Explaining the Role to WiFi in IoT

Catalina Joseph, Telecom Tech Outlook | Friday, February 26, 2021

WiFi has the advantage of addressing a wide range of profiles due to the proliferation of its family of standards. This means that it can play a pivotal role in most IoT settings, either alone, or interactively with more specialised protocols or cellularly.

FREMONT, CA: The movement to promote a variety of networking on a shared platform is not limited to the wireless broadband. As the Internet of Things (IoT) speeds up, there will be a much higher demand for machine-to-machine (M2M) links, many of them wireless. These will have an even greater range of performance criteria, representing the large number of different use cases that may exist under the IoT umbrella.

WiFi

WiFi has the advantage of addressing a wide range of profiles due to the proliferation of its family of standards. This means that it can play a role in most IoT settings, either alone or interactively with more specialised protocols or cellularly. Some IoT applications, such as vehicle services or video-based applications such as connected security cameras, may need the bandwidth of the wireless broadband network to be introduced to allow other requirements such as low latency.

WiFi is ideally positioned to serve broadband and narrowband IoT applications from a common interface that can run at varying levels of power consumption and signal range. The next version of 5G standards, Release 16, will emphasize IoT-focused features such as latency below four milliseconds and very high availability to serve emerging cases in the URLLC (ultra-reliable low latency) group.

LPWAN

Low-power wide-area network (LPWAN) connections are an especially interesting example of the need for multiple IoT technologies, potentially with WiFi, most typically installed in networks and computers, as a unifying link. This is the key field, along with well-established WPAN standards, where non-WiFi technologies operate on a scale in an unlicensed spectrum. WiFi and LoRaWAN are two of the most advanced unlicensed technologies and together, they solve a significant proportion of cases of IoT use. Approaches to these innovations disrupt private-public business models and also encourage involvement in the success of 5G. The WBA and the LoRa Alliance have released a joint white paper to show how these two widely applied IoT Networking technologies can be used in tandem to efficiently serve a wide range of applications.

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