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Musings over IOT, Industry4.0 and other stuffs

written by Arijit Biswas on March, 30th 2017
7 minutes read

Smartphones have become ubiquitous in today’s world and has become an integral part of our daily lives. However, our excessive dependency of smartphones, can at times become a source of frustration for us :

Scenario 1

You have come to a remote area for work and can’t make a call to your friends and family as there is poor network connectivity.

Scenario 2

You have come to a new city and since you are not very comfortable with the roads, you want to refer to Google maps. However, your phone gets discharged.


While these frustrating scenarios can be averted through proper planning, when it comes down to machines/devices used and manufactured in industries, it becomes very critical to make sure we plan for an appropriate infrastructure for connectivity (both within a factory, as well as to the web hosted cloud). We don’t want a situation, when the machine wanted to communicate an important piece of information, but couldn’t do so, either because the gateway device wasn’t charged or the connectivity layer couldn’t transmit the data and converted it into undesirable noise.

There are multiple technologies available with different connectivity ranges and varying power consumption levels. Some of the most prominent ones have been described below :

S.No.NameType of ProtocolRange(m)UseUSPFrequency(GHz)Data RateEnergy UsageStandard
1BluetoothCommunications50-150Personal devicesLow power ; smart phones have it2.41 MbpsLowBluetooth 4.2 core specification
2ZigbeeCommunications10-100Industrial settingsLow power ; secure ; high node counts2.4250 kbpsLowZigBee 3.0 based on IEEE802.15.4
3ZwaveCommunications10-30Home automationsupport 232 devices ; low-latency transfer0.99.6/40/100kbit/sLowZ-Wave Alliance ZAD12837 / ITU-T G.9959
46LowPanNetworkN/AIP address providerIPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6) stackUniversal compatabilityN/AN/ARFC6282
5ThreadNetworkN/AHome automationCompliments WiFi ; handles 250 nodes2.4N/AN/AThread based on IEEE802.15.4 and 6LowPAN
6WifiCommunications0-50Homes Officeshigh transmission ; reliableBands - 2.4 and 5150-1000MediumBased on 802.11n
7CellularCommunications35000-200000Potentially everywherehigh quality of data at high speed0.9/1.8/1.9/2.135-170kps (GPRS), 120-384kbps (EDGE), 384Kbps-2Mbps (UMTS), 600kbps-10Mbps (HSPA), 3-10Mbps (LTE)HighGSM/GPRS/EDGE (2G) UMTS/HSPA (3G) LTE (4G)
8NFCCommunications0-0.1Smartphones ; contactless payment transactionsSafe and simple two way communication0.013100–420kbpsLowISO/IEC 18000-3
9SigFoxCommunications3000-50000M2M applications that run on a small battery and only require low levels of data transferuses ultra narrow band spectrum ; no need for license to use ; high stand by time0.910-10000 bpsVery LowSigfox
10NeulCommunications0-10000M2M applications that run on a small battery and only require low levels of data transferdevices will last long ; highly scalable low cost0.9(ISM)/0.45(UK)/0.48-0.8(White space)0.001-100 kbpsVery LowNeul
11LoraWanCommunications2000-15000bi-directional communication in IoT M2Mlow cost ; low power consumptionVarious0.3-50 kbps.LoRaWAN