A cellular network is an excellent connectivity option for connecting consumer products and machines, among other things.
The connectivity solution should work where the IoT device is deployed, so the coverage of the connecting network is crucial.
The connectivity used in an IoT application should not consume too much power and drain the battery.
Cellular IoT boards are developed to connect devices using mobile networks
I was surprised to learn that I can control certain devices (such as my air conditioner) with my phone, even if I am not at home. Luckily, we now live in a time where cellular networks don’t just connect us to friends and family, but also to devices. Cellular IoT boards are developed to connect devices using mobile networks, which offsets the need for a separate network exclusively for IoT devices.
In this article, we will discuss cellular IoT technology, its benefits, and the different cellular connectivities used in IoT boards.
IoT Technology and Network Connectivity
In IoT applications, network connectivity is critical. IoT developers and businesses supporting IoT platforms demand the best network connectivity. From the development as well as cost analysis aspect, network connectivity plays a significant role in IoT systems. For high bandwidth requirements, Wi-fi naturally becomes the preferred network. Where there is easy access to wired Ethernet, wired connection methods are utilized. Typically, stationary IoT systems use wired connections.
There are several IoT solutions that neither come under high bandwidth connectivity requirements nor are stationary. The implemented IoT solutions can be:
- Completely mobile or occasionally moving
- Globally-deployed applications
- In need of a redundant offsite network gateway
- With the connection requirements of high security and reliability
Considering the wide reach of IoT systems, the cellular network is the top recommendation for IoT connectivity.
Cellular IoT Technology
The cellular network is an excellent connectivity option for connecting consumer products and machines, among other things. In cellular IoT systems, the devices depend on cellular networks to transmit and receive data. The IoT devices communicate with applications, routers, servers, gateways, or other IoT devices over cellular networks to perform their intended function.
There are several factors to consider when choosing connectivity, including:
Coverage - The connectivity solution should work where the IoT device is deployed, so the coverage of the connecting network is crucial.
Bandwidth - The network bandwidth is chosen depending on the volume of data to be transmitted and received.
Power consumption - The connectivity used in the IoT application should not consume too much power.
Cost - Establishing a connection from an IoT device to an already deployed network is more cost-effective.
Data throughput - The time taken for data transfer refers to the data throughput and influences the speed of operation of IoT devices.
Mobility - If the IoT application involves mobility then the connectivity solution should be capable of handling data transfer from a non-stationary source.
Latency - When an IoT application and its data are time-sensitive, the latency of the network technology matters.
Security - When the data transfer can’t be compromised in an IoT application, the security of the connectivity is important.
Redundancy - There are requirements for software geographic and operator redundancy when the IoT application is mission-critical.
Indoor penetration - The penetration capability of the signal is important to ensure the IoT device functions underground or in dense buildings.
The table below gives the details of the cellular network.
Cellular IoT Board Connections
Cellular network technology usage in IoT systems offers benefits like:
- Wide coverage areas
- Non-steered roaming
- Reliability and security
- Remote management facilities
- Availability of sub-categories to suit application needs
There are several connectivity options, such as WiFi, wired Ethernet, and cellular networks, that can be used in IoT boards. In cellular connectivity, there are several sub-categories that exhibit entirely different strengths and limitations when used in IoT systems. The sub-categories of cellular IoT board connections are given in the table below.
Depending on the application environment, an appropriate cellular IoT board is designed with the best-suited connectivity option. IoT developers are focused on developing IoT boards with the most suitable network connectivity to prevent any speed issues or downtime. Cadence offers a platform to design IoT systems that reduce the time to market and speed up hardware and software integration.
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