Tag Archives: cellular

Battle of the IoT networks: Cellular versus Wi-Fi – IoT Agenda

When it comes to the internet of things, perhaps the key enabling technology is wireless networking technologies. Without the two primary wireless data networking technologies — cellular and Wi-Fi — almost every IoT device would require a wired connection to the internet, dramatically limiting the ability of developers to create IoT applications that deliver value to businesses and consumers.

However, thanks to these two wireless networking technologies, IoT is big and getting bigger — research firm Gartner forecasted that in 2017, 8.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide, with this number reaching 20.4 billion by 2020. With as many as 10 billion additional connected devices forecast to be deployed over the next three years, IoT application developers face an important question as the market continues to mature — given each technology’s bandwidth, cost, coverage and security characteristics, should they design their IoT applications to use cellular, Wi-Fi or both?


While the differences between Wi-Fi and cellular in terms of bandwidth and cost have been narrowing or disappearing, cellular is expanding on its coverage advantages. By definition, Wi-Fi is a local area network (LAN) which provides great coverage in a very limited area. Yet, the moment a connected device leaves that area, coverage is lost, which results in significant design limitations for IoT application developers. On the other hand, cellular data coverage today is extensive and growing, as wireless network operators compete with each other to offer better coverage to their customers. In addition, standard low-power wide-area (LPWA) cellular IoT technologies (LTE-M and NB-IoT) provide deeper coverage than traditional cellular technologies, expanding cellular connectivity to underground spaces, buildings and rural environments. While LPWA is new, it is rapidly being embraced by network operators, as upgrading 4G LTE infrastructure to support LPWA only requires a simple software update. For developers who want to deploy IoT applications around the world or to remote, underground or similar hard-to-reach locations, cellular provides clear advantages — advantages that will only grow over the coming years.


When evaluating the security differences between Wi-Fi and cellular, one must always remember that no network can ever be made 100% secure. Nonetheless, cellular does possess several security advantages over Wi-Fi. First, all cellular data is encrypted by default. Wi-Fi data can be encrypted, but this encryption has to be turned on. This introduces human error into the Wi-Fi security equation, and as seen in recent cybersecurity attacks, such human-error related vulnerabilities can and will be exploited by cybercriminals. In addition, cellular security updates are made by network operators who have dedicated cybersecurity staff in place and very strong financial and reputational incentives to ensure such updates are made as quickly as possible. However, Wi-Fi depends on individual Wi-Fi network owners to make security updates, and it is easy for individual Wi-Fi network owners to delay or overlook these updates. The problem with overlooking such updates was recently demonstrated by the Key Reinstallation AttaCK, aka KRACK, on the key exchange handshakes used in the Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) and Wi-Fi Protected Access II (WPA2) security protocols. Another security issue with Wi-Fi is cybercriminals can create “fake” Wi-Fi networks that unsuspected device owners connect to, allowing these criminals to hack into these owners’ devices. While creating fake cellular networks is theoretically possible, cellular’s built-in security advantages, as well as size and scale of network operators, make the creation of similar fake cellular networks much more difficult. As cyberattacks continue to increase, cellular’s security advantages give it a leg up on Wi-Fi for developers building applications where security is a key design consideration.


For years, Wi-Fi had a significant advantage in bandwidth over cellular, with older 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi technologies offering speeds up to 450 megabits per second and the newer 802.11ac Wi-Fi technology offering speed up to 1.3 gigabits per second (Gbps). However, cellular technologies based on the 4G LTE standard are now as fast as 1 Gbps, making cellular bandwidth comparable with Wi-Fi. In addition, while new Wi-Fi technologies based on the 802.11ax standard promise speeds of up to 10 Gbps, new cellular technologies using the 5G standard will offer similar speeds. With cellular now able to come close, if not match, Wi-Fi in regard to bandwidth, when it comes to video and other high-bandwidth IoT applications, there is little to no difference between the two technologies on speed.

Security, bandwidth and coverage are not the only capabilities developers need to consider when deciding whether they their IoT applications should use cellular, Wi-Fi or both, but they might be the most important. In terms of cost and bandwidth, cellular has in recent years caught up to Wi-Fi, and today Wi-Fi’s advantages in these areas are minimal or non-existent. However, when it comes to coverage and security, cellular has significant advantages over Wi-Fi, advantages that it will build on over the coming years.

Despite these advantages, Wi-Fi is not going away anytime soon. Wi-Fi has a strong established base in most households, and the fact there are no additional costs to connect multiple devices to a Wi-Fi network means that Wi-Fi will likely continue to be used for many consumer and smart home IoT applications over the coming years. In addition, with costs coming down for both technologies, building IoT applications that support both Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity is an increasingly attractive option for developers looking to cover all their bases and differentiate their consumer versus enterprise-level services. However, with cellular increasingly equal to or better than Wi-Fi in terms of bandwidth, cost, coverage and security, many developers who previously might have only considered Wi-Fi for their IoT applications are likely to be looking at, if not switching to, cellular over the coming years.

Source: Philippe Guillemette Sierra Wireless – IoT Agenda

Co-Star design adaptor that converts FME or SMA to FAKRA

Co-Star the UK based distributor to the Mobile Communications Industry have designed a coaxial adaptor that quickly converts an antenna terminated with either an FME female or SMA male to FAKRA Code Z  Waterblue female in seconds.

A standard antenna for mobile broadband or celluar applications is usually terminated with an FME female or SMA male connector, but some in-car communication applications require a FAKRA connector. To re-crimp a FAKRA connector can be time consuming and needs special tooling. The Co-Star adaptor has been designed to simply screw on to the existing connector providing a professional, fast and cost effective conversion  in seconds.

The FAKRA Code Z Univetrsal Waterblue connector is the most versatile connector in the FAKRA range and is suitable for most applications.

Tim Cosgrove of Co-Star commented: ” This is a fantastic product for engineers  as it allows them to re-terminate equipment very quickly without using additional tooling. Sometimes an engineer will turn up to install some equipment not knowing which connectors are needed to complete the installation so the FAKRA adaptors offer the engineer versatility ”   

The connectors are available now from Co-Star:

CFF.FMEP-NEUJ      FME Male to FAKRA Female Universal Code Z  (Converts an antenna terminated with FME female to FAKRA female).http://www.co-star.co.uk/prod/3755/fme-male-to-fakra-female-waterblue-antenna-adaptor.html

CFF.SMAJ-NEUJ      SMA Female to FAKRA Female Universal Code Z  (Converts an antenna terminated with SMA male to FAKRA female).http://www.co-star.co.uk/prod/3754/sma-female-to-fakra-female-waterblue-antenna-adaptor.html

Source: Co-Star Press Office





M2M connectivity will be embedded in more than 2 billion devices across nine key industries by 2018

M2M connectivity will be embedded in more than 2 billion devices across nine key industries by 2018, but it will be cellular that will bring the bulk of the value and the connectivity revenues. A new generation of smart devices is set to have embedded connectivity and manufacturers have a number of technologies to select to deliver network connectivity. ABI Research has examined the demand and appeal for M2M connectivity across cellular, satellite, fixed-line and short-range wireless technologies within nine key industry verticals. Each technology has specific advantages and appeal, but cellular is the best placed to deliver the most value, hence revenues, for the connection. “Looking at demand for connectivity, while cellular will not have the highest number of connections, or the highest average revenue per connection, it will provide the greatest opportunity to drive the most overall value from those connections,” says Jonathan Collins, principal analyst and author of the new report. Industries including Automotive, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Retail, Security, Energy and others will all add connectivity to devices and products in a bid to improve efficiency, cut costs, and improve customer service. Across M2M device connectivity options a combination of mobility, flexibility, coverage and simple connection management, will ensure strong adoption for cellular. The value around that proposition also positions cellular network operators to best leverage a return for those connections. Collins adds: “Over the forecast period short-range wireless or wireless sensor network connectivity will outpace cellular connection growth, but there is little ability for those connections to directly deliver any revenues for the provision of that connectivity.” “In addition, satellite with higher revenue per connection does not have the same versatility as cellular limiting its appeal to fewer verticals.”

Source: ABI Research

Telefónica set to enable UK smart meter services

Telefónica set to enable UK smart meter services



Telefónica UK selected as preferred communications service provider for Central and Southern regions in UK Smart Meter Implementation Programme
  • Contract value is £1.5bn over 15 years
  • Subject to contracts being agreed

Telefónica UK, which operates using the O2 brand, has announced that it has been selected as the preferred communications service provider for two out of three lots in the UK’s smart meter tender. The Smart Meter Implementation Programme is a major national infrastructure project that will involve the roll out of 53m gas and electricity meters across the UK by 2020, helping consumers to better understand and control their energy usage.

The deal to provide the communications services across the Central and Southern regions is worth £1.5bn over 15 years and is subject to contracts being agreed.

Commenting on the news, David Plumb, Digital & New Business Director of Telefónica UK, said: “Telefónica is extremely proud to have been selected by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) as a preferred bidder for the UK Smart Meter Implementation Programme. It’s a huge endorsement of cellular as the right communications technology and of our vision for smart meters to be the foundation of a smarter energy future for the UK. The decision is subject to contracts and we are working with the DECC on next steps and will be making a further announcement in due course.”

Telefónica’s proposed communications solution is based on its cellular network in the UK which is ready to support the requirement of smart meters. This will be backed up by the use of mesh technology to connect meters in areas without cellular coverage.

A further announcement will be made once contracts are in place.

Source: Telefónica Digital Team

Brave New Nano Flexible Phones and Shrinking Gadgets

Soon people will be able to shop in a store and leave without checking out. Ubiquitous “scan your own items” checkout lines will disappear and remote wireless RFID readers will tally up the items in your cart and charge your cellphone for the items you’ve selected. Soon the cash and coins you keep in your pocket will become trinkets you pull out at holiday time to show incredulous grandchildren how you did things in your day.

Researchers at Mikron, Russia’s leading nanotechnology company, are creating a nanotechnology future for Russia and the world by developing the technical capacity to work at the nano-level, creating nano sized components and churning out nano-products.

Bar Codes To The Dustbin Of History, Enter Billions Of RFID Chips

Through nanotechnology’s use in the creation of Russian identity cards and subway train passes Mikron believes it will spark innovation and growth across Russia’s many industries. By way of example, barcodes currently on every item we buy, must be scanned by hand, and will soon be replaced by RFID chips that can be read remotely in real time as items are stocked, moved, sold, etc. The days of carpal tunnel syndrome from product scanning are nearly over!

According to Mikron, nanotechnology is already allowing researchers, scientists and engineers to:

custom engineer urban environments
affect what we eat and how we grow it
revolutionize medical technologies making once difficult procedures easy and routine, faster and less invasive
createbetter touch screen technology that will affect all machines and devices
miniaturization of everything
revolutionize industrial production
allow for multi functional chips that will bring data to devices and products in new ways
make RFID chips and smart cards upbiquitous
manufacturemore functional and securebank cards, subway cards, etc.
improve the protection of documents such as contracts, proprietary information, and identification cards and documents
replace multiple cards with one secure card which will be capable of holding all information about a person’s life
make smart cards with antenna for wireless radio transmission
build 90 and 180 namtechnology to build digital television sets and navigation systems
use micro-structured protective coatings to protect surfaces from where or deterioration from mechanical processes, whether, etc. The new surface is impenetrable. Corrosion resistant coatings are another advance.
make space ship materials stronger

Source: David Schilling/Industry Tap

EU continues eCall trials

The EU continues to trial its eCall initiative across Europe before it is due to be fully functional in 2015. Tim Clayton looks at some of the opportunities the scheme will present

The European eCall initiative to bring faster help to motorists after accidents is looking increasingly like that rare beast: a successful Europe wide cooperation. Based on early trials, the European Commission estimated that eCall initiative could reduce emergency response times by 50 per cent in rural areas and 40 per cent in urban areas, saving countless lives as well as up to €14 billion in the EU 25 annually. Beyond this, it also represents a fantastic opportunity, creating completely new markets for telematics devices and services, and adding rocket fuel to the already fast-expanding M2M space.


The eCall program

The European Commission introduced eCall, a groundbreaking initiative intended to bring rapid and automatic assistance to motorists involved in an incident anywhere in the European Union (EU), several years ago. To meet the challenge of developing an interoperable Pan-European eCall program, ERTICO and its member organisations launched a pilot programme, known as HeERO. The scheme has developed interoperable eCall programmes in participating EU regions and it will synchronise systems across country and network borders. The HeERO pilot, which began in 2011 and is continuing through 2013, has already been successfully pre-deployed in several regions using 112 as the pan-European Public Safety Answering Points (PSAP) emergency call number.

This is probably the world’s biggest deployment of M2M technology, and though the participants in the trial and rollout, because of its scale and strategic importance, will be major blue chip businesses, it will bring wider opportunities. The aftermarket for retrofitting these devices will be huge – Cinterion estimates 100 million vehicles. In addition, the availability of a standard telematics platform in a significant proportion of European vehicles could drive a thriving market in third party applications. The European market alone is big enough to achieve this, but globally, the adoption of a single, standard eCall platform in Europe is likely to influence the adoption of a very similar platform in the US and Asia. Drivers can be offered other telematics services such as route advisories and traffic information, and the location of anything from the nearest service station to the nearest pizza parlour can be conveyed. With drivers’ permission, vehicle location data can be used to monitor traffic conditions even more accurately than at present. Whilst these services are already available on proprietary satnavs, a universal telematics platform in every European vehicle will take this market to a completely different level.

Finally, with the automotive supply chain absorbing millions of M2M modules, volumes on the components they contain will rise significantly, with a corresponding reduction in manufacturing cost. This will benefit every single application that relies on these technologies.


Module support

The first two of these opportunities require access to an eCall-compliant module, and Cinterion was first out with an eCall compliant M2M wireless platform.  The AGS2 is prepared to meet the comprehensive requirements of the European eCall initiative. Its eCall compliant AH3 module and development kit were used and became essential to achieving the successful upgrade of the PSAP system in the first full trial in Romania.

Simultaneous to Romania’s PSAP infrastructure upgrade, Civitronic also collaborated with Cinterion to design and launch the “ubiq eCall IVS Solution”, an In-Vehicle Solution (IVS) that provides the minimum set of data compliant to the EU norm as well as advanced fleet management services. Civitronic’s ubiq eCall IVS integrates Cinterion’s automotive-grade AH3 that provides cellular voice, data and Internet connectivity, GPS capabilities and eCall functionality from one component.

The Cinterion AH3 delivers reliable always-on communications across global 2G and 3G cellular networks for automatic eCall and emergency roadside assistance as well as onboard vehicle computing, Internet access, fleet management, integrated hands free calling and many more. The module’s SIM Access Profile enables easy integration of additional wireless devices, connection with smartphones and software applications, while analogue audio processing and advanced voice support provide superior hands-free capabilities. Its three antennas allow always-on communications with simultaneous voice, data and continuous GPS tracking for true multi-tasking. In short, it is ideal for the creation of a future-proof telematics solution.



Wireless M2M-powered public safety and eCall solutions provide peace of mind for consumers while better enabling emergency service personnel to respond to life’s dangerous moments – but the benefits it will bring are much wider. Anyone designing in-vehicle telematics should be looking at the opportunities it presents, and even beyond this major market, the sheer scale of eCall will create new opportunities.

Source: Land Mobile