Wireless technology plays a significant role in enabling the Internet of Things (IoT), revolutionizing various sectors such as oil and gas, infrastructure, and mining. It empowers oil and gas companies to gain real-time insights into drilling performance, aids engineers in upholding the structural integrity of bridges, and forms an integral part of monitoring systems in mines and quarries.
As these applications continue to transform the way we live and work, it becomes crucial for companies to carefully consider the selection of a sensor network based on IoT. With that in mind, let’s delve into the analysis of three leading technologies that fuel IoT systems worldwide: NarrowBand, SigFox, and LoRa.
Each of these technologies brings unique advantages that cater to different IoT requirements. NarrowBand offers efficient wireless solutions with low power consumption, making it ideal for smart IoT applications. SigFox, on the other hand, provides a robust infrastructure that facilitates extensive monitoring systems across various industries. Lastly, LoRa offers long-range capabilities and high connectivity, making it a reliable choice for seamless IoT technologies.
By carefully evaluating and understanding these wireless technologies for IoT, companies can make informed decisions regarding the best-suited technology for their specific applications. In the following sections, we will explore each of these technologies in greater detail, shedding light on their features, benefits, and potential applications within the IoT landscape.
1. NarrowBand IoT
In the past, IoT devices faced challenges due to the lack of a dedicated network infrastructure to meet their specific needs. However, the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) has developed Narrowband, a networking solution designed specifically for wireless devices in specialized Internet of Things setups. Operating as a low-power wide area network (LPWA) standard, Narrowband effectively caters to devices with low data transmission and power requirements but that still require consistent connectivity. Applications for this technology could range from power meters to body implants used for monitoring fitness levels.
One significant advantage of Narrowband is its ability to support widely dispersed networks, potentially leading to significant cost reductions when setting up sensor arrays and other data processing systems.
Furthermore, Narrowband offers an upgrade in terms of security compared to previous LPWA solutions. By being based on a licensed mobile frequency, it can integrate authentication and data integrity systems designed to protect against cyber-attacks and other potential breaches.
Ideal for low-data, low-energy applications, Narrowband represents a breakthrough in wireless technology for IoT, enabling the development of smarter IoT applications and efficient IoT monitoring systems while minimizing power consumption. Its wireless solutions provide reliable and secure connectivity, making it a pivotal technology in the advancement of IoT technologies.
Sigfox is probably the most successful commercial application of NarrowBand technology. Founded in France in 2009, the company offers off-the-shelf wireless networking solutions, which minimize the need for computing power and deliver the benefits we noted earlier.
For instance, it features a specially developed lightweight network protocol, which has been adapted for the needs of the IoT. The protocol can easily handle small messages while requiring minimal data transmission.
It also uses NarrowBand in the 200 kHz frequency range, sending 100 Hz wide messages that can travel long distances without becoming corrupted. So, these messages are getting carried by standard mobile phone networks, and the signals can penetrate thick walls or even underground if required.
Moreover, there is no need for base stations and routers needed in old networks. Instead, everything can be handled in the Cloud or via a standard mobile phone frequency.
These properties make it a valuable tool for all kinds of applications, from monitoring the structural integrity of office blocks to arrays of temperature sensors in power stations.
All over the world, LoRa (or Long Range) has become the foundation of LPWA networks. It is designed specifically to cater to wireless communications needs, and it delivers incredibly long-range connectivity (as much as 100km) and handles very low power throughputs – ideal for the Internet of Things.
With this technology, users can assemble dispersed networks of devices and connect all of them to the Cloud. By reducing energy needs to an absolute minimum, LoRa also suits battery-operated sensors, allowing them to function effectively over long periods.
Devices connected to LoRa can be tracked via GPS, come with AES encryption to enhance security, and enable extremely complex operations via high-capacity base stations. However, unlike SigFox, LoRa does require base stations and servers, so there may be higher overheads and technical limitations.
Let Next Industries advise on the right Internet of Things solution.
All of these technologies can be used in assembling sensor arrays and data transmission systems. And the applications are infinite. Whether you work in the energy sector, water treatment, or civil engineering, the Internet of Things could be transformative.
In conclusion, Next Industries has the expertise to help you create the ideal configuration. Get in touch or download our free technical guides hence we can help you realize the potential of this exciting technology.