Wireless systems choice has become much broader as more tech becomes available to IoT.

The Impact of Wireless System Choice on IoT Infrastructure

The world of IoT is ever-evolving, especially with the introduction of 5G: a cost-effective, high-speed, and long-range connectivity solution. With this evolution, wired IoT is seemingly being left in the dust and wireless services are now becoming the heart of the Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity and deployment.

The technology used in IoT has a very prominent impact on the strengths and weaknesses of the final product. From coverage to range, scalability, cost, security, and the overall requirements for addressing specific issues, everything changes based on the wireless service and system chosen for the IoT infrastructure.

The primary goal to keep in mind when choosing the wireless service or system for an IoT infrastructure should be:

  • Maximum throughput
  • Maximum range
  • Optimal availability within the deployment zone
  • Minimal power consumption
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Efficient operation and completion of the task
  • Ability to replicate results.

While some technologies can offer better thorough output and cost-effectiveness, others may offer a larger coverage area with minimal power consumption but may cost a lot.

The Impact of Wireless System Choice on IoT Infrastructure

The First Consideration: Wireless Service & Battery Life

Almost every node within an IoT infrastructure contains several sensors that communicate with each other. Collectively, the group of sensors is known as a sensor node. They are powered by the same battery that will be powering other elements in the same infrastructure.

The more power-hungry the wireless communication system is, the bigger your battery capacity needs to be. For example, cellular wireless services are extremely power-hungry but have a much longer range than Wi-Fi (which isn’t as power-intensive).

For any IoT project to be successful, it needs to remain operational for years, which makes battery life the most important element to consider for most businesses.

The Second Consideration: Nature of Application

Depending on whether the IoT infrastructure will need to operate in a remote location or not, the pulse rate of the signal, frequency to be generated, and other functions that the expected use can dictate will also determine which system to choose.

Using Wi-Fi technology in IoT equipment that needs to be placed in the middle of the Sahara Desert is a surefire way of rendering the technology useless. In such a scenario, the chosen wireless communication protocol will dictate the device’s consumption profile, and in turn, the components and system(s) that need to be used.

This includes the module/chip that is used for the chosen Wireless Communication Protocol (the chip/module that allows the connection to the network uses more or less power depending on the manufacturers) and more broadly, the electronics design.

The Third Consideration: Necessary Coverage Range

This consideration also includes the distance between sensor nodes and the data that needs to travel between nodes. For example, sending bytes of data (location only) may be done through GSM/CDMA. It isn’t as energy-intensive as 4G or 5G and will get the job done quite easily (despite being cellular).

However, sending MBs or GBs of data will influence the transmission time and, therefore, the power consumption. A higher data rate wireless system will be needed here. A WAN system is a good option but is fairly costly.

As you can see, to choose the best wireless system for your IoT infrastructure, you will almost always have to sacrifice something.

If you’re ready to update your systems or need to install a new one, get in touch with us and we’ll help you understand which wireless service/technology will be best suited for your IoT project.