IoT networks

  • What are the most suitable networks for IoT?

    The Internet of Things encompasses all devices for the design and use of connected objects. An object is said to be connected when it is able to capture, process and transmit data.

    Whether the object is connected to another object or linked to gateways or servers, it is integrated into the IoT network and its infrastructure. The digitization of society has multiplied connected objects connected objects and improved connection technologies. From short haul networks to longer haul networks, network types vary as needed.


    Which IoT network to choose for your connected objects?

    The different types of deployed connectivity can be classified into two categories:

    1. "Short distance" networks: from a few centimeters to a few meters.
    2. “Long distance” networks: from a few tens of meters to several kilometers.

    We can differentiate the types of IoT networks according to this typology:

    • PAN (Personal Area Network): Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), RFID, NFC ...
    • LAN (Local Area Network): WiFi, Ethernet ...
    • LPWAN (Low Power Wide Area Network): network of several tens of square kilometers, low consumption: LoRaWAN®, Sigfox ...
    • WAN (Wide Area Network): very wide network
    • Satellite: all over the world

    Each network has strengths and weaknesses, but their comparison can be established according to three first criteria:

    • Energy consumption, standby and transmission
    • Bandwidth and throughput
    • The scope of communications

    Finally, we must take into account the potential disturbances of the environment and the frequency of data transmission: is it real-time transmission, every hour, once a day?

    De nombreux autres critères peuvent être considérés lors du lancement de votre projet IoT 

    Many other criteria can be considered when launching your IoT project: availability, deployment, maturity, sustainability, fixed or mobile objects, location of objects, level of security, type of network operator, battery life, type IoT platform, cost, ease of maintenance, etc.


    The different types of networks

    The Internet of Things identifies several types of networks used to which connected objects are attached, depending on their functionality and connectivity.

    Personal networks

    These are the networks attached to the person, oriented around sport and well-being, leisure, media, social networks and personal effectiveness. These networks are therefore very often linked to smartphones or miniaturized and portable devices. The main networks are:

    • Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), which allows easy connectivity a few meters away and natively available on a large number of devices
    • ANT + which is a proprietary protocol, with many industrial partners and strongly linked to sport and well-being

    Building networks

    The main networks deployed in buildings are numerous: WiFi, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), RFID, Zigbee, Z-Wave, EnOcean, Thread ...

    LPWAN networks

    These are the networks dedicated to connected objects, both outdoors and indoors, enabling energy consumption to be minimized. They are ideal for feeding simple information from sensors and location to object management platforms, in a public or private cloud.

    The main LPWAN networks are LoRaWAN® (open standard supported by the LoRa Alliance) and Sigfox (proprietary protocol). These networks favor:

    • Very low consumption (autonomy of 5 to 10 years)
    • The very long communication distance (several km)
    • The right coverage inside buildings
    • The very high density of connectable objects
    • Low operating costs

    The counterpart of these advantages is the limited communication speed and the limitation of the number and volumes of exchanges, mainly to the connected object.

    Cellular networks

    Tens of millions of objects are now connected via cellular (2G, 3G, 4G, LTE-M, NB-IoT, 5G) via onboard SIM cards. This is particularly the case with vehicle fleets, which thus benefit from guaranteed excellent quality of service, international coverage and high security.

    For IoT, 4G or LTE has been available in two special versions: LTE-M and NB-IoT, which are more energy efficient while offering better coverage, especially inside buildings (in-door). Adopted by many players, these versions are sustainable and 5G-ready.

    The development of 5G will further accelerate the development of new uses in the world of connected objects, with tangible benefits already available.

    In summary, the choice of your network for your connected objects should be based on several criteria, including range, bandwidth, responsiveness and energy consumption. Technological, regulatory and economic developments should not be underestimated.

    The choice of connectivity for your IoT project is a decision driven by technical indicators but above all by strategic thinking.


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