LPWAN or Cellular? Which IoT Connectivity is Best?

Date : 2-27-2019

Internet of Things (IoT) networks

When implementing an IoT solution in any given industry, the natural question is raised concerning which of the current technologies is the most appropriate.

However, due to the specific nuanced differences and requirements from sector to sector, understanding the options available is paramount to make the right choice. Internet of Things (IoT) networks need to exist over reliable comms infrastructure, which is something that both provide to varying degrees. Here we look at the two in more detail to help you better understand the options that are available.

Cellular IoT

Working over the existing 4G mobile telephony network, cellular IoT is able to be quickly deployed and is reliable due to working on a proven, established, consistent infrastructure. This type of connectivity supports higher data rates and the IoT devices that are used on it tend to be on the expensive side – hence the reason why it’s primarily used by larger operators who have the means to buy the hardware and access the necessary licensed spectrums.

Within this classification, there are two further subdivisions, which are Narrowband (NB) IoT and Category M1 (Cat-M1), which has around 10 times the amount of bandwidth and significantly more transmission power. Essentially Cellular IoT is more reliable than LPWAN, as it needs to be for the applications that use it. It can be applied over large distances of up to 100 Km, it supports high data rates and is typically used on large scale networks.

Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) IoT

LPWAN operates on the unlicensed spectrum of wireless frequencies and can be best compared to your home WiFi setup, but on a larger scale. LPWAN tends to be a lot cheaper (around 5 times cheaper) and can be customised much easier by the end user than Cellular IoT. LPWAN is designed to work over ranges of up to 10 Km and is ideal for low data rate applications. Due to the low cost, low range, low data rate nature of LPWAN connectivity, it’s a popular option for those implementing small-scale, local deployments.

Hybrid Is Best

The truth is that as of right now, there is no one single IoT connectivity method that’s preferred and this is primarily due to the vast range of different applications that are needed to cater for industry, commerce and every other sector it’s used in. Each project will have its own goals, budgets and needs, meaning that what usually happens is that a hybrid LPWAN-Cellular IoT set up is used, with the exact details being determined by the individual users needs.

A hybrid network is able to apply the correct connectivity to the correct job and with a host of other options on offer, such as NFC, Bluetooth and WiFi, there will always be a solution to whatever problem is being posed. It’s the versatility of hybrid IoT configurations that mean they will likely be the preferred option going forwards and unless something radical changes, this will be the case for some time to come.

Secure, User Friendly, Reliable

At Sure Universal, our IoT software platform is the only one that is able to deliver comprehensive, standard-compliant solutions to both Telco and cable operators due to the optimum interoperability and data security that it offers. Our platform is the ideal choice for those looking for secure, user-friendly and reliable home and office IoT network applications.

If you would like to know more about anything discussed here or about our full range of services, please visit our website www.sureuniversal.com, where you’ll find lots of useful information. Alternatively, to book a consultation with one of our friendly team, enter your details into our contact form and someone will be in touch shortly.

Thanks for reading. We’ll be back with more from the world of IoT next time.

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