Cellular IoT as a New Tech Entrant

Telecom Tech Outlook | Tuesday, May 21, 2019

IoT FREMONT, CA: In addition to the growing need for connected devices, the demand for the Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity continues to grow. Under Ericsson (2018), more than 3.5 billion cellular IoT devices will become a significant communications enabler for IoT by 2023. Because 4G was the smartphone era, we expect that 5G will be the IoT era. The launch of networked technologies like LTE-based IoT and NB-IoT, C-V2X and the welcome drive by Ericsson to further develop the technology to help meet the growing demands of consumers and businesses have led to a remarkable increase in IoT technologic ability over the recent years.

LTE-based IoT products have several advantages compared to standard 3G and 4G equipment such as longer battery life, lower costs, and improved coverage.   Battery life is increased if devices can transmit with significantly lower power in an enhanced signal environment.  When the solution uses an existing carrier network, the total cost of wireless is improved, rather than using your IT department.  Cellular IoT is not to say the most cost-effective for every deployment.

Improved coverage is mainly given by a much better link budget, which is an essential measure for calculating power. Link budget calculates the energy received by the recipient and the revenue and losses during the journey. It shows how weak the signal can still be from the tower to the device. But LTE-based IoT devices continue to be subject to the same in-house mobile signal penetration and coverage challenges for any mobile user within the building, despite the improving link budgets and broader coverage areas.

A good and reliable cellular coverage should be available throughout a building to take advantage of LTE-based IoT. Indeed, some service needs to be available to the exterior of the building to collect the signal from the antenna. Several IoT network technologies have a mesh capacity, which allows a 'perl-string' approach to coverage. Every network node is both a sensor and a gateway to other devices in this model.

As the market is growing, costs are plummeting, both for equipment and the facility of installation, and this makes these systems a desirable IoT solution for many industries and applications, like gas sites, law enforcement, and public security.