at Frost & Sullivan, walks us through key components -- and sticking points -- of customer-oriented digital transformation projects.
February 2, 2018
UC consultant Marty Parker has crunched lots of numbers evaluating UC options; tune in for what he's learned and tips for your own analysis.
January 26, 2018
Don't miss out on the fun! Organizer Alan Quayle shares details of his pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon, TADHack-mini '18, showcasing programmable communications.
December 20, 2017
Kevin Kieller, partner with enableUC, provides advice on how to move forward with your Skype for Business and Teams deployments.
December 20, 2017
Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst with ZK Research, shares his perspective on artificial intelligence and the future of team collaboration.
December 20, 2017
Delanda Coleman, Microsoft senior marketing manager, explains the Teams vision and shares use case examples.
November 30, 2017
With a ruling on the FCC's proposed order to dismantle the Open Internet Order expected this month, communications technology attorney Martha Buyer walks us through what's at stake.
October 23, 2017
Wondering which Office 365 collaboration tool to use when? Get quick pointers from CBT Nuggets instructor Simona Millham.
September 22, 2017
In this podcast, we explore the future of work with Robert Brown, AVP of the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work, who helps us answer the question, "What do we do when machines do everything?"
September 8, 2017
Greg Collins, a technology analyst and strategist with Exact Ventures, delivers a status report on 5G implementation plans and tells enterprises why they shouldn't wait to move ahead on potential use ....
August 25, 2017
Find out what business considerations are driving the SIP trunking market today, and learn a bit about how satisfied enterprises are with their providers. We talk with John Malone, president of The Ea....
August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular BlogGeek.me blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.