As the world of the Internet of Things (IoT) grows exponentially, so does the demand for fast and reliable connectivity. However, not all networks are created equal, and some are being phased out as technology evolves. How do you know which network is best for your IoT device?
If you rely on 2G or PSDN, connectivity to your devices will end in 2025, so exploring the pros and cons of different networks, from 2G to 5G, and how they affect IoT devices will be vital for your organisation.
Also, looking into the challenges and opportunities of technology sunsetting, and how LTE is emerging as an alternative for next-generation IoT devices.
The Old Reliable 2G has been around for 25 years, and it is still widely used for IoT devices that require low data rates and long battery life. 2G is ideal for applications such as alarm systems, vending machines, and smart meters. However, 2G is also facing its end, as some equipment manufacturers no longer support it, and some operators plan to shut it down in the near future. This poses a problem for utility companies and others that rely on 2G for their IoT devices.
The High-Speed Performer 4G is the current standard for mobile broadband, offering high-speed data transfer capabilities and low latency. 4G is ideal for applications that require high bandwidth and real-time communication, such as video cameras, remote medical monitoring systems, and autonomous vehicles. However, 4G also has its limitations, such as high-power consumption, high complexity, and limited coverage in rural areas.
The Future of Connectivity 5G is the next generation of mobile technology, promising faster speeds, lower latency, and greater capacity than its predecessors. 5G is expected to enable new applications and use cases for IoT devices, such as virtual reality, augmented reality, smart cities, and industrial IoT. However, 5G is still in its infancy, and widespread adoption may take some time. 5G also requires new infrastructure, new spectrum, and new devices to support it.
The Viable Alternative LTE stands for Long Term Evolution, and it is a subset of 4G technology that offers high-speed data transmission over long distances. LTE is emerging as a viable alternative for IoT devices that need reliable connectivity but do not require the full capabilities of 4G or 5G. LTE has multiple categories of devices, each with different bandwidths, power requirements, and complexities. For example:
This category of LTE devices is designed for low-power, sporadic data sending applications, such as smart meters, sensors, and trackers. Cat NB1 has a low bandwidth of 200 kHz and a maximum data rate of 250 kbps.
This category of LTE devices is designed for medium-power, medium-data applications, such as wearables, health monitors, and smart home devices. Cat M1 has a wider bandwidth of 1.4 MHz and a maximum data rate of 1 Mbps.
This category of LTE devices is designed for high-power, high-data applications, such as video streaming, security cameras, and drones. Cat M2 has a bandwidth of up to 20 MHz and a maximum data rate of up to 150 Mbps.
Choosing the right network for your IoT device depends on your specific needs and preferences. However, as technology evolves, older networks are being phased out, creating a challenge for IoT developers and providers. LTE is emerging as an alternative for next-generation IoT devices that need reliable connectivity over long distances.
To download our guide on how to navigate the impending sunset of 2G technology and find the right connectivity solution for the right applications, click the link below: