Comparison of several IoT data transmission and connection methods

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With the rapid development of the mobile Internet, the Internet of Things (IOT), the Internet of Everything (IoT), is rapidly emerging, and major technology giants are laying out the IoT. 5G commercialization is also coming soon, bringing more imagination and development potential to the IoT. We all know that IOT needs to connect sensors and gateways through wireless transmission technology, so let's learn together, what are the ways to connect IOT? And what are the characteristics of each:


One, zero distance contact NFC

NFC is essentially a "non-contact radio frequency identification" (RFID) and interconnection technology, is a non-contact automatic identification technology, which automatically identifies the target object and obtains relevant data through radio frequency signals, identification work without human intervention. It can meet any two wireless devices between the exchange of information, content access, service exchange, and make it more simple - as long as any two devices close to each other without the need for cable connection, you can achieve communication between each other. This reduces the "communication distance" between any two wireless devices significantly. Definitions are always boring, but in practice NFC means: when you hold your phone in your hand in front of a poster advertising a concert, put it close to the poster and it will connect your phone to the poster's website; to buy tickets, you can pay for them with a smart card embedded in your phone. This is what NFC wants to bring you to enjoy life.

The security of NFC is the issue that deserves close attention in the near distance wireless communication, especially the technology that involves electronic payment like NFC.


Second, BluetoothBluetooth

Bluetooth is a universal short-range radio technology, Bluetooth 5.0 Bluetooth theoretically capable of short-range connectivity between devices up to about 100 meters, but the actual use of only about 10 meters. Its biggest feature is that it allows easily portable mobile communication devices and computers to network and transmit data and messages without the use of cables, and is now commonly used in the connection of smartphones and smart wearable devices, as well as in the smart home and automotive IoT. The new Bluetooth 5.0 is not only backward compatible with older versions, but also offers the advantage of higher speeds and longer transmission distances. The technology was born in 1994 when Ericsson decided to develop a low-power, low-cost wireless interface to establish communication between cell phones and their accessories. The technology also successively obtained the PC industry, such as: IBM, Intel, Toshiba and other industry giants support. 1998, Bluetooth technology by Ericsson, IBM, Intel, Nokia, Toshiba and other five companies agreed. The biggest benefit of this proximity wireless communication technology standard is that it can replace all kinds of messy transmission lines. Industry experts believe that the market prospects of Bluetooth depends on the price of Bluetooth and Bluetooth-based applications can reach a certain scale, when the price of Bluetooth modules is low enough, it is the time for Bluetooth to occupy the market on a large scale.


Three, WiFi

Wi-Fi is widely used in many IoT use cases, most commonly as a link from the gateway to the router that connects to the Internet. However, it is also used for major wireless links that require high speed and medium range.

Most Wi-Fi versions operate in the 2.4GHz license-free band with transmission distances of up to 100 meters, depending on the application environment. The popular 802.11n can reach speeds of up to 300Mb/s, while the newer 802.11ac, which works in the 5GHz ISM band, can even exceed 1.3Gb/s.

To be precise, WiFi wireless technology is not designed to replace Bluetooth or other short-range radio technologies, and the application areas of the two are completely different, although there is overlap in some areas. WiFi devices are generally designed to cover hundreds of meters, and if antennas are strengthened or hotspots are added, the coverage area will be even larger, and even entire office buildings will not be a problem. Wireless technology is mainly designed for mobile devices to access LAN (Local Area Network), WAN (Wide Area Network), and the Internet. Basically, in WiFi standard, the mobile device plays the role of client, and the server is the network center device; there is a huge difference in the point-to-point (peertopeer) structure with NFC and Bluetooth technology for interconnection of two mobile devices.

In the WiFi system, all devices are basically based on TCP/IP protocol, which means that each device has its own IP address, which is why there are no WiFi-based peripherals, such as keyboards, mice, headphones ...... and WiFi solutions are more complex, in terms of price and volume It is more difficult to carry out integration. Even the connection between devices, the parts that need to be set up are quite complicated, which runs counter to the principle of simple and easy to use for close range wireless communication. But the benefits of WiFi are also quite obvious, such as fast speed is other wireless standards are difficult to reach, the current 802.11g protocol of 54Mbps transmission rate for most business users is quite enough, and can also be extended in the coverage of wireless voice calls and other value-added services.



ZigBee is one of the ideal choices for IoT. Although ZigBee generally works in the 2.4GHz ISM band, it can also be used in the 902MHz to 928MHz and 868MHz bands. The data rate in the 2.4GHz band is 250kb/s. It can be used in point-to-point, star and mesh configurations, supporting up to 216 nodes. A major advantage of ZigBee is the availability of pre-developed software application configuration files for specific applications, including the Internet of Things. The final product must be licensed.


V. LoRa

LoRa (Long Range) is a technology developed by Semtech that typically operates at 915 MHz in the U.S., 868 MHz in Europe, and 433 MHz in Asia.LoRa's physical layer (PHY) uses a unique form of FM chirp spread spectrum technology with forward error correction (FEC). This spread spectrum modulation allows multiple radios to use the same frequency band, as long as each device uses a different chirp and data rate. The typical range is 2km to 5km, with a maximum distance of 15km, depending on the location and antenna characteristics.


Narrow Band Internet of Things (NB-IoT) has become an important branch of the Internet of Everything. built on cellular networks, NB-IoT consumes only about 180KHz of bandwidth and can be deployed directly on GSM, UMTS or LTE networks to reduce deployment costs and achieve smooth upgrades.

NB-IoT is an emerging technology in IoT that supports cellular data connectivity for low-power devices in wide area networks, also called low-power wide area networks (LPWAN). nb-ioT supports efficient connectivity for devices with long standby time and high network connectivity requirements. NB-IoT devices are said to improve battery life by at least 10 years, while also providing very comprehensive indoor cellular data connection coverage.

NB-IoT is characterized by low frequency band, low power consumption, low cost, high coverage and high network capacity, also known as "narrowband IoT". A base station can provide 50-100 times more access terminals than the traditional 2G, Bluetooth, WiFi, and only one battery device can work for ten years. Even the recently hot "small yellow car" is going to use NB-IoT to unlock the service. The gas meter and water meter at home no longer need to check the number at home, using NB-IoT terminal, you can realize the intelligent meter reading function, and the data of a district will be transmitted to the staff's terminal at the same time, which is fast and convenient.


From this we can see that NB-IOT has great development potential and very many advantages, and mobile operators are now also vigorously promoting it. loRa is relatively free for enterprises to control network quality independently, for network coverage can be quickly optimized and supplemented, and operational data can be mastered by themselves, and the network can be expanded according to business needs. But in a variety of ways in a certain period of time will exist. Enterprises should determine the use of networking solutions based on their actual needs, cost price. Thus bringing the overall development and growth of the Internet of Things!

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