Tag Archives: IoT

NB-IOT SKYROCKETS WITH NEW COMMERCIAL CONTRACT IN NORWAY

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Telia Company has secured the largest narrowband IoT contract in Norway yet. The three-year agreement with waste disposal container tracking company StalkIT, covers 100,000 connected devices in Telia’s nationwide narrowband IoT network.

Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) is a new communication technology that enables excellent coverage indoors, outdoors and in the ground. It is ideal for things that run on battery or only send data irregularly. NB-IoT is a cost-efficient way of connecting devices to existing mobile networks.

Telia Company recently inaugurated its nationwide NB-IoT network and has now closed the first commercial contract with waste disposal container tracking company StalkIT. It has developed a service that provides waste management operators with new and detailed knowledge regarding the location and status of their containers. The three-year contract enables StalkIT to connect 100,000 devices to Telia’s NB-IoT network.

“We are proud to have a wide-ranging agreement with an entrepreneurial company with great ambitions,” says Jon Christian Hillestad, Vice President Enterprise at Telia Norway. “It is very exciting to see our pilot project from this winter going commercial with the potential to expand beyond the Norwegian borders.”

“All our customers need to do now is to mount the tracking device on their containers and switch it on,” says Einar Aaland, Chief Product Officer at StalkIT. “Our tracking service will provide them with a complete overview of where the containers are and what status they have, and the investment will provide quick returns because processes can be automated and waste can be reduced.”

Source: Telia

New U-Linc IoT device protocol could transform hotel stays

U-Linc

U-Linc, a new Internet of Things (IoT) device protocol which has been developed at the University of Surrey’s 5G Innovation Centre, could dramatically improve the experience of staying at a hotel.

One of the key challenges with smart home applications and similar smart device implementations, such as those which could be used in hotels, is that users typically need a different app for each type of technology – e.g. lighting, heating, security, etc., and this leads to a disjointed customer experience.

U-Linc,  a next-generation protocol likened to Bluetooth, allows users to access and control numerous IoT devices from different manufacturers via one interface. When users decide to operate an IoT device via U-Linc, a branded interface is created for that device. Device manufacturers retain control over the customisation.

Professor David Sampson, Vice-Provost of Research and Innovation at the University of Surrey, said: “We are proud that U-Linc was developed here at the University of Surrey’s 5G Innovation Centre. U-Linc is indicative of the forward and enterprising thinking that we encourage our researchers to adopt.  We are excited to see how this product develops in the years to come.”

Hotel of the future

U-Linc’s creators believe the protocol could have applications in a number of industries, including hospitality, potentially enabling hotels to offer unique experiences for each guest as well as the ability to better manage guest access to hotel rooms, areas and facilities.

A number of hotel chains are eyeing the opportunities offered by the IoT. Late last year, Hilton announced its Connected Room concept, noting that the ‘mobile-centric hotel room’ idea was based on the fact that hotel guests have limited time in their rooms. The experience should be seamless and they don’t have time to learn a lot of new technology each time they check in.

Marriott has also launched the IoT Guestroom Lab to explore the hotel room of the future, including responsive IoT systems to personalise the experience and streamline operations.

User-friendly IoT

SAS predicts that the IoT will be worth £81 billion in the UK alone by 2022. As new devices come onto the market and more areas of life become connected, the need for a user-friendly interface will increase. A protocol such as U-Linc could also have applications in retail, smart cities, industrial settings and connected cars.

U-Linc can be used via a software licence or provided embedded within a chip.

Source: Sarah Wray-5g.co.uk

Atos becomes official IoT partner for Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company

  • The Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company (Coca-Cola HBC) to implement the first mass-rollout of Atos Codex Connected Cooler solution
  • A significant number of coolers to be connected globally, with Coca-Cola HBC leading the way
  • This is the first application of Atos Codex for Retail – the Atos service for a fully connected ecosystem in the Retail & Consumer Packaged Goods markets

Atos, a global leader in digital transformation, today announces a new multi-national contract with the Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company (Coca-Cola HBC), one of the world’s largest bottlers for The Coca-Cola Company with operations in 28 countries in Europe, Russia & Nigeria serving approximately 595 million consumers. Under the new contract, Atos will provide end-to-end IoT services for the Coca-Cola HBC Connected Cooler program. The program delivers valuable insight into consumer behavior and retail performance while helping to improve operational efficiency and increase sales revenue.

Turning Connected Cooler data into valuable business insights

Connecting assets, such as in-market cooler placement, is a cornerstone of The Coca-Cola System’s digital business enabling strategy. Coca-Cola HBC, with investment in a fleet of 1.6 million coolers in operation, is leading the way. Coca-Cola HBC is partnering with Atos to rollout the Atos Codex Connected Cooler solution and will have the first 300,000 coolers connected by the end of 2018. This solution will enable Coca-Cola HBC to access huge amounts of point of sale data, including: in store cooler placement and availability, temperature, stock-level, product placement, customer behavior and trends. This end-to-end solution will enable Coca-Cola HBC to connect, collect and manage data from connected coolers across the 28 countries where Coca-Cola Hellenic operates.

Smart coolers also enable proximity interaction with the use of mobile apps, enabling Coca-Cola HBC to engage with customers in real-time. This provides an added value with customized offers and near-me promotions, turning digital engagement into increased product sales.

Atos Codex Connected Cooler is an IoT solution. Using either existing cooler sensors or fitting new ones, the solution establishes secure network connections to a cloud-based IoT platform over which the data can be processed and analyzed. Atos is managing the entire project using Atos Codex IoT technologies and through long-lasting partnerships including those with Microsoft and the domain expert, eBest IoT. The Connected Cooler solution provides flexible, scalable, and secure end-to-end support.

Alain Brouhard, Group Business Solutions & Systems Director and CIO at Coca-Cola Hellenic HBCcomments “By connecting the coolers we are starting our journey towards digitizing the marketplace and establishing a connected environment with our customers and shoppers. Such an environment will allow us to accelerate time-to-market and increase operational efficiency, while at the same time gaining more insightful market analytics to engage better with our consumers.

Peter Pluim, Executive Vice President, Infrastructure and Data Management at Atos says “Using Smart coolers is the first step in this journey towards a fully connected ecosystem. This end-to-end solution will not only enable Coca-Cola HBC to easily manage the data from millions of connected coolers, but also be the foundation in turning  more assets such as shelves and vending machines into IoT devices. In addition, these connected assets will become an important touchpoint for consumer engagement.”

Atos has been working with Coca-Cola HBC for more than 15 years as a strategic IT partner in developing and managing its key IT solutions. Atos is a recognized leader in the IoT market and was recently named as a Leader by the global research and analyst firm NelsonHall in the 2017 NEAT analysis on Internet of Things (IoT) Services.

Source: Atos

Semtech and Ubicquia Light Up the Streets with a Smart Grid LoRa-based IoT Solution

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Ubicquia’s smart street light solutions provide a multitude of advanced functions and Cloud-based analytics

Semtech Corporation , a leading supplier of high performance analog and mixed-signal semiconductors and advanced algorithms, announced that Ubicquia, a company devoted to offering mobile carriers, utility companies and light manufacturers cost-effective and modular solutions for deploying smart city services, has incorporated Semtech’s LoRa® devices and wireless radio frequency technology (LoRa Technology) into its Ubicell streetlight gateway module.

Streetlamps represent a large portion of a city’s allocated energy budget, in some cases reaching upwards of 40%. Studies of energy grids estimate that a smart grid Internet of Things (IoT) solution utilizing sensors, gateways and LED bulbs would provide large financial returns as well as valuable data. Ubicquia’s new LoRa-based gateway module allows the Ubicell streetlight to act as both a gateway and a client maintaining its core functionality that includes advanced light control, utility grade power metering, tilt and vibration sensing, connection to third party sensors and network integration.

“Leveraging our Ubicell streetlight router that is compatible with more than 350 million streetlights worldwide, our Ubicell LoRa-based gateway module is the most cost-effective way to stand up or densify an existing LoRaWAN™ network,” said Ian Aaron, CEO at Ubicquia. “Our new gateway module is designed to meet the growing needs of LoRaWAN service providers and customers who are looking to scale the deployment of LoRa sensors for street lighting, utility metering, garbage collection, or an increase in data traffic from video and audio edge services.”

“Ubicquia provides cities with a reliable, smart grid solution to keep utilities running as efficiently as possible,” said Vivek Mohan, Director of IoT in Semtech’s Wireless and Sensing Products Group. “By leveraging Semtech’s LoRa Technology and smart grid sensor data, Ubicquia changes the way cities handle utility management, and turn streetlights into so much more. LoRa Technology’s long-range, low-power platform and ease of installation make it the solution of choice for city planners and civil engineers everywhere.”

About Semtech’s LoRa® Devices and Wireless RF Technology

Semtech’s LoRa devices and wireless radio frequency technology is a widely adopted long-range, low-power solution for IoT that gives telecom companies, IoT application makers and system integrators the feature set necessary to deploy low-cost, interoperable IoT networks, gateways, sensors, module products, and IoT services worldwide. IoT networks based on the LoRaWAN™ specification have been deployed in over 100 countries and Semtech is a founding member of the LoRa Alliance™, the fastest growing IoT Alliance for Low Power Wide Area Network applications. To learn more about how LoRa enables IoT, visit Semtech’s LoRa site and join the LoRa Community to access free training as well as an online industry catalog showcasing the products you need for building your ideal IoT application.

About Ubicquia

Ubicquia offers municipalities, utilities, broadband service providers and lighting manufacturers a cost-effective and expandable platform for deploying simply connected, simply smart broadband, small cell and smart city services. Our plug and play network has the ability to turn any street light into a multi-function router that supports a growing list of services that include advanced lighting controls, public Wi-Fi, and the connection to 3rd party sensors including air quality monitors and surveillance cameras. To learn more about how Ubicquia can make your city simply connected and simply smart, contact sales@ubicquia.com, or visit the Ubicquia site.

About Semtech

Semtech Corporation is a leading supplier of high performance analog and mixed-signal semiconductors and advanced algorithms for high-end consumer, enterprise computing, communications, and industrial equipment. Products are designed to benefit the engineering community as well as the global community. The Company is dedicated to reducing the impact it, and its products, have on the environment. Internal green programs seek to reduce waste through material and manufacturing control, use of green technology and designing for resource reduction. Publicly traded since 1967, Semtech is listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol SMTC. For more information, visit www.semtech.com.

Soure: Ubicquia/Elizabeth Kolakowski/Business Wire

Ayla Networks Adds Google Cloud Platform (GCP) Support to its IoT Platform

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Ayla’s Device Connectivity and Management Expertise Plus GCP’s Application Enablement Strength Provide a Powerful Option for IoT Product Companies

Ayla Networks, whose Internet of Things (IoT) platform-as-a-service (PaaS) delivers industry-leading device virtualization and management, announced today that it will integrate its IoT platform device connectivity and management technologies to Google Cloud Platform (GCP), delivering a powerful end-to-end IoT solution that enables rapid time to market and business value for companies launching connected products.

“We are excited to work with Ayla to provide companies with the resources needed to succeed when developing connected products,” said Antony Passemard, head of product management for Google Cloud IoT. “Combined with the power of GCP, Ayla’s technology will enable more companies to tap directly into Google Cloud’s renowned application enablement, AI, machine learning and data analytics capabilities to deliver the outcomes that meet their business needs.”

Ayla Solution on GCP Represents a New Option for Companies

Adding access to GCP services strengthens Ayla’s complete connectivity, device management and application enablement solution. Through the combined strengths of GCP and Ayla technologies, companies can:

  • Achieve fast time to market by taking advantage of Ayla’s broad connectivity options and user-friendly device virtualization and management features.
  • Scale connected device deployments securely and with high reliability.
  • Attain rapid time to business value by leveraging Ayla’s flexible data pipeline along with GCP’s powerful application enablement options, both native and partner-based.

“Success in IoT starts with the ability to virtualize any physical device and rapidly connect it with other digital services and virtualized devices,” said David Friedman, CEO of Ayla Networks. “Then, the real value of IoT happens when the data from interconnected devices can be ingested into applications and services able to transform the data in ways that support better decisions and drive business outcomes.”

By integrating with GCP, Ayla will give companies a powerful new option for unlocking the value contained within their connected-device data. The Ayla IoT platform running on GCP is in beta testing with selected customers and expected to be generally available in Q4 2018.

About Ayla Networks

Ayla Networks, a leading provider of digital twinning, device management and application enablement for the Internet of Things (IoT), enables the world’s largest companies to connect and ingest data from nearly any sensor, system and cloud. By leveraging Ayla’s Agile IoT™ platform, customers are able to quickly productize future-proofed, connected products, while making device data usable for ongoing analytic insights and support for advanced business applications. For more information, visit www.aylanetworks.com.

Source: Ayla Networks

Sierra Wireless launches next-generation mangOH Open Source Platform to accelerate Industrial IoT

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Sierra Wireless , the leading provider of fully integrated device-to-cloud solutions for the Internet of Things (IoT), today released alpha samples of its next-generation mangOH® open source hardware platform, inviting the IoT developer community to influence the final product. mangOH Yellow, a “super sensor” for connected IoT, allows developers to measure and monitor virtually anything, with all of the interoperable building blocks needed to rapidly develop and productize low-power Industrial IoT applications.

The award-winning mangOH platform helps developers address many of the challenges that limit their ability to quickly and cost-effectively bring connected cellular LPWA (Cat-M1/LTE-M and NB-IoT) and 2G/3G/4G products to market. mangOH’s open source model, industrial-grade components and extensive ecosystem enable businesses to reduce time to market for Industrial IoT applications by up to one year and cut development costs in half.

“Whether you’re developing IoT applications for a startup or a Fortune 500 company, mangOH gives you a head start to a minimum viable product, right out of the box,” said Ashish Syal, Chief Engineer and mangOH Founder, Sierra Wireless. “Building on the success of mangOH Red and Green, we’re excited to release mangOH Yellow and give the IoT developer community the opportunity to influence the final product.”

Smaller and lighter, mangOH Yellow is targeted at IoT applications where compactness and low-power consumption are essential. The size and mechanical design will allow developers to build standalone and extremely compact proof-of-concepts/prototypes or to incorporate it into existing systems for instant IoT connectivity. Existing mangOH Red and Green and applications developed using the Legato™ open source Linux platform can be easily ported to mangOH Yellow. In addition to cellular connectivity, mangOH Yellow features built-in Bluetooth Mesh and BLE 5, as well as Wi-Fi and NFC. It also includes 14 advanced sensors and actuators on board in an ultra-low-power architecture for long-lasting, mobile, battery-powered applications. mangOH Yellow provides ultimate flexibility and functionality with an IoT connector slot to leverage the more than 15 IoT cards built by members of the collaborative mangOH ecosystem, which are available today.

Sierra Wireless also announced that Jabil, a provider of design, manufacturing, supply chain and product management services, has joined the extensive mangOH ecosystem. Jabil is the lead manufacturing partner for mangOH Red and the next-generation mangOH Yellow.

“mangOH is creating a disruptive opportunity in the IoT space for companies to innovate, and Jabil is pleased to join the ecosystem to help mangOH users cost-effectively take their prototypes to market,” said Rafael Renno, Senior Business Unit Director, Jabil. “We’re not only manufacturing mangOH, we’re also working with several large customers to develop new industrial use cases based on mangOH Red that will revolutionize industries.”

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IoT Technology used to optimize fuel consumption on Russian fishing fleet

  • Solution customized as part of the Orange Business Services managed maritime solutions portfolio
  • Helps to optimize fuel consumption on vessels

Russian fishing fleet operator Dobroflot Group of Companies is set to deploy an IoT solution for fuel monitoring from Orange Business Services. The solution helps to optimize fuel consumption, analyzing weather and vessel position, to save up to ten percent of fuel costs, and also helps to prevent unauthorized fuel usage. The IoT solution takes advantage of a fully-managed satellite solution from Orange Business Services that connects Dobroflot’s vessels and onshore operations.

Russian fishing fleet operator Dobroflot is set to deploy an IoT solution for fuel monitoring from O ...

Russian fishing fleet operator Dobroflot is set to deploy an IoT solution for fuel monitoring from Orange Business Services. Source: Dobroflot

Dobroflot, the leading manufacturer of canned fish in the Far East, will pilot the IoT solution initially on a single vessel before rolling it out across eight vessels in their fleet, including Vsevolod Sibirtsev, the world’s largest floating fish factory. This pilot will enable Dobroflot to accurately monitor fuel consumption online while at sea, as well as during bunkering and refueling. It will help crew to reduce commercial losses by continuously monitoring the vessel’s main engine, its auxiliary diesel generators and boilers.

To develop the customized IoT solution, Orange Business Services teamed up with Technodar, a Russian expert in fuel consumption monitoring systems and satellite transport monitoring. Technodar leverages the highly-accurate Coriolis flow meter technology to measure mass flowing through a pipe. Sensors feed measurements directly to the IoT solution, which sends data back to shore via an onboard VSAT terminal. The solution requires no initial investment from Dobroflot, who will pay only a monthly subscription for the service.

“The savings from Orange Business Services’ IoT solution will have a significant impact on our bottom line, as around half of a vessel’s operating costs are related to fuel. An active IoT system on board our vessels will enable us to collect data in real time and map the most efficient routes,” said Evgeny Stepanov, CTO, Dobroflot.

“We started discussing innovative IoT solutions with Dobroflot after we successfully deployed VSAT satellite terminals across its fleet. We jointly came to the conclusion that Orange Business Services IoT solutions could provide Dobroflot with a suite of tools and applications that could reduce their operating costs, detect inefficiencies and predict when maintenance is needed – whether the vessel is at sea or onshore. This project again demonstrates Orange is a leader in building and managing global IoT solutions,” said Richard Van Wageningen, senior vice president, Indirect, Middle East, Africa and Russia, Orange Business Services.

The pilot implementation will be onboard a refrigerated transport vessel, which is used to navigate the notoriously difficult Northeast passage through the Arctic. Dobroflot is the only Russian fishing company using this route to transport goods to the central part of Russia. Orange Business Services’ fully-managed satellite solution and fuel monitoring system will make the route safer and more efficient for Dobroflot’s vessels.

 

 

Source:  Orange Business Services

 

Aeris & Barnacle Collaborate to Modernize Vehicle Parking Enforcement via IoT

Aeris & Barnacle Collaborate to Modernize Vehicle Parking Enforcement via IoT

Companies unite to help parking managementagencies replace the “boot” with the “Barnacle”.

Aeris, said today it is working with Barnacle Parking Enforcement, a pioneer in parking enforcement technology solutions that makes parking enforcement in communities and on campuses safer, greener, more efficient, and more convenient for everyone.

Aeris is providing an IoT connectivity solution for the Barnacles around the world that streamlines the way parking is enforced.

Barnacle Parking Enforcement unveiled the Barnacle in 2016. The bright yellow, 16-pound device sticks to a vehicle’s windshield using suction cups with more than 1,000 pounds of force. Instead of using a boot to keep a wheel from moving, officers and parking enforcement officials can immobilize a vehicle by placing a Barnacle across its windshield and arming it with a keypad. Vehicle owners can disarm the Barnacle with their phone, paying their fine online or by dialing a toll-free number.

A Barnacle web app is available for parking enforcement officials to manage the IoT-enable devices. The app allows officials to track deployed Barnacles through Aeris’ IoT asset tracking functionality and receive updates about their status, process payments, and run reports on fines collected. The app also includes a worldwide map to track all deployed devices.

The Aeris® IoT Connectivity platform is being used by Barnacle Parking Enforcement to allow parking enforcement officials to streamline the way they monitor the Barnacle and deploy their personnel. The Barnacle also makes being a traffic enforcer safer, freeing officials from lugging around the parking boots, which typically weight 40 to 45 pounds, and putting themselves in a dangerous position to install them.

The Barnacle offers efficiencies across the entire scope of parking enforcement from deployment to retrieval. This results in:

  • Less carbon emissions from tow trucks and deployment vehicles;
  • Small, electric deployment vehicles;
  • Less maintenance needed; and
  • Less storage space necessary, freeing up critical space in cities.

The Aeris IoT Connectivity platform offers many innovative features that let Barnacle Parking Enforcement improve its service delivery and expand its service radius in other markets outside of the U.S.A.

Kevin Dougherty, Co-Founder and CEO, Barnacle Parking Enforcement
“Together with Aeris we are working to make the necessary process of parking enforcement more efficient and convenient for everyone involved, including the motorist. The Aeris IoT Connectivity platform provides us cost-effective global IoT connectivity for all deployed Barnacles around the world.”

Erica Glavnik, Campus Safety Supervisor, Corban University

“We absolutely love this technology. The efficiency and convenience the Barnacle provides our enforcement program has been beneficial for both our students and Safety team members. The real-time tracking and alerts allow us to deploy the device while not worrying if a student is circumnavigating the vehicle lockdown.”

Christina Richards, Vice President of Global Marketing, Aeris
“Aeris is an Internet of Things industry leader. Through our work with Barnacle Parking Enforcement, we can present them the opportunity to easily track and deploy Barnacle devices enabled by Aeris. The Aeris IoT Connectivity platform is built for IoT and has been globally tested at scale. For more than a decade, we have unlocked IoT value for businesses and look forward to helping Barnacle be the preeminent provider of parking enforcement.”

Soure: IoT Business News

Atlas Copco selects Sierra Wireless’ device-to-cloud IoT solution to transform industrial compressor business

  FX30 Programmable IoT Gateway with Legato® open source Linux software and AirVantage® IoT platform enable Atlas Copco to rapidly develop and deploy Industrial IoT applications globally

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Sierra Wireless,  the leading provider of fully integrated device-to-cloud solutions for the Internet of Things (IoT), today announced that Atlas Copco, a world-leading provider of sustainable productivity solutions, has selected Sierra Wireless’ device-to-cloud IoT solution to transform its industrial compressor business.

Atlas Copco is expanding its customer service capabilities by deploying IoT applications at the network edge. The machine data collected allows Atlas Copco to provide preventive maintenance, which gives local service teams the ability to deliver the right spare part at the right time for faster fault resolution, saving costs associated with breakdowns and production loss. It also empowers its customers to manage energy usage efficiently and further increases product reliability.

Atlas Copco chose Sierra Wireless’ device-to-cloud solution, comprised of FX30 programmable IoT gateways and the Legato® open source Linux platform tightly integrated with AirVantage®, to quickly develop, deploy and scale its SmartBox solution as a worldwide IoT service focused on customer success.

“The Internet of Things is transforming businesses across all industries worldwide, and Atlas Copco is a leading innovator,” said Jason Krause, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Enterprise Solutions for Sierra Wireless. “With Sierra Wireless’ device-to-cloud solution, Atlas Copco was able to increase its industrial machine intelligence, productivity and efficiency by deploying custom applications at the edge, leveraging data to develop new business models.”

Sierra Wireless’ device-to-cloud solution provides data collection and delivery, device management, embedded application lifecycle management and best-in-class interoperability, allowing Atlas Copco to securely and reliably push business data from their connected assets to their enterprise systems. Edge processing applications were developed in a secure sandbox using the Legato open source Linux platform.

The FX30 programmable IoT gateway is the industry’s smallest, most flexible and rugged programmable cellular gateway. Customers can accelerate time to market by up to three years using the FX30, compared to building their own “point” solution with a basic cloud management platform and embedded software stack developed in-house. It provides a pre-certified, integrated embedded platform to connect any machine to any IoT application or cloud, with Legato open source Linux-based programmability and 2G, 3G and LTE connectivity to manage any type of machine. It supports Sierra Wireless’ multi-operator Smart SIM, which delivers best-in-class coverage and superior data service quality. Future releases will also support the GSMA eUICC specification for remote provisioning, allowing subscriptions to be remotely updated over-the-air. Entire fleets of FX30s can be monitored, managed and controlled remotely through AirVantage.

Offering unparalleled flexibility for many different applications, the FX30 programmable IoT gateway is available in both Ethernet and Serial variants, and it supports an IoT Connector to enable hardware extensions to interface with an unlimited range of sensors and wired and wireless networks. It offers best-in-class low power consumption, consuming less than 1W in idle mode and 2mW in ultra-low power mode, making it ideal for solar and battery-powered applications. Security features include support for the Lightweight M2M protocol and pre-shared key encryption.

Co-Star distribute the full range of Sierra Wireless IoT Gateway’s.

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?

Coverage

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.

Security

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.

Bandwidth

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