Wireless Communications for Monitoring and Control IoT Markets

With the growing markets and hype around the Internet of Things (IoT) a number of companies have brought out wireless modular products to meet the demand for telemetry networks. With no clear standards or leaders, these companies have tried to design the winning technology and most universal platform that system companies will adopt and use to build their next generation IoT wireless monitoring systems. Some designs started from scratch (eg Lora system by Semtech) , others took standards based system such as Zigbee (Digi International, Synapse Wireless) and Bluetooth (Cambridge Silicon Radio) and adapted the technology to support features such as peer to peer and mesh communications.

While not standards based (except to maintain FCC certification at the PHY layer), each solution has demonstrated benefits in certain markets and segments, however to date none have emerged as a new all encompassing standard for the broadly defined IoT market. And it’s unlikely they ever will The market is too fragmented, not just by variable distance and speeds but also size, weight, power consumption and form factor. Add in the cost constraints and designing a single wireless platform that can achieve the maximum benefits across multiple segments is a challenge.

Part of the problem is that it’s not just the client or Remote Terminal Unit (RTU) that is being added to measure a sensor for example, it’s the infrastructure as well. Hence some market segments migrating towards existing standards based infrastructure such as cellular or WiFi for their solutions. For WiFi the company will likely have already deployed a campus wide network and there’s also the familiarity factor too, particularly for an IT group that may be tasked with deployment and maintenance.

Leave a Reply