IoT technologies

DESIGNING a state of the art INTERNET OF OBJECTS NETWORK 

ICS telecom EV supports all IoT technologies and proprietary standards currently available. Advanced IoT features include:

  • Automated site planning
  • Automated cell optimization
  • Mesh network clustering
  • Traffic & mobility profile editor for end devices
  • Gateway/Hube/e-nodeB setting parameters -duty cycle, power, bandwidth, antenna
  • Traffic modelling – aggregated traffic with related QoS and reliability targets
  • IoT DL/UL link budgets
  • Coverage, interference, capacity and reliability analysis
  • Geolocation analysis

IoT networks and services are very different from classical radiocommunication networks in many ways, particularly from a planning perspective. ICS telecom EV facilitates:

  • Radio network planning
  • Interactive 3D city models and urban information
  • IoT application platforms and cloud-based solutions
  • Services for integrators, operators and public entities including business & technical consulting
  • Accurate deterministic propagation models adapted to IoT standards – LPWAN, IEEE 802.15.4, 3GPP
  • Intuitive software interface supporting ease of use
The value and applications of IoT wireless network for industries and everyday life

With the rapid development of communication technologies, the Internet of things (featuring the automatic  collection of data through a wireless network of sensors or actuators and their analysis) is an essential element of technology growth.

Most experts predict an explosion of connected devices by 2020, with an estimated 26 billion devices according to Gartner, 50 billion according to Cisco and up to 80 billion by IDATE. Connected devices will be integrated into every aspect of our lives. 

IoT creates limitless opportunities for market developments and growth, for example:

  • Smart cities; to improve water and energy distribution or metering, maintenance of public transport services, improving road safety and real-time information on public transport
  • Industry; by enabling cognitive maintenance and improving productivity for all types of machine or engines
  • E-health: improve the treatment of chronic diseases, particularly heart failure or diabetes
  • Connected vehicles; aiming to reduce road mortality by 15% by shrinking the detection time of accidents thanks to EU e-call services 
  • M2M; improving services such as logistics, security, payment terminals and agriculture.

The first goal is to secure the connectivity of a massive number of objects by ensuring network availability across a given territory or continent as needed. To understand whether the object is located indoor or outdoor, in a static position or on the move with a quality of service grade (in terms of packet loss or latency, uplink / downlink speed) according to the class of data: critical or not, real-time or only for trend analysis, etc.

Radio technologies and frequency bands for IoT networks

Currently a number wireless technologies are available for the transmission of data over long distances. Some LPWAN technologies are proprietary and others are standardized by 3GPP.

  • Classical cellular networks (3GPP): 2G, 3G, 4G – most of which are deployed on frequencies under exclusive authorization
  • GSM SMS has been mostly implemented so far for M2M applications
  • Proprietary low power wide-area network (LPWAN): LoRa (up to 34.8Kbps, 500KHz bandwidth required and base station offering up to 45km range) , Sigfox (up to 100bps in DL – 600 bps in UL, 100Hz bandwidth and base stations offering up to 50km ranges), Qowisio, Ingenu, Weightless-N, Wireless M-BUS – using proprietary ultra-narrow band for Sigfox or spread spectrum technologies for LoRa that offer the possibilities to significantly reduce the number of base stations (downsize factor of 1000), reduce component costs, network OPEX and extend battery life.
  • 3GPP LPWAN solutions that require a software version upgrade from existing operator mobile network to enable inter-operability:
    • Enhanced machine-type communication (eMTC) with a “category 0” and “category 1” modem defined in the 3GPP Release 12 and 13 with the objective to reduced component costs below $10, extended coverage (maximum coupling loss of >156dB), narrowband operation with 1.08Mhz bandwidth requirement and reduced network complexity: transmission speed from 10Kbps to 1Mbps, no spatial multiplexing (i.e. w/o MIMO), no transmission and reception in parallel (Half duplex), objective of battery life of 10 years thanks to Power Saving Mode or Extended DRX cycle.
    • NB-IoT: new radio added to the LTE platform optimized for the low end of the market
    • Extended Coverage (EC) – GSM: EGPRS enhancements which in combination with PSM makes GSM/EDGE markets prepared for IoT
  • Satellite-based solutions currently deployed (e.g. Inmarsat, Iridium, GlobalStar) or in the process of being deployed (eg O3b, OneWeb) operating in the frequency band subject to prior authorization

While classical or 3GPP technologies rely on licensed frequency bands (700Mhz, 800Mhz, 900Mhz, 1800Mhz, 2600Mhz), proprietary LPWAN technologies are using free access bands such as 868Mhz. While these band do not feature access cost, operators should  respect power levels (between 25mW and 500mW) and spectrum occupancy.

Key parameters to consider when designing an IoT network

In environments where it’s difficult to predict which wireless technology will prevail, a network planner needs to consider multiple network models and understand customer expectations in terms of quality of service. It is essential for  consultants, equipment suppliers, network operators or private companies to be able to accurately plan or evaluate the deployment of wireless technologies and/or the impact of spectrum usage on others spectrum stakeholders.

Deploying a successful IoT radio network means being able to take into account a wide variety of parameters, some specific to IoT radio environment such as:

  • Modelling the network in dense urban environment and high-rise buildings, and being able to evaluate the signal strength, even in indoor locations, since this is where connected objected could be anchored
  • Evaluating the impact of a large number of devices and messages
  • Overcoming the random transmission nature of IoT technologies
  • Taking into account the regulatory requirements such as maximum power and spectrum occupancy
  • Evaluating the potential interference from adjacent bands/technologies
How ATDI solution guarantees your network offers the desired coverage and IoT connectivity

ICS telecom EV predicts with  unmatched precision, the effective coverage of base stations and incorporates the relevant standards and wireless radio IoT technologies: 3GPP GSM, UMTS, LTE, NB-IoT, LTE-M, EC-GSM, and upcoming 5G,LPWAN LoRaWAN, Sigfox, Qowisio, Ingenu, Weightless-N, IEEE 802.15.4 etc, broadcast, microwave, satellite, and PMR.

ATDI relies on the highest available resolution cartography for their solution. Ting into account 3D urban, suburban and rural environments, it integrates in its software nearly three decades of experience on over 50 propagation models. These models are continuously tested against real-radio measurements to evaluate the attenuation effects and carry out coverage analysis. Central to this competence is the ability to input a myriad of variables to support massive calculation processing for classical operations such as simulating automatically coverage according to parameters, and for the most complex scenarios ranging from few kHz to 350GHz.

ATDI methodology and expertise offers the highest degree of accuracy and precision that others technologies cannot achieve thanks to a 3D map-based deterministic propagation model to fulfill all VHF/UHF/SHF/EHF requirements at the same time: line of sight, diffraction, subpath, troposcattering, ducting, absorption, diffution and partial specular reflections, scintillation, rain, snow, and fog, all valid for mixed indoor / outdoor studies.

Beyond the traditional capabilities of radio network planning & optimization, the ATDI solution is shaped to address the specific needs of IoT network design. It features:

  • Prospective planning for automatic site searching and selection
  • Site candidate and site optimization
  • Cluster planning function for meshed network scenarios
  • Dedicated Gateway/Hubs/e-nodeB parameter settings – power, bandwidth, duty cycle, antenna patterns
  • Traffic modelling – aggregated traffic with related QoS and reliability targets
  • Hopping design to minimize latency
  • Traffic and mobility profile editor for end devices
  • IoT downlink / uplink link budget
  • Coverage, interference, capacity and reliability analysis, macro diversity, automatic frequency assignment
  • Geolocation analysis
Designing an IoT mesh network to raise network availability

Challenge

A mesh network architecture can continuously maintain connectivity between a set of IoT sensors and gateways/hubs. It offers the advantage of scalability and flexibility which suits IoT networks. The radio planning of mesh networks should include the dimensioning of the mesh node in order to achieve the coverage requirements, as well as the ability to analyze the links between the nodes to optimize dynamic routing that guarantee minimum latency levels and permit the development of  back-hauling for gateways.

 

Solution

The cluster assignment functionality performs a clustering connections between the different IoT devices, incorporating constraints such as the distance between two linked devices, the maximum number of devices per station and per cluster. The connections between two subscribers will be made if the power received is greater than the predefined threshold.

Parenting between subscribers/clusters and Gateways can be performed by the parenting function, which is limited to the maximum number of devices allowed. In order to check how many hops are required for each subscriber to reach a Gateway, there is the hopping report function.

Finally ICS telecom EV offers a prospective planning function which adds additional repeater nodes to ensure connectivity for all devices that cannot be directly connected to a gateway.

Designing a Smart City Narrow Band IoT network that cater various user requirements

Challenge

NB-IoT networks ideally provide coverage for different use cases, featuring different requirements and challenges.

A radio network planner should consider the following:
– Impact of indoor vs outdoor
– Traffic model
– Battery life.

During network deployment, most of the candidate sites are likely to be selected from a list of pre-defined friendly sites (2G, 3G or LTE existing sites. The task of the radio planner will be to find the best candidates and densifying the network. In this case the main network design goal will be to determine the required number of sites and their location to achieve the target coverage and throughput for different types of subscribers.

 

Solution

To model a use case such as smart metering in deep indoor areas, the ATDI platform Subscriber functions can be used, with additional losses in subscriber parameters. ATDI platform Prospective planning function allows to find the best locations for new sites in case of greenfield and densification scenarios. This function is based on coverage target assumption. Parenting function is based on a population of IoT devices (profiles in term of traffic can be defined by user). This function takes into account DL/UL coverage criteria and traffic assumption. Automatic site searching function will automatically perform the NB-IoT network design taking into consideration the RSRP threshold requirement.

Designing a Lora Network in an unlicensed frequency band

Challenge

Whether LoRa or NB wireless system – there are RF limitations inherent with each use-case.

M2M communication networks are P-MP in nature with sensors installed at different floors including the basement. These requirements push network planners to adopt 3D digital maps and apply path-specific full deterministic propagation models. LoRa supports multiple spreading factors from six to 12, with 12 being the most robust but also the longest in terms of air-time occupancy.

Network dimensioning relies on accurate signal level prediction to work out the SF distribution among target end-points. A GPS-free LoRaWAN geo-location device should be covered by at least 3 gateways to make a time difference of arrival (TDOA) calculation on the received LoRa signal and to calculate the position.

 

Solution

ICS telecom features a set of full 3D and deterministic propagation models, proven in case-studies and validated by field measurements for urban/suburban/rural environment. These models are described as path-specific, unlike the classical models such as Extended Hata, which are typically used for macro-coverage predictions and street level mobile receivers. The ATDI platform provides a SF distribution map based on SINR calculations for link adaptation analysis and target air-time thresholds. Network analysis functions provide instruments to analyze zones with more than threes gateways for providing geolocation services in LoRaWAN network.

Below are the technologies supported by ATDI software:

NB-IoT
  • IoT technology: NB-IoT
  • Standard: 3GPP – Rel.13
  • Frequency (MHz): Licensed
  • Range (m): Up to 11Km
  • Topology: Star
  • Requires hub or gateway: No
  • Alliance: 3GPP

NB-IoT has been created to satisfy a plethora of use cases and combination of requirements. Specifically, NB-IoT targets are at the low-end  of the massive MTC scenario with the following requirements: Less than $5 module cost, extended coverage of 164 dB maximum coupling loss, battery life of over 10 years, ~55000 devices per cell and uplink reporting latency of less than 10 seconds.

NB-IoT supports half duplex FDD operational mode with 60 kbps peak rate in uplink and 30 kbps peak rate in downlink. The highest modulation scheme is QPSK for both uplink and downlink.

As the name suggests, NB-IoT uses narrowbands with the bandwidth of 180 kHz in both downlink and uplink. The multiple access scheme used in the downlink is OFDMA with 15 kHz sub-carrier spacing.

The uplink multi-tone SC- FDMA is used with 15 kHz tone spacing or as a special case of SC-FDMA single tone with either 15kHz or 3.75 kHz tone spacing may be used. These schemes have been selected to reduce the User Equipment (UE) complexity. NB-IoT can be deployed in three ways: – In-band deployment means that the narrowband is multiplexed within normal LTE carrier.
– In guardband deployment the narrowband uses unused resource blocks between two adjacent LTE carriers.
– Standalone deployment is supported where the narrowband can be located alone in dedicated spectrum, which makes it possible for example to refarm the GSM carrier at 850/900 MHz for NB-IoT.

All three deployment modes are meant to be used in licensed bands.

The maximum transmission power is either 20 or 23 dBm for uplink transmissions, while for downlink transmission the eNodeB may use higher transmission power, up to 46 dBm depending on the deployment.

LoRaWAN
  • IoT technology: LoRaWAN
  • Standard: LPWAN
  • Frequency (MHz):
    150MHz-1GHz (lots of options)
  • Range (m): Up to 15Km
  • Topology: Star
  • Requires hub or gateway: Yes
  • Alliance: LoRaWAN alliance

LoRaWAN focuses on using LPWAN technology for IoT devices. LoRa uses spread-spectrum technology that lets the LoRa chip decide the best spectrum to use for data rates, interference and battery life.

LoRaWAN has been readily adopted and deployed, with multiple vendors selling proven LoRa hardware, in part due to the inexpensive nature of the technology. 

 

Sigfox
  • IoT technology: Sigfox
  • Standard: LPWAN
  • Frequency (MHz):
    900MHz (US) – 868 MHz (EU)
  • Range (m): Up to 15Km
  • Topology: Star
  • Requires hub or gateway: Yes
  • Alliance: Proprietary

Sigfox uses ulta-narrow band (UNB) radio technology and operates in the unlicensed bands (ISM). Radio messages handled by the Sigfox network are small (12-bytes payload in uplink, 8 bytes in uplink) thanks to the lightweight protocol. Sigfox uses 200 kHz of the publicly available and unlicensed bands to exchange radio messages over the air (868 to 869 MHz and 902 to 928 MHz depending on regions).

Sigfox uses ultra-narrow band (UNB) technology combined with DBPSK and GFSK modulation. Each message is 100 Hz wide and transferred at 100 or 600 bits per second data rate, depending on the region. The transmission is not synchronized between the device and the network.

The device broadcasts each message three times on three different frequencies (frequency hopping). The base stations monitors the spectrum and look sfor UNB signals to demodulate. 

LTE Cat-M1
  • IoT technology: LTE Cat-M1
  • Standard: 3GPP – Rel.13
  • Frequency (MHz): 1,4MHz
  • Range (m): Up to 11Km
  • Topology: Star
  • Requires hub or gateway: No
  • Alliance: 3GPP

This technology should be deployable on existing LTE networks without the need for hardware upgrades. This was demonstrated by Verizon and AT&T who covered most of the US with LTE M1 with just a software upgrade.

M1 has a high data rate but devices are capable of sleeping to reduce power. The power consumption is still an unknown but industry will be watching this technology closely.

Presented as a major threat to LoRa and SigFox, M1 requires the installation of new radio towers to deploy coverage. It could be a very good choice for products that target large areas like nations, states or cities.

ISA 100.11a
  • IoT technology: ISA 100.11a
  • Standard: IEEE 802.15.4
  • Frequency (MHz): 2.4 GHz
    ISM band
  • Range (m): Up to 100-200m
  • Topology: “All-in-One” Topo., Distributed, Multiple Gateways
  • Requires hub or gateway: Yes
  • Alliance: International Society of Automation (ISA)

This ISA standard is intended to provide reliable and secure wireless operations for non-critical monitoring, alerting, supervisory control, open loop control and closed loop control applications.

It defines the protocol suite, system management, gateway and security specifications for low-data-rate wireless connectivity with fixed, portable and moving devices supporting very limited power consumption requirements.

The application focus is to address the performance needs of applications such as monitoring and process control where latencies of 100 ms can be tolerated, with optional behavior for shorter latency.

SmartMesh - WirelessHART
  • IoT technology: SmartMesh WirelessHART (IEEE 802.15.4 )
  • Standard: IEEE 802.15.4
  • Frequency (MHz): 2.4 GHz
    ISM band
  • Range (m): Around 225m
  • Topology: Mesh topology
  • Requires hub or gateway: Yes
  • Alliance: none

WirelessHART is designed for the industrial environments where power, reliability, resilience and scalability are low key, making it well suited for general industrial applications as well as WirelessHART-specific designs.

EnOcean
  • IoT technology: EnOcean
  • Standard: n/a
  • Frequency (MHz): 
    – 868 MHz according to R&TTE regulation EN 300220
    – 902 MHz according to FCC/IC-specification
    – 928 MHz according to ARIB specification
  • Range (m): Up to 30m in buildings and 300m in free field
  • Topology: Mesh topology
  • Requires hub or gateway: Yes
  • Alliance: EnOcean Alliance

Operating battery-free devices can improve hardware life cycles. On first inspection this appears to be a very interesting technology, as yet we haven’t had a chance to play with it but will continue to follow the company closely.

EnOcean can be prototyped with a raspberry pi which lowers development costs.

EnOcean is a good technology choice for products targetting commercial buildings with an aim of reducing maintenance costs.

Z-Wave
  • IoT technology: Z-Wave
  • Standard: Z-Wave technology
  • Frequency (MHz): 
    – 865.2 MHz (India)
    – 868.1 MHz (Malaysia)
    – 868,42-869,65MHz (EU)
    – 868,4 MHz (China/Korea)
    – 869MHz (Russia)
    – 908.4-916MHz (US)
    – 919,8MHz (Honk-Kong)
    – 921,4-919,8MHz (Australia)
    – 922.0-926.0 MHz (Japan)
  • Range (m): From 30 to 200m
  • Topology: Mesh topology
  • Requires hub or gateway: Yes
  • Alliance: Z-Wave Alliance

Z-Wave uses a low-power, wireless radio embedded or retrofitted into home electronics and appliances, such as lighting, access control, entertainment systems, HVAC and refrigerators, remote controls, smoke alarms and intrusion sensors.

Z-Wave operates in the sub-GHz frequency range at 900 MHz. Each Z-Wave network may include up to 232 nodes and consists of two sets of nodes: controllers and slave devices. Nodes may be configured to retransmit the message in order to guarantee connectivity in a multipath environment inside a residential house.

Each Z-Wave network is identified by a network ID, and each device is further identified by a node ID. Nodes with different network IDs cannot communicate with one another. Each node (device) in the mesh networks can relay messages using a routing technique.

When a node cannot be reached by the controller, the message is relayed through an intermediate node. The illustration below shows that when there are too many obstacles between the master bedroom toilet switch (node B) to the Z-Wave controller (node X), the control signal could flow through the master bedroom light switch (node C).

6LoWPAN
  • IoT technology: 6LoWPAN
  • Standard: IEEE 802.15.4
  • Frequency (MHz): 
    2.4 GHz – ISM band
  • Range (m): Up to 120m
  • Topology: Mesh topology
  • Requires hub or gateway: Yes
  • Alliance: IEEE

6LoWPAN is an acronym of IPv6 over low power wireless personal area networks. 6LoWPAN is a low-power wireless mesh network where every node has its own IPv6 address, allowing it to connect directly to the Internet using open standards.

6LoWPAN is a promising alternative to other mesh network technologies because it’s based on IPV6 addressing – meaning it’s relatively simple for 6LoWPAN devices to communicate with other IoT networks by building a bridge.

For example, a 6LoWPAN to WiFi bridge is simpler to produce and operate than a Zigbee hub. In theory, the 6LoWPAN devices would have almost direct access to the WiFi devices. 6LoWPAN is another standard that’s great for specific applications.

We recommend it for products targeted at the home or commercial buildings that need to communicate with other products or systems.

Weightless (W)
  • IoT technology: Weightless (W)
  • Standard: LPWAN
  • Frequency (MHz): 
    White-Spaces, 740-790MHz
  • Range (m): Up to 5km
  • Topology: Star
  • Requires hub or gateway: Yes
  • Alliance: Weightless SIG
    Board Members

Weightless-W is an open standard which is designed to operate in TV white space (TVWS) spectrum. The rules and regulations for utilizing TVWS for IoT vary, and is not available everywhere.

The end nodes are typically designed to operate only in a small part of the spectrum which means that it is simply impossible to build a small antenna which can operate from 400 MHz to 800 MHz. In one city you might have a 500 MHz channel available, while in another you might have a 700 MHz one. The RF system cannot adapt to accommodate both of these (antennas, front ends, etc.).

While TVWS sounds good in theory, it lacks practicality when comes to application. TVWS aside, the Weightless group uses sophisticated modulation for the Weightless-W standard, including quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM), with spreading codes that allow for a large range of link budgets.

Together, these modulations provide an interesting service layer with high data rates, which makes it an interesting standard. Weightless-W is ideal for use in the smart oil and gas sector, because TVWS has a higher likelihood of availability in these bands. 

Weightless (N)
  • IoT technology: Weightless (N)
  • Standard: LPWAN
  • Frequency (MHz): 
    868-915MHz
  • Range (m): Up to 5km
  • Topology: Star
  • Requires hub or gateway: Yes
  • Alliance: Weightless SIG
    Board Members

The Weightless-N open standard is based on a low-power wide-area (LPWAN) star network architecture. It operates in sub-GHz spectrum using ultra narrow-band (UNB) technology.

Weightless-N claims to offers a range of several kilometres even in urban environments. Very low power consumption ensures long battery life from small conventional cells and minimal terminal hardware and network costs.

Weightless-N is designed around a differential binary-phase shift keying (DBPSK) digital modulation scheme to transmit within narrow frequency bands using a frequency hopping algorithm for interference mitigation.

It features encryption and implicit authentication using a shared secret-key regime to encode transmitted information via a 128 bit AES algorithm. The technology supports mobility with the network automatically routing terminal messages to the correct destination.

Multiple networks, typically operated by different companies, are enabled and can be co-located. Each base station queries a central database to determine which network the terminal is registered to in order to decode and route data accordingly.

Weightless (P)
  • IoT technology: Weightless (P)
  • Standard: Open standard
  • Frequency (MHz): 
    169MHz / 433MHz
    470MHz / 780MHz
    868MHz / 915MHz / 923MHz
  • Range (m): Up to 2km
  • Topology: Star
  • Requires hub or gateway: Yes
  • Alliance: Weightless SIG
    Board Members

Weightless-P is an ultra-high performance LPWAN connectivity technology for the Internet of Things. It uses a narrow-band modulation scheme offering a bi-directional communications capability to enable unrivalled quality of service (QoS) and add-on functionality.

The standard will provide fully acknowledged two-way communications offering both uplink and downlink capabilities and best in class QoS required for the stringent industrial IoT sector.

Key characteristics:

  • FDMA+TDMA in 12.5kHz narrow-band channels offer optimal capacity for uplink-dominated traffic from a very large number of devices with moderate payload sizes
  • Operates over the whole range of license-exempt sub-GHz ISM/SRD bands for global deployment: 169/433/470/780/868/915/923MHz
  • Flexible channel assignment for frequency re-use in large-scale deployments
  • Adaptive data rate from 200bps to 100kbps to optimize radio resource use depending on device link quality
  • Transmit power control for both downlink and uplink to reduce interference and maximize network capacity
  • Time-synchronized base stations for efficient radio resource scheduling and utilisation
  • Fully acknowledged communications
  • Auto-retransmission upon failure
  • Frequency and time synchronisation
  • Supports narrow-band channels (12.5KHz) with frequency hopping for robustness to multi-path and narrow-band interference
  • Channel coding
  • Supports licensed spectrum operations.

Weightless-N is designed around a differential binary-phase shift keying (DBPSK) digital modulation scheme to transmit within narrow frequency bands using a frequency hopping algorithm for interference mitigation. It provides for encryption and implicit authentication using a shared secret-key regime to encode transmitted information via a 128 bit AES algorithm.

The technology supports mobility with the network automatically routing terminal messages to the correct destination. Multiple networks, typically operated by different companies, are enabled and can be co-located. Each base station queries a central database to determine which network the terminal is registered to in order to decode and route data accordingly.

ZigBee PRO
  • IoT technology: ZigBee PRO
  • Standard: IEEE 802.15.4
  • Frequency (MHz): 
    Operates on unlicensed bands:
    – ISM 2.4 GHz at 250 Kbps
    – 868 MHz at 20 Kbps
    – 915 MHz at 40 Kbps
  • Range (m): From 30 to 100m
  • Topology: Star, Cluster Tree, Mesh
  • Requires hub or gateway: Yes
  • Alliance: ZigBee Alliance
    (Comcast, Kroger, Samsung, TI)

ZigBee PRO networks are composed of several device types: ZigBee coordinator, ZigBee routers and ZigBee end devices. Coordinators control the formation and security of networks. Routers extend the range of networks. End devices perform specific sensing or control functions. Manufacturers often create devices that perform multiple functions, for example, a device controls a light fixture and also routes messages to the rest of the network.

With the enhanced ZigBee 2012 specification, ZigBee PRO gains an new optional feature: green power. This allows battery-less devices to securely join ZigBee PRO networks.

This is the most eco-friendly way to power ZigBee products such as sensors, switches, dimmers and many other devices. These devices can be powered just by using widely available energy-sources like motion, light and vibrations.

The energy used to flip a typical light switch via common energy harvesting techniques, is powerful enough to generate and send commands through a ZigBee PRO 2012 network.

ZigBee RF4CE
  • IoT technology: ZigBee RF4CE
  • Standard: IEEE 802.15.4
  • Frequency (MHz): 
    Operates on unlicensed bands:
    – ISM 2.4 GHz at 250 Kbps
    – 868 MHz at 20 Kbps
    – 915 MHz at 40 Kbps
  • Range (m): From 30 to 100m
  • Topology: Star, Cluster Tree, Mesh
  • Requires hub or gateway: Yes
  • Alliance: ZigBee Alliance
    (Comcast, Kroger, Samsung, TI)

The ZigBee RF4CE network is composed of two types of device: a target node and a controller node.

A target node has full PAN coordinator capabilities and can start a network in its own right.

A controller node can join networks started by target nodes by pairing with the target. Multiple remote controls (RC) PANs form an RC network and nodes in the network can communicate between RC PANs.

In order to communicate with a target node, a controller node first switches to the channel and assumes the PAN identifier of the destination RC PAN.

It then uses the network address, allocated through the pairing procedure, to identify itself on the RC PAN and thus communicate with the desired target node.

ZigBee Multi-Protocol
  • IoT technology: ZigBee
    Multi-Protocol
  • Standard: IEEE 802.15.4
  • Frequency (MHz): 
    Operates on unlicensed bands:
    – ISM 2.4 GHz at 250 Kbps
    – 868 MHz at 20 Kbps
    – 915 MHz at 40 Kbps
  • Range (m): From 30 to 100m
  • Topology: Star, Cluster Tree, Mesh
  • Requires hub or gateway: Yes
  • Alliance: ZigBee Alliance
    (Comcast, Kroger, Samsung, TI)

ZigBee permits data transfer in wireless network. This wireless technology has been developed as an open global standard to address the unique needs of low-cost, low-power wireless M2M networks.

ZigBee features low-energy consumption and it designed for multi-channel control systems, alarm system and lighting controls. It operates on IEEE 802.15.14 physical radio specification in unlicensed bands. It is also more economical than WiFi and Bluetooth, making it an easy choice.

The ZigBee network layer supports star, tree and mesh networks. It ensures that networks remain operable in constantly changing quality conditions between communication nodes. In mesh and tree topologies, the ZigBee network is extended with several routers where the coordinator is responsible for pairing them.

They allow any devices to communicate with any other adjacent node providing redundancy to the data. If any node fails, the information is routed automatically to another device by these topologies.

In a star topology, the network consists of one coordinator responsible for initiating and managing the devices over a network. All devices can interact because they have a unified standard of data transfer. 

Bluetooth - Class 1
  • IoT technology: Bluetooth
    Class 1
  • Standard: IEEE 802.15.1
  • Frequency (MHz): 
    2.4 GHz ISM Band
  • Range (m): 100m
  • Topology: n/a
  • Requires hub or gateway: Yes
  • Alliance: Bluetooth Special Interest Group (3k members)

Created instantly and automatically between Bluetooth devices which are in the same area. This technology features:

  • One master device and others as slaves
  • Slaves cannot directly send data to each other
  • All traffic is routed through the master 35
  • Features up to 7 active slaves

 

Technical characteristics:

  • Low power wireless technology
  • Creates PANs (Personal area networks)
  • Uses frequency-hopping spread spectrum
Bluetooth - Class 2
  • IoT technology: Bluetooth
    Class 2
  • Standard: IEEE 802.15.1
  • Frequency (MHz): 
    2.4 GHz ISM Band
  • Range (m): 10m
  • Topology: n/a
  • Requires hub or gateway: Yes
  • Alliance: Bluetooth Special Interest Group (3k members)

Created instantly and automatically between Bluetooth devices which are in the same area. This technology features:

  • One master device and others as slaves
  • Slaves cannot directly send data to each others
  • All traffic is routed through the master
  • Features up to 7 active slaves

 

Technical characteristics:

  • Low power wireless technology
  • Creates PANs (Personal area networks)
  • Uses frequency-hopping spread spectrum
Bluetooth - Class 3
  • IoT technology: Bluetooth
    Class 3
  • Standard: IEEE 802.15.1
  • Frequency (MHz): 
    2.4 GHz ISM Band
  • Range (m): 1m
  • Topology: n/a
  • Requires hub or gateway: Yes
  • Alliance: Bluetooth Special Interest Group (3k members)

Created instantly and automatically between Bluetooth devices which are in the same area. This technology features:

  • One master device and others as slaves
  • Slaves cannot directly send data to each others
  • All traffic is routed through the master 
  • Features up to 7 active slaves

 

Technical characteristics:

  • Low power wireless technology
  • Creates PANs (Personal area networks)
  • Use frequency-hopping spread spectrum